The face melting scene in Raiders is considered by many to be the movie’s most memorable sequence. It’s shocking, gory, and elicits the perfect resolution to the film’s climax.
The effect was achieved by Chris Walas of Industrial Light and Magic using casts of the actors’ heads along with various layers of gelatin that were then melted. The melting process took upwards of ten minutes to complete, so the footage was then sped up to make it seem like it occurred in just a few seconds. A lot of work for just a few seconds of screen footage!
Check out the cosplay and a very special behind the scenes video showing how the effect was achieved below.