A movie prop collector had sourced an unfinished foam latex Johnny Cab prop from the 1990 film, Total Recall. He was looking to finish the raw foam latex facial piece, so that the finished prop would look like the puppet from the film. The raw prop skin was very thin and a standard foam head would never make it look right. This is why collectors come to us.
The robotic-looking Johnny Cab character was voiced by actor Robert Picardo for the film, and the special effects team used Picardo’s look as the basis for the Johnny Cab sculpture. Our team had to reverse engineer what the INSIDE of this piece should look like, in order to create a custom display bust that would properly support the thin, floppy foam latex face over time. Essentially, we re-created a static version of the puppet’s underskull.
It was no small challenge! We sculpted the face in clay, using dental grade teeth in the sculpture to give us accurate choppers for this robotic cab-driving fellow. The clay was covered in plastic from time to time, to do a careful fitting of the appliance without getting clay on the aging foam latex prop. Once we had a sculpture that kept the face appliance in the right position, we molded the clay with silicone and cast a resin version of the skull. It looked pretty creepy without the skin on!
From there, the skin was applied over top the same way it was on the underskull in the film. With careful patching, we blended off any holes or tears in the Johnny Cab prop face and then painted everything with a slight sheen just like the one seen in the movie! It was certainly a prop display project we won’t forget any time soon!
Have an original movie or television prop in need of a unique or themed display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!