Without doubt, the most complicated build on "The Book Eater" was also the one that gets the least screen time. The book is shot, then doused with cleaning solution (a bottle/label I whipped up a half hour before call time on the last day of the shoot, and which was eventually shattered by the actor who had to throw it at the book for one too many takes). It bleeds out its last inky-oozy breath, and our heros are safe.
I fabricated a third book with bullet holes in the cover and pages made of most of a ream of paper hot glued to a cardboard spine.
The ink slime was made of Karo syrup tinted black and pumped through vinyl tubing with a turkey baster (well, three turkey basters-- one for each sliming point). The tubing ran through the book from the spine until about 3/4" from the front pages. As you can sort of see from the first picture, it took three of us to execute the effect, as the pressure of the syrup was nearly too much for the turkey basters.
Here's some test footage. The bottle on top here was to coax the slime into exiting out the front instead of just lifting the pages up.
And this is what it looks like on the inside. Drilling eight inches through a ream of paper isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world, but once I (and all the carpenters working in the scene shop of the theatre department) figured out how to do it (hint: it took 3 different drill bits), it went pretty smoothly.
That's all for "The Book Eater" until the director shows me some finished clips. Thanks for following along.