Movie Review: Beast Wishes

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Directed by Frank Dietz and Trish Geiger.
Starring Bob & Kathy Burns, Rick Baker, John Landis, Greg Nicotero, Joe Dante, William Malone, and many more!

When it really comes down to it, if you don’t know who Bob and Kathy Burns are, if you’re a fan of horror and sci-fi movies, then it doesn’t matter. You will simply love this documentary. But in case you need a little history, then here you go. Bob Burns was a life-long fan of horror and sci-fi movies, really one of the original monster kids. Living in California, he was always trying to get involved in the business. Much like Forrest Ackerman, Burns not only loved these genres, but also showed countless other people that it was okay to be a huge fan of this stuff. He showed other fans that they were not alone. But even past that, Bob and Kathy would inspire, nurture, and keep that spark alive in other younger fans, and even helping them get into the film business if they could. Some of these people would eventually go on to be Oscar winning artists.

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He had worked with Paul Blaisdell when he was working for AIP, creating some of their most memorable monsters. Paul and him eventually would created a monster magazine called Fantastic Monsters of the Films. It was short lived, but again made an impact on monster fans.

But Bob was also a collector. Not in the traditional sense like us regular memorabilia collectors would think, but more of an archivist. Movie props would be given or donated to him for safe keeping, because he knew the importance of these items. Not the value of you, mind you, because most of these items are really priceless, but the importance of them. These props, masks, costumes, and whatever else, were important artifacts from these movies that we all love so much. He wanted to make sure that other people would be able to see them and maybe help that creative spark jump into another young mind, sending them on their way to career of making monsters for the movies. At a time where this kind of effects are being replaced with computer graphics all the time, this kind of props are sadly becoming a thing of the past, so just getting to see some of the items in their collection is worth watching this documentary alone. You will see countless items that are from your favorite movies, or at the least ones that you know. And we’re not just talking a little ray gun or a mask here or there. But memorable items like the actual time machine from the original movie, the original space ship from Alien, or even the original mechanical armature from the original King Kong, plus many, many more.

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From his famous Halloween shows, to the countless people that he has inspired over the years that have gone on to be work on huge Hollywood movies, and even a few multiple Oscar winners, Bob Burns is one of a kind. And his wife Kathy was there from pretty much the beginning, sharing that passion every step of the way. And even if you didn’t go on to work in the business, the Burns’ made it okay to be a movie fan and love this stuff. It showed kids that you really don’t need to grow up and leave this love of the fantastic genres behind.

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Frank Dietz and Trish Geiger have created a beautiful tribute to the Burns’, giving everyone a glimpse into the lives of two of the nicest people you could ever meet. We get to hear tons of stories about them from some of Hollywood’s biggest talent in the makeup field, production design, directors, and other technical effects people. Each one of them has a great story about how they met Bob & Kathy and how much they have impacted their life, even when it came to trying to help get a young Rick Baker into the makeup artists union.

Bob’s sense of humor never gets old or tiresome, and is always funny. Even at his age now, he still has the heart of a little boy. Bob’s stories are so funny and wonderful to hear, because with every word that comes out of his mouth, you can feel the passion and love of this stuff. And if you’re a movie lover like the rest of us, then you not only get it, but it is a testament to other fans that we are definitely not alone. And people like Bob and Kathy Burns are definitely the elder statesmen, leading the way for younger film fans every day.

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We couldn’t recommend this documentary enough. Once again, if you are a fan of the sci-fi and horror genre, then you simply need to see this. Plain and simple.

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