Cadavers as company

Chris Hadley speaks out about Post Mortem Productions and zombies

  • Some of Hadley’s grotesque creations. – Supplied

Ever wonder how those horror films scare the hell out of you?

Well, it’s the makeup artists who get those ghouls looking gory and it’s the prosthetics that make you believe that the chainsaw wielding maniac actually has a mask for a face.

That’s where Chris Hadley and Post Mortem Productions step in.

Founded in 2004 with Hadley’s primary influence of Jack Pierce’s original Frankenstein permanently seared in his mind, Post Mortem Productions specializes in set design, makeup, prosthetics and almost anything else that could run chills through your body.

For Hadley, it’s a dark dream come true to make a living re-creating the monsters that gave him nightmares growing up.

“October’s usually the busiest month - typically masks, costumes and small projects,” Hadley says.

Despite a very busy October, PMP boasts creating terrifying set designs and makeup around the city all year round.

In addition to Halloween, PMP has been working on various independent movie sets (mainly from the horror genre) and play productions, most notably doing makeup for the Winnipeg Fringe Festival’s horrifying, extensively titled The Return of the Revenge of the Son of the Bride of Macabre Tales of Horror and Macabreness 2: Satan’s Boogaloo.

Hadley is a master of giving clients’ monsters the “right” look, but his favourite monster of all is the zombie.

“They’re the best because you make up the rules - giving them different chemical burns and such make them unique,” the cadaver aficionado says. “The creative freedom is what makes them stand out.”

Hadley is quick to point out the slow death of the genre thanks to certain horror flicks, including the Saw movies, which he says “are beaten to death”.

He goes on to note that their lack of depth tarnishes the way the audience views them. Instead, PMP takes a more intensified approach to “give resurgence to a dying genre”.

Hadley is keen on delivering the most horrifying in the horror genre, from his beloved mortifying zombies to his well-known “scary as hell” clown mask.

PMP saw success in 2010 when working with the Winnipeg Jewish Theatre, Absurd Machines Studio as well as NAfro Dance Productions, instilling Hadley among the ranks of the most gruesome and most diverse special effects artists in Winnipeg - and Hadley doesn’t see any end in sight.

“I’m very much open for another great year,” he says.

Whether you notice him through his impressive beard or from the gory, gruesome monsters he designs, Hadley and Post Mortem Productions are on the forefront of Winnipeg’s horror scene.

For more information on Post Mortem Productions, check out the Facebook page at

Published in Volume 66, Number 8 of The Uniter (October 19, 2011)

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