Ending a movie on the right note is no easy feat since filmmakers must consider many factors before bringing the curtain down. Should the hero save the day, or go out in a blaze of glory? Are there sequels to set up, or must everything be tied up neatly?
Any director worth their salt knows that dropping the ball right at the end spells legions of unhappy fans and irate reviewers, aggrieved that they've just invested two and a half hours of their time into something with a dud payload, and no doubt this is why so many of them take several stabs at the grand finale.
Many filmmakers shoot multiple endings to see which one turns out best before putting the final cut together, and most of the time they select the right one, with the rejected conclusions ending up among the Blu-ray extras.
There are, however, times when the ending that made the grade was inferior to one consigned to the bonus features. Seeing what might have been can be frustrating, but fans can at least take solace from the fact the movie ended right in a parallel universe.
10. Clerks: Dante Is Shot Dead
Indie classic Clerks is an eventful movie which ends on an uneventful note. Randal makes tracks and tosses his homemade sign at Dante while hollering "you're closed". Although this one in keeping with the monotony of menial labour, as Kevin Smith sought to convey, the director shot another conclusion nobody would have forgotten.
In Clerk's alternative ending, the camera continues to run after Randal has left the scene. Moments later, a robber enters the store and guns Dante down in cold blood, making his "not even supposed to be here today" line more tragically ironic.
Smith admits he was unsure about how to wrap up Clerks, but he shot this ending because he believes movies which end with the death of a character leave more of an impression. This murder straight out of left field certainly would have achieved that.
Although killing Dante is mean spirited and may have prevented the other View Askewniverse films from happening, his death would have worked well as a callback to Dante's line about The Empire Strikes Back ending "on such a down note".