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The Behind the Scenes Pic of the Day is baaaaaccckkkk.

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

Poltergeist 2 is a weird flick. In many ways it’s both a good and bad sequel. It somehow manages to be just different enough from the first film that it doesn’t feel quite right, but it’s not different enough to be its own thing. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to like about the movie. Kane is a creepy fucker (that actor, Julian Beck, was approximately 80% teeth), the tequila worm sequence is horrific, I love Will Sampson in the film and it’s great that the entire family unit from the first film is still intact.

But missing from the sequel is that same sense of wonder at the paranormal. In the sequel it’s something to be feared and even as a young kid I liked how successful it was as creeping me out, but really missed that awe of the other side that the first film had.

Also, how on God’s green Earth do you make a sequel to Poltergeist and don’t make Zelda Rubinstein the star? Huge missed opportunity there.

Anyway, one of the successes of the sequel was the design work by HR Giger. It’s quite a great move on the part of the filmmakers to involve him so heavily and his fingerprints are all over the movie.

Today’s picture is one of Giger’s creations, the big creepy bastard from the end, brought to life by Boss Film Studios. Thanks once again to Dimitar Dimitrov and the Practical Effects Group.



If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at

Tomorrow’s pic is an aerial view of a classic monster movie set.

-Eric Vespe
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Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page One
(warning: there are some broken links that will be fixed as soon as I can get around to it)

Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page Two

Readers Talkback
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  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:29 p.m. CST

    What up?

    by Nichole


  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:32 p.m. CST

    I hate to say it, but, with so much effort on that creation.

    by Nichole

    The ending sucked, because of the greenscreen. I believe, this is where CGI Became Mainstream, and ruined these types of effects in the future. Nevermind George Lucas, This is what raped my Childhood. Great movie up until, the END. Oh well.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:43 p.m. CST

    God is innnnnnnnn his holy temple...

    by kwisatzhaderach

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:44 p.m. CST

    Yet another masterpiece score from the great Jerry Goldsmith

    by kwisatzhaderach

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 5:50 p.m. CST


    by Thunderbolt Ross

    God is innnnnnnnn his holy temmmm-PUHL ...

  • Quint, not trying to bust balls... but, Dana was not in 2. R.I.P. Dominique Dunne.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:01 p.m. CST

    "Are you lost sweetheart?"...

    by Darkness

    A difficult second outing, but boasts some freakish sequences - The vommiting scene especially. Also Mr. Goldsmith stepping up to the podium and giving the film some dignity. Still, it does have the mighty Will Sampson in Shaman Priest mode . Big fan of that dude - would watch him in anything. The man just went too early. Damn! the Poltergeist flicks were cursed.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 6:22 p.m. CST

    Ghost Logic

    by BarebackJedi

    This is one of those where the creators did things cuz they thought it would look cool but didn't make a lick of sense. For instance: Why would disembodied beings need to use a chainsaw to make their way into the car the family is hiding in? They're GHOSTS! Couldn't they just, I dunno, just go through the window/roof/trunk/exhaust pipe? I mean, if they planned to KILL the family, fine. But that's not what they wanted. So why waste your ghostly energy on levitating power tools when you can just go in. Or did the Native American guy cast a charm on the car?

  • theres just something about it thats both mesmerizing and terrifying.

  • That motion control shot of Heather O'Rourke having the life sucked out of her was chilling and prophetic. Though, if you read the novelization of POLTERGEIST back in the day (an early tie-in based on the script) there is a section where Diane is looking for Carol Anne on the ethereal side like that. Top notch Goldsmith score, as mentioned above and, yes, this one should have been Zelda Rubenstein's show all the way!

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:06 p.m. CST

    Yeah gotta gree with you schlockthemonkey

    by snomusic

    Dunne missing is difficult to ignore - the death of her and Heather probably still affect the principal actors to some extent.

  • Can we please get the longer cut of this on blu-ray with the extra scene of Kane visiting the house? Thank you!

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 8:54 p.m. CST

    CGI ending? No

    by Turd_Is_Floating_Underneath_The_Gravy

    Those are traditional optical composites you're looking at there.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:04 p.m. CST

    My issue with the ending...

    by Monroville

    Is just how abrupt it feels. They go to the underground cave... all seems well, and then suddenly the mom and Carol Anne are sucked into.. the ceiling? Then they hear the Indian chanting and... jump into the fire?!? And now everyone is in the ethereal plane?!? WTF is going on here!? Then the creepy but obviously a puppet creature comes stop-motioning it's way up to the floating family, where...something happens that allows them to kill it. And then they're back in the real world, which ends on a semi-sentient car joke. All in all, it is a fairly entertaining movie, but it still feels like the equivalent to the CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: SPECIAL EDITION where they felt they had to show "the other side". I don't know... maybe it should have been darker instead of being so sunsetty bright?

