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The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day has been… BAAAADDDDD!

Upon originally posting this, I neglected to mention the great Craig Reardon who took this picture and worked closely with Randy Cook in executing these great effects. If you loved any movie make-up in the '80s it's more than likely Reardon was involved. If I'm not mistaken the face-ripping sequence in Poltergeist was his baby. So, props to Mr. Reardon and my apologies for not including him in the original post.

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes pic! While most people wouldn’t regard 1987’s THE GATE as a classic film it had a huge impact on me as a kid. From the little demon bastards to the dead guy in the wall this flick really got under my young skin. Call it nostalgia if you will, but I still get a little of that feeling when I revisit the movie. Plus it’s really fun for anybody interested in practical effects work because Randy Cook (who later went on to spearhead Gollum in the LOTR movies) and his compatriots used every trick in the book to make the evil little hell creatures, summoned by a young Stephen Dorff running a heavy metal record backwards, of course, come to life. Forced perspective, make-up, stop motion, man in suits!... you name it, they used it. Randy Cook himself sent me this pic, so it’s a bit unique in that it’s a personal picture from the set, not a professional studio still. I like it because you see the process of filmmaking crystal clear here. I think this is from the moment the creepy-ass Workman (dude in the wall) falls and scatters into a dozen demons. So what you have is a massively oversized set that, when lined up correctly, will look normal with the kids on their marks. Look at the dresser, how it’s obviously not lined up correctly. Seeing it from this point of view (with the non-costumed effects guys standing next to the costumed demons) is pretty neat if I don’t say so myself. Click the image for the bigger version! Enjoy!

If you have a pic you think should be included email me. I’m looking for the iconic, the rare or the just plain cool behind the scenes shots to feature here. Tomorrow’s Behind the Scenes Pic needs your help! See ya’ tomorrow! -Quint Follow Me On Twitter

Previous Behind the Scenes pics: - Alien
- Big Trouble In Little China
- Clash of the Titans
- Dr. Strangelove
- Sesame Street
- The Birds
- The Dark Knight
- Batman (1989)
- Batman: The TV Series
- Stephen King’s IT
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
- Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
- Superman
- The French Connection
- Tron
- The Road Warrior
- Ghostbusters
- King Kong (’33)
- The Empire Strikes Back (Luke with Slate)
- Rebel Without A Cause
- Taxi Driver
- Metropolis
- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
- Tommy Chong Meets The Blues Brothers
- The Empire Strikes Back (Filming the Crawl)
- John Carpenter’s The Thing
- Jaws
- Die Hard
- Aliens
- Frankenstein Meets The Wolf Man
- The Howling
- Revenge of the Creature
- The Empire Strikes Back (Vader & Luke Duel)
- The Godfather
- Rambo III
- Vertigo
- Planet of the Apes
- Pan’s Labyrinth
- Labyrinth
- RoboCop
- The Adventures of Robin Hood
- Marathon Man
- Young Frankenstein
- Viva Las Vegas
- The Empire Strikes Back (Han driving a snow cat)
- Rio Bravo
- Giant
- Back to the Future
- The Time Machine
- War of the Worlds (1953)
- Alien (Chestburster)
- On Her Majesty’s Secret Service
- Dr. No
- The Twilight Zone
- Once Upon A Time In The West
- Lawrence of Arabia
- Star Trek: The Original Series
- The Empire Strikes Back (Luke in Wampa Cave)
- Edward Scissorhands
- The Warriors
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Fantastic Mr. Fox
- Requiem for a Dream
- The Princess Bride
- Hard Boiled
- Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
- They Live
- The Empire Strikes Back (Tippet with Wampa)
- Dirty Harry
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
- Blade Runner
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (Periscope Ride)
- 1941
- The Godfather (Coppola & Brando)
- The Lady Eve
- 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
- Godzilla
- The Empire Strikes Back (Bald Vader)
- Mary Poppins
- Alien 3
- Total Recall
- The Pink Panther
- Fawlty Towers
- The Trouble With Harry
- Beetlejuice
- The Shining
- Thriller
- An American Werewolf In London

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:39 p.m. CST

    That's pretty cool

    by Shaw

    Never seen the movie though.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:39 p.m. CST


    by Bvc79

    Cool movie. The eye on the hand always freaked me out.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:39 p.m. CST

    my first

    by leveldwella


  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:39 p.m. CST

    Never seen it

    by Mr Lucas

    Looks fun though.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST

    damn 13 seconds t0o late

    by leveldwella


  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST


    by BJB-esquire

    Classic. In what other kid's movie do you get a possessed child being stabbed in the eye with the legs of a Barbie doll?

