“HOW DO YOU MAKE THOSE GUTZ?”
by Thomas Berdinski
Hi, I’m Thomas Berdinski
And for my contribution to the Paragon’s Paragon blog, I decided to answer the
question I am asked MOST often at every horror convention I attend: “How
did you make those intestines?”
But first let me tell you a little bit about myself. I am a“do-it-yourself” movie maker, handling everything from lighting to monster make-up. I grew up a Super 8 filmmaker and was inspired by CINEMAGIC magazine and “The Alien Factor”. I am also a Trekkie, and enjoyed the early articles and photos of “Paragon’s Paragon”.
Although a lifelong horror/sci-fi fan (and a part time movie maker) in Michigan, I have become best known for my 2009 low-budget homage to European horror, “The Italian Zombie Movie” and two new shorts “The Giant Rubber Monster Movie” and “Noirmageddon- A Mark Anvil Thriller”.
My movies are available on Amazon; have won a awards at conventions, and have played on TV shows including Midnite Mausoleum.
My upcoming projects include an ambitious homage to 80’s alien invasion movies and a new zombie feature.
EDITORS NOTE FROM JOHN
YOU ARE ABOUT TO SEE A REALLY GREAT SERIES OF GROSS ZOMBIE VIDEO CLIPS DEMONSTRATING WHAT THIS ARTICLE IS ABOUT: “GUTZ”.
THE SCENES WOULD PROBABLY BE CONSIDERED R RATED BY SOME PEOPLE, SO IF YOU ARE SQUEAMISH AND DON’T HAVE AN OFF BEAT SENSE OF HUMOR THEN WHAT CAN I SAY?
SORRY BUT MOVIE GUTZ ARE GROSS! BE FOREWARNED: DON’T WATCH!(last chance to not look)
( Just foolin almost last chance to not look )
( OK this is your last chance not to look )
(OK , So go ahead and look, the suspense is killin me; It’s dark where I am writing this, what’s that smell?, I think something just bite me? Aragggh. JC)
<<<GROSS MOVIE CLIP>>>
So, how did we make those intestines?
Well, the truth is, they are REAL intestines, in a sense; made from stuff you can buy at your local grocery store and any butcher who makes his own sausages. The cost will vary but plan on about $25 per adult torso. Here is our recipe:
• Natural sausage casings (artificial casings work, but don’t look nearly
• Gelatin (unflavored)
• Kool-Aid (unsweetened)
• Optional modifiers such as coffee grounds, hot cocoa mix, bread crumbs,
• Quart+ sized bowl for mixing the gelatin; should be able to fit in your
• Turkey baster without the rubber bulb
• A large bowl or bucket with ice water
Soak the casings in warm water for a few minutes to soften them up.
Cut the casings into pieces about 2 feet long and inspect them for large holes. Run cold water through the casings by carefully opening one end and holding it under a faucet to allow water to flow through it. Verify that there are no large holes by looking for water squirting out the sides of the casing. If there are large holes or rips in the casing wall, throw it away. It will not hold the gelatin.
Make your gelatin mixture. Follow the directions on the pack. Add color as desired. For example, for healthy looking intestines mix in some cherry unsweetened Kool-Aid. For decaying looking intestines use coffee or cocoa mix. We’ve made green, blue, yellow and purple intestines too! Note that a quart of gelatin makes about 2 intestines, depending on the amount of leakage. Bread crumbs make good filler and also add variety to the texture.
Fill a large bowl or bucket with cold water. Keep it nearby. Add some ice if necessary – The colder the better.
Filling the casings. Place your gelatin mixture bowl in a plugged sink. Thread a casing onto the turkey baster and tie a small knotat the bottom end. Put a funnel into the top of the turkey baster and add your gelatin mixture using a ladle. Do this over the bowl in the sink. As the casing fills, it’s a good idea to let it lay in the bowl with your gelatin mixture in the sink. If your knot comes undone while you’re filling, you won’t loose your gelatin down the drain.
Tie off the other end of the casing and place the intestine in the bucket/bowl of chilled water. Because these are real intestines, water easily passes through the walls via osmosis. Floating them in cold water reduces water loss and speeds the setting of the gelatin.
Place in the refrigerator for a few hours… Over night is better.
Drain water, snip the excess casing from the knots on the ends and “serve” al dente!
The recipe above was actually ‘invented’ by my frequent collaborator Joseph Tardani. Joe has been “behind-the-scenes” making movies with me since we were about 8 years old. We made our first (unfinished) zombie movie when we were about 12. I think that was when Joe first began experimenting with this recipe. We like to boast that in IZM, we used gallons of blood and MILES of intestines! It probably isn’t too much of
an exaggeration… Very few photos of Joe exist, but he did play the lead zombie(s) in IZM.
<<<JOE AND CAITRIA PIC>>>
FINALLY A FEW WORDS OF WARNING!
1) Depending on the type of gelatin or Kool Aid you use, these intestines
can smell very sweet but don’t be fooled – They are raw, uncooked sausage
casings and should not be eaten.
Always wash your hands after handling them
2) Use unsweetened Kool-Aid and gelatin when possible. This will extend the “life” of your intestines. When kept refrigerated, our “unsweetened” intestines would last about two-to-three weeks on average. We had one batch mysteriously last for several months!
Always rinse the intestines in cool water when you’ve finished, and store them in a sealed tub in the refrigerator. Large Tupperware tubs work well.
3) If you use the sweetened stuff, be warned: It tends to ferment quickly, creating some very nasty odors. Sadly, this was lesson we learned at the expense of our actors…
You saw a scene from IZM with a disembodied head talking from the trunk of a car. The trunk was a prop we built where the actress simply poked her head through the bottom of a large box that we then decorated with carpet and the gory stuff.
Unfortunately, the day we shot that scene was the day the intestines decided to go bad. We did everything we could to cover the odor, ultimately adding Pine Sol to the gut pile to make it somewhat bearable.
Also, we shot a scene where a zombie spilled his guts onto the face of our hero. Sadly, this was another day that the intestines fermented. We couldn’t use Pine Sol this time since the guts were hitting him in the face, so the actor just had to tough it out. It was awful – I mean, can you imagine being hit in the face over-and-over with wet intestines that smelled, literally, like flatulence?
Well, I guess that’s all for this installment. Maybe John will ask me back again. Maybe he was too grossed out by all this talk of intestines and flatulence. In any event, thanks for your interest – Now, GO MAKE SOME INTESTINES!
(JC says sometimes it is fun to get grossed out and Thomas you are definitely asked back !)
To contact Tom, learn about their DVD specials, see trailers, read reviews, view upcoming convention schedule and more:
Giant Rubber Monster Movie Trailer
Italian Zombie Movie Trailer 1
Italian Zombie Movie Trailer 2
FACEBOOK: Thomas Berdinski
FACEBOOK: The Italian Zombie Movie
FACEBOOK: The Giant Rubber Monster Movie
FACEBOOK: Noirmageddon – A Mark Anvil Thriller
FACEBOOK: House with a Morgue