Putty In Their Hands: The Experts Speak

Posted by on

10302008_theexorcist.jpgAndrew Clement was ten when he implored his father to see “The Exorcist,” only to have his dad come back from seeing the William Friedkin horror classic and tell him, “You are not seeing that film!” These days, Clement is partners with Dick Smith, the man who was responsible for Linda Blair’s spinning head and the pea soup, and takes pride in carrying on Smith’s proud tradition — “We did [a dummy] for the end of ‘Cloverfield,’ which was in the final frames of the film,” said Clement. “And people are having this emotional reaction to this character dying and it’s just a piece of my rubber.”

Such rubber is the stuff ten-year-old’s nightmares are made of, and as part of our weeklong celebration of the ingenious makeup magicians and creature creators like Clement that are precise in their scares and liberal with the red-tinged corn syrup, we asked some of the best in the business to pick their favorite horror creations. Here are their picks:

“I’m partners with Dick [Smith], so clearly one of the things that I wanted to talk about was ‘The Exorcist.’ I think that it’s such a seminal moment in what we do. It’s really the film that’s pointed to as the birth of makeup effects, because Dick invented so many techniques that led the way for so many other developments [in the medium] — the raising letters on the stomach, the dummy with the head turning around backwards, a rig that goes inside somebody’s mouth to let them vomit pea soup. So many things that before that were just never handled by a makeup artist — Dick just took it upon himself to start coming up with all of these gizmos and tricks to make these horrific things happen on screen.

10302008_alien.jpg“The other film, roughly around the same time frame, was the Ridley Scott ‘Alien’ — that was incredible. Everybody takes [H.R.] Giger’s design [now], it was a design that had never been seen before. Nobody had thought in this direction and it influenced so many people. The design aesthetic has woven its way through so many films and other things, this biomechanical thing. The beauty of that film is this creature is not in your face all the time. [Those little glimpses] really give you a sense of being with these characters in this environment.”

–Andrew Clement, makeup artist of “Zombie Nightmare,” and the upcoming “Carriers” and “Repossession Mambo.”

“There are so many great horror makeups that have gone into my mental blender over the years. I have to say that the one that resonates most with me is Jack Pierce’s original Frankenstein monster. There’s something antiquated and yet timeless about it. Its ‘flaws’ only deepen the psychologically disturbing concept of a man stitched together from various corpse-parts. The design accentuates the young Karloff’s awkward gauntness to a point that one wonders whether Karloff could have possibly created that brilliant performance without his partnership with Jack Pierce. The only makeup which could possibly top it is the Karloff/Pierce re-teaming for ‘Bride of Frankenstein.’ “

–Alec Gillis, Oscar-nominated FX artist of “Monster Squad,” “Tremors,” “Hollow Man” and “Alien Vs. Predator.”

10302008_thething.jpg“It’s impossible [to name a favorite horror makeup moment], it’s like trying to think of your favorite movie. The head with the spider legs in [artist] Rob Bottin’s work on the ‘The Thing’ came to my mind first, and I was thinking just what the character was thinking when he said ‘You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.’ “

–Tom Savini, legendary artist on such films as “Dawn of the Dead,” “Killing Zoe” and “Friday the 13th.” He will next appear as an actor in “Zack and Miri Make a Porno.”

“I would start with ‘Nosferatu,’ the old black and white movie. To me, it’s the ultimate vampire. It’s the non-sexy creature, which I thought was fantastic. The Max Schreck makeup, I always thought it was stunning. Then if you go for makeup [a few years later], ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon’ for the design of the Creature and also how much technology was involved, for the time — being able to swim underwater with the kind of material they had at the time. And in general, there’s one guy that made me want to come to America when I started makeup — Rob Bottin. Rob Bottin’s work in general has been so influential to me [and] my favorite is the stuff he did for ‘The Howling.’ I just did ‘Underworld 3,’ a bunch of werewolves and things, and his werewolf to me is still the ultimate werewolf. That doesn’t take anything away from what Rick Baker did [on ‘An American Werewolf in London’], but the werewolf from ‘The Howling’ was, to me, one of the best things I’ve ever seen.”

–Patrick Tatopoulos, director of the upcoming “Underworld: Rise of the Lycans,” and creature designer of “Silent Hill,” “I Am Legend,” “Cursed” and “The Ruins.”

10302008_frankenstein.jpg“The most influential and important makeup in cinematic history to me is the Frankenstein’s monster of Boris Karloff executed by Jack Pierce in Universal’s original ‘Frankenstein.’ It may seem cliché to choose this, but it truly fascinated me at a very young age and made me wonder how such a character was created. To me, it’s the perfect blend of imagination and artistry with the actor’s terrific face to make a seamless, believable character. It doesn’t look like an overexaggerated attempt to create a scary monster, but rather a natural, disturbing personality. Even without considering it was created so long ago, it’s one of the most iconic characters of all time, recognized worldwide by almost everyone on the planet and stands the test of time as one of the finest makeup creations ever.”