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:40 p.m. CST


    by Shaw

    and chopper, vader, it's like whoosh, etc. etc. etc.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:42 p.m. CST


    by godhelpus

    'nuff said

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:44 p.m. CST

    not stargate

    by DioxholsterReturns

    do not care

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:45 p.m. CST

    They never followed up with, The Fence

    by SoylentMean

    I was really looking forward to that.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:48 p.m. CST

    Craig Reardon

    by R_Cook

    Quint. Randy here. Glad you could use the picture, but I'd hoped you'd mention Craig Reardon, who built the suits (based upon my design, I immodestly point out), and did the special makeups ( based upon HIS designs). Craig also took this photo, while I (in picture) was down on the floor trying to make sense to those befuddled stuntmen. We had a blast on that movie.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:49 p.m. CST

    I remember laughing so hard at the insults used in that movie

    by MJDeViant

    Putting it in my dvd player right now

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:54 p.m. CST

    Great picture! A question though...

    by cuthbert84

    Is that a forced perspective pic or is that some kind of matte painting up on top? It looks so good, I can't tell. When the pic was smaller, I though everything was a miniature.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:55 p.m. CST

    Awesome Picture

    by smallerdemon

    I only recently saw THE GATE at a theatrical screening this past year and it was great (paired up with HACKERS of all things). The effects really are outstanding for what was probably a very modestly budget flick. The little demons are so incredibly creepy (I was 44 when we saw the screening this year and I STILL found those little guys incredibly disturbing).

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 5:58 p.m. CST


    by R_Cook

    Regular sized set pieces, hanging in the air, and 4x scale set pieces on the ground for the rubbermen to cavort upon (if base of real wall was 12 ft from camera lens, base of 4x scale wall was 48 feet away, etc).

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:02 p.m. CST


    by YoyodynePropulsionSystems

    This is a classic. And it scared the hell out of me, too. The record playing backwards, what's his nuts in the closet, yeah, this movie fucked with me a bit. The dead guy in the wall and the pics turning bloody were really what put me over the edge.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:03 p.m. CST



    tons of respect for planning that all out with REAL sets and props. It wouldn't be considered for a second in today's hollywood, even with far bigger budgets than the Gate certainly had. god damn, i love practical creativity. getting by with what you have- knowledge, skill and budget. I get nostalgic for the Gate too- it's such a weird mix of kid adventure flick and seriously fucked up horror. it'd never be made today at all.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Anybody buy the new edition of The Gate...

    by SoylentMean

    that came out last year? I have the version that came with the clear jewel case (and the admittedly better cover art). Is it worth the double dip for a once a year title?

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    WAY cool!

    by ObiBen

    The effects from that film always kept me guessing. Now I know to wich extent forced perspective was used. Thanks, and great work!

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:06 p.m. CST

    Awesome job, Randy!

    by DinoBass

    When I saw this movie in the late 80s there were a couple of scenes with those little guys that I just couldn't figure out how they were done. Ultimately, I thought it was the most amazing, smooth and life-like stop-motion I had ever seen. Now I know!

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:07 p.m. CST

    makes me want to watch Cat's Eye again too


    there was a lot of bad green screen with that little Jester Goblin (mostly when super imposed onto Drew's sleeping torso) but there was also a lot of great set design and scaled props in his scenes too...

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:09 p.m. CST

    Beyond the lighted stage

    by Rogue Trooper

    I've never heard of the film but I'm a big Rush fan so I'm nerding out over the huge Alex and Geddy Poster on the wall :-)

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:09 p.m. CST


    by Mullah Omar

    I liked THE GATE - nice mix of creepy situations and kid-saves-the-world fantasy. I never knew how they handled the FX but it always seemed better done than most films of its kind. <br> <br> In fact, seeing this photo makes me consider what a special time the mid-80s to early-90s was for low-budget horror films - so many were elevated and made memorable due to the handcrafted, do-it-yourself FX teams. Where are the modern-day filmmakers who could come up with something like KILLER KLOWNS FROM OUTER SPACE?

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:09 p.m. CST

    If Randy's still here...

    by DinoBass

    are you/will you be working on The Hobbit?

