FX artist Mark Shostrom reveals an iconic effect in Evil Dead II drew inspiration from an iconic effect in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure
Earlier this week, we were devastated to hear that Paul Reubens, the actor and comedian best known for playing the character Pee-wee Herman, had passed away at the age of 70, following a six year private battle with cancer. Among the many people who took to social media to mourn the loss of Reubens was special makeup effects artist Mark Shostrom, whose long list of credits includes The Slumber Party Massacre, The Beastmaster, The Mutilator, From Beyond, Witchboard, Prince of Darkness, Poltergeist III, Phantasm II and III, the first three Nightmare on Elm Street movies, and Evil Dead II. And while paying tribute to Reubens, Shostrom revealed that an iconic effect from Evil Dead II drew inspiration from an iconic effect in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure!
Shostrom said, “Paul Reubens provided huge inspiration for my work on Evil Dead II. I had been watching Pee-wee’s Big Adventure on VHS on repeat while sculpting. Large Marge gave me the idea for Henrietta’s bugged-out eyes and mouth. RIP Paul, you wonderfully creative man. I tip my hat to you, sir.” He also shared a side-by-side image of the two effects, and you can check that out at the bottom of this article.
Directed by Sam Raimi from a screenplay he crafted with Scott Spiegel, Evil Dead II has the following synopsis: After a relaxing cabin vacation doesn’t go as planned, Ash is left with three dead friends, an undead girlfriend and an angry evil spirit on the loose. As nightfall approaches, Ash must prepare to again battle the legions of the damned if he wants to make it to dawn.
Pee-wee’s Big Adventure was directed by Tim Burton from a script Reubens wrote with Phil Hartman and Michael Varhol. Here’s the synopsis: Pee-wee Herman, an eccentric child-like man, loves his red bicycle and will not sell it to his envious neighbor, Francis. While Pee-wee visits his friend Dottie, the bike is stolen. Thinking his bike is at the Alamo, Pee-wee sets off on a trip, where he meets many remarkable people, including waitress Simone and a motorcycle gang. Eventually, Pee-wee discovers that his bike is being used in a movie and tries to recover it.
I grew up watching Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (and Pee-wee’s Playhouse) and have watched Evil Dead II many, many times, so it’s really cool to hear the Pee-wee had an impact on the Evil Dead. I knew the people involved with the making of Evil Dead II referred to Henrietta as “Pee-wee Head”, but I don’t think I knew it was because of Large Marge.
Are you a fan of Pee-wee’s Big Adventure and/or Evil Dead II? What do you think of one drawing inspiration from the other? Let us know by leaving a comment below.