Showtime’s “Dexter” is definitely one of our favorite TV shows and, even though we know it’s had some low moments, it remains pretty solid throughout. Vulture got to talk to prop master Joshua Meltzer on the kind of work that goes into making some of the most gruesome scenes look so real.
In other words, this is the perfect Halloween post, whether you’re a fan of the series or not.
The image attached to this article is a still from season 6, the tableau Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, where the killer had severed a body, stuck parts of it to a mannequin, strapped it to four horses and then set them loose.
Meltzer says it was perhaps the most challenging project he’s ever had to do for the series, which is no small thing, considering he also did Rita’s bloody death, the other tableaus in the same season, the Ice Truck Killer’s “statement” kills and pretty much everything else on the show.
“When you turn the script page and all of a sudden it says, There's four horses riding down the street made up of mannequin parts and this one body that's been severed, and a leg is over here, an arm is over there, and his head's on one body — you kind of think the writers have lost their minds,” Meltzer says.
The challenge was to create figures that could stand upright in the saddle and, at the same time, do the impossible to prevent the horses from getting scared, especially since production on one single shot took hours.
“The movie gods were shining on us: The horses didn't get spooked at all, and the bodies made it through the day. There were some issues: We were holding a couple of the limbs in place with some baling wire, because they did start to fall apart a bit after five, six times running down the street. But as we say, we got the shot,” the prop master says.
If you’re into that kind of stuff (and you must be, since you’ve read this far), see the Vulture piece here
to find out how a corpse filled with maggots, the Angel of Death tableau and the Trinity Killer photographs were made possible.