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:11 p.m. CST

    that has to be....

    by torpedoboy of the coolest things I've ever seen.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:16 p.m. CST


    by R_Cook

    I don't plan to. Wanted to. We had some preliminary discussions, but schedules and logistics (the real world) got in the way and it didn't work out. I WILL have the pleasure of seeing it with untainted eyes, in the theatre on opening day, and I am really looking forward to that

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:17 p.m. CST

    best behind the scenes photo to date

    by vin_diggler

    Thank's Randy, this one really makes you think. It will probaly only stand out to those of us who saw the film back in the 80's. I never even considered that those creatures were people in costumes. I always assumed they were stop motion. I have to got watch this film again right now.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:28 p.m. CST


    by HarryWhereIsYourInceptionReview

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:29 p.m. CST

    RCook - Thank you!!

    by cuthbert84

    I really appreciate you taking the time to answer. I almost went in the direction of makeup-special FX after high school, and the on-set stuff fascinates me.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:31 p.m. CST

    Forced perspective...

    by tiggr009

    Anyone know how far back the use of forced-perspective goes? Obviously heavily used in LOTR, and I'd imagine in a spattering of genre-films, but how often does it get used in reality? Is it considered a gamble by directors to use it? Maybe Cecil B Demille used it create the epic feel, dunno. Anyone?

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:32 p.m. CST

    slaughtered family photo on the wall

    by sith_rising

    fucking scared the shit out of me when I was a kid. I just thought that was so cool, that the demons would do that. evil fuckers. I loved this movie, even the creepy part where the nerdy neighbor kid danced with the dead dog!

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:37 p.m. CST

    tiggr009 - Forced perspective

    by ObiBen

    Meliès. Check out his miniature ballerina movies. ;)

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Mr. Reardon

    by RoarsLoudly

    Did work on Poltergeist.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:41 p.m. CST


    by R_Cook

    Hanging miniatures were used a lot in silents (there's a very daring one as they enter the coliseum in BEN-HUR). William Cameron Menzies used them in silents like THIEF OF BAGDAD & BELOVED ROGUE. But I was particularly influenced by DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE, from which I shamelessly cribbed

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:46 p.m. CST


    by KGB3317

    for a cool process picture & a movie to watch tonight

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:50 p.m. CST

    This is a great one

    by Bileranter

    Nice one

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:50 p.m. CST

    This is a great one

    by Bileranter

    Nice one

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:50 p.m. CST

    This is a great one

    by Bileranter

    Nice one

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:50 p.m. CST

    This is a great one

    by Bileranter

    Nice one

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:52 p.m. CST

    Méliès tiny dancer

    by ObiBen

    Could not find footage, but there's an article and photos here. The dancer was faaar away. Thanks again Mr Cook!

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:53 p.m. CST


    by tiggr009

    Oh man I'll have to throw on Ben-Hur when I get home and watch for it - that's awesome. Thanx dude for the response.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Mr. Reardon

    by RoarsLoudly

    Also did the creature in the Dan Ackryod/Albert Brooks intro og The Twilight Zone film.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 6:58 p.m. CST


    by tiggr009

    That stuff is fantastic and back in 1901, too! Friggin' genius. Probably would have blown audiences' minds. GOLD. Shouts of witchcraft or something coming from the gallery! Imagine what they'd think seeing modern effects.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 7:02 p.m. CST


    by ObiBen

    Shocked audiences with fake accident and guillotine beheading scenes. He used to be a stage magician, bought a camera not long after it got invented, and invented the jump cut by accident: his film broke while he was filming street activity and people and carriages disappeared/appeared/transformed. The rest is special FX history.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 7:05 p.m. CST

    Aaa The Gate,

    by UGG

    Is this the one where he stab's an eye in his hand? Loved this movie but could never remember it's name.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 7:07 p.m. CST

    My favorite horror flick as a kid and yes UGG

    by alienindisguise

    that did happen among hundreds of other wacky things

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 7:08 p.m. CST

    What the heck is going on in that picture?

