People Who Died Recreating These Movie Scenes

We all cheer great films, imagining ourselves
as the protagonists. Unfortunately, there are instances where people
took that silver screen inspiration too literally, suffering the worst possible outcome in real
life. Back To The Future tells the story of high
schooler Marty McFly, who accidentally transports himself back to 1955 in a time-traveling Delorean. Early in the film, Marty hangs onto the back
of a truck while riding his skateboard to get some extra speed on the way to school. Later, after he’s been displaced in time and
trapped in the past, the film unveils one of its most memorable sequences, featuring
Marty attempting to escape the clutches of bruiser bully Biff Tannen. Referencing the earlier scene, he creates
a makeshift skateboard that he then uses to skate away from his pursuers, which puzzles
onlookers, as such an item had yet to be invented. Once again, Marty speeds away by grabbing
onto the back of a car while riding the board. In June 1987, a group of teenagers were recreating
the scene in Jenks, Oklahoma. They were holding onto the back of cars and
go-carts when 13-year-old Mark Smith’s skateboard hit the tire of one of the go-carts. Losing his balance, he fell and hit his head,
sadly passing away five days later. The outlandish, dangerous, and disgusting
antics of Johnny Knoxville and friends pushed the boundaries of absurdist behavior when
MTV’s Jackass was unleashed upon the masses in 2000. That success paved the way for a feature film
version. Although it was accompanied with an “R” rating
and a “Do Not Try This At Home” warning, attempts to Xerox the stunts of Knoxville and his crew
did indeed happen, leading to predictably sad results. One fateful night in December 2002, 15-year-old
Stephen Paul Rauen of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was offed when he attempted to hold onto a
moving truck but lost his grip and slipped when the driver slammed on the brakes. Rauen fell and was dragged underneath. Albuquerque police spokesperson Detective
Jeff Arbogast announced that the teens were inspired by a scene they saw while watching
Jackass: The Movie. MTV sent their condolences, noting, “We’re sorry to hear that this unfortunate
incident has happened. No matter how a tragedy occurs, it’s especially
horrible when a young person is involved.” However, they also claimed that there was
no actual stunt in the film similar to what led to Rauen’s passing. The Fast and Furious film franchise features
some of the craziest car crashes and riskiest racing stunts ever devised. In 2003, 2 Fast 2 Furious saw Paul Walker
returning from the first installment as AWOL cop Brian O’Conner, who has made his way from
California to Miami, living off the winnings of drag races he’s won while crossing the
country. While the story sees him working to take down
a drug lord, high-speed stunts remain the primary attraction. Shortly after 2 Fast 2 Furious was released,
17-year-old William Lacasse Jr. was returning home from seeing the film when he pulled out
of a Miami gas station in a Corvette. He was challenged to a drag race by two cars. He took his challengers up on the offer, but
he quickly lost control, crashing into a concrete light pole and soon thereafter passing away. Lacasse’s father later stated that had he
been aware that 2 Fast 2 Furious was the movie his son was going to see, he’d have never
let him take the car. The film was blamed for a rise in racing and
other accidents in Miami at the time, criticism similar to ones levied at the first film when
it was released in 2001. At the time of Lacasse’s passing, Miami Police
Lieutenant Bill Schwartz stated that teenagers couldn’t differentiate between the effects
of drag racing they see on screen and the potential real-life consequences of racing,
noting, “They don’t understand that those people are
stunt drivers and that they can get offed.” Into the Wild is based on the real life tale
of college graduate Chris McCandless, who gives away all his money after deciding to
travel to Alaska to live off the land. His experiences in the wild and the life lessons
he learns along the way are the centerpiece of the film. Finding the enlightenment he was seeking,
he seeks to return to his family, but he finds his former path now blocked. The quiet stream he once crossed has become
an impassable raging river due to melting snow. In the end, he poisons himself by eating the
wrong plant, sadly causing his own accidental passing. “What if I were smiling and running into your
arms?” In 2013, 18-year-old Jonathan Croom, who had
become obsessed with Into the Wild, decided to follow McCandless’ example and “leave his
life behind.” Croom traveled to the Pacific Northwest from
his home in Arizona, despite having never lived off the land and having limited camping
experience. When Croom disappeared from the town of Riddle,
Oregon, police began searching for him. His abandoned car was eventually found with
his wallet inside. A week later, authorities discovered his body,
just 1,000 feet from the wooded area where his car had been recovered. While authorities believed Croom offed himself,
Croom’s family drew a correlation between his and McCandless’ respective experiences. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 features Spidey’s
battles against Electro and The Green Goblin while he also investigates the mystery behind
his parents’ passing. Andrew Garfield’s brooding turn as Peter Parker
was a departure from previous films, but Spidey, in any form, remains a colorful character
that children respond to. Unfortunately, when young children don’t realize
the difference between movie magic and real life, tragedy can result. Just a week after the film was released in
Indonesia, a five-year-old boy in Jakarta named Valentino was told that his family wouldn’t
be able to go see it because his younger sibling was ill. He angrily locked himself in his room, opened
