Over at Vulture (where they celebrated Horror Week last week), here’s a cheery story in which nine actors remember their famous horror-movie deaths. Betty Buckley remembers her death on prom night in “Carrie”:
This contraption they built for Ms. Collins’s death scene was a basketball backboard that was on a pendulum. There was a foot of balsam wood that would take the hit against the body. They planned it so that we shot four takes with the pendulum falling and then stopping it right before it hit me. That was very scary. So what you’re seeing on film is not acting at all. I’m absolutely terrified because they had not tested out the machine. So they didn’t know [if] they calculated the balsam properly in terms of the amount and, you know, [if they] could stop it on a dime right before it hit me. Thankfully, it worked. We were all absolutely terrified.
Rose McGowan, on her garage-door death in “Scream”:
It was a real garage door that I was actually going up and down in. It was my second film, and I thought every set was going to be like that. Wes Craven is so lovely. He used to be a professor, and he’s professorial. I had to throw a beer bottle at the bad guy. I have bad aim. I shattered the film lens and the camera, so I set them back about five hours.
And Ray Liotta, whose brains were fed to him by Hannibal Lecter in “Hannibal”:
They did it with green screen, so they had like these golf balls, ping-pong balls, and however they do the green-screen stuff. When they were cooking it up, they said, “Well, what do you wanna eat?” I figured, “Well, the brain can’t really taste that good,” and I’m not a fan of dark-meat chicken, because it’s all chewy, so that’s what I had, what I used for that. I’m sure we did some improvisation, but I don’t remember. We tried all different kinds of things. We weren’t sure — how do you do that? How do you pretend that?
Brings it all back, doesn’t it? Brrr.