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 a small pile of 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
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
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
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
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
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