My first intensely negative encounter on The Return of the Living Dead with the work of make-up man Bill Munns came after he showed me his version of First Corpse, the first zombie to burst from its grave.
It seems pretty clear to me from my drawings just what I wanted the First Corpse to look like. I thought Bill was just showing me his zombie’s mechanics. That this was what he considered camera ready “finished art” was the farthest thing from my mind.
On the day of the shoot I discovered to my horror that what Bill showed me Bill thought was done. A lot of Bill’s First Corpse was perfectly pristine and clean — with few signs that this thing had just erupted from its grave. Many of the bones of its skeleton were pure, clean white. I was pissed at the lack of thinking that went into Bill’s version of the First Corpse — so angry that I didn’t even think of smearing some damn mud all over the thing. My bad.
As you’ll see, it got worse.