Star Trek Pin-up FRAMED #10 Wrath of Khan Special FX Ceti eel Kenneth Ralston


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Khan blames Kirk for the death of his wife and plans to avenge her. He implants Chekov and Terrell with indigenous eels that enter the ears of their victims and render them susceptible to mind control, and uses the officers to gain control of the Reliant. Learning of Genesis, Khan attacks Space Station Regula I where the device is being developed by Kirk’s former lover, Dr. Carol Marcus, and their son, David. Ever wonder how they shot those scenes of the eels going into people’s ears? The Ceti eel shots used several models, overseen by visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston, who had just finished creature design for Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. He tied a string to the eels to inch the models across the actors’ faces before they entered the ear canal. The scene of a more mature eel’s leaving Chekov’s ear was simulated by threading a microfilament through the floor of the set up to Koenig’s ear. The scene was filmed with three variations, which Ralston described as “a dry shot, one with some blood, and the Fangoria shot, with a lot of gore.” Footage of a giant model of Koenig’s ear was discarded from the theatrical release due to the visceral reaction it elicited in test audiences.

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