“Kill me.” -Shelley (RIP)
Sometimes, when you see a still of a creature or a monster, it doesn’t look as scary when it’s not in action. This is not the case with the Raspers –the horrible result of bloodcurdling medical experiments performed secretly in American Horror Story Asylum by a former Nazi (who did the same thing in the medical experiment section of concentration camps in WW2) who was able to escape and change his name from Hans Gruper to Dr. Arthur Arden.
Ahh, you never forget the first time you see a rasper, huh? We were watching Louie, calmly sitting through a commercial break, when the teaser–the first one we’d seen– for American Horror Story Asylum came on. Maybe you saw the below teaser first, too…
Mrs. Horror Boom here has a very distinct memory of thinking and having time to say, “Bet this i– HOOOAH-kay! Knew it” (meaning to say, “hey, I bet this is an American Horror Story Season 2 preview, but that didn’t have it out all the way). All the teasers were creepy and cool, this one (and the one I believe they called “White Rose”, with a twirling white flower bud unfurling its petals to show a screaming, scary woman in a white straightjacket, with a jolting musical cue) frightened me as much as the knee-jerk reaction when I saw anything American Horror Story-related for the upcoming season: Oh, AWESOME! Even my husband was slightly unsettled. I’d also read a cover story Entertainment Weekly did (I recall almost giving myself a paper cut flipping through the issue at lightning speed to get to the piece, especially when I saw it was an in-depth article with several pages. In the issue, Ryan Murphy was extremely talkative and excited; I remember seeing a photo of Bloody Face in the make-up chair and saying, “Damn!” out loud, then a make-up photo also taken on the set:
Then reading: He may appear harmless, but the not-so-good doctor is behind one of the season’s newest frights: the Raspers. The mutated humans lurk in the forest outside of the institution and are a product of Arden’s diabolical experiments on Briarcliff’s inmates. Also, Arden may or may not be a Nazi.
Murphy elaborated later in the article: “They’re really scary because they’re a mixture of typhus and syphilis and gonorrhea and leprosy.” Yeah, that falls under the category of “really scary” to us, for many reasons. We actually theorized after we read the above but before the Raspers even showed up that their name had something to do with the fact they’d been injected with TB, which makes it difficult to breathe normally, let alone talk. We also had a theory that Dr. Nazi cut out their vocal chords and/or tongues as well as part of his “experimental” process, but we guess that was too mean-spirited even for American Horror story. Removing their teeth would have been a smarter idea, as we’ll see later on…
That sounded cool (and pretty goddamned frightening), and I immediately connected that with image of those inhuman figures zipping through the woods and then vanishing. From the first episode, “Welcome to Briarcliff,” I looked forward to seeing a Rasper …especially when pre-possession Sister Mary Eunice nervously carried to buckets out to the woods. Then came “Nor’easter” on Halloween… and we got our first look. Not much, because Murphy has said he wants to keep the Raspers’ coverage much like the Infantata in Season One of American Horror Story –just flashes. It also looks like during the scenes with the active Raspers, the film was under-cranked (which means it happens much faster on camera; the technique was used heavily during the arena fight scenes in Ridley Scott‘s Gladiator, especially the fight with the tiger, for example).
In case you wondered what the INSIDE of a Rasper looked like, this may be your only chance (from the excellent episode seven, “Dark Cousins”)
Our theory, not officially confirmed yet, is that the Rasper that crashed the kitchen scene at the end of “Dark Cousins,” is the one from the photo getting made up. Pretty sure about that one, but the other is that it’s Spivey, the poor jerk-off (har-de-har) that got caught with his pants down in The Origins of Monstrosity (Episode six) and as a result ended up on Dr. Nazi’s experimental laboratory, because Ryan Murphy said we’d see him again, and it’d be memorable. Then again, we still have to IMDB it and check the actor’s name. Plus Spivey didn’t look too energetic when we saw him before that scene; he looked both sub-human and miserable. The face sort of bulges out in the same way… anyway, here’s a longer look at Spivey in Episode 6, I assume towards the end of Dr. Nazi’s Rasper-izing treatment. (Warning: these are not a pretty sight; then again, nothing in this gallery is).
Timothy starts to realize what a terrible fucking idea it was to ‘partner up’ with Dr. Nazi… too late.
Whatever you do, don’t watch Sister Mary Eunice bathe herself through a hole in the wall, even is she invites you. ESPECIALLY if she invites you.
In “they didn’t deserve THAT!” mode, let’s check out poor, poor Shelley… that must have been one loooooong make-up session for Chloë Sevigne.
Monsignor Timothy accompanies a suit through the lobby of what looks like a MUCH nicer medical complex. He’s been called to give last rites to a woman. The suit thanks him for his compassion, due to the controversy and all the stuff in the news, he’s the fifth or sixth priest they’ve contacted who didn’t turn them down flat. Timothy smiles benignly as they enter the elevator and replies that all of us our God’s children. When they get to the door of the room, Timothy seems to fail to pick up on the red flags that 1. the suit is avoiding making eye contact with him and 2. after the suit warns him of the patient’s disturbing appearance, he hastily steps away from the door and quickly tells him he’ll be in the hallway if the Monsignor needs him.
That’s odd, what could have shaken the man up so much? Oh well, all of God’s creations are beautiful, and—
I think that some of these shots were made to morbidly mirror early publicity shots, character photos, and trailers (click to zoom… if you really want to. Also the shots of the trailer of Shelley lounging on her cot, you couldn’t see anything really below her knees. Of course, we didn’t know then what we know now, and didn’t give it a second thought until the end of “Nor’Easter”
Before Dr. Nazi…
She deteriorated at an alarmingly speedy rate, too. Dr. Nazi really applied himself here… and of course, Sister Mary Demon helped out.
Early stages of horrible experiment
Stage One (shown at the beginning of I Am Ann Frank, Part One)
But by the end of that same episode… good Lord.
Then, of course, the ghastly playground scene (which we suppose is Stage 4), where she causes a teacher, a little girl, and an entire class at recess to scream with terror on sight.
And in her last scene, I’m not sure how Father Timothy recognized her as a female (though I suppose they told him ahead of time), let alone Shelley. Don’t think she would have lasted much longer, she could barely wheeze her breath in and out. Whatever combination of horrible toxins Dr. Nazi injected her with (grrrrr), it worked fast. Fortunately, so did Father Timothy, who performed last rites and a mercy killing.
And she’s gone. Click here to read on to Rasper Gallery, Part Two, for the really hungry males…