ladbible logo

To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Viewers can’t get over how 1937 film managed unbelievably impressive special effect

Viewers can’t get over how 1937 film managed unbelievably impressive special effect

The spellbinding clip features an actress transform from an old lady into a hideous hag before viewers eyes, at a time when CGI didn't exist

Nowadays most audiences aren’t that impressed by special effects as they have become the norm in modern day cinema, but some movie lovers have become obsessed with an old black and white film - thanks to its clever camera trickery.

Sh! The Octopus, which was released in 1937, captured the attention of film fanatics when a clip from the movie resurfaced earlier this month.

In the scary scene, viewers see the actress transform from an old lady to horrendous hag in a single take.

While it doesn't seem as impressive today, such a shot was almost impossible in the 1930s with many film buffs scratching their heads over how it was filmed.

One even took to Twitter, demanding an explanation.

They wrote: “Okay I legitimately need somebody to explain to me how this 1937 movie achieved this special effect because HOLY S**T!”

Many speculated in the comments, with one clever user joking: “Computer-Generated Imagery?! IN 1937? Witchcraft I tell ya.”

Thankfully, the internet delivered and old Hollywood fans can finally understand how the incredible special effect was achieved.

The transform is still terrifying.
Sh! The Octopus

According to Film School Rejects, the metamorphosis was achieved by using makeup in only one colour.

The filmmakers would place a tinted lens of the same colour on the camera, making the frightening makeup invisible until the reveal.

By removing this additional lens, it appears as if the actress has transformed into a hideous hag before our eyes.

Though modern film scholars understand how the effect was achieved, it’s still unclear who came up with the nightmarish creation.

Sadly, there is no makeup or special effects credit due on the film.

Nowadays, special effects make up is much more advanced.
picturelibrary / Alamy Stock Photo

Missing film credits were common at the time, due to the high cost of nitrate film meaning only the cast and key crew (like directors) were credited for their work.

However, it does list Elspeth Dudgeon as Nanny who transforms into the ‘hag’ character.

The actress was known for her spectacular on-screen transformations in The Old Dark Horse and Bride of Frankenstein - much like Andy Serkis is today.

The film has a surreal sequence, similar to 2019's The Lighthouse.
Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

For those wanting to watch Sh! The Octopus, beware - the film has been described by reviewer Phil Hall as 'a surplus of energy and a glaring deficit of coherence', in his book The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time.

During its 52-minute run time, there are multiple plot twists involving monstrous crime boss The Octopus and has surreal sequences, similar to those seen in The Lighthouse with Robert Pattison and Willem Dafoe.

However, this hasn't stopped some movie geeks from vowing to watch the bizarre film, with one calling it ‘enticing’.

Featured Image Credit: jamnpp/twitter

Topics: Weird, TV and Film