We didn’t. We had a hole in the ground that was deep enough for the station wagon to sink into. In the hole was a specially made machine, sort of like an elevator, that was supposed to lower the car slowly. But the machine jammed – it got clogged and blocked by the special lightweight potting soil we were using for “dirt.” The car only sank a couple of feet. It was our last night of shooting and we could not work past dawn, so director Ron Underwood had to quickly figure out a series of close-ups and insert shots to make it look like the car actually sank. That very last shot (done later in miniature) was a wide shot where you just see the headlight beams blink off and that’s what makes if feel like the car finally went under. Later, when Val and Earl dig the car up, we put just the car’s front grille (taken off) under the sand, with a battery to run the head lights.
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