The Macabre and the Unusual

Some Things Are Better Left Undead, Part 2

alltherage-2007-04-bj interview04 copy
What kind of people have hired things from you?

You’d be surprised. There are obvious ones like horror movies,
crime shows and medical dramas — we’ve worked every Law & OrderOrder, Bones and CSI there is — but then we’ve done stuff for Mad TV, Mind of Mencia, Pimp My Ride, Margaret Cho, and a bunch of
shows you’d never expect to need body parts and gore.

What’s your best-selling item on Dapper Cadaver?

5-month-old and 7-month-old foetus replicas in jars.
People can’t get enough of them. I think it’s something like the pet
chihuahua or baby crocodile syndrome, where people want them
when they’re small, because they’re so cute at that size, but don’t
want them to ever get bigger. Our foetus replicas are great for that,
and we make them so you don’t have to.

How do you avoid getting upset when you have to create realistic corpses?

Actually it’s the other way around. When I’m feeling upset
nothing makes me feel better than creating a corpse.

What’s been the most exciting moment in your career so far?

It’s hard to decide between the time that the SWAT team
evacuated my neighbourhood because of what someone saw going
on at my house, or the time we were filming a lioness tearing up
a guy and she got so excited she broke through the electrified
perimeter fence and ran loose in the Chatsworth hills
with half a body dangling from her mouth. Rangers
and marshals had to chase after her on horseback.

What’s the hardest thing about your job?

When something very specific is needed TODAY and really it’s
a custom job. I once got a call from Jim Henson Studios for
“Muppet-sized bondage equipment” for Witch-Piggy’s dungeon in
“The Wizard of Oz.” The scene was later cut from the film for being
too extreme. They were hoping they didn’t need to get it custom
made. They were just hoping I had Muppet-sized bondage equipment
in stock. I don’t know why they thought I would.

Who or what has most inspired you in your work?

Ray Harryhausen’s swordfighting skeletons from Jason and the
Argonauts were the coolest thing I ever saw as a kid. I wanted to
know how it was done, how it was made, so I started watching special FX shows and behind-the-scenes stuff. I stopped watching those once movies started doing everything on computer. I just don’t get excited by CG, so I do things the old-fashioned way.

BJ Winslow’s store, Dapper Cadaver, is located at 5519 Hollywood
BL, Los Angeles, CA 90028. (323) 962-1924. Log onto
www.bjwinslow.com and www.dappercadaver.com.

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