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Tattoo Tantalizers! ... Part 5

... the most asked for gallery in our existence!
... the supporting crew ...

Photos & text courtesy of Rick Martinko ... Tattoo Department, LOTM

I've mentioned before that working on this film was a lot like being back in high school. People were generally nice,but there were definite groups. There was also a lot of bickering which was compounded by the stress and long hours. I was in the extra artist group that comprised the tattoo, make-up and special effects make-up people. There were far too many people to mention in any detail, so I'll start with the people who worked closest to me and more up the ranks from there.

This is J.D. Evers (on the left) from New Jersey. He was one of the guys who welcomed me onto the project and stayed around until mid-September. Like a lot of the extra artists, he would have loved to stick around until the end, but as shooting started to wrap up there was less and less work required and since he was on an hourly rate he couldn't afford to stick around and pay for food and rent, waiting for the opportunity to work a few hours each week. His moment of glory came during the big battle scene at the fort. They were short  a few French soldiers, so after all of the tattoos were applied he was "recruited" and added to a French cannon crew. In the film, there's a shot were a guy lowers a burning wick to the cannon to detonate the powder, and that was J.D. Some of the extras showed up night after night and never appeared in the final film. J.D. gets put in a costume for a few hours and end up on screen.

This is Jason Fruchter taking a nap, and that's not sunlight on his hair... it's asmall pileof talcum powder. With all the time we spent sitting around, there was lot a opportunity to come up with some good pranks. Which brings me to ... the infamous Russell Dodson:

Here he is in the tattoo trailer, airbrushing a bodysuit for one of the stunt guys named Burkey Lilley. Russell was an absolute riot. When I first showed up, I didn't know anyone so I was really quiet. Russell broke the ice by yelling at me in front of everyone for being "Too damn loud!" He was a fantastic airbrush artist from the Asheville area, who supervised the tattoo crew and helped with some of the principle actors. He also hit it off with Eric Schweig, and the two of them acted like kids most of the time. Russell also pulled some of the best pranks I've ever seen (most of which I can't describe to protect Russell's family) with a fearlessness that bordered on insane. One of his favorite tricks was to abuse a poor PA (Production Assistant) named Steve Davis.

Steve has a bad habit of setting his radio down while drinking his morning coffee. Russell would walk over, pick up Steve's radio and wander over to the far side of the tent. Once he got out of earshot, he'd yell into the radio "Steve Davis, what's your 20?!?" (translated: Steve Davis, where are you right now?) Steve would hear his name being called through all of the other PAs radios, and go nuts trying to find where he set his radio. If one of the other PAs would try to help out by saying "Basecamp. What do you need?", Russell would thunder "YOU'RE NOT STEVE DAVIS!! WHERE THE HELL IS STEVE DAVIS!!" While Steve scrambled about trying to find his radio, and the rest of the production crew tried to figure out who on Earth was yelling into the radio, Russell would walk up and say "Hey, Steve is this yours?" and hand it back. I don't think Steve ever caught on.
One other time, we were shooting Massacre Valley action scenes with second unit near the fort and Russell had some time to kill, so he got one of the special effects make-up guys to apply a bullet hole on the side of his forehead.

It looked great and Russell kept it on all day. After we wrapped, Russell stopped at a little Mom & Pop grocery store to buy some cigarettes on his way home. The woman at the register said "What happened to your head?" and Russell said "Nothing really, I've got this mosquito bite that won't stop itching, and I've been picking at it a little. Why? Is it bleeding?" The poor woman said "Oh honey! You better stop picking at it! If looks pretty bad. You should see a doctor about that!" So Russell just picks up his pack of cigarettes and says "Eh... maybe I'll put a band-aid on it when I get home" as he digs his finger into the center of the "wound". That poor woman is probably still telling people about"The guy with the biggest mosquito bite you ever saw!".

Top to bottom, that's Russell, myself and Dwaine Trimble in the prison under the fort. If one of the production crew has caught us down there, we probably would have been canned on the spot.

