Last week we talked about alternate endings in movies like Army of Darkness, Clerks, and Little Shop of Horrors.
In the comments, you mentioned classics that I can't believe I didn't mention, including CLUE, which was made with four different endings to be played randomly in different theaters.
I'm not sure how well that worked out, and it's a pretty rare approach. The other example I know of is ‘Paranormal Activity’. It had multiple endings, and different audiences saw different versions. It's a neat idea, but my impression is that it actually annoys at least some audience members.
Most of the other alternate endings I know of involve filmmakers/studios being unsure of what ending will work, or work the best, or endings that were changed in preproduction/production, with original endings that were never filmed.
A movie I used to watch at least once a year was JOY RIDE, about young people stalked by a murderous truck driver. On the dvd there are four endings, fully filmed and edited. JJ Abrams was producer and cowriter of that movie, and I think he's somewhat infamous for not knowing how to end things. The endings are fairly different from one another, and the commentary is interesting as far as the different ideas behind the various approaches. I liked the ending they went with - it worked.
Lethal Weapon 2, one of my all time favorites, had a civil war behind the scenes, with the writer of the first and second movies wanting to end the thing by killing a main character, and to have a darker tone to the whole movie. The studio, on the other hand, wanted more comedy and a more open ending. It came out a great movie, and just in case you haven't seen it, I won't say where it ended up. The tone of the film is wonderfully dark, character oriented, AND funny.
Another fave was “The Burbs”, a comedy/thriller that we did a Quackcast commentary for awhile back. The original ending is much darker and creepier. The redone ending, which apparently the filmmakers knew was needed once Tom Hanks was cast as the star, is fantastic. It abandons the theme of the story, but it just hits the spot.
Of course, there are plenty of other movies that have altered endings/altered versions, like Blade Runner.
Multiple movies that I know very well and are really in my bones have now been altered on streaming services. Stuff is cut out, old alternate footage is edited back in, and for me, it throws everything off. The most upsetting for me was “Terminator 2”, which is an amazing film with an iconic ending. The version on some streaming services has a more definitive ending that visits the future of Sarah and John Connor. It's horrendous to me. I guess I'm biased, because of how special that movie was to me. I do understand the thinking that might have gone into this alternate ending. But the original ending, with the dark highway and the unknown but hopeful future ahead, is perfect. Seeing Sarah as an old woman, spelling out how their lives played out - ack! Ugh!
I'm feeling ill! I gotta go!
Have a good one,
Banes at 12:00AM, Nov. 10, 2022
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