Deadly Decapitations Part 1

Pvt. Torrez in ‘Day of the Dead’ (1985)

Taso N. Stavrakis loses his head in 'Deay of the Dead'


This decapitation is super sweet for a couple of reasons. First up the visuals. Tom Savini and crew came up with some fantastic practical effects, some of his gorriest at the height of his bloody creativeness. The death of Pvt Torrez may not be as lavished in the horror annuls as the famed ‘torn to smithereens’ death of Capt. Rhodes, but in the world of decapitations it’s a true marvel. In a nutshell, poor old Pvt Torrez (played by Savini assistant Taso N. Stavrakis) gets his head pulled off his soldier shoulders by a zombie who’s taken a firm bowling-ball esque grip in the doomed man’s eye sockets. Using wonderful animatronics, Pvt Torrez’s face still moves and squirms as it separates from his body. Savini-tastic.

On a side note this awesome factor of this is doubled when you realise that Taso N. Stavrakis also played the decapitated body of Mrs Voorhees in ‘Friday the 13th‘ (1980). I wonder if the man actually pays the rent with severed heads?

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One thought on “Deadly Decapitations Part 1

  1. Seeing this movie on the big screen during its original release, at the relatively tender age of 14 or 15, was almost traumatizing. The way those undead would just rip people to shreds, and disembowel them with their hands when they caught them, was truly horrific in its day. Too bad the actual movie itself, overall, was kind of lame.

    I remember one smart military guy shot himself in the brain, via the mouth, in order to avoid such a fate. While it didn’t occur to me at the time, his character was sort of an obvious “fascist” type, so the fact he utilized Hitler’s preferred suicide technique was probably not an accident.

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