Horror films are not only used to traumatize children, they are also a very special genre of cinema that deserves all our attention and our love. If you’ve ever wondered about some cult scenes or just want to learn a little more about some of the shootings of great films of the genre, then you’ve come to the right place because that’s totally the subject of this top. If, on the other hand, you wanted to know how to repair a radiator leak, then I’m sorry to tell you, but this is not at all the place to come, but I’ll try to find the answer for you before the end from the top.
1. The bed scene in “The Claws of the Night” that went horribly wrong
It is one of the strangest deaths in cinema, the one where the character played by Johnny Depp is literally eaten by his bed before liters of blood spurt up to the ceiling. To turn it, we created a room that we could rotate manually to put the floor up and the ceiling down, so that the flow of liters of fake blood is done “naturally”. The problem is that during the filming of the take, the fake blood (composed of water) electrocuted the technician who was managing the flow by falling on the lamp from the ceiling. What’s more, the room started spinning quickly and the technicians had a little trouble stabilizing it, but luckily the gentleman had nothing serious and we were still able to finish filming the scene.
2. The nightmarish filming of the dinner scene in “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”
Probably one of the most legendary scenes in horror cinema, the one where Sally finds herself at the table with the family of creepy cannibals was also a nightmare to shoot. Already it was nearly 38° in the room and the shooting was spread over 26 long and painful hours. Because of the heat we had to change the plates of meat every two hours because they rotted quickly and stank while attracting insects. The team would take “vomit breaks” and go outside to breathe while throwing up from the smell and the heat. The actress fainted several times and injured herself with a knife, which made it a particularly difficult scene to shoot and it is felt in the ambient unease that the finished product releases.
3. Calls from “Scream” scenes were shot live
A true hallmark of the saga, the killer’s phone calls have always been filmed live and it is always the same actor who does the killer’s voice. Roger Jackson was therefore present on the set equipped with a microphone and he freaked out all the victims live, which gives an authentic side to the struggles and a good ping-pong of replicas between the actors. Moreover, Drew Barrymore refused to meet him before shooting his scenes to discover his voice directly while playing, which adds tension throughout the scene. There are plenty of other Scream secrets if you want.
4. The “Halloween” mask is a Captain Kirk mask from “Star Trek”
John Carpenter’s film being a very low-budget production, the creator of the mask did not have a lot of money to create the one that Michael Myers wears on screen. Tommy Lee Wallace therefore started from a pre-existing mask that he had found in a costume store which represented the face of the character of Captain Kirk played by William Shatner. He then painted the whole thing white, restyled and colored the hair, cut out the eyes and plucked out the eyebrows and voila, the magic was there. Besides, a little fun fact: actor William Shatner found the anecdote funny and dressed up as Michael Myers with the official mask to accompany his kids to grab candy on Halloween.
5. The actress who played “Carrie” kept the fake blood on her for three days.
If Brian De Palma had cast Sissy Spacek as Carrie, it was to do a favor for her husband who was also the producer of the film. However Spacek did an incredible job composing her role and was perfect for playing this teenage girl going from victim to executioner. Outside the cameras, she was also preparing for her role: she did not speak to the other actors, remained on the fringes of everyone like her character and she had spent three days and three nights covered in fake blood after the filming of the ball scene to soak up the hatred and anger of Carrie that we can well feel in the end of the film.
6. The fake texts of “Shining” were typewritten by a poor secretary
Margaret Warrington, who was Stanley Kurbick’s personal secretary, spent months writing “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” on entire pages. No photocopies, no cut and paste, just a poor lady with a typewriter. David Fincher did something similar by making Seven since all of John Doe’s notebooks had actually been handwritten by members of the team.
Another little fun fact about Shining : for the scene with the ax and the door, Jack Nicholson had been trained by firefighters, a little too well trained moreover since he had broken down the door much too quickly for the taste of the director, so we had to change it and redo the scene more gently with a new door.
7. Rob Bottin’s brilliant special effects on “The thing” cost him his health
The Thing would probably not have its aura without the dedicated and hard work of one man: Rob Bottin. Only 21 years old when he joined the pre-production of the film, he seriously revolutionized what was being done at the time and always found original ideas to follow the particular desires of John Carpenter. For example, he came up with the idea of using a double-armed actor with a fake mask for the defibrillation scene where Hallahan literally loses his head and the other limbs of his body. Everything was wax and rubber prosthesis and everything was fucking realistic. When filming ended, however, Rob Bottin paid dearly for this hard work since he was urgently hospitalized because of intense fatigue caused by double pneumonia and an ulcer.
8. Real bees were used in the “Candyman” movies.
To film the multiple scenes where the actor was surrounded by bees, we couldn’t really find a better way than to film with real bees. Actor Tony Todd had a dental net that prevented him from swallowing insects but apart from that he had no real protection, he was also bitten twenty-three times during the three shoots. And Todd is one of the actors who negotiated their contracts well since he had dealt to be paid $1,000 for each shot, earning a nice jackpot of $23,000 in addition to his fee.
9. The book of “Mr Babadook” was really published in several copies
If you haven’t seen this terrible psychological film, I totally recommend it. It’s the story of a kid who finds a book in drawers and a single mother at the end of her rope. The super creepy guy in the book starts coming around at night and there’s a lot going on (I’ll let you find out). The construction of the book was a real job during the preparation of the film, since it was the object from which all the darkness and the threats of the film came and the illustrator Alex Juhasz really worked hard on the project, so the team decided to publish the book in limited edition to sell it to fans. They even added new pages to make it a full story and you can watch it in the video below, it’s beautifully creepy.
10. The real skeletons used in a scene from “Poltergeist”
To shoot this scene where Diane’s character is dragged into the pool and attacked by skeletons buried under the family’s property, the actress had to spend about a week in filthy old mud. But we had neglected to tell her one thing: that the skeletons she was struggling with were real skeletons. Some argue that it is because of the non-respect of these human remains that there would be a curse on Poltergeist and that is why four members of the cast died shortly after filming. Well, that goes a little far in the interpretation if you want my opinion.