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News Article

‘Berberian Sound Studio’: Making Brutal Sounds with Vegetables


Berberian Sound Studio tells the story of a sound engineer Gilderoy, played by the tiny and creepy Toby Jones, who is working on an Italian horror film in the ‘70s.  Slowly, the engineer’s job becomes an obsession and life imitates art, evoking giallo greats in both storyline and visuals.

In the movie, Gilderoy uses all sorts of old school techniques for making the sounds of ripping flesh and breaking bones. Interestingly, the same things are used in horror today. The Guardian spoke to sound engineer Adam Mendez who worked on the Clive Barker film Dread and 127 Hours about how the movie stacks up against the real thing. Odds are, you’re never going to look at grapes the same way again.

“We see Gilderoy (Toby Jones) and his assistants smashing marrows to make the sound of a body slamming on to the ground, and making fat sizzle for a scene involving the torture of a nun. We still do much the same sort of thing today,” Mendez said. “A few years ago, I worked on the horror film Dread. For a scene in which a boy's eardrums burst, we exploded grapes right up against the microphone. More recently, I worked on 127 Hours; for the bit where James Franco's character cuts off his arm, we had sound artists ripping steaks in half.”

via The