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Top 10 Deleted Movie Scenes That Crossed the Line

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Nathan Sharp

Jeez, no wonder these wound up on the cutting room floor. From Scream to Jaws, WatchMojo is counting down the heaviest and most controversial scenes that didn’t make the final cut.


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Script written by Nathan Sharp

Top 10 Deleted Movie Scenes That Crossed the Line

Jeez, no wonder these wound up on the cutting room floor.. Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top ten deleted movie scenes that crossed the line.

For this list, we’ll be looking at deleted scenes that were removed from their respective films due to controversy or being a little too heavy for the final product. We’ll be looking at both filmed scenes that were removed and scenes that were planned but never shot.

#10: Steve’s Guts

“Scream” (1996)

The opening scene of “Scream” is scary enough without a bunch of guts littering the place. Wes Craven had an immense amount of difficulty in securing an R rating for “Scream.” He had sent up to eight different versions to the MPAA, all of which came back with an NC-17 rating due to the movie’s intense violence. One of the problematic scenes was Steve’s death. In the original cut, Steve’s organs can be seen falling out of his stomach. The MPAA stated that the organs could not be seen moving, prompting Wes to remove the organ shot to focus solely on Steve’s dying face. The organ shot was later reinstated for various home video releases.

#9: Katie Slashes Her Own Throat

“Paranormal Activity” (2007)

“Paranormal Activity” certainly doesn’t have a happy ending, but it could have been much darker. Of course, your opinion as to whether or not cutting this scene was a good call likely depends on how dark you like your endings. In the theatrical version, a bloody and demonic-looking Katie walks into the room and lunges at the camera. Pretty tame. However, an alternate ending was shot by Paramount that sees Katie smiling at the camera before slitting her own throat and dropping out of frame. They eventually decided against this ending (probably because it left no room for sequels), but it can still be found on the DVD.

#8: Cocoons

“Alien” (1979)

“Alien” is known for being one of the scariest sci-fi horrors of all time, but if you think that it couldn’t get any scarier, think again. There was going to be a sequence that saw Ripley coming across alien cocoons imprisoning Dallas and Brett. She then has a quick conversation with the barely-conscious Dallas before burning him alive within the cocoon. The image of Dallas trapped within the cocoon is incredibly haunting and disgusting, and the act of Ripley setting them on fire is grotesque. The scene was cut for pacing reasons, although a shortened version of it appears in the Director’s Cut for the morbidly curious among you.

#7: The Theater Shooting

“Gangster Squad” (2013)

There was a scene in the original cut of “Gangster Squad” wherein various characters shoot submachine guns at a crowd in Grauman’s Chinese Theater. However, just two months after the trailer dropped, James Holmes shot up a movie theater in Colorado, killing twelve and injuring seventy. In the wake of the tragedy, the trailer for “Gangster Squad” was pulled and the scene was completely removed from the film. The movie’s release date was later bumped back to accommodate the necessary re-shoots. While the scene itself may have been relatively tame compared to others on our list today, we must commend Warner Bros. for pulling it out of respect for the victims and their families.

#6: The Taming Party

“Zootopia” (2016)

“Zootopia” is arguably one of Disney’s heaviest and most mature movies, as it tackles some incredibly difficult subject matter like corruption, racism, and xenophobia. However, it could have been a whole lot darker. One planned but abandoned concept saw Judy and Nick sneaking through something called a taming party. Said taming party involved a young bear being gifted a shock collar, something that all predators must wear to keep their predatory instincts at bay. It’s a fascinating scene that shows how much a film can change from conception to final product, and it’s a brutally sad look into how dark the movie could have been.

#5: Alex’s Death

“Jaws” (1975)

One of the scariest and most well-known scenes of “Jaws” is young Alex’s death. We don’t see much, save for a brief fountain of blood, but it’s still an incredibly disturbing scene - and it could have been much worse. The scene was originally shot with Jaws emerging from the water and biting into the young boy. Old pictures can even be found online of the mechanical shark and the dummy that was created to stand in for the young actor. However, the scene was altered to be far less graphic, which is probably for the best. Jaws made a huge impact without having to explicitly show a child being chomped by a shark.

#4: Bruce’s Suicide Attempt

“The Incredible Hulk” (2008)

Suicide may be just a tad too difficult and scary for the young’uns. A scene was shot for “The Incredible Hulk” that saw Bruce traveling to the Arctic Circle in an attempt to commit suicide. The scene sees human Bruce kneeling in the snow and taking out a gun. He then cocks it before turning into the Hulk and crushing the gun in his hand. However, the director and various Marvel heads thought that the suicide attempt was far too dark for young audiences, and the scene was omitted from the final product.

#3: The Famous Sacrifice Scene

“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984)

“Temple of Doom” is often seen as the inferior Indiana Jones movie (at least of the original trilogy), mostly due to its dark violence. And while the infamous heart-ripping scene helped lead to the creation of the PG-13 rating, the original idea could have pushed the movie into R territory. Actor Nizwar Karanj revealed that the original scene saw his character being lowered into a pit of lava, similar to how he is in the theatrical version. However, the plan was to have his body slowly disintegrate upon contact with the lava until only his face remained - floating on the surface.Unsurprisingly, this idea was later scrapped for being too disturbing.

#2: The Eyeball Scene

“From Beyond” (1986)

Censors must have a thing with eyeballs, as an eyeball scene was also cut from “Divergent” for being too violent. One particularly nasty scene in “From Beyond” sees Dr. Tillinghast biting out a doctor’s eyeball and sucking her brains out through her bloody eye socket. Yeah, we almost puked just saying that. Director Stuart Gordon has stated that he was fiercely reprimanded by the MPAA and was forced to edit the scene, robbing it of its intended intensity. The unrated cut has subsequently been released in all its gory detail. Horror buffs may love it, but the average viewer is likely to prefer the MPAA approved version.

#1: Baby Evan Strangles Himself

“The Butterfly Effect” (2004)

Infant deaths are always a tricky subject. 2017’s “It” was set to have an infant death, but they decided to abandon the idea probably because it was too disturbing, which is saying a lot for a movie wherein an alien creature eats children. In the theatrical ending of “The Butterfly Effect,” Evan burns his journals after satisfactorily resetting the timeline. However, the original ending was much darker. In the director’s cut, Evan travels back in time and strangles himself in the womb with his own umbilical cord. While some may argue that it’s a more fulfilling ending, others may say that watching a baby commit suicide is just a little too much.


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