Introduction: Decapitation Effect

Picture of Decapitation Effect
There comes a time in every filmmaker's life when he needs to lop off a head. When I was a kid, I'd cut the camera and replace heads with basketballs, but this is Erik Beck from Indy Mogul we're taking out, so you know things are going to get messy. Cuddle up close to your styrofoam heads, jugs of fake blood, and stunt dummies, and enjoy. You'll need the effects from our Limb Tear, Fake Heads, andBlood Shooter episodes to do this one.

Check out the Video!

You'll Need:

1. test dummy
2. fake head (we used styrofoam)
3. foam
4. liquid latex (preferably in a skin color)
5. garden sprayer
6. valve
7. 6 bottles of food coloring
8. balloon

Step 1: The Head

Picture of The Head

Cut the neck off of the Styrofoam head, and hollow out the head.

Make some fake skin out of some foam and liquid latex (we used a skin color). Attach this piece to the top of the neck, make sure it measures up to fit into the head (but do not connect them).

Cut out a hole through the neck, for the fake blood to come through.

Cover the rest of the head and neck with more of the liquid latex, to make it look like skin.

Next cover the inside of the neck and the head (where the two will be separated) with red paint.

Then using some basic make up and some plastic eyes, give the head more detail

Step 2: The Blood

Picture of The Blood

Fill the garden sprayer with a little bit of four, 6 bottles of red food coloring and about 2 1/2 gallons of water.

Mix it up, and you've got a ton of blood.

Step 3: The Set Up

Picture of The Set Up

Attach the garden sprayer to the valve, which attaches to a nozzle, which is attached to a red ballon.

Put the nozzle and tube up through the clothed test dummy. Attach the neck piece, so that the balloon is on top. Then put on the head on and make sure the balloon is inside the cavity you dug out of it.

Then, pump the garden sprayer, and the balloon should inflate with the fake blood. When you decapitate the head, the balloon will explode and fake blood should fly everywhere.

Step 4: Conclusion

Picture of Conclusion

This is an excellent way to execute this amazing and bloody effect for under $50. And I promise you will get awesome results for your Indy film!


caca1128 (author)2010-06-01


airsoft1017 (author)2009-12-23

Is thge guy who gets his head chopped off nar willams from science of the movies?

fireFEIND67 (author)2008-03-02

I don't quite understand how to pull this off do you actually cut it or what?

zascecs (author)fireFEIND672009-05-30

Apparently. Watch the vid.

Sylkhr (author)fireFEIND672009-01-15

it seems so

smashbro51 (author)2008-12-22

That's kind of creepy

IX Smith XI (author)2008-08-29

My head X_X

explosivemaker (author)2008-06-29

.....ha ha ha...nice

superunit (author)2008-02-07

You feel that? It's me, humping your leg. This looks totally awesome.

DrWeird117 (author)superunit2008-06-24


nicksam112 (author)2008-06-13

that was nice vid, could use less laughing

JohnJY (author)2008-02-18

You rock! I can't what to explode some heads! How does Maddness the movie sound! Death to all strofoam dummys!

Baran Romis (author)2008-02-07

The little clip of the effect would be a lot better without the canned laughter, but pretty great effect otherwise!

twhaley (author)2008-02-05

Sweet! I'm so gonna do this!

REAL6 (author)2008-02-04

Awww man, thank you for this.... My first post, woooooooooooooooohoooooooooooo

Jake Turner (author)2008-01-31

Oh. man.

Gotta try this.

I'm the kinda guy who sees scenes like that of "Hot Fuzz"(namely, where one guy gets demolished by a falling pointy brick), and laughs my ass off in awe, while pointing at the screen like a 3-year-old.

Have you ever tried a decapitation by explosion/gunshot effect? I saw a clip on MAD TV where a hardware salesman (played by Will Sasso), while showcasing a tool security system, inadvertently launches either a flare or 12 gauge round into his head. You can see where the video was cut off before a dummy was put in place of the actor, at which point the entire head blew up into nice, meaty chunks, spraying blood all over the room.

Yes, my jaw dropped at that too. :D

Uru Wolf (author)Jake Turner2008-02-03

Hot Fuzz did that by filming the blood squirts on gree-screen and then editing them together. (Check your extras _-)

Jake Turner (author)Uru Wolf2008-02-03

Couldn't check extras, only time I saw the movie was in theaters. :D

Uru Wolf (author)Jake Turner2008-02-03

Ah right, it is worth getting the DVD for the extras alone. There are quire a few tips and tricks for the special effects that they did for the moive.

bleachworthy (author)Jake Turner2008-01-31

That was one of the better head smashing, scratch that, head demolishing scenes I've seen yet. many other good gore effects throughout the film too :)

TylerG2008 (author)2008-02-01

This is really hardcore!

falcotheimpaler (author)2008-01-31

one word: Holy crap! i should use this in my Film Perspectives class! my teacher's a hardass, she wouldnt know what hit her!

GorillazMiko (author)2008-01-31

Awesome, you're posting cool stuff again! Awesome Instructable, keep up the great work!

TeacherOfTheWays (author)2008-01-31

YAY your back INDY MOGUL!!!

About This Instructable




Bio: Indy Mogul is the network dedicated to DIY filmmakers and film lovers alike. Our first show, Backyard FX, is a creative and funny 'how-to' guide ... More »
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