There’s almost nothing that scared me as a child more than the Graboids from tthe 1990Kevin Bacon film Tremors. The only thing scarier was the punishment I’d receive for breaking and bending all the broom handles we had trying to pole vault everywhere like the characters did in the movie.
A video recently released by YouTube’s Great Big Story, a channel “dedicated to the untold, overlooked & flat-out amazing,” finally gives me two people to blame for my childhood nightmares. Alec Gillis and Tom Woodruff Jr., founders of Amalgamated Dynamics Inc., have been making movie magic for more than three decades. In addition to Tremors and the pee-soaked pants of seven-year-old Blake, their practical effects credits include Jumanji, Alien Vs. Predator, The Santa Clause, and Starship Troopers.
Although brief, the video showcases some of ADI’s most iconic contributions to cinema. Both Woodruff and Gillis make the rather valid point that there’s just something about practical effects that computers can’t seem to accomplish. And while it’s true that CGI can create impossible things, the tangibility of practical effects will always make them special in a way computers just achieve.
Some may recall that Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. brought their practical effects expertise to 2015’s Harbinger Down, which was also written and directed by Woodruff and Gillis. The full scope of what ADI has given to movies is rather impressive and includes films like cult classic and recent entry to Kyle Anderson‘s Shlock & Awe column: Death Becomes Her.
What are your favorite films Amalgamated Dynamics Inc. had their creature-building hands in? Let’s discuss in the comments below!
Image: Great Big Story