Warning: There are major spoilers ahead.
“The Walking Dead” returned to AMC Sunday night in excellent fashion.
Creator Robert Kirkman promised the first six minutes of the premiere would be brutal and the show delivered.
Last warning to head back before spoilers.
At the episode’s start, we see Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Daryl (Norman Reedus), Glenn (Steven Yeun), and Bob (Lawrence Gilliard Jr.) ripped from the train car they were locked inside at the end of season four and dragged into a slaughter house to be killed, cleaned, and torn apart for eating.
You read that right. As many predicted, season 5 introduced audiences to cannibals.
The four are lined up over a trough with others as they are violently hit with baseball bats one by one before their throats are sliced to drain.
The scene was the most terrifyingly brutal opening for the show yet and a difficult one to watch (especially if you had recently eaten dinner).
On aftershow “The Talking Dead,” the episode’s director Greg Nicotero broke down the making of the scene saying it was actually inspired by a famous scene from 1979’s “Alien” where a chestburster alien pops out of Kane’s (John Hurt’s) chest.
“[Director] Ridley Scott they had blood tubes hooked up and nobody knew what was going to happen,” said Nicotero. “When they rolled six cameras and Veronica Cartwright gets hit with all the blood, all those reactions were real.”
Similarly, Nicotero says when filming the trough scene for the premiere episode, the scene was kept under wraps from the actors.
“Steven, Andy, Norman, Lawrence, none of those guys really knew what it was going to look like and what was going to happen,” explained Nicotero. “So when the guys were struggling and they came up and slit the throat and we sprayed the blood they all reacted. It was like, all of a sudden they heard the blood hitting the trough and starting to wash down in front of them.”
“When I yelled cut, they went ‘Oh my God,'” he added. “It was shocking.”
As brutal as the scene looked on screen, Nicotero who also serves as the show’s executive producer and special effects makeup artist said the scene was a blast to prep and film.
“As ridiculous as it sounds, we had a great time shooting that scene. It was really fun to do,” said Nicotero.
He explained the intricate preparation that was involved in making the scene look so lifelike. Again, like “Alien,” a lot of practical effects were used.
“We came up with this ingenious rig,” explained Nicotero. “We just put a tube around the actors’ necks with a feed tube up the back that we would pump the blood through.”
“Usually we’ll put a prosthetic over the top to mask it but in this instance we had the visual effects team erased the tube. So you had practical blood squirting out of a tube and then visual effects would erase the tube. We were able to use real blood [as opposed to CG]. I mean, real movie fake blood.”
You can check out the first four minutes of “The Walking Dead” season 5, which were revealed at New York Comic Con, below.
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