the window, and apparently tried to crawl down the side of his apartment building. He sadly fell 19 stories, and despite the
best efforts of doctors, he passed away. Authorities learned that he liked to imitate
other superheroes he loved, such as Captain America and Iron Man, so it wasn’t much of
a stretch to assume that he was hoping to emulate Spider-Man. 2002’s Blue Crush stars Kate Bosworth as Anne
Marie, a surfer struggling to overcome her own failures and the distractions of a fling
with an NFL player, while also trying to win the surfing competition that has previously
eluded her. Like every great sports film, Blue Crush has
training scenes featuring our hero striving to push herself beyond her limits in pursuit
of that moment of victory she is so desperate to achieve. One of those scenes showcases a unique endurance
training exercise as Anne Marie is running at the bottom of the ocean, carrying a heavy
rock that weighs her down until she can take no more and is forced to return to the surface
to catch her breath. While the technique is a legitimate one, it
shouldn’t be attempted without careful consideration and safeguards. Unfortunately, in September 2013, a group
of children attempted to create their own version of the stunt. They swam across a pond in Port Salerno, Florida,
while carrying different objects, including a baby carriage and a milk jug. The group found a heavy chain that a girl
from the group wrapped around herself, but she removed it, feeling it was too much for
her to handle. 13-year-old Anthony Michael Alfonsin decided
to instead wrap the heavy chain around himself, realizing all-too-late that the chain was
too heavy, and he slipped under the water. His friends attempted to help, as did nearby
parents, but it was too late. Authorities ruled his passing an accidental
drowning. The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise features
all the hallmarks of high adventure on the seven seas. In the first film, Curse of the Black Pearl,
Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow is sentenced to passing by hanging. But he escapes the noose with the assistance
of Will Turner’s sword, which was flung at the gallows as the platform dropped, allowing
Sparrow to balance himself atop the sword until he is finally freed. After renting the film, 12-year-old British
boy Scott Buckle was unfortunately inspired to imitate the scene in his home, accidentally
hanging himself in the process. During a hearing regarding the circumstances
that led to Buckle’s passing, psychiatrist John Talbot testified that the scene, gave
“the impression that somebody could escape from such circumstances.” He also testified that Buckle’s own personal
background would’ve led to him identifying with Captain Jack. Buckle’s adoptive parents testified that not
only did he act as if he was invincible to harm, he was also “prone to imitate things.” Sadly, he made the mistake of imitating something
that only movie magic could accomplish. Denzel Washington stars in 2004’s Man on Fire
as former CIA operative John Creasy, who goes on a deadly rampage to recover the abducted
9-year-old girl he had been tasked with protecting. Early in the movie, Creasy is a lost soul,
throwing back liquor all day and night, not caring if his unlucky number comes up or not. His relationship with the girl helps bring
him out of that darkness. “You know, I pull the trigger. And… and… and… click. Nothing.” The twist late in the film is that the very
man who hired Creasy to protect his daughter is actually the one responsible, having staged
the kidnapping in order to profit from the ransom. According to news reports, in March 2005,
27-year-old Jeremiah Overstreet was watching the film at home in Apopka, Florida, and decided
to play Russian roulette. While nobody plays Russian roulette in Man
on Fire, Washington’s character does attempt to shoot himself, only for the gun to misfire. Overstreet was pronounced passed at the scene
by authorities, and the shooting was ruled an accident. The 1993 college football film The Program
follows the trial and tribulations of the fictional ESU Timberwolves as they deal with
personal issues and setbacks on the way to victory. It sports an impressive cast, including Halle
Berry, Omar Epps, and James Caan, but it’s unfortunately most remembered for a scene
that resulted in real-life tragedy. In the film, quarterback Joe Kane drunkenly
declares that he’s good “under pressure” as he lays in the middle of a road casually reading
a magazine while automobiles whiz by at dizzying speeds. His teammates reluctantly join him in a show
of unity, bonding through their mix of courage, stupidity, and insanity. The scene ended up being heavily featured
in trailers, which led film critic Jack Garner to note, “I dread the day I read about some real high
school jocks who’ve been inspired to duplicate that irresponsible film sequence.” Unfortunately, on October 16, 1994, two teenagers
did attempt to bring that scene to life. They laid down on a two-lane highway that
ran through Polk, Pennsylvania. They were hit by a pickup truck and instantly
offed. That same evening, a teenager in Long Island,
New York, acting on a dare from friends, attempted the same stunt and met the same tragic results. With authorities and the media publicly noting
the connection between the film and the passings, Touchstone, a Disney subsidiary, issued a
statement distancing themselves, stating, “The scene in The Program clearly depicts
this adolescent action as an irresponsible and dangerous stunt by a troubled and heavily
intoxicated individual, and in no way advocates or encourages this type of behavior. This is a tragedy, and our sympathies go out
to the families of those involved.” Disney then quickly moved to have the scene
removed from prints of the film. To date, the scene has never been restored,
though it has been posted online. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
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