Eli Roth began discussing is Thanksgiving project with prosthetics genius Adrien Morot and how they would do the Pinocchio kill. Roth works so well and closely with Morot as they both have a shared love for practical effects. “When I think of all of my favorite kills from all of my favorite movies, none of them are digital,” says Roth. “They’re all practical makeup effects. It’s a different emotional response.” For Morot, each job is different. Sometimes you’re asked to provide Oscar®-winning makeup for an Oscar®-winning actor in a dramatic role, as he did with The Whale. And sometimes, you’re asked to split a human head in two with the bowsprit of a ship.
While Morot isn’t talking, that best kill just might be what Roth calls the “Pinocchio death” – Grandpa getting impaled by the bowsprit of the Mayflower during the Thanksgiving Day parade. “We engineered a track that would ram the wood through the rear window of the car and into the fake head, which was rigged with tubes that would spray blood and brains on the kids playing his grandkids,” Roth explains. “Easier said than done.”
And at first, during the Pinocchio kill, many of those things did go wrong. “The first three times, the wood got tangled in the blood tubes. The face kept ripping in the wrong way, or the wood would get tangled in the rubber so it looked like the face was stretching out, not exploding outward,” he explains. “Finally, Adrian determined we needed to change the size of the bowsprit – the face opened beautifully and the blood showered all over the kids.”
Those kids, sisters Hannah and Charlie Storey, have worked with Roth before and come from a family of horror fans. “As soon as we cut, the kids burst out laughing and everyone posed for photos with them, and their parents have told me they now want to grow up to make horror movies,” says Roth. “I consider that a job well done.”
As for his own goals, Roth says it’s simple. “Now, hopefully, every year, at every dinner, for the rest of time, when someone reveals the turkey, they will say in a sister voice, ‘Dinner…is served!’ And everyone will scream.”
Thanksgiving is reviewed HERE
related feature : Brendan Fraser and the fat suit in The Whale