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Two Evil Eyes
The Facts in the Case of Mr.Valdemar by Edgar Allan Poe, adapted for the screen and directed by George Romero. The other "Evil Eye," The Black Cat, was directed by Dario Argento.
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Some revealing footage from The Definitive Document of the Dead, used with the permission of Director Roy Frumkes.
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From the hand of George Romero, a formative sketch depicting the FX in the final scene. The metronome rises under the influence of the Spirits of the Undead, then plummets into the chest of the sleeping Dr. Hoffman. The challenge was to drop the obelisk precisely in the right spot, without any twisting or tilting at the moment of release.
Here's the best photo I could find of the "drop rig," a plywood plate with a hole in the middle for a shop-vac hose. A small wooden frame surrounds the inverted obelisk's base, maximizing suction power. The plate is extended on a 2x4 from a pneumatic lift platftorm, (for adjusting the drop height, and to roll into position for perfect vertical alignment). We used a washer on a string as a plumb-bob, to align the center of the drop plate with the cavity in the fake chest. The cavity was filled with fake blood, covered over and blended with a flimsy piece of latex "skin." Disconnect the vacuum hose and the metronome falls!
My early sketch of the metronome, based on many discussions with Production Designer Cletus Anderson.
The finished obelisk. I designed and built the internal electronics and mechanics. The case was flawlessly constructed of MDF by Mike Richer, then expertly painted by Scenic Charge Eileen Garrigan.
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