Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Bad Editing: A Klingon in the bush is worth...?

So...I was re-watching Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984) on the weekend, and I caught this blooper that I had long ago forgotten about. Actually, it's not a blooper per se, but actually an example of some really sloppy editing.

At about the 57 minute point of the movie, Lt. Saavik (Robin Curtis) is on the surface of the Genesis Planet resting (top picture), when a tree in the foreground suddenly pops up (as part of the "unstable" matrix of the artificial planet). Saavik then stands up, as the ground spits steam (bottom picture). Saavik approaches adolescent Spock, who is about to undergo Pon Farr.

But between these two shots, the editor inserted a brief view of a huge tree rippling in the wind...and you can see a Klingon warrior standing there, in the shadow of the tree (middle picture). Look closely. At the right side of the photo. Contextually, he shouldn't be there...

This got me thinking, what's the worst example of editing/cutting you've seen in a major motion picture?


  1. Well, there is of course that famous scene from "Three Men And A Baby", which everyone thought was a ghost of a child who was murder in the house where they shot that stupid film.

    Until they found out it was just a cardboard dummy of Ted Denson that some Idiot left on the set.


  2. Star Trek III is just sloppily made period. Wall-to-wall bad staging, dialogue, and acting. I distinctly remember giving up any hope I had for the franchise after the terrific "Wrath of Khan."

  3. Brian3:53 PM

    I remember that Klingon! Never figured out why he was there. I guess Nimoy ran out of shots of uprooted trees.

    There was an FX shot in 2010 that always made my friends chuckle... Discovery and the monolith in orbit around Jupiter up until the last couple of frames when... they vanish!

  4. Jake Lockley10:21 PM

    Blade Runner. The scene where Harrison Ford is interrogating the guy about the snake scale and the shot is from outside looking in the window. The voices were dubbed over the scene and the conversation on screen is clearly different than the one being heard.

  5. Anonymous2:34 PM

    One of my favorites of recent years: Dark City. The chase sequence during the 'city-tuning' about ... 2/3 through. Murdoch is being pursued by The Strangers, opens a door, and charges blindly, only to find himself in the open air. He falls of course, and saves himself by grasping the bottom of the door frame.

    The flub? In the theatrical release, you could plainly, I mean PLAINLY, see the cable that was keeping him from falling during that shot.

    You won't see it in the DVD release, however. It was neatly edited out, I'm glad to say, thus removing a large and sudden -yank- back to the real world in the middle of the immersion.

  6. Jósef10:12 AM

    I remember a scene from The Hard Way, with James Woods and Micheal J. Fox, where the police car spins around or jumps through air. In a far away shot of the police car, you could CLEARLY see the support beams that were sideways in the windows. You'd think they would have them in places where you couldn't see them.

    Also a funny thing, if you watch The Fugitive (with Harrison Ford) DVD, there's a featurette of how they discovered a man who wasn't supposed to be there. So they removed him for the DVD release. No one noticed this...very strange.

  7. Anonymous1:58 AM

    Mine's always been that shiny silver tape in The Empire Strikes Back during the... well, you know when. Nicely spray-painted over in the next shot to look like a light saber burn.


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