Main Navigation

Deleted Horror Scenes that were ‘Too Much’ for Audiences, and More!
The Bite #47

Deleted Horror Scenes that were ‘Too Much’ for Audiences, and More!

February 26, 2019

In this Issue:


By Lisa Morton

Editing can make or break a film, which means scenes are often deleted for reasons ranging from the mundane (continuity, running time) to the desired aesthetic (mood, pacing). And editing within the horror genre adds its own parameters, as the history of famous deleted horror movie scenes reveals.

Starting in the ’30s, some scenes were deleted because producers feared they were simply too much for audiences, such as in the original King Kong’s “spider pit” scene, or the bit from 1931’s Frankensteinin which the monster tosses a little girl into a lake (this, at least, was rediscovered in the ’80s and reinserted). Later “it was just too much” scenes include the notorious “spider walk” from The Exorcist(director William Friedkin specifically thought it was too much too early in the story), the baboon-cat combining scene from David Cronenberg’s The Fly(both gross and guaranteed to offend animal lovers), and one of the strangest: a sexy Freddy nurse from A Nightmare on Elm Street: Dream Warriors.

Other scenes have been cut to achieve an R-rating. Stuart Gordon removed considerable gore and bare flesh from his Lovecraft-inspired From Beyond (he submitted the film to the MPAA ratings board twelve times), make-up effects maestro and director Tom Savini had to excise considerable splatter from his 1990 remake of Night of the Living Dead, and several entries in the Friday the 13th series have been required to tone down Jason’s carnage (like Eddie’s death by crushed skull in 1985’s Part V: A New Beginning, which had to lose the actual squishy brain matter shots).

Occasionally, endings are re-thought because they’re deemed too much of an apocalyptic downer. John Carpenter’s The Thing originally included an infected dog racing off at the end, the Frank Oz-directed Little Shop of Horrors had its man-eating plant destroy the world, and in Army of Darkness Ash awoke to a futuristic scene of global devastation.

Perhaps no series is as well-known for its cast-offs as the Alien franchise. The first, second, and fourth films all included scenes of finding cast members cocooned, and the third film cut way back on the gruesome elements in young Newt’s autopsy.

Apparently, filmmakers feel even horror fans can only take so much.


Image of the Week

Thing One, Thing Two

Drew Struzan’s iconic poster for John Carpenter’s 1982 movie The Thing is seared into our brains — pretty amazing for a rush job the artist painted in only 24 hours without having seen the movie. But we think artist Jeremy Wheeler’s recent alternate poster is pretty awesome, too.



Toni Collette, snubbed by this year’s Oscars, won Best Actress at Fangoria‘s Chainsaw Awards —
as she should have.

Mandy also won Chainsaw Awards, for Best Limited-Release Movie, Best Score, and Best Actor, while the Shudder exclusive Terrified won for Best Foreign Language Movie. 

The upcoming Lost Boys TV pilot will reportedly be gender-swapped — and directed by Twilight‘s Catherine Hardwicke.

A new Twilight Zone trailer reveals some of the scares Jordan Peele has in store for us — including what looks like a mask of the Gremlin from “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” floating in the waves at the :21 mark. We’re intrigued.

Jess Nevins, author of A Chilling Age of Horror: How 20th Century Horror Fiction Changed The Genre, offers a short history of 20th century African-American horror literature.

Since there can never be enough Freddy Krueger, here are nine of the best A Nightmare on Elm Streetfan films.

Syfy will bring back the beloved Banana Splits kids show as … a horror thriller? (Whut?)

Blumhouse is “definitely looking” at new Scream andHellraiser movies. 

An immersive art installation called I Like Scary Movies will allow you to wander through recreated sets from ItThe ShiningBeetlejuiceThe Lost Boys, and A Nightmare on Elm Street.

Here are 24 annoying things that always happen in horror movies. (You don’t hear about #24 too much but … so true.)

A fascinating video essay analyzes why cosmic horror is so difficult to pull off

And here are the 10 best horror anthology movies ever made. (We 100% agree about Creepshow.)

The Conjuring


By Sam Zimmerman

Today, we follow in the steps of Ed and Lorraine Warren, and get goopy with James Gunn.

Rhode Island: The Conjuring

James Wan’s blockbuster, which solidified the director as a master of horror, is famously based on both true story and folklore. The Conjuring takes inspiration from one of the many investigations done by controversial paranormal researchers and demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, who came to the aid of the Perron family in Harrisville, Rhode Island. The family’s farmhouse was said to be terrorized by the spirit of suspected witch Bathsheba Sherman, born in Rhode Island, and who occupied the same farm. That farm was not used in the film, which itself was shot in Wilmington, North Carolina. But back in Rhode Island, Bathsheba’s gravestone has apparently seen a lot of action since The Conjuring’s release.

South Carolina: Slither

Director James Gunn, who famously started with Troma and rose to Marvel success, made his feature directorial debut with the South Carolina-set comedic body horror, Slither. Exaggerated in accents and slimy fluids, Slither exists in the fictional town of Wheelsy, which was portrayed by Canada’s British Columbia.

Universal Monster Mural


Street artist Tristan Eaton spent a month spraypainting a massive mural of Frankenstein’s Monster, The Bride of Frankenstein, Dracula, the Wolfman, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon on a 50-feet high, 200-feet long soundstage wall at the Universal backlot. We look forward to taking a studio tram tour and catching a glimpse of these towering horror legends soon.


Horror Noire – The Fascinating Things I learned

Horror Noire Interview: Co-Writer/Producer Ashlee Blackwell on the Importance of Representation in Cinema

Horror Noire Is a Powerful Documentation of Black Film History

Shudder will dish about Hollywood’s most haunted film sets in an upcoming docuseries

Shudder’s Beast is an entrancing horror story disguised as a romance