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Interview with Special Effects Artist Ralph Miller III – Episode 155 – Decades of Horror 1980s

The 1980s Grue-Crew has a special treat for listeners in this episode. Join your faithful Grue Crew – Crystal Cleveland, Chad Hunt, Bill Mulligan, and Jeff Mohr, along with guest host Whitney Collazo from Decades of Horror: The Classic Era – as they interview Ralph Miller III, a fellow Grue-Believer and special effects artist who worked on crews for some memorable horror films of the 1980s.

Decades of Horror 1980s
Episode 155 – Interview with Special Effects Artist Ralph Miller III

During a career spanning 1984 to 1993 as depicted in IMDb, Ralph Miller worked with John Carl Buechler’s special effects studio Mechanical and Makeup Imageries (MMI), Chiodo Brothers Productions, and Kevin Yagher Special Effects on films from Joe Dante, Stuart Gordon, and Fred Olen Ray to name a few. In this episode, Miller discusses his experiences as a member of the special effects crews with your Decades of Horror 1980s Grue-Crew on the following films:

  • The Blob (1988), blob mechanic: blob effects crew
  • Killer Klowns from Outer Space (1988), fabricator: Klowns – as Ralph Miller
  • Evil Spawn (1987), creature designer
  • Dolls (1987), special effects makeup assistant: MMI
  • From Beyond (1986), animatronics: MMI
  • Gremlins (1984), creature crew – as Ralph Miller

Miller recounts the path he follows leading to his first professional effects gig working with the large crew of special effects artists on Gremlins, led by legendary filmmakers Stephen Spielberg and Joe Dante. He talks freely about the mistakes he made on films, giving Grue-Believers an inside look into the process of filmmaking, and is quick to point out that he was one of many and to give credit to his supervisors and his colleagues. Finally, Miller is very open about his reason for leaving the industry and ways in which he still exercises his creativity.

If you’re interested in learning more about the films discussed this episode, check out these past podcast episodes:

Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror 1980s is part of the Decades of Horror 3-week rotation with The Classic Era and the 1970s. In episode 156, the 80s Grue-Crew will cover Trick or Treat (1986) starring Marc Price, Tony Fields, and Lisa Orgolini, and directed by Charles Martin Smith. The 80s Grue-Crew had so much fun with Special Effects Artist Ralph Miller III on this episode that they invited him to join them again in the next episode because – surprise, surprise – he served as a special makeup assistant on Trick or Treat.

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Jeff Mohr
Jeff lives smack dab in the middle of the cornfields of Iowa and is a long-time horror fan. His first remembered encounters with the genre were The Wizard of Oz, Tarzan gorilla chases, and watching the first broadcast of The Twilight Zone episode, "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge." While he now qualifies as an old fart, he strives to be an Old Boy. Paraphrasing Robert Bloch, he has the heart of a small boy. He keeps it in a jar on his desk. Jeff has written for and SQ Horror Magazine. He currently writes for Gruesome Magazine and is a co-host of the Decades of Horror podcasts - The Classic Era, 1970s, and 1980s - and the Gruesome Magazine Podcast.