One of these days, whenever I manage to sit down and completely gather all of my thoughts, I’ll tell you all about my friend Mark Liengie. He was a talented feller and when we were kids we used to draw together. We had this weekly competition going on where we’d try to out-gross the other by drawing the most fucked up images our young minds could conjure up and comparing them at weekends. Unfortunately I don’t know what happened to any of these pictures.
My friend Mark was a genius. A real one.
Before he died he was just about to make his…mark on the special effects industry. I believe he had a hand in creating the dead baby scene in “Trainspotting” as well as making a full dead body for an episode of “Taggart“.
On one of the last occasions I saw Mark he was outside his parents’ house with two fake human torsos on poles that each had wires and cables and string running from them. “Watch this!” he said, and with the push of a button on a handmade controller, the torsos EXPLODED with an amazing bang and instantly, a large part of the garden was drenched in the buckets of fake blood he’d filled the dummys with! Amazing.
Growing up, we’d quite easily watch the likes of “Creepshow”, “Dawn of The Dead” and “An American Werewolf In London” over and over again. We’d pause the tape on special effects shots and quickly draw exactly what we saw so that we could discuss how the effect was achieved later. It was a real learning process for me and really improved my drawing skills but Mark took things a lot further than I ever could. He’d regularly turn up on my parents’ doorstep with animal hearts and parts he’d got from the butcher and we’d cut them open. We’d both draw them but Mark would then go away and build an exact model replica out of all kinds of materials!
It’s amazing to think that he was only 9 or ten years old then but like I said, I’ll tell you all about him and his work another day.
Yesterday, I found a documentary film on Youtube hosted by our childhood hero, Tom Savini. As kids, Mark and I would have killed our nearest and dearest to have seen something like this…