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:15 p.m. CST

    It comes verrrry close to being the perfect sequel

    by performingmonkey

    It's never gonna happen but a special edition release of this with some tweaks to the ending could make it great.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 9:32 p.m. CST

    Family unit was NOT intact. There was an older daughter missing.

    by Angry Mike

    You might have read about it on the news back then.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 10:12 p.m. CST

    I saw this once, when it first came out

    by I am_NOTREAL

    And remember thinking it was pretty good. I recall the Sneak Previews review, Lyons and Medved, one of them dogging the movie because it included too much material from the original. But there were hardly any flashbacks outside of one scene, which made it apparent to me that those guys hadn't seen the film and was the beginning of my realization that a lot of critics are completely full of shit.

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:07 p.m. CST

    Taylor, I need my car!

    by ghoulstock

    This movie is ridiculous. It has several good scenes, and Julian Beck is really, really creepy. But as has been pointed out, the entire ending of this is a mess. Especially the tacked-on scene where Taylor the magic Indian takes the family car and leaves them there, which I guess is supposed to wacky and light-hearted but just seems weird. And yes, the absence of Dominique Dunne is noticeable simply because they never mention her. All they had to do was say something like "she's off at college!" Instead they just act like she never existed...

  • Oct. 27, 2012, 11:30 p.m. CST

    I love Poltergeist as much as I dislike Part II

    by Glenn

    Of course, most things are relative, how could a sequel satisfy without disappointing on some level? But it's blatantly obvious how much better a director Spielberg is in marshaling the elements of his original idea, compared to the British TV director that was Brian Gibson, and the sub-par writers left to their own devices that were Grais/Victor. (If you still believe Hooper directed numero uno, then you weren't paying attention.) I agree that the vomit-creature scene was horrific, that Kane was a great character, that Sampson brought the film a certain dignity, that Goldsmith somehow improved upon his original score and, like John Williams with "Jaws 2", lent the film a richer spectacle than it deserved. But the negatives were far too great to take this film seriously in light of what the first one established. --The "family" dynamics feel pasted onto the actors this go-round. The rapey feeling of the vomit scene between husband and wife felt really, really inappropriate and beneath this family. --The second layer of reasoning for this new round of hauntings--- "Oh, wait, it wasn't the moved cemetary bodies, now it's some Brigham Young/Jim Jones type chap underneath the bodies? Make up your fucking mind." And on this note, if the ghosts can follow you anywhere as laid down in this sequel--like, to Arizona--why was the house haunting important in the first place? That plot point alone basically invalidates the first movie's conceit. --Random poltergeist activity in this film is handled stupidly, whereas all of it in the original feels endemic to the characters within the house. The haunted children's closet/bedroom. The dining table chairs moving. The steak (what's a more middle-class suburban meal than that?) leading to the face ripping (meat anyone?). Falling ancient watches. The closet desires to eat you whole or leads to your death (a great comment on consumerism if there ever was one, almost equal to "Dawn of the Dead"). Instead, in this, we get dumb instances of shit coming to life that really doesn't comment on anything. Orthodontistry gone wild? A chainsaw? --And the biggest crime? The family unit is so horribly written that even these brilliant adult actors can't overcome its ham-handedness. --The ending sucks beyond words. Know why? The budget of the film was slashed by 25% just before the film went into production so bye-bye special effects and sensible conclusion. --The humour is forced and unnatural, especially from Craig T Nelson. Ending this film on a crap joke about a car is an atrocious creative decision. --Zelda is terrible and wedged in for nostalgia's sake. --I kept wondering where all that light was coming from in the underground cave. Did somebody leave a 10K behind? --I could name another 10 things but I'm too tired and this film isn't worth it.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 2:23 a.m. CST

    the music is epic

    by Chris

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 2:26 a.m. CST

    If U loved Poltergeist as much as I did...........

    by RoarsLoudly

    Then U hate the living daylights out of Part sucks!

