For fans of the horror movie genre, as well as science fiction, fantasy, action, crime, dramas, and every single other genre out there, makeup effects have been around since the beginning of the art form. Turning actors into someone different, whether it be into someone older, a different gender, or something that doesn’t exist in our reality, it was the job of the makeup artist to make that transformation happen. In the beginning, sometimes it was the actor themselves that did it, especially ones like Lon Chaney who constantly turned himself into different characters. Eventually, the craft was taken on by individuals that not only carried on the art form, but created techniques and the makeup products themselves, advancing the artform even more. They allowed writers and directors to show filmgoers something they’ve never seen before onscreen. And a century later, these talented people are still doing it. Now, thanks to authors Howard Berger and Marshall Julius, you’ll be able to learn even more about them!Continue reading
Because all the shows being cancelled, like many of us, I’ve spend more time sitting at home than I usually do. Take away not only the shows, but heading into Chicago for movie screenings, or just gathering with friends, it meant much more time in the Krypt. But what that means is that I’ve set a personal record for the number of movies that I’ve watched this year. I think previously my records were in the high 200s. I don’t think I’ve ever broken even 300. Well, this year, I’ve watched a total of 422 titles. So yeah, I took advantage of all of that extra time. Plus, while I usually tend to watch a lot of movies that I’ve seen before, 259 of that total were new movies, or at least new to me. That is one of the many things I love about cinema, that there will never be a time when there won’t be new titles to discover. Whether they were made last month, or a century ago, if you keep looking, you’ll find some amazing pieces of cinema out there. Continue reading
Born: Sept. 12, 1923 Died: Aug. 25th, 2001
All horror fans know the names of Dick Smith, Tom Savini, Rick Baker, Rob Bottin, and quite a few others that became famous in the 70’s and 80’s. But what about John Chambers?
Chambers is probably best known for his creation of the makeup effects used to turn Roddy McDowell and other actors into ape-creatures in The Planet of the Apes. He also worked on horror films like SSSSSSS (1973), Phantom of the Paradise (1974), Island of Dr. Moreau (1977), and even Halloween II (1981). This is the man responsible for creating Spock’s ears for the original TV pilot! He was such a talented and creative artists that he won an honorary Oscar at the Academy Awards in 1969. He was also the first makeup artist to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
But if that wasn’t enough, he also did a few things that shows not only his talent, but his humanity. Even before getting into movies, he worked at the Veteran’s Hospital creating prosthetic limbs for wounded soldiers. He also created other artificial parts, like noses, ears, and some entire faces, to help those soldiers who came back scared or deformed by the horrors of combat.
Plus, there was this little thing he did when he worked with the CIA as a contractor, first helping agents develop their own “disguise kits”, but then later in 1980, he was enlisted by the CIA to help with the rescue of six American embassy personnel who were hiding in the residence of the Canadian ambassador during the Iran hostage crisis. So they set up a fake movie production, with ads in Variety, big Hollywood parties, and everything, to make a science fiction film called Argo. Starting to sound familiar? The rescue was successful and in 2012, the story was made into a film, starring and directed by Ben Affleck. In the film, Chambers is played by John Goodman.
Just goes to show you that there is much more to some of these guys that were creating monsters and creatures for the movies.
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.