Learn of the Legends

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!

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Friday Favorites: Dick Smith Remembered

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For this Friday Favorites, we’re going to do something a little different. On this day in 1922, Richard Emerson Smith was born, in Larchmont, New York, and would grow up to become one of the greatest makeup artist of all time. When it comes to the horror genre, while he did work on a few, it was nowhere near as many as some of his contemporaries or the next generation of artists, such as Rick Baker, Stan Winston, or Tom Savini. But the ones he did work on, literally changed movie history. For the longest time, I thought 44-year old Max Von Sydow was a much older man because of the old age makeup Smith did on him for The Exorcist (1973). Not only did he do the character makeup for Marlon Brando in The Godfather (1972), but also the realistic bullet hits as well. Continue reading

2019 Year End Review: Part 1 – A Look Back

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End of another year. Another decade. I know one thing for sure that this last decade will not be remembered as one that didn’t produce any good horror movies! Just look at 2014 and you’ll find a ton of amazing films, from here in the US to around the world. As a horror fan, I feel pretty blessed with these last ten years of terror. Let’s hope the ’20s bring us another long list of great cinema.

I had thought that this would be a personal low when it came to films watched, only because it didn’t feel like I had watched that many. In fact, there were a couple of months were I only got to a handful of films. With my book coming out, doing another retrospective for HorrorHound, and the usual holidays, it takes time away from being able to sit and watch movies. But once the tally was done, it turns out that I had watched more in 2019 than I did since 2013! The final number was 236, with almost half of them, a total of 115, being first time viewings. There were a few trips to the drive-ins, some movie marathons, a couple of Turkey Days, and other mini-marathons with friends or just by myself. And I intend to do it all over this year! Really going to try and hit 250 viewings in 2020. Continue reading

Holiday Shopping Ideas

Book Cover Art 22819With Axe-mas right around the corner, I’m sure everyone is starting to compile their own wish list or thinking about what to get others. I’m going to give a few suggestions to help not only find a great gift, but to also help increase the knowledge for the person receiving it, as well as maybe showing support for those out there that are putting their blood, sweat, tears, and talent into their work. We need to show our support for them, to let them know what they are doing is worth it.

For those out there that are looking for the special gift for the horror obsessed fan in their life, or to add it to your own personal list, let me start with a shameless plug and humbly suggest picking up a copy of my book, Discover the Horror? While it is available on Amazon, if you order it directly from me, you’ll get it personally signed to you, or whoever you request. How cool would it be to surprise your special someone with a personalized autograph copy? You can read what some people have thought about it on Amazon or some of the reviews I’ve posted on the link to the right.

But…this isn’t just about my book, but the countless titles out there that would make wonderful gifts to any horror fan. Here are some examples. Continue reading

Midway’s Dusk to Dawn Horrorfest

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At the recent Flashback Weekend, they announced the date for this year’s Dusk to Dawn Horrorfest and 3 out of the 4 features they will be screening. And as always, it is one you are not going to want to miss.

Taking place on Saturday, Sept. 21st, they will be screening undoubtedly one of the scariest films ever made, The Exorcist (1973). I know the first time I watched this was on TV in the severely edited version and it still kept me awake at night. It is a film that still packs a punch and has not lost any of its effectiveness to creep into the audiences’ psyche. With great performances from Jason Miller, Max Von Sydow, Lee J. Cobb, Linda Blair, and of course, Ellen Burstyn, who gives a performance that I think is one of the reason this movie is so powerful, since we are living through her character. Not to mention the incredible makeup effects by Dick Smith (and his young assistant Rick Baker). Seeing this one the big screen will really be a religious experience! Continue reading

Baker’s Metamorphosis

MetamorphosisIn another installment of our Book News Week, it looks like those fans of Rick Baker are going to have to save some of their pennies for this bad boy. Coming from Cameron Books this October, is Metamorphosis, a 2-volume set that goes over Rick Baker’s work, starting in the very beginning in 1950 all the way through 2019. With 720 pages between the two volumes, you’ll get to see over 1000 color images and original sketches from this man’s 40+ years in the business. The price? $250.

Volume 1 will cover 1950 to 1989 and Volume 2 will cover from 1990 to 1919. We’ll get to see coverage from his work from Michael Jackson’s Thriller, Harry and the Hendersons, Men in Black, and obviously An American Werewolf in London, which brought him his first of seven Oscars. Personally, I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing coverage of his earlier work, like on Octaman (1971) and It’s Alive (1974)! But we’ll have to wait and see. I’m still on the fence about this one because of the price. It’s a bit hefty, but I’m sure the pages and pages of photos would be amazing.