Phillip Noyce and Joe Eszterhas‘s Sliver opened nearly 27 years ago — 5.21.93. It’s been that long since I’ve seen it. My recollection is that it was a reasonably well-made erotic thriller with a deeply unsatisfying ending. I know it was nominated for five or six Razzies but I’m clinging to this notion that it was generally half-decent.

I understand why Paramount and Noyce decided to junk the original finale, in which Billy Baldwin and Sharon Stone were seemingly roasted to death when he steered a chopper in which they were flying into an active volcano — a lunatic suicide dive. A test audience allegedly hated it, but the re-shot ending wasn’t very good either. Stone angrily shot out of a bunch of Baldwin’s video screens, and then b&w footage revealed second-billed Tom Berenger to be the killer. Which didn’t add up. Stone’s closing line — “Get a life” — wasn’t bad.

I had this vague recollection that Sliver was a financial bust, but it made $124 million on a $40 million budget.

Wiki excerpt: “In the film’s original ending Zeke (Baldwin), instead of Jack (Berenger), turns out to be the antagonist. Zeke and Carly fly over a Hawaiian volcano when Zeke suddenly confesses his crimes. He then veers the aircraft into the volcano as the end credits roll and leaves the audience to decide whether they survive.[6] The shooting of the final scene resulted in the crashing of the helicopter. After an investigation the pilot’s certificate was temporarily suspended. The footage shot during the flight was destroyed.”

Actually a work-print version of the volcano ending survived and was posted on YouTube three and a half years ago.