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Apocalypse on the Set: Nine Disastrous Film Productions 1st Edition
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"Taylor provides a thoroughly entertaining look at the trials and tribulations that plagued the film of nine now infamous motion pictures. A must read for film buffs or anyone curious about the many ways a film can go awry." — Booklist
Top Customer Reviews
Most of these type of books chronicle the same stories, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Apocalypse Now, or The Adventures of Baron Munchausen for example, so if you have read these stories before, you won't find much new here. However, the stories are still interesting and you get other films such as Heaven's Gate and Waterworld, so that helps.
That said, the book does suffer from spending too much time on the back story of the films and the events leading up to the disasters, that it doesn't spend a ton of time with the final outcomes and the ultimate fate of the motion picture. In other words, there were several of these stories that I was left wanting more.
If you are like me, and enjoying reading about just how things can fall to pieces on a movie set, this is a very good read. You might, like me, be left wanting more, which is the books major flaw. Still, it was interesting and kept me turning the page, so it was a success on that end.
The only real detraction was the intros to each of the chapters. Mini-stories that really had nothing to do with what they were meant to introduce, and often vague with too little detail to be enjoyable. Get past that, though, and interesting look into the history of some of the most disastrous movie-making experiences ever.
"Apocalypse On the Set" is a fascinating and informative look at nine different troubled productions, which for various reasons suffered disasters and setbacks that nearly doomed the picture in question... and in many cases affected its reception by audiences and critics.
Some of these films are marred by preventable tragedy -- "Twilight Zone: The Movie" and "The Crow" both had actors die during filming, both due to preventable mistakes on the part of directors and/or special effects teams. Others are a result of hubris on the part of the creator, such as the debacle of catering to the every whim of "Heaven's Gate" directer Michael Cimino, or North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il kidnapping a film director and forcing him to create his propoganda-laced monster flick "Pulgasari." Still others were simply victims of the hazards of shooting on location, such as "Apocalypse Now" and "Waterworld." In almost all cases, the disasters and failures couldn't be blamed on solely one person -- usually it was a combination of ego, executive meddling, oversight, and just plain bad luck that ended up doing the picture in and nearly preventing it from ever being completed. But in each case, the parties involved decided that "the show must go on" and were able to somehow deliver a completed picture... for better or for worse.Read more ›
Ben Taylor uncovers the disastrous and chaotic genesis of nine movies, ranging from easy targets like "Heaven's Gate" to more obscure flicks such as "Pulgasari." Uniquely, the author begins each saga with a real-life story that's independent of the profiled movie but is emblematic of its tribulations. From there, Mr. Taylor reveals how each movie's production spun out of control, whether by directorial hubris, harsh conditions, or terrible accident.
However, just because things went nuts during the filming process doesn't mean that the movies profiled here necessarily bombed. In fact, most of them managed to make a profit or are held in high regard. For example, "The Abyss" and "The Crow" made decent money and could be considered cult classics, while "Apocalypse Now" needs no defense as a cinematic milestone. It's simply that they experienced a greater degree of tribulation than most productions normally endure.
"Apocalypse on the Set" is a great addition to any film buff's library, especially if you're fascinated by the movie-making process and are a fan of the flicks profiled by Mr. Taylor. Recommended.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The nine movies Ben Taylor writes about in this book all were terrible to work on. Many of them were box office flops. Read morePublished on August 25, 2014 by Stephen M. St Onge
I really wanted to love this book, but I really just ended up liking it. It covers a fascinating subject - film productions that spun out of control or nearly collapsed under the... Read morePublished on April 12, 2014 by Greg Enslen
You'll find you are asking yourself this question over and over, as you read these tales of Hollywood ego, and strings of bad-luck.Published on November 24, 2013 by Rob Levin
Always wondered how a ton of money, and 2 tons of ego, and make a 3 ton pile of awfulness! :-)Published on January 12, 2013 by T. Motto
I recently was in need for some reading materials while doing some air travel, and I picked up this book not knowing much about it, other than the self-explanatory title of the... Read morePublished on December 28, 2012 by Paul Allaer
Interesting account of movie making melt-downs and production debacles that's a must for film buffs. Read morePublished on October 11, 2012 by Hieronymus Utter Bosch