    by Yelsaeb

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 7:17 p.m. CST

    Cheer's. Deffinitely getting this now

    by UGG

    I remember now running all my album's backward's after watching this. The Muppet's Show Album was never the same.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 7:53 p.m. CST


    by yesiamaplant

    I just heard on "Bagged and Boarded" (a podcast on that Alex Winter is directing a remake of this in 3-D. I think this movie with a spin from the creator of Freaked will be quite interesting.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 8:05 p.m. CST

    it wasn't Stephen Dorff

    by drumdaddy60

    That played the record backwards it was his nerdy friend.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 8:34 p.m. CST


    by Virginia_Woolf

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 8:47 p.m. CST

    Freaked me out

    by EpilepticLurcher

    When I was 11. Quality BTS pic. Need to watch that movie again.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 9:19 p.m. CST


    by frank cotton

    that's the one, right after the dude hits the floor. damn near wore out the tape slo-moing that scene back-and-forth (frank has seen THE GATE at least 25 times). and that is still one of the best practical effects he's ever seen. thanks, MR. COOK!

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 10:14 p.m. CST

    Underrated and freaky flick, especially..

    by DoctorZoidberg

    if you were just a kid when it came out.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 10:31 p.m. CST

    THANK YOU!! Had imagery in my head but never knew title!!

    by George Newman

    I remember 2 bits of sequences from when I was 5 or 6 years old--very creepy for a little kid! One in particular is the 'parents' outside the front door trying to trick the children. I wouldnt say that I had nightmares, but i definitely found the images disturbing. Now I FINALLY know what movie it was. I'm looking into buying it immediately

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 10:39 p.m. CST

    I suddenly want to rewatch this movie.

    by ED2D2

    Wow. I wonder how big that soundstage was. Did they have to use a crane to hang that jacket that's the size of a hot air balloon on the door?

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 10:47 p.m. CST

    Best behind the scenes pic yet!

    by mrbakasan

    I've really looked forward to these behind the scenes pictures, but this one has to be my favorite. Being a big fan of "The Gate" I found myself staring at this picture for far too long and being amazed the work it took to make those creatures look so small. Amazingly cool!

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 10:49 p.m. CST

    the jacket is life (normal) size


    the upper areas are actual size...placed nearer the camera. the lower half of the drawers, the door, and floor are the soundstage builds.<br> and to think it was all for probably a couple seconds of shot, if that. awesome.

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 11:31 p.m. CST

    This is ANOTHER movie they are remaking

    by slicer

    I loved the original as a kid! Creeped me out! And recently watched it again on Showtime, and still loved it. Now, they are remaking it. Alex Winter is directing it. (Yeah, I don't know who he is either) It's in pre-production right now. Even though I loved the original, I am curious to see what they can do with a better budget and today's effects!

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Alex Winter was Bill. S. Preston of Wyld Stallyns.

    by Bouncy X

  • Oct. 4, 2010, 11:54 p.m. CST


    by PlugHED

    You mean to tell me Bill S. Preston, esquire!, is directing a Gate re-make?! Incredible.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:03 a.m. CST

    Oh, and Mr. Cook...

    by PlugHED

    ...Loved you in I, Madman!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 12:46 a.m. CST

    RCook - You did Poltergeist, too??

    by cuthbert84

    I JUST got back from seeing that at Arclight Hollywood! Fantastic work!!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 1:04 a.m. CST

    A young Deacon Frost

    by Tikidonkeypunch

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 1:48 a.m. CST

    That IS the best pic yet!

    by sonnyfern

    Pretty amazing!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 2:33 a.m. CST

    The Gate and I, Madman

    by CuervoJones

    Awesome movies. Very underrated.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:04 a.m. CST

    Watched it again recently

    by BookhouseBoy

    Really holds up well. A lot of kids in my class loved this cos they were'nt allowed to watch Noghtmare on Elm st or Friday the 13th. The only movie that was not allowed in my house was the exorcist. Catholics can be so stoopid lol.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:05 a.m. CST


    by BookhouseBoy


  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:21 a.m. CST

    Holy Fuck This is Awesome!

    by TheMcflyFarm

    When I saw the title for this one I was like "No way are they doing The Gate", and then I was like HOLY SHIT THEY ARE!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:55 a.m. CST

    I couldn't get to the end of this

    by Hamish

    when I was a kid - it gave me the shits right royally.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 4:13 a.m. CST

    I loved this!

    by DonnieDorko

    Had forgot this movie, but have to get a new copy of it now. Good stuff, and nice pic!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 5:21 a.m. CST


    by BookhouseBoy

    I think Its on Youtube.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 5:22 a.m. CST

