ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

In a genre where many characters are flimsy caricatures — as Sidney Prescott herself puts it, ''some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act'' — heroines like Tatum Riley are a refreshing change. Though we lost Tatum to the garage door, her death is legendary, and formed a vital part of Scream, the greatest horror movie of the '90s.

Rewatch the horror movie classic 'Garage Door' death from Scream, or check out the behind-the-scenes breakdown below the vid.

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Tatum's Look

Rose McGowan dyed her hair blonde specifically for the part of Tatum, telling EW, ''They’d just cast Neve – as film rules go, you can’t have two people that have dark hair... I hated that color. It was perfect for the role.'' Other actresses who turned down the role of Tatum include Melinda Clarke and Charlotte Ayanna.

The Garage

This was no set, it really was just somebody's garage. McGowan told EW: ''That was an all-nighter. In a real garage. It was really, really cold.'' Maybe that's the reason for Tatum's prominent nips, the sexual awakening for many young horror fans (or maybe that was just me?) FYI, The song playing in the background during this scene is Republica's 'Drop Dead Gorgeous'.

Movie References

Tatum references Zeir Mairchi's I Spit on Your Grave when she teases Ghostface, "Cute! What movie is this from? I Spit on Your Garage?" McGowan had fun making these jokes, telling Vulture:

''I love that line in there, “Please don’t kill me, Mr. Ghostface. I want to be in the sequel.” The funny part was referencing a lot of horror films in that movie, because I’ve never watched them, so I didn’t know what I was talking about. That’s acting.''

Fancy a Beer?

Fighting for her life, Tatum throws a beer bottle at Ghostface. Rose McGowan's aim was not quite as good as Tatum's, however!

''I had to throw a beer bottle at the bad guy. I have bad aim. I shattered the film lens and the camera, so I set them back about five hours.''

The Door

Rose McGowan was so thin that they had to staple her dang shirt to the door so she wouldn't slip out. That's the kind of waistline someone would kill for...

''I was really going up and down in a dog door, and I’ve since learned that I can fit into almost any dog door. And because I’m thin enough, I kept falling out of it. They had to nail my shirt in onto the wood otherwise I’d like, flop out.''


Is the Garage Door death the greatest scene in 'Scream'?

Girl's Got Front

Rose McGowan with her Tatum dummy for Scream
Rose McGowan with her Tatum dummy for Scream

The garage death — specifically, Tatum's breasts trapping her in the cat flap — was referenced in an episode of Charmed, where Rose McGowan's character, Paige, got magically enlarged boobs.

Improvised Lines

''You want to stay in the moment. You want to stay in this weird fear place. I added in — right as her neck gets munched — I scream, “Mom!” Which I just thought was hilarious because I actually can’t scream. I can yell, but I can’t scream. And I had to tell Wes that night, "I know your movie is called Scream, but I can’t scream. I have like a physical block." So I just added, "Mom!" to make it extra sad.''

The Head

Can you imagine seeing your own lifeless eyes staring back at you? McGowan found the whole thing pretty freaky, telling EW:

''The thing that was stranger – more so than the filming – was when you have to do a cast for your head for the dummy. And the eyes were so distressingly real. I’m not creeped out by a whole lot, but that really freaks me out because it really looked like me in the throes of terror and death, and they did such a good job.''

The Aftermath

''That was me in the garage door, up about six-and-a-half feet, just hanging. Going up and down in the real garage door... I had bruises from chest to waist. But it was great fun, and I never noticed in the meantime when I’m being hurt.''

What a trooper! Still, she learned some lifelong skills from her garage door death:

''That’s how I get in my houses when I get locked out, for real. That’s my takeaway from Scream: I know I can fit in dog doors. You have to jimmy your body in a certain position and really hope you’re not wearing something super fancy.''

What's your favorite Scream scene?

Source: Vulture, EW, Youtube, Wiki All Images: Dimension Films


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