It might seem like someone is bleeding fatally every other second on Westworld, but what could arguably be the most shockingly gory scene on Season 2 didn’t involve the gallons of fake blood it appeared to, or any other haunted-house makeup.
VFX studio Important Looking Pirates has just released a video that shows how the Shogun’s death went down in gruesome detail—completely in CGI. They created a digital body double of Masaru Shinozuka, who plays the merciless character used to getting what he wants by the sword, and then had fun decapitating him from the jaw upwards.
You probably have that scene where Geisha Akane (Rinko Kikuchi) slices the Shogun’s head in half still burned in your memory. It’s kind hard to forget what looks like a dance turning into a murder when Akane unsheathes a knife from her elaborate hairdo and grinds away at his jaw until she penetrates the bone enough to leave half his skull hanging.
But wait. If this was all special effects, then what was with the gruesome remnants of that head on the floor? That was a prop, but the only corpse prop of the Shogun. Fast-forward to 1:06 and prepare to have your mind blown.
You might end up doing a double take. What is supposed to be Shinozuka’s head looks so tangibly 3D you’d think it’s at least a real-life model. You’ll be convinced the brutality is real until you see overlay after overlay turning the gray base to flesh and blood and the Shogun into the victim of a revenge attack for the impulsive murder of another geisha minutes before. Even the blade is digital. Nothing sharp came remotely close to the actor.
The CGI bust briefly shown in between death shots, blood and all, looks so photorealistic that it seems as if someone managed to transfer a vinyl bust onto a computer screen.
Westworld may not be what it seems in just about every way you can think of, but that also goes for labs, landscapes, and (of course) other deaths, which is just more proof you can’t really trust anything you find in that place.