Desert evils bewitch 'Extinction' shoot

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Sidewinders, scorpions and dehydration — oh, my!

"Resident Evil: Extinction," which hits theaters Sept. 21, offers striking images of a postapocalyptic Las Vegas in which the town is reclaimed by the desert. The first two "Evil" movies were shot in Germany and Toronto, this one was filmed in Mexico City. But for the Las Vegas desert scenes, the production ventured to areas outside of Mexicali, in Baja, Calif., and turned it into a sunny backlot.

Production designer Eugenio Caballero oversaw construction of a sun- and wind-battered Las Vegas Strip, including bits of casino facades that were enhanced with miniatures and visual effects.

Every night the set was overrun by sidewinder rattlesnakes, whose slithering trails greeted the crew in the morning, necessitating the use of snake catchers. The scorpions were another story. But even the dangerous fauna knew to get out of the sun when the temperature hit 130 degrees.

"The main challenge was definitely the dehydration," producer Jeremy Bolt said. "You don't know how badly you're getting dehydrated, so we were constantly making sure that everybody was drinking, particularly Gatorade."
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