The news that two horses had to be put down during the filming of HBO's Luck is really unfortunate. However, that is the hazard with a series like this, and everyone knew that going in. And it's not like the animals were intentionally abused. The network was working within guidelines set forth by the American Humane Association at the time incident, and from all appearances, it was just a horrible accident.

In the spectrum of animal cruelty in film production, Luck doesn't even come close. HERE are the worst offenders. Not cool, Hollywood.

Heaven's Gate

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It's fair to say that director Michael Cimino isn't an animal lover. While filming his bleak anti-western, he allegedly killed chickens and bled horses in order to collect their blood and smear it all over his actors. In addition, he also allegedly BLEW. UP. A. HORSE. with dynamite during a battle sequence. And the scene made it into the final cut of the movie! That's insane. To think what animal actors had to go through before Steve Jobs invented computers.


Reds director and leading man, Warren Beatty, apologized to the public when horses were harmed during the film's production. While Beatty was away from set, the Spanish crew used tripwire to make horses fall during a battle sequence. In their defense, have you ever tried to get a horse really drunk?

Electrocuting an Elephant

This documentary shows Thomas Edison's execution of Coney Island elephant, Topsy. Obviously, not a GG Allin fan, Topsy killed her trainer after he cruelly fed her a lit cigarette butt. The filmmakers captured the elephant twitching in pain and her skin smoking before she fell over. Sadly, the film was a big hit in cinemas. Stupid Edison. Electricity is to be used for good, not evil.

Jesse James

This 1939 film finally got people riled up enough to do something about animal cruelty in film. A horse died after being forced to run off a cliff with a seventy-foot drop into a river. The outrage was large enough that it served as the catalyst for the American Humane Association, easily the kindest association known to man.

Ren & Stimpy

The classic skitch, "Fire Dogs" called for animal actor, Mr. Horse, to leap from a blazing inferno. Sadly, he broke his legs on impact with the hard concrete below. Miraculously, he survived and went on to act again. But, no sir, he didn't like it.

Apocalypse Now

During the filming, an ox was sliced almost completely in half. Nobody said it was easy to feed Marlon Brando.


In a particularly brutal scene, a donkey is cut open and bled to death. In protest of this completely disgusting act, John C. Reilly left the project refusing to have any association with something so cruel and savage. As a result, the scene was cut from the film's release. Which must have added insult to injury to that donkey's proud mother.

Cannibal Holocaust

This Italian horror film from the awesomely named Ruggero Deodato was anything but awesome toward animals. Though he's later condemned his own actions, Deodato was cruel to a wide array of animals. A large turtle is decapitated and disemboweled on camera, a pig is kicked and shot in the head, a coatimundi is murdered with a knife, a machete is used to kill a spider and a snake, and a squirrel monkey has the top of its he


  • A coatimundi (mistaken as a muskrat in the film) is killed with a knife.

  • A large turtle is captured in the water and dragged to shore, where it is then decapitated and its limbs, shell, and entrails are removed. The actors proceed to cook and eat the turtle.

  • A large spider is killed with a machete.

  • A snake is killed with a machete.

  • A squirrel monkey has the top of its skull chopped off with a machete.

  • A pig is kicked twice and then shot in the head with a shotgun at close range.

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