A good, creepy prop can make or break your production. If you get just the right item, you can make it a memorable and powerful addition to your film. In celebration The Monkey’s Paw release on Blu-ray and DVD from Scream Factory, which contains a pretty gross prop of its own, we’ve decided to reminisce about some of our favorites.
Of course we must begin with some honorable mentions. The stickman figures that hung in the woods during The Blair Witch Project became the trademark for the film that scared the hell out of us that long ago summer.
If you pay close attention to Return of the Living Dead, you can see a reanimated half-dog (literally the left-hand side of a dog, bisected for research purposes) in the warehouse of the Uneeda Medical Supply Company. That’s gotta get a nod.
Although perhaps more wardrobe than prop, “Buffalo Bill” Jame Gumb’s human hair/scalp wig was definitely one to remember, and from “The Walking Dead” Season 4, Episode 9, Herschel’s head. Indeed, Herschel’s head was attached to Herschel most of the time, but when Michonne came back to the prison and put her sword through it, Herschel’s head definitely fell into the prop category.
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What better item to start this list off with than a tome bound in human flesh and inked in blood containing all types of nasty spells and incantations used for awakening evil? The particular Book of the Dead found in The Evil Dead was called Naturom Demonto (or Necronomicon Ex Mortis in the later movies in the Evil Dead series), a Sumerian version of the book. And to look at the thing, you just know it’s got to be evil. With a hideously twisted face on the front and even an ear on the back, this has got to be one of the most memorably grotesque movie props ever.
As we all know, The Hitchhiker (aka Nubbins Sawyer… is that not the best name ever?!) does not fare very well at the end of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The fact that he’s flattened under a tractor trailer pretty much guaranteed the fact that he wouldn’t be back for a sequel. But wait! Thanks to the artistic prowess of the Sawyer Clan, Nubbins’ parts are reassembled and he returns in Chainsaw 2 in puppet form. Brought to life in a fashion that would make Jim Henson proud, Nubbins’ corpse is animated by Chop-Top, his twin brother who was in Vietnam when the events of the first film occurred. In a movie with plenty of iconic lines and imagery, the Nubbins Sawyer puppet fit right in. Dog will hunt!
There may be no more legendary or recognizable movie item than The Lament Configuration, the Lemarchand’s box used by Pinhead and the Cenobites throughout the Hellraiser series. The small, mysterious puzzle box opens a door across a schism and allows horrific creatures from other dimensions access to ours, thus usually creating a real pain in the ass for the unfortunate individual who uncovered the solution to the box. This infamous little gold-trimmed box sits quietly until accessed, and then it opens the doors to nightmares.
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