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 3:53 a.m. CST

    Our church minister looked like a giant jowly version of Kane

    by tangcameo

    And he had this personal space issue. Always talking to you one step too close to you. He creeped us right the fuck out.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 4:35 a.m. CST

    Stay out of churches, son.

    by Righteous Brother

    All they got a key to is the shit house.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 5:09 a.m. CST

    Giger hated the Poltergeist II Beast

    by Valaquen

    He actually said in an interview that the Alien Queen would have been preferable - he loves the Alien Queen.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 5:50 a.m. CST

    Phantomcreepsreturns - not CG at all, FFS...

    by irishraidersfan

    Educate thyself...

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Fun fact

    by Xen11

    That creepy priest was actually dying in real life as they shot this. They all knew that it would be part of the reason why it would work so well. His appearance was no special effect.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 8:19 a.m. CST

    Dana Freeling married Chuck Cunningham

    by John Brown

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 9:18 a.m. CST

    Dunne's Killer

    by KentButabi

    John Thomas Sweeney aka John Maura. Piece of shit got only 2.5 years and showed no remorse.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 11:31 a.m. CST


    by doom master

    Um...Well...Obviously. At some point.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 11:32 a.m. CST

    I can see why giger hates this one

    by doom master

    It looks like the Alien Queen, only melted in an oven....

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST

    Actually reminds me of a He Man figure I burned once....

    by doom master

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 12:29 p.m. CST

    we were laughing so hard in the theater during this one that...

    by ufoclub1977

    we made the whole audience laugh out loud. I love the first Poltergeist. Saw it 5 times in the theater as a 7th grader. But this one? Don't like it.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 12:35 p.m. CST

    You cannot keep her. I am not dead.

    by disfigurehead

  • The Native Indian man then cleanses the Dad from the grips of the evil fire water.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 9:43 p.m. CST

    I know I have seen this...

    by sewiz

    but for the life of me I can barely remember any a thing about it.

  • Oct. 28, 2012, 10:07 p.m. CST

    Sweet Christ! I know it's not CGI.

    by Nichole

    I'm saying, this is when studios, decided, they didn't give a fuck, and slam it down our collective throats.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 12:48 a.m. CST


    by Glenn

    What's with the multi-paragraph responses? Just type a normal paragraph like the rest of us. Why the need to take up so much space?

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 2:01 a.m. CST

    Because, That is how I Type.

    by Nichole

    I feel, it's easy on the eyes.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 3:43 a.m. CST

    It's not easy on the eyes...

    by Glenn

    It looks like a grocery list, and usually in a list, each new line or paragraph includes a new thought or category. Yours are usually one thought spread across several lines. To each his own, I guess. I'll just skip yours; no sweat off your back, right?

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 4:07 a.m. CST

    rumourd , I'm Sorry I couldn't appease you.

    by Nichole

    It IS Easy on the Eyes.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 4:10 a.m. CST

    rumourd , you complain And talk like me.

    by Nichole

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 7:54 a.m. CST

    This pic inspired me to re-watch the film via Netflix...

    by Mikey Wood

    ...hadn't seen it since it was on HBO waaaayyy back when. Barely remembered any of it. I'm a big fan of the first and found this to be a worthy sequel in that it fits in well with the other. I would have loved some more flashbacky stuff with Rev. Kane and the final effects scene was REALLY cheesy, but as far as sequels go, it wasn't bad at all. Spielberg's presense is sorely missed (even though Toby Hooper is credited with directing the first, it's so clearly a Spielberg film).

  • was when Young Sherlock Holmes was released, with what is considered the first actual use of CGI in a major motion picture, the stained glass figure. Although there was still a bit lapse between this and the waterpod in The Abyss.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:22 a.m. CST

    INCORRECT, openthepodbaydoorshal...

    by Mikey Wood

    ...need I remind you of TRON (1982) and, prior to that, WESTWORLD (1973) which used a vector graphic for the "robo-vision". Speaking of time: The ONE mistake POLTERGEIST 2 made that is absolutely inexcusable was Tangina showing a photograph of Kane and Kane's congregation. Kane's group perished in the 1820's. Photgraphy wasn't invented until the late 1830's. Research, people.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 11:50 a.m. CST

    How is that NOT Eddie Van Halen to the right in that pic?

    by torpedoboy


  • and The Last Starfighter which came out a couple of years later.

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 4:58 p.m. CST

    Not Eddie Van's Lou Graham

    by Darth Macchio

    Would you believe Donald "Duck" Dunn?

  • Oct. 29, 2012, 6:09 p.m. CST

    That is possible!

    by maxjohnson1971

    I get around! Love gettin' around! Even on a rainy day. Cracks me up every time!!