The Yellowjackets FX Team Shares The Recipe For That Delicious Wilderness Luau

This post contains spoilers for the second episode of "Yellowjackets" season 2.

Jackie (Ella Purnell) is toast. Actually, perhaps it would be more accurate to say that she's roast. The resident mean girl of "Yellowjackets" froze to death at the end of the hit Showtime series' first season, but it took two more episodes for her teammates to give in to the fact that her body is technically edible and they are very, very hungry. The group finally caved in the latest episode after a funeral pyre burial for Jackie had an unintended side effect: a really tasty smoked meat smell.

When cannibalism finally came to "Yellowjackets," the camera didn't shy away from the gory details but instead got up close and personal on the girls (and Travis) as they ripped chunks of Jackie's flesh off her by then-unrecognizable body, while cross-edited scenes show the group indulging in a Dionysian feast. It's a complicated scene, and the show's effects team told IndieWire that the feast required several prop versions of Jackie — including one inspired by a luau.

According to SFX makeup supervisor Todd Masters and makeup special effects coordinator Lordi Sandness, the show's team built multiple versions of a Jackie dummy for scenes involving her dead body, all of them based upon scans of Ella Purnell's final expression from season 1. First, there was the more expensive "hero dummy," which featured human hair and a silicone and fiberglass body. Though this was the most realistic Jackie, it wasn't exactly fireproof, so the team also constructed a version that could endure being engulfed in flames after the survivors push Shauna (Sophie Nélisse) to finally let go of her friend with a public cremation and memorial.

'We wanted this to look succulent, juicy, and appealing'

The flame-resistant Jackie dummy was dubbed "Burn Log Jackie, because we designed it like a burn log, you know," Sandness told IndieWire, referencing those durable manufactured logs you can buy at the grocery story. This version of the corpse was made out of plaster and cement, according to the effects coordinator, "but we never actually torched her." Instead, the version of Jackie we see in the funeral scene is actually the expensive hero dummy. Once the flames have fizzled out, though, audiences had to see an entirely different version of Jackie: one that was edible.

The edible corpse prop was nicknamed Luau Jackie, or Jackfruit Jackie, after her main ingredient and the Hawaiian barbecue tradition she called to mind. "We called her Luau Jackie because we wanted that texture of a fresh-out-of-the-fire-spit pig," Masters shared. Fans have long-since wondered how the show would present the cannibalism that's been promised since its early days, and the team wanted to make Jackie look more scrumptious than off-putting. 

"We didn't want [the corpse] to look like the aftermath of a burn victim, to look overly human, because that's gross," Masters explained. "We wanted this to look succulent, juicy, and appealing."

Jackfruit Jackie was entirely vegetarian

The edible Jackie was achieved with a silicone framework that included pockets from which actors could pull a mix of jackfruit and air-fried rice paper — a vegetarian-friendly alternative to real meat that still kept the human flesh look. As Sandness says, that's how Jackfruit Jackie got her name. "We needed to make something simple and without too much flavor," she told IndieWire. "And we discovered jackfruit was one of the easiest things that looked like meat." 

The end result, achieved in part by a lead artist from Hawaii who was very familiar with luaus, was a product that Sandness says "looked just like pulled pork" when ripped apart. According to co-showrunner Jonathan Lisco, elaborating in an interview with Vulture, the "Jackie-fruit" recipe consisted of "jackfruit, paprika, maple syrup, some smoke flavors, salt, and pepper."

Productions have come a long way from the early practical effects days, when, as Masters pointed out, films like "Dawn of the Dead" would use real animal meat and organs that were messy and difficult to work with for any length of time (not to mention, I imagine, potentially unsanitary). They may have gone vegetarian, but the "Yellowjackets" team made Jackfruit Jackie and her dummy counterparts in the tradition of great horror movies, using creative, complex practical effects to create an all-too-realistic gross-out moment. Now I just want to know if they also piped in a real barbecue smell to get the cast in the right mindset.

"Yellowjackets" episodes premiere in the Showtime app on Fridays and on Showtime on Sundays at 9/8c.