In today’s movies have exploding heads, torsos and all around exploding bodies is quite common, thanks for the aid of special digital effects, but back in the 80’s getting someone’s head to explode was not as easy as starting after affects.
Scanners, David Cronenberg’s 1981 classic happens in a world where certain people have the ability to read other people’s minds and control their bodies. They are called Scanners. The story revolves around an organization, ConSec, who tries to weaponize this ability. But not everyone is happy with this plan. One of renegade scanners who is definitely not happy with this plan literally explodes one of ConSec’s Scanners heads during a demo they are performing. All done with real shot footage and without a single line of code. How did they do it?
Special Effects Supervisor Gary Zeller and Special Makeup Artist Stephan Dupuis share how brute force and leftover burgers are sometimes the only way to create a reliable special effect.
Here is that scene again, in case you have not seen it yet, and in that case, hurry up to the nearest block busters and ask to rent the VHS (or just,you know, netflix).