Author Topic: PIT maneuver, MOLE PEOPLE style  (Read 509 times)

The Maskahuna

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1730
PIT maneuver, MOLE PEOPLE style
« on: July 16, 2017, 01:25:27 AM »


To most horror buffs and film critics today, it's the pits. Back in 1973,
there was no monster movie I wanted to see more desperately.



As a teenager, I'd already checked most of the famous Universal chillers
off my must-see list but this 1956 curio eluded me. There was no Netflix
back then, no Hulu, no youtube ... no internet. Home video stores hadn't
even been conceived yet. I had to mail a written request to the program
director of our local television station. Within a week, the movie was
scheduled for a 3AM broadcast. I stayed up all night to watch it and
hardly slept a wink afterwards; I was so ecstatic!



The early '70s were my amateur filmmaking days and a scene or two
of the Mole monster "in its natural habitat" now became an absolute
necessity in my productions. I already had two good masks of the
character to work with ~

 

My first pit effect consisted of a wood/cardboard platform
elevated off the ground and piled with peat moss ~



The performers gave it their best effort and it was a fun scene to shoot ...









... but I vowed to take an alternate approach next time.

Pit effect #2 was achieved through stop motion animation. Anyone who's
ever attempted this technique can tell you how tedious it is and I only had
patience enough to have my MOLEMAN emerge from its pit, look around,
and descend once again. It was a very brief sequence ~









There was no postponing the inevitable any longer.
For pit #3, I talked a friend into actually letting me bury him in the dirt
at a nearby construction site ~



On cue, he came burrowing up and it looked really cool ~



He refused to grant me a second take, pleading claustrophobia,
but I didn't really need one anyway. It must've been the
"overbearing director" in me.



I think that was my final attempt to recreate the effect. To this day,
I still can't quite figure out how it was done originally. If you happen
to know, do tell ... and share any other MOLE PEOPLE memories and
images you may have.

Thanks for dropping by!












« Last Edit: July 16, 2017, 02:10:08 AM by The Maskahuna »

Doh!

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1035
Re: PIT maneuver, MOLE PEOPLE style
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 04:37:46 AM »
Wonderful post, Maskahuna!
"You're dead, son.  Get yourself buried."
--J.J. Hunsecker

Tatooine_Todd

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
    • The Haunted Cinema
Re: PIT maneuver, MOLE PEOPLE style
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 07:55:43 AM »
What a cool monster kid story! I love the associated pictures that go with it. The Mole People is definitely  a favorite with me as well.

Kidagain

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 434
Re: PIT maneuver, MOLE PEOPLE style
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 01:50:28 PM »
Cool story Huna,it's great that you have the pics to go along with your info.

theshape1188

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 86
Re: PIT maneuver, MOLE PEOPLE style
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2017, 04:39:06 PM »
Still one of the remaining DP classics I need to acquire. Great thread

Mighty Bongo

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 127
Re: PIT maneuver, MOLE PEOPLE style
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 07:21:57 PM »
The original effect used ground cork rather than real dirt or sand. The cork is very light weight and easy to push up through. Ground cork was also used for quicksand effects as it would float on top of the water and remain dry.

JimPV

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: PIT maneuver, MOLE PEOPLE style
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2017, 08:24:30 PM »
Just bought a MoleMan reissue off of eBay. Do I understand correctly that it was the only mold to survive from the original release in the 60s?

Other than a Gorn mask that I inherited from a haunted house in high school (and is long gone), this will be my first DP mask!

zotzcoin

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 60
Re: PIT maneuver, MOLE PEOPLE style
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2017, 10:09:08 PM »
Another great, informative post from the mighty 'Huna!  I too, have a very soft spot in my heart and head for The Mole People.  John Agar, Ward Cleaver from Leave It To Beaver, and Alfred the butler from Batman, plus the 1950's greatest scientist, Doctor Frank Baxter?  I used to stay up until any o'clock to watch this movie.  Yes, love is strange.
The Mole Man mask was never one of the big sellers at DPS, but it was always fun making them when we'd get an order for a set.  Fuzzy flocking fun.  Just before production on the Mole Man, and the other licensed Universal masks ceased, Bob Short changed the paint scheme from flocking, to the Mummy Earth mud paint we used on the Mummy masks.  It was interesting, but I missed the fuzz.  Anyone out there seen one of the Mole Man masks painted like this?  We didn't make very many.
JimPV, the Mole Man was not the only original release DPS mold surviving from the 1960's.   In the Calendar Masks reissues from the late 1990's, the Phantom, the Wolfman B, the Karloff Frankenstein, and Mummy B were all produced from Masters made from the original 1960's Master Molds.
RT

JimPV

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 27
Re: PIT maneuver, MOLE PEOPLE style
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2017, 10:34:15 PM »
The Mole Man mask was never one of the big sellers at DPS, but it was always fun making them when we'd get an order for a set.  Fuzzy flocking fun.  Just before production on the Mole Man, and the other licensed Universal masks ceased, Bob Short changed the paint scheme from flocking, to the Mummy Earth mud paint we used on the Mummy masks.  It was interesting, but I missed the fuzz.  Anyone out there seen one of the Mole Man masks painted like this?  We didn't make very many.
JimPV, the Mole Man was not the only original release DPS mold surviving from the 1960's.   In the Calendar Masks reissues from the late 1990's, the Phantom, the Wolfman B, the Karloff Frankenstein, and Mummy B were all produced from Masters made from the original 1960's Master Molds.
RT
Very cool info. I remember being a kid  in the early 70s and examining a Mole Man mask at a local costume shop - I remember specifically being impressed by the fuzzy head bumps!