Five 3D Movie Gimmicks We Endured Before RealD

Five 3D Movie Gimmicks We Endured Before RealD
Promotional consideration provided by Cineplex.

Since its founding in 2003, RealD Inc. has changed the way we view 3D movies. Rather than squinting through a haze of red and blue, we've been able to immerse ourselves in three-dimensional movie environments that don't distract from the movie at hand.

The technology has also allowed movie houses to fix the mistakes of the past by offering updated RealD cuts of classic flicks. That's precisely what Cineplex will do with the latest edition of their RealD 3D Fest, which takes place on August 31.

At select Cineplex locations across the country, fans will be able to enter the third dimension of a wide array of choices, include prestigious award winners like Gravity, The Life of Pi and Titanic, popcorn fare like Piranha 3D, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and Top Gun and stone-cold classics like The Wizard of Oz, Dial M for Murder, Creature from the Black Lagoon and, of course, Terminator 2: Judgement Day.

In order to truly appreciate today's 3D technology, however, we must remember precisely how gimmicky the technology of yesteryear really was. As such, please dig into the three-dimensional horrors of the past below.


L'Arrivée d'un train en gare de La Ciotat (1896)



Brothers Auguste and Louis Lumière initially conceived their now-legendary short as a three-dimensional image, later reshooting it with a stereoscopic film image for maximum 3D effect in 1935. Even as a flat, two-dimensional image, however, their original piece was still too immersive for audiences in 1896. As urban legend has it, audience members screamed and panicked as a train barrelled towards them in the cinema.

House of Wax (1953)



House of Wax is not a particularly bad film, particularly for those who love Vincent Price. But its release was not entirely successful. Inspired by the film Bwana Devil, Wax was released to much fanfare, but its three-dimensional look was delivered with a double projector system that delivered two sets of film — one for the left eye and another for the right. Aside from the endless technical difficulties, this also meant the film's 3D effects only worked if you had the best seats in the house.

Andy Warhol's Frankenstein (1973)



Of course, things don't get much more gimmicky than Andy Warhol's Frankenstein. The film, directed by Paul Morrissey and originally titled Flesh for Frankenstein, got its title because Warhol visited the set once and also popped by the studio during the editing period. The film was rated X for its extreme sex scenes and gory disembowelments, which were shot in 3D. Naturally, it was critically panned upon its release but has since developed a cult following for its oddball sensibilities.

Friday the 13th Part III (1982)



The shameless filth of Andy Warhol's Frankenstein is far preferred over the desperate gimmickry of Friday the 13th Part III. This instalment in the Jason series returned to camp with, well, plenty of camp as characters inexplicably indulged in the film's corny 3D theatrics. There are slow-moving pitchforks that feel like they're going to poke your eyes out, and one character is inexplicably obsessed with dangling his yo-yo into the lens for long periods of time. That said, it didn't stop the filmmakers from raking it in at the box office.

Jaws 3-D (1983)



Few films are associated with 3D gimmickry quite like Jaws 3-D. The second sequel to Steven Spielberg's beloved shark flick was met with extreme derision thanks to its terrible script, poor direction and reliance on 3D gimmickry to try and justify its existence. Of course, considering home 3D technology didn't even exist at the time of its release, the film was rendered pointless after it left cinemas. Jaws 3-D was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards, but couldn't even win any of those — it's not even bad in a fun way.