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News Article

'Todd and the Book of Pure Evil': Deathday Cake -- Episode 209

When Curtis tells Hannah that he hates his birthday, she wonders why. It seems as though Todd has a nasty habit of throwing Curtis incredibly dangerous surprise parties, and every year Curtis ends up badly hurt. Hannah decides to insert herself into Todd's party planning process in the hopes of making things a little bit safer for Curtis, but Todd is determined to stick to his ways. Jenny sits backs and watches the sparks fly. At the same time, something is killing students and leaving their severed feet inside their shoes all over the school. As the end of the week nears, and Curtis' birthday approaches, the killings intensify. If the murderer doesn't kill him, surely Todd's party plans will.

Atticus, meanwhile, is beginning to realize that his Minions are far worse than useless – they're wastes of space. He begins to recruit able bodied students from the school, starting with muscular and popular jock Troy. When Troy falls prey to the birthday killer it sends Atticus down a path of revenge. Hell hath no fury like an Atticus scorned. When he and the Gang cross paths with the man-eating birthday cake at the same time, they'll discover he's better at fighting Pure Evil than they are.

One of the standout elements of Deathday Cake is, well, the deathday cake. Monster master David Scott explains that it is just one of many creations from season two that rival the monsters of season one: "Season one we had a lot of lead time and we had 13 pretty polished scripts to work from right away. Season two we were getting scripts throughout. Sometimes I had no idea what we would be making for an episode ‘til shortly before it shot. That was challenging."

As time consuming as the process can be, it is ultimately one of the most rewarding positions on set. Getting to see the creatures come to life before your eyes is an experience all to itself. David explains his process for creating the creatures: "My basic approach begins with a read through of the script. This usually results in me saying something like "Holy Jupiter Shit! How on Earth are we going to make all this stuff in the next 10 days?!" Then I sometimes pass out for a few moments and/or take some blood pressure medication. But seriously, immediately after the initial read I start talking to Craig David Wallace [co-creator/show runner] and Andrew Rosen [producer] and whoever might be directing the episode to see what they have in mind and bounce some ideas off them. This year we would just start sculpting and shooting pictures back and forth ‘til everyone liked it. I love it when there is lots of lead time and I can do a lot of detailed designing but that is usually a luxury in cases like this. Sometimes we even start building before all the drawings are done."

FUN FACTOID – Special effects and prosthetics make-up second assistant Sarah Byer was the operator of all three cakes – little, medium, and large. She describes operating the biggest deathday cake as "hot," and she doesn't mean sexy: "It was like a workout in a rainforest. But it was amazing." Gus' death was like, "going through a fake blood car wash."

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