The Day of the Dead Festival

It doesn't really come out in the movie, but the whole thing (except the flashback scenes) takes place around the Mexican "Day of the Dead" ("Dia de los Muertos"). In fact, that's the occasion for which the Gunfight Competition is held. In the film, you see Ellen (Sharon Stone) leaving her room and walking through a street festival at night. There was a LOT more to this scene than was used. There was a lot of surrealism in many places. There were shooting contests, roping contests, knife-throwing contests and much more going on. There was so much going on, in fact, that's it's impossible to include it all here. Ellen's walk through town that night was a long, eerie and surreal one. I was one of a handful of torch-bearers who would run, screaming like banshees, past her, but I'm not seen in the final cut. The scene culminated in a shot at "Indian Bob's" (I'm not making this up) Shooting Gallery. The Kid and Eugene Dred come close to getting into a gunfight, until Herod fires a rifle shot from his window (a long way down the street) to break it up (see Other Stuff Cut From the Movie).

(Click on any photo with a border for a larger version)

This photo was in an article in the Arizona Daily Star

The Mariachi band warms up

Costumes and makeup were a large part of the festivities:

The wardrobe dept. used garbage bags to protect hats from the weather

Butch Molina got a particularly colorful costume:

See also: Photos of the Town, including some showing Day of the Dead decorations.

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