SPECIAL F/X: Production

This section will be split into two sections


Each area will deal with the nature of the effects used during each process.


Technical and physical effects
In order to handle these effects Bruce campbell hired Atlanta effects man Verne Hyde. Hyde's initial budget based on the script was $75,000. This increased in January 1986 dramatically due to revenue recieved from video sales of the first Evil Dead.

Hyde fashioned several camera techniques and devices to aid Raimi in capturing the shots he wanted, these were:

Shakey-cam A new version of the point-of-view shots for the unseen Evil Dead force. "I took a 2x4 and carved each end to resemble the hand grips of a motorcycle," said Hyde. "I mounted the camera in the middle and placed a strap from one side of the camera around Sam[Raimi, the director]'s neck to the other side of the camera."
Samma-cam Designed to film the footage of Ash being hurtled through the woods by the Evil Force. Click here for more info.
Sky-high-cam A flag-pole type device constructed for a shot where the camera hurtles upwards high into the trees.
Rammo-cam Designed to film the point-of-view shot of Ash's headlong plunge through the front windshield of his car.

Hyde also customised Ash's chainsaw to achieve the necessary action without the gamble of using a real chainsaw.

Blood Flood!
Hyde and his crew were responsible for the main shots during this scene, where a rush of blood shoots out of a wall at Campbell.

880 gallons of differing fluids were pumped onto Campbell in 44 seconds. Hyde himself explains, "Sam wanted it [the fluid] to start out red then quickly change colours until it was black." In order to achieve the scene:

Flying eyeball!
To achieve the improvised shot of the flying Henrietta eyeball, Hyde had to develop a new technique to accomplish the shot. Hyde mounted the "eyeball" (a painted ping-pong ball provided by KNB Efx) onto a small motor that would spin it, the motor was then attached to a wand that was bolted directly to the camera. The camera was then panned around quickly and the "eye" turned with it.


Make-up effects
Out of the 1,200 shots in the film Raimi and co-writer Scott Spiegel had written 250 make-up effects.

The bulk of the films make-up work was supervised by Mark Shostom who divided out the duties between himself and the KNB Efx Group, that is - Rob Kurtzman, Greg Nictotero and Howard Berger. They completed all their work in 12 weeks and their budget was limited, "We had to stretch the dollar as much as we could," said Berger. Berger later admitted that the budget was later stretched by Raimi's effects requirements for his improvised scenes.

Their work would continue on 'Army of Darkness', "I did not think we would ever work that hard again on a movie, until we started EVIL DEAD III!"



Miniature work
This work was handled during three months post-production in Detroit by Gary Jones' Acme Effects and Tom Hitchcock's Illuminations Effects.

The work included:

The shots were achieved on a budget of just $35,000. However detailed the work might look Jones later described his disappointment at the footage used in the final film, "We put 2000% into making some serious effects. When we saw what Sam [Raimi] was doing, we realised he was after a campy comedy and not the horror of the first movie."

Jones went on to describe the intentions for the minature trees attacking the cabin which were only meant to be glimpsed very briefly, "After three seconds the trees begin to look fake."

Dino DeLaurentiis, the films producer, requested that more shots of the attacking be inserted after he saw the raw cut of the movie.

ED2 Matte artwork
One of the matte artwork effects that Gary Jones wasn't overly impressed with

Stop-motion effects
To tackle the films various creature requirements in a pre-CGI era Raimi turned to veteran animator Doug Beswick and old friend and Evil Dead contributor Tom Sullivan.

Beswick would design and sculpt the "Rotten-apple head" or fully possessed Henrietta monster based on KNB Efx's Henrietta puppet head used for the fight sequences with Ash near the films conclusion.

Sullivan was brought on board and contributed in the following way:

Flying Deadite
Raimi asked Sullivan to make the creature in the style of the Harpies seen in Ray Harryhausen's Jason and the Argonauts. The creature model was animated against a blue-screen background with the intention of printing the live action and stop-motion together. The creature was intended to be used as part of a much larger sequence but Sullivan was not on hand to supervise the filming of the background plates on location.
"The background plates were virtually useless due to all the dust in the air." said Sullivan.

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