View Full Version : Zombie Meal

07-25-2010, 04:32 PM
Has anyone tried doing a gory zombie meal like the one John Ives does in this video from Modern Marvels: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddwab_vuKW0 (at around 3:50)?

I tried doing a small test, but I couldn't get it to look right. Mine looks like dried clumps of clay instead of rotting, putrid food like John's, and very little of the texture can be seen.

I'm using Sheetrock All Purpose Joint Compound as the drywall mud, Amber Shellac, and acrylic paint, along with cereal, oatmeal, etc, like the video describes. Maybe I just need to get the right combinations and amounts right, but does anyone have any tips? Thanks!

07-25-2010, 06:36 PM
Funny, I just got done watching the Detailing video from them this afternoon. It had everything in it that the youtube did. But, I think the key is they seem to use pigment vs paint.

Larry would be better to tell us. I would like the answer to that, we are getting ready to do detail work this coming weekend.

07-25-2010, 06:49 PM
Here is a nice site to give receipts for a few things we might use. They also sell pigment.


07-25-2010, 07:07 PM
Thanks for the response! I see that Kip uses dyes in the blood mixture, but I think I see paint bottles in John's supplies. Who knows...

From the video I thought that adding the Shellac to the mixture keeps the food looking wet, but mine dried looking....dry, haha. It actually looked like a clump of dried clay...

Maybe the Shellac in the mixture is only to preserve the actual food (the rice and cereal, etc), and then you add Shellac on top once it's dry? Watching the video again, John is using a brush to paint something on the scene at 4:56. It's while the video says, "The Shellac also keeps the scene looking fresh," but the can that he's painting from doesn't look like the Shellac can. Maybe polyurethane or something?

07-25-2010, 07:25 PM
I will actually be making a gore table for our haunt this year that I will be starting on soon, so it would be nice to get a good answer for this. Yeah, it is possible he is painting a gloss polyurethane coating over it. I had the impression the shellac was just to keep the food fresh. Any help would be great!

Allen H
07-25-2010, 07:56 PM
I watched the demo of this at the Darkness when Larry had the tour the first year the show was in St. Louis. It was the best thing on the tour.
THe key for me is trying to think of what it was before you start making it, have a visual mental goal so you know when your finished.
Color and texture are the big things. I made some awesome vomit using some of these techniques last year. dried beans are a great ingrediant for texture and making the guests see a food identification with the mess you make. Dried 15 bean soup added to poly urethane and a bit of acrylic paint looked awesome for vomit.
also make sure you have good looking props on the table, what looks like a blob of clay on your shop table will look awesome on a plate or in a ceramis bowl, the back drop tells the guests what it is. Keep playing with the poly and a bit of the Mud, I also used the A/B pour on finish from Depot and Lowes and they made a great shiny finish.
I hope this helps,
Allen H

07-25-2010, 08:07 PM
He does use dye for the blood. Check that website out I posted. It has a huge amount of recipes. I am going to order tomorrow. I'll see how it goes this weekend. I will try to watch it again and get the info on the Shellac again. They definately make it look easy.

07-25-2010, 09:18 PM
Allen H, thanks for all the info! I will definitely look for the dried 15 been soup. I think I need to try either less Mud or more texture food, because it's getting a bit lost. I'll need to figure out how to do something like the plate at 4:48 instead of just globs... the stains on the plate (red and yellowish) aren't mixed with the Mud, so do you think it's just the paint with polyurethane?

spookhaven, the dye looks interesting. Let me know how it goes! On the Shellac, I can tell from the video that he is using Amber colored, not Clear, but I'm not sure if that would make a difference...

07-25-2010, 09:58 PM
I think the powder pigments are better if you are pigmenting to deeper colors like blood and such. I think for the gore table with vomit and all, acrylic paints would work fine with the dry wall mud. I was experimenting with making some different kinds of prop blood, one of the mediums I used dried clear, so any sort of red tint would work well, but the other dried white so I would need to use something stronger I think like those powder pigments. Thanks for posting that link Spook!

07-26-2010, 06:47 AM
I did this yesterday and i used sawdust from the walls we cut. it worked great. You would not think it but a purple sawdust blob is great

07-26-2010, 08:58 AM
Oh, that was a good idea... I never thought of saw dust! Was the rest of your mixture similar (drywall mud, paint, and amber shellac)?

07-26-2010, 11:22 AM
I just finished one of the tables today, will be going soon to get supplies to "gore" and "puke" it up. I will post pics of mine once it is done. I am building one table like the one in the video of the Darkness, and one that will be more bloody and have a body part or two on it.

07-26-2010, 11:57 AM
Awesome! I'd love to see the pics! Right now I'm just playing around and will be making the actual table a little later on...

07-26-2010, 12:13 PM
Yeah, I will post them as soon as I am done.

07-27-2010, 07:09 AM
willy the mix is the same except i made it thick with saw dust so it was kinda stringy. I made three different colors and a dark purple had the best shine. i also had a green and light brown. i also crushed up ramen noodles for the maggots and put clear coat on them. Today i am going to add more shalic

Raycliff Manor
07-27-2010, 11:49 AM
We did the table in our dining room using the following combinations and it came out great.

paint / cornflakes / shellac
paint / 5 bean dried soup & cornflakes / shellac (Allen, thanks for the bean soup idea!)
paint / oatmeal / shellac
paint / oatmeal / noodles / shellac

While everything was still wet, we sprinkled rice on top and it comes out looking like maggots. Allen's right, when you get the food on the sink, fridge, plates, etc. and look at it in haunt lighting, the setting tells the story and affects the overall look.

While we're on the topic, I definitely recommend the DVD "How to Detail Your Haunted House"! Great stuff!


Dr Spooktakular
07-27-2010, 02:51 PM
Hey Kel,
you start off each recipe with paint, what color of paint did you use?

Raycliff Manor
07-27-2010, 04:05 PM
We used oops paint that we picked up at Restore. The colors we used were yellow (kin of mustardy), dark green, a mossy green, brown and a dark red. You really can't go wrong on color. The amber shellac makes the colors look even better. Ours did dry wet looking, but we used a lot of shellac. Hope this helps!


07-27-2010, 06:19 PM
Do you have any pics of the finale product?

07-28-2010, 11:01 AM
Thanks for all the details Kel! So you didn't use any drywall mud? Was your mixture too "liquidy" or could you still form it into piles and globs? Or didn't you do that at all?

07-29-2010, 09:07 PM
I finished building and painting my tables. I will start "gorifying" them tomorrow, and I will post pics once they are done.

Raycliff Manor
08-01-2010, 09:03 AM
We haven't had time to take pictures yet. We've been extremely busy working on renovations and on preparations for our upcoming SCREAMFEST event. I hope to have time to take some pictures to share soon.

We didn't use any joint compound/drywall mud, but I'm sure this would work well also. The paint mixed with oatmeal and/or cornflakes and shellac is definitely thick enough to form piles and globs, which we did do.

We just got Perma Blood and Perma Grime from Kip at Pale Night Productions and we're going to be playing with that soon as well. The stuff is really cool!

Hope this helps!:D


08-01-2010, 09:17 AM
Here is the thread with my pics http://hauntworld.com/haunted_house_forums/showthread.php?t=12526

extreme evil
08-01-2010, 11:14 AM
It takes some time to get the right mixture.