‘Breaking Bad’ Borrowed a Special Team From ‘The Walking Dead’ to Get the Gore Just Right

As celebrated as Breaking Bad was and is for its acting and writing, the special effects on the show are hardly talked about. One aspect about the show fans might forget were the realistic depictions of characters dying, usually in horrifically memorable ways.

There may be some people who still wince at how graphic the gore could sometimes be. Breaking Bad was not always for the squeamish, especially when the violent deaths would occur out of the blue after long, sedate moments.

Thanks to being on the same network as The Walking Dead (AMC), Breaking Bad ended up resembling former on one particular episode. As unlikely as the brutal scene was in reality, it still haunts.

The inevitable death of Gus Fring

Gus Fring - Breaking Bad
Source: AMC

Everyone remembers Gus(tavo) Fring (as played memorably by Giancarlo Esposito) eventually being in a major cat and mouse game with Walter White. The two start out being friendly enough, if just forced business associates. Gus hires Walt to produce more meth, leading to some further complications.

Eventually, the two lock horns when Walt kills two of Gus’s regular dealers. This was after Gus protected Walt like a bodyguard since former knew latter was a valuable resource.

As a result of Walt becoming akin to a serial killer in bumping off people getting in his way, Gus tries to kill Walt himself. Then it became one trying to outwit the other, with Gus coming out on the losing end.

Walt truly turned into an evil mastermind in always making people underestimate his strategy. Gus clearly never thought Walt would have the capacity to do something overly sinister, like plant a bomb on drug cartel Hector Salamanca’s wheelchair.

Gus Fring’s death looked like a ‘Walking Dead’ episode

The demise of Gus was from the bomb detonating on Hector’s wheelchair while the former was visiting latter in a nursing home. Hector had a stroke and was paralyzed, making him unable to speak, hence activating the bomb by ringing a bell.

Hector always had a hatred for Gus, thus former cooperating with Walt to place a bomb on the wheelchair as form of assassination. With Hector willing to give up his life to get rid of Gus, a truly chilling scene played out in the episode “Face Off.”

Thanks to all the details put into Breaking Bad, the episode title is more than a little ironic. When the above bomb goes off, the audience sees Gus walk out the door with half of his face blown off.

From all reports, the makeup on this was thanks to having the special effects team at The Walking Dead step in.

How realistic were the effects of Gus Fring’s shocking demise?

Some fans probably bristled when seeing Gus walk out looking like a zombie with half his face blown to smithereens. Avid viewers also likely knew this was a sly nod to The Walking Dead, which was still fairly new on AMC when “Face Off” aired.

As stunning as that shot was, how realistic was it, really? Most individuals having half their heads blown off from a bomb blast would like not be able to have enough strength to walk out a door before collapsing.

Just the idea of it, though, might have brought a few chortles along with the jaw-dropping horror. Perhaps with Gus seemingly reinforcing himself to be invincible, maybe he had enough strength for a bit to walk a few feet out the door.

From all appearances, this was the only time that The Walking Dead special effects team played a part in Breaking Bad. Arguably, it was better off not to have too many scenes like this and instead show the gruesome reality of death in the meth underworld. No one else obviously lingered like a zombie in the deadly world Breaking Bad depicted.