 

This was my roommate Dwaine Trimble, who was from Wilmington, NC.  Dwaine was also a principle tattoo artist, and we shared a room at the EconoLodge in Morganton.  He had a bunch of his artwork with him, including some special effects make-up props which he displayed around our room.  Well, after a night of shooting we came back to the room and finally got to sleep around 7AM, when we woke up to someone beating on our door.  Dwaine answered it, and there are two Morganton cops standing there looking a little nervous.  Apparently, while we were on the set, someone walked by our room,  glanced in the window and noticed one of Dwaine's props sitting on the table: a rotting human head.  Keep in mind, that while we were in the set, we had practically no contact with the "real world".  We didn't watch TV, listen to the radio and only on rare occasions read the newspaper.  So, we had no idea what was going on outside of the 'Mohicans' production.  Well, it was right around that time that the news had broken about the capture of Jeffrey Dahmer and the discovery of his apartment full of horrific souvenirs, so it wasn't really the best time to be displaying a rotting skull in your hotel room.  Thankfully, the cops knew that we were working on a movie and probably assumed that we were all a bunch of Hollywood wackos anyhow.  So, after letting them check out our room and showing them the skull in question (which didn't even have ears) they asked us to be a little more prudent and went on their way.  We probably would have laughed about it if we weren't so tired.

 

Here's a couple of the Huron extras posing with the stunt dummy near Chimney Rock. That poor dummy was painted, re-painted, tattooed then hurled off of numerous cliffs. We saw him so often, and when he was around he was so much the center of attention that he started to seem like a regular guy.

Next up the production chain were the stunt guys. On the left is Burkey Lilley and Lance Gilbert is on the right. These two guys were buddies and spent much of their day abusing each other. They goofed around constantly, but were dead serious when the performing the stunts. I really enjoyed working with these guys, and to this day spot their names in the recent film credits.

Next were the principle make-up artists who I worked with every day. Jeff Goodwin was from Wilmington and applied make-up for Madeleine and Wes. Prior to working on 'Mohicans", Jeff was the principle make-up artist for "Teenage, Mutant, Ninja Turtles : The Movie" BTW - He is goofing around... that's not his normal face.

This is Jane Royle, from England. She was the principle make-up artist for Jodhi May, and was absolute great to work with. She was always upbeat, and her proper British manners were a constant source of amusement. She once ran up to tell me about the "most delightful little biscuit" they had at the craft services table. She happily described "the two wonderful, chocolate wafers with a simply delicious cream center"!! I walked to check it out, only to find an ordinary box of Oreos.
She'd just finished working of "Alien III" and showed everyone Polaroids on the disturbingly realistic burn wounds she's done on the actors. No one could believe that this quiet, well mannered woman could produce such horrific effects.

Here's John Bayless touching up Steve Waddington's make-up. He also applied Daniel's chest tattoos. John was the head of the theater department at Penn State when I met him in 1986, and was the person who contacted me to work on "Mohicans". He still lives in Charlotte, although I don't hear from him much anymore. Recently he worked on "Shallow Hal" and was the principal make-up artist for several seasons of "Dawson's Creek".

This is Peter Robb-King posing beside our tattoo work on Mike Phillip's chest. Peter was also from England, and was the head of the make-up department. He's worked with Jane on "Alien III" prior to "Mohicans" and was an amazingly talented artist. His eccentric personality and dry sense of humor made for some very entertaining conversations. Peter was another person I really enjoyed working with.
This is running on longer than I thought, so I guess I'll break it into two entries, with the principle actors and first unit production crew featured in the second half. UP NEXT: PRINCIPAL CAST  || BACK TO INDEX OF TATTOOS
 

MORE TATTOOS
TATTOO TANTALIZERS! || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 2 || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 3
TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 4 || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 6 || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 7
TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 8 || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 9 || TATTOO TANTALIZERS ... Part 10

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