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Tom Savini Journal from Django Unchained #2

April 5th: Woke up and went to the gym. Great gym, and at 10:30 went down to the van waiting to take us to the sound stages less than a mile away. James Parks was there, and soon Robert Carradine was there and I introduced myself to him, and a guy named Dave Steen, and Ted, and the driver told us we had to wait for one more. A guy named Mike. We waited 15 minutes and Mike showed up and said “Sorry guys that’s the last time that will happen,” and then he said “I smell like a French whore house.” I said “Why, did you go to one last night?” and he said “No, I couldn’t find one.”

At the sound stages we were just in time for a test of the dogs attacking a stunt double for the actor playing D’artagnan.  There were three dogs… big vicious looking Belgian Malinois Shepherds and they are trained to attack the stunt pads the stunt man was wearing, and of all the dogs in creation they have the strongest bite pressure. On action they just tore into him latching onto the pads and clothing and a pulled and tore and dragged him about 15 feet. The trainer yelled at them to stop and two did and the other one just kept tearing at the stunt man till the trainer made him stop. It was really scary and me and some of the other guys remarked how vicious that was and oh my god imagine what a tiger or lion would do.

I was standing with the other Trackers and suddenly realized who the guy named Ted is. He is Ted Neely, the guy who played Jesus Christ in the Movie musical Jesus Christ Superstar. Like the biggest geek fan I walked over to him and said, “You’re Ted Neely” and took his hand and shook it and said “Man I enjoyed the hell out of you in Supestar.” Luckily he appreciated my compliment and often in the day would come over and start conversations with me as to what he has been doing or about the dogs.

We all got into our own trailers and put our costumes on and reported to the outside of one of the sound stages where Tom, the prop man, handed us our own sheathed magnificent bowie knives. I have quite the collection of knives at home and the one he handed me was a real nice one.

Inside the sound stage was a huge replica of the plantation house. It was magnificent with it’s huge pillars and the interior was amazing with many floors and completely furnished. Quentin came out and greeted us individually and made a few comments about how fabulous we look and what a bunch of killers he would not want to be around. I joked he was going to out-Peckinpaw Peckinpaw and he liked that and agreed and physically showed us how we were going to die in one of end sequences when Django kills all of us.

He was on the floor showing how Dave was going to get his balls blown off before Django kills the guy behind him. “One of the few things I’m stealing from the original Django.” he said, and before Dave’s throat is cut and his head chopped off and split in half and put into the stew pot. “Out-Peckinpaw Peckinpaw?”

The script says I am cleaning my gun and when Django appears and starts killing everyone that I try to put my gun back together and just before I do Django shoots me in the head, but here at this little meeting it seems it is up in the air as to who is doing it, and I think Quentin is giving it to Robert Carradine, who is a Tracker with a hump on his back. I asked if he knew any lines from Richard III and he instantly went into a monologue from it.

Quentin loved how we looked. We all left and Monday is now when we start the Tracker stuff. Our call is 5:30 am.

April 6th: We woke up late and headed to the French Quarter and tried to get a Mint Julip, thinking this is part of the culture down here in the South… but two bars including one in a swanky hotel called The Carousel where the whole bar and stools rotated with a huge lighted carousel awning above us… couldn’t make us one cause they didn’t have any mint.  Finally went to a little dive bar and the bartender had mint but didn’t know how to make it unless we told her what is in it.  I suggested she look in her bar manual and she found it, followed the directions and made us two Mint Julips. I slugged mine down like soda pop.

Later that night we hooked up with Gino, Big jake, Jeff, and Carey Jones and went walking on Bourbon Street, which was full of hustlers, voodoo shops, bar after bar, strip club after strip club, band after band, and tons of people, drunk, sober, begging, dancing, yelling, singing, wearing costumes, and it was the most festive street you’ll ever see. We went to LaFitte’s the oldest bar in America. It started in 1772 as a blacksmith shop that served drinks and it is now just the bar lit entirely by candlelight. I ordered Chartreuse on the rocks. Now I don’t drink. I am not a drinker. I never started. It wasn’t important to me and I saw what it did to other people and have no interest in it. In fact I hate drunks. Especially drunk women. BUT… this is New Orleans.. and I joined the crowd and I was the designated walker as every one else got drunk as skunks as they say.

Check out Tom Savini’s Django Unchained Journal Entry #3!

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