Tricks of the Trade
may or may not be interested, but as I've said before, once a geeky
fanboy, always a geeky fanboy. Here's how some of the not-so-hard-to-do
FX were pulled off in the first massacre scene.
was, of course, our old pal, foam latex. Diane Johnson, the actress,
had to undergo a full-torso cast, a process that took most of an afternoon.
at the window was not Kent, our usual Alfie - that would have meant
slapping the makeup onto Kent for that one shot, a definite no-no.
Instead, it is one of two Alfie dummies that were built, this one
with wiring in the head for the red LED eyes.
told the standing-in-the-rain-to-set-up-the-rain-machine story; real
rain, of course,
doesn't look right on film, so it was necessary. What I haven't told
you is that the rain machine was home-made, out of PVC piping and
a garden hose. It worked pretty well, too. I bring this up by way
of introducing Roger's Macgyver-style of movie-making. A boodle was
saved on that rain machine, but the do-it-yourself ethic can bite
you on the butt, as we like to say in Texas. The best example of this
was the camera dolly Roger built himself, again using mainly plywood
and PVC piping. Worked like a dream in the studio... but when he attempted
to use it on an actual road, was surprised that the contraption had
the nerve to vibrate while moving - there wasn't much in the
way of shock absorption going on. The scenes that would have normally
utilized the cart in rugged situations look okay, but Roger couldn't
get the dolly shot he wanted. Ah, low budgets!
instance, we could say, is our old friend the Buick From Hell. Looking
back at that night, I still find it amazing that we thought it looked
pretty cool (and without benefit of drugs, too - who had the
time?). Julie's slashed throat was another latex piece... looking
at my photos of the appliance, you could see that the wound was quite
ragged, looking more like it was bitten out than cut... pity it didn't
show up too well in the film. Actress Susan Lunt only had to have
a neck impression made for that one.
limb that wraps around Jeanne? Fishing line, pure and simple. We didn't
have the budget (or the gumption) to actually break one of the glass
doors, so we simply slid the door open and jammed pieces of
plexiglass in the door way to simulate the broken glass.
As Marc holds
the door against the hammering beastie, you don't have to be terribly
observant to notice the door giving inwards, towards the hallway.
There wasn't a door there, originally; we had to hang a door
(complete with molding) in the space. The cheap door (and lack of
carpentry - we couldn't afford any repairs to the house) could not
withstand Red's scenery-chewing prowess.
head was intensely problematic, as a realistic head would
have been prohibitively expensive, it was thought.
Here is Roger's solution, and it almost worked: the actor, David Campbell,
was made up with a gelatin appliance for the neck stump, and his chest
was blacked out. Color photographs were taken of this, and a life-size
enlargement made. This photo was placed in the back of the car,
and lights painstakingly set up. When you stood in the right place,
the photo popped into three dimensions. The illusion was actually
quite compelling, and we managed to startle the local security guard
with it. Sadly, film is still 2-D, so the 3-D illusion didn't quite
translate. Needless to say, there was neither time nor money for re-takes.
we needed to do, to pull off the sequence as Roger wanted,
was to saw a hole in
the rear dash of the car and actually use David's head. The
car, however, was J.C.'s (the makeup supervisor), we couldn't afford
it, blahdy blahdy blah.
a reason Marc runs right into the hand of Alfie, immediately after
discovering the murky something in his back seat: Kent (in
full makeup; it was another night entirely) was blind. His
eyes were taped over and the red
LEDs set over them so Alfie's eye could glow red. You probably already
know how the eye gouging was done: a tube was run down Red's arm,
to his thumb. He placed his thumb inside the bridge of Alfie's nose
(Kent's real eyes protected by the tape), and Jim Eikner pumped like
a madman running yellow Ultra-Slime down the tube, where it erupted
out with a disgusting noise (as I revealed earlier, the sound on Forever
Evil is totally looped - I got to do the sound effects later.
That's a story for another time. I'll just say that the sound of the
eye rupturing was accomplished with a drinking straw, my lungs, and
a tub of warm yogurt).
gouging the eye, we rushed back into the warm cabin and Kent received
the second phase of that night's make-up: one yellow eye, courtesy
of a contact lens, and a fake eyeball dangling from its socket. I
don't remember what was holding the eye in place, but it wasn't much.
A generous quantity of transparent Ultra-Slime (handy damn stuff,
let me tell you) supplied the gooey streamers as Alfie pulls out his
own eye. Let me admit it here: that wasn't my idea. Chances are it
a place to really put it, so I'll insert it here: after Marc awakens
in the hospital, and tells Them Something Is Wrong Up There, Roger
engineered a really good dolly shot across the front of the cabin,
encompassing the now familiar car (sans cardboard head), some ambulances
and police cars. It's a fabulous shot, and thinking back on
it, I can understand why I thought, at the time, we were making a
decent flick. Did we use Roger's homemade dolly? No, we didn't...
Roger sat in the back of a pickup truck, which was placed in neutral,
and the rest of us behind it, pushing like Trojans.
Have I mentioned
how much fun this no-budget stuff can be?
The Grossest Scene in the Whole Movie