    This is among the coolest pics in the series

    by tomimt

    The size of that set is mindboggling.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 6:12 a.m. CST


    by Virginia_Woolf

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 6:37 a.m. CST

    Thank you Randy!

    by Solitus

    I not only watched the hell out of this movie as a kid, but I just passed a copy down to my niece who has apparently watched it 75 times already! I was always blown away by the minion effects in this movie. After watching all the LOTR extras, then seeing your name pop up in the credits, it all made sense. Thanks for all your hard work over the years. It has definitely been noticed!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 7:04 a.m. CST

    "'s a bit unique..."

    by ron2112

    Please stop doing that. It's either unique or it's not. Cool pic, though.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 7:28 a.m. CST


    by entrafis666

    This is the best pic yet!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 7:32 a.m. CST

    Great pic, great movie

    by Monolith_Jones

    I'm glad to see that others are as fond of this movie as I am. I remember being really impressed with the effects shown in the commercial as a kid. The stand out being the demons arm getting caught in the door, falling off qnd shattering into maggots when it hits the ground. This was an HBO favorite of mine and look forward to watching it again soon. <p> So were the effects as well received as I remember? I remember there being somewhat of a big deal about it.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 8 a.m. CST

    Freaked Me Out

    by BeyondStatic

    When I was 8 years old this movie freaked me the hell out. My younger brother and I couldn't sleep for a week after the kid got the eyeball in his hand! Of course, had to by the DVD the instant it came out!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 8:36 a.m. CST


    by DonnieDorko

    Thanks, not sure youtube will do it justice, but good to know.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 9:38 a.m. CST

    I don't think I've seen this...

    by SK229

    but that pic makes me want to. Bravo! I know some people get annoyed with the CGI bashing in here, but for me, it's just about returning to some type of balance between CG and practical. I think practical requires a bit more effort and planning ahead of time... you have to WANT to use practical effects and it seems like most productions just don't want to take the time up front... they'd rather have a VFX supervisor with the chrome ball and the match markers at the ready than take that in-camera risk. I'm doing a short film right now where we're doing an all practical alien that's a rod puppet... it's FUCKING EXPENSIVE compared to CG, but I think the quality you can get if you know what you're doing is amazing and has a magic to it that CGI just doesn't have unless you hire ILM or Weta and even then you have to ride herd so that little mistakes don't get through the gate. On a smaller production forget it... unless the digital effect is tailored to the shot and you know 90% of what you'll get, it's hard to make that look 100% real or even interesting. I think even 'bad' practical effects are fun to look at... so even if you don't get it 100% right, there's something there that's fun to watch and admire. I don't find that with bad or cheap CGI... with one exception - the Syfy original movie Ice Spiders.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 9:50 a.m. CST

    Dont Be Afraid of the Dark

    by ToughGuyRizzo

    Now that shit creeped me out as a kid. Pic reminded me of that movie.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 10:03 a.m. CST

    I maintain this pic is fake.

    by red_weed

    I saw THE GATE as a kid and love it dearly and still believe that the only way they could have made some of those shots is they secretly summoned real demons. Now they are just trying to cover it up... It's just to good not to be true.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 11:28 a.m. CST

    Stephen Dorff! I remember this! GREAT PIC!

    by Mennen

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 2 p.m. CST

    Great to hear the name "Craig Reardon"

    by ufoclub1977

    Reminds me of back in the day when Fangoria was a cool magazine, and I'd read about Reardon working on Poltergeist or even E.T. Speaking of "The Gate", Prince used to use scenes from this movie mixed with all kind of other stuff in a loop before some of his concerts in the mid 90's in Europe.

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 3:47 p.m. CST

    Is that a RUSH poster?

    by bc1970

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 4:19 p.m. CST

    Alex Winter:

    by HerbWestAustin

    the director of the remake is none other than BILL from Bill and Ted!!!

  • Oct. 5, 2010, 4:22 p.m. CST

    the reisuue DVD is worth it!

    by HerbWestAustin

    it looks great, and there are some awesome "making of" extras. If you like this pic, you have to see some of the extras on the new DVD.

  • Oct. 6, 2010, 12:09 a.m. CST

    Clever stuff.

    by moonlightdrive

  • Oct. 8, 2010, 9:08 p.m. CST


    by smatt584

    I used to make my parents rent this all the time when I was around 4-6. Those creepy little fucks used to scare the shit out of me. Them, and the troll from Cats Eye. "You've been baaaaad!!!!" fucking classic