At Star Wars Celebration yesterday, much was made over the fact that the new BB8 droid is, in fact, a practical effect and not a product of CGI. This was proven to be true when the droid actually made its way on stage, to the delight of “Star Wars” fans all over. Now, obviously, CGI is never going away, but yesterday’s revelation proves that practical, handmade visual effects will always hold a special place in our hearts. That’s why we still love “E.T.” and will never stop freaking out over the chestburster scene in “Alien.”
Earlier this week, CineFix gave us yet another reason to love and appreciate practical effects. They posted a ten minute video that examined, in great detail, the defibrillator chest-chomping scene in John Carpenter’s “The Thing.” With the help of a top-notch special effect team, lead by Rob Bottin (“RoboCop,” “Total Recall”), director John Carpenter spent many painstaking hours perfecting their special effects shots. As the video notes, one of the main actors in the film (Charles Hallahan) actually spent 10 days with the special effects team in order to mold his face, hands, legs, and torso for the big chest-chomping scene. And to pull off the effect of Dr. Cooper getting his arms chopped off, they used a stunt double who was a double amputee. Pretty fascinating stuff.
You can check out the full 10-minute video below.