Critters the other Creatures
There were many other creatures besides the critters in the movies. Here are a few of the creatures I’ve worked on:
I wanted the “Zanti” to be one of those old 1950’s style big “Butthead” alien creatures. You remember those aliens with the huge heads sitting on a tiny body? When I began sculpting, my crew said to me, go bigger, go BIGGER!
Concept and Build
Cynthia Garris wanted to be in the movie in the worst way, and her husband, Director, Mick Garris (on the left) made sure it was in the worst way! Ha ha! Poor Cynthia! Her lips were the only thing recognizable on her, and just barely at that!
“Zanti” the First
I was brought into the first film in post-production. The original Zanti prosthetics had been cast from urethane foam and latex and didn’t hold up for the close-ups. I was given the mold and we did a clay press out of it and reworked it onto the actor’s lifecast. We then re-sculpted it to the edges and added a bit more detail.
Interaction with Critters (Gore Effects)
Douglas Rowe as Quigley
Critters 1 Transformation
The opening sequence showed the two “Bounty Hunters” and “Charlie” (played by Don Opper) on an alien planet, hunting a dangerous bounty. We decided to go with something more bug like but with a few mammalian traits. Unfortunately, due to time constraints we we were not able to create the attacking creature version with anything more than just neck motion.
As we were redoing “Zanti”, for his close-ups, we were also creating the transformation from the amorphous “Bounty Hunter” to the “Rock Star.” The transformation started with a life cast of Terrence Mann.
We created a clay press from the mold that I then pointed up, and a silicone mold was made from it. We did another clay press, from which I sculpted the musculature to match his facial structure. We then made another silicone mold, and another clay press, from that. I carved it down to a skull matching his facial structure. We cast fiberglass versions of the skull, and the musculature and painted them accordingly.
One of the skulls was then put into the musculature mold and red gelatin was injected into it to fill the space. The musculature head was then placed inside of Terrence Mann’s life cast mold, and again gelatin was injected to fill the space. We then made a mold of the Bounty Hunter mask, inserted the other skull and filled it with clear gelatin with a thin skin of a yellowish flesh tone. The use the clear on the skull was so that the light refraction through it would distort the skull and it would look as if it’s forming into a skull from the amorphous shape. Each head was mounted onto a body form and hit with heaters and hairdryers and shot in reverse over many hours. This method when viewed forward would give the appearance of flesh growing on to Terence Mann’s skull.