Book Review: Making a Monster

Making a Monster: The Creation of Screen Characters by the Great Makeup Artists

By Al Taylor & Sue Roy
Published Crown Publishers, Inc., 1980.  278 pages.

In today’s horror fandom, everyone knows the top makeup artists out there, from Steve Johnson to Tom Savini to Rob Bottin to Rick Baker. In the ’80s, the horror industry really made these people stars, and deservedly so. But what about the people that came before them? Artists like William Tuttle, Ben Nye Sr., John Chambers, or Phil Leaky? These are the people that were working in the trenches before this professional was hardly even recognzied, let alone idolized by the public. Well, maybe for little monster kids that wonder who created all these amazing creatures.

This book highlights 25 different makeup artists that helped elevate the industry to where it is today. Way before CGI or even basic special effects, these guys were designing, developing, and inventing makeup and makeup techniques that are still used today.You’ll get to learn about these artists, the amazing makeup designs and techniques they created to really create movie magic. Some of these movies that we love would never have been as memorable had it not been for these makeup effects and designs.

This is a great place to learn of the people that started the industry and helped make it to what it is today. These are the forefathers of the industry and should never be forgotten, since these are the ones that laid the foundation for the industry. By reading this book, you will not only learn about these great and talented people, but also help keep their memory alive. The people in this book made a huge impact on the genre and generations of monster kids and should be treated as the gods they are.

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