“10 seconds. The pain begins. 15 seconds. You can’t breathe. 20 seconds. You explode.” Working with special effects supervisor Gary Zeller (Dawn of the Dead) and a team of special makeup artists including Stephan Dupuis (Robocop), Tom Schwartz (Galaxy of Terror), and Chris Walas (The Fly), Smith organized, designed, and fabricated makeups for the final scenes in Canadian genre master David Cronenberg’s science-fiction thriller with unnerving realism, again using inflatable bladders to create the bleeding, pulsing veins for the film’s climax and working with the special effects team to create unbelievable on-screen transformations.

DIRECTED/WRITTEN BY: David Cronenberg. WITH: Jennifer O’Neill, Stephen Lack, Patrick McGoohan, Lawrence Dane. 1981. 103 min. Canada. Color. English. Rated R. DCP.

Academy Museum film programming generously funded by the Richard Roth Foundation. 

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