'Apocalypse on the Set' Details Nine Worst Moviemaking Disasters

New book examines disastrous shoots from "Apocalypse Now" to "Waterworld."

Like a box of chocolates, Ben Taylor’s Apocalypse On The Set: Nine Disastorous Film Productions (Overlook, 352 pages, $27.95) offers up lightly concocted morsels about some of the worst-movie making experiences in history.

From the Twilight Zone disaster to Heaven’s Gate, from Francis Ford Coppola’s much discussed nightmare experience making Apocalypse Now to the death of Brandon Lee on The Crow, from the deep water difficulties of The Abyss to the waves that rocked the making of Waterworld, Taylor provides a bit of context and then digs into what happened, complete with the back story of the movie and the legal and financial legacy of each disastrous production.

While each production was difficult and in some cases deadly, Taylor notes that ultimately all nine movies he writes about did get released into theaters, sometimes stigmatized by the bad press from the production and other times seemingly immune to all that happened. "This is a business that combines art, money, ego and power into productions that are ephemeral and original in nature, thus presenting a unique set of problems,” writes Taylor in his introduction.” It is these uncommon problems of filmmaker that are found at the intersection of art and money.” 

And that is right where this book will take the reader.  See a gallery of images from Hollywood's nine worst movie-making disasters here.