–Wayne Toth, the makeup artist behind “The Devil’s Rejects,” “Jason Goes to Hell” and “From Dusk Till Dawn.”

The experts have spoken, but how about you? Do you have a particular favorite piece of gory makeup in a movie? Tell us in the comments below.

[Photos: “The Exorcist,” Warner Bros. Pictures, 1973; “Alien,” Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, 1979; “The Thing,” Universal Pictures, 1982; “Frankenstein,” Universal Pictures, 1931]

Watch More

SAG Life

Rappers Act Up

Watch the Yo! IFC Acts Movie Marathon Memorial Day Weekend.

Posted by on
Photo Credit: Courtesy of the Everett Collection (and the '90s)

Memorial Day weekend: how to celebrate? Nothing quite says “screw spring—let’s do summer” like blockbuster movies starring rappers who ditched lucrative music careers in order to become actors. It happened a lot, remember? Especially in and around the ’90s. Will Smith, Eminem, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Marky Mark Wahlberg, Ludacris…icons with the hubris to try the silver screen instead and have it totally work out.

But what if more rappers had made the leap? That’s a rhetorical question—movies (and life) would’ve been better, obviously. To prove it, here are some movies that would’ve been more memorable with rappers.

The Godfather

Starring Biggie, not Brando.

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Only Coolio could improve upon Gene Wilder’s performance.

Billy Elliot

Billy Elliot, with a dose of Missy Elliott.

Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

Low hanging fruit, Hollywood.

And of course…


See NONE of those movies and a whole bunch of real ones this Memorial Day weekend on IFC’s rapper-filled movie marathon.

Watch More

Brock Hard

Brockmire’s Guide To Grabbing Life By The D***

Catch up on the full season of Brockmire now.

Posted by on
GIFs by Giphy

“Lucy, put supper on the stove, my dear, because this ballgame is over!”

Brockmire has officially closed out its rookie season. Miss the finale episode? A handful of episodes? The whole blessed season?? You can see it all from the beginning, starting right here.

And you should get started, because every minute you spend otherwise will be a minute spent not living your best life. That’s right, there are very important life lessons that Brockmire hid in plain sight—lessons that, when applied thoughtfully, can improve every aspect of your awesome existence. Let’s dive into some sage nuggets from what we call the Book of Jim.

Life Should Be Spiked, Not Watered Down.

That’s not just a fancy metaphor. As Brockmire points out, water tastes “awful. 70% of the water is made up of that shit?” Life is short, water sucks, live like you mean it.

There Are Only Three Types of People

“Poor people, rich people and famous people. Rich people are just poor people with money, so the only worthwhile thing is being famous.” So next time your rich friends act all high and mighty, politely remind them that they’re worthless in the eyes of even the most minor celebrities.

There’s Always A Reason To Get Out Of Bed

And 99% of the time that reason is the urge to pee. It’s nature’s way of saying “seize the day.”

There’s More To Life Than Playing Games

“Baseball can’t compete with p0rnography. Nothing can.” Nothing you do or ever will do can be more important to people than p0rn. Get off your high horse.

A Little Empathy Goes A Long Way

Especially if you’ve taken someone else’s Plan B by mistake.

Our Weaknesses Can Be Our Greatest Strengths

Tyrion Lannister said something similar. Hard to tell who said it with more colorful profanity. Wise sentiments all around.

Big Things Come To Those Who Wait

When you’re looking for a sign, the universe will drop you a big one. You’re the sh*t, universe.

And Of Course…

Need more life lessons from the Book of Jim? Catch up on Brockmire on the IFC App.

Watch More

Oh Mama

Mommie May I?

Mommie Dearest Is On Repeat All Mothers Day Long On IFC

Posted by on
GIFs via Giphy

The cult-classic movie Mommie Dearest is a game-changer. If you’ve seen it even just once (but come on, who sees it just once?), then you already know what we’re talking about.

But if you haven’t seen it, then let us break it down for you. Really quick, we promise, we’ll even list things out to spare you the reading of a paragraph:

1. It’s the 1981 biopic based on the memoir of Christina Crawford, Hollywood icon Joan Crawford’s adopted daughter.
2. Faye Dunaway plays Joan. And boy does she play her. Loud and over-reactive.
3. It was intended as a drama, but…
4. Waaaaaay over-the-top performances and bargain-basement dialogue rendered it an accidental comedy.
5. It’s a cult classic, and you’re the last person to see it.

Not sold? Don’t believe it’s going to change your life? Ok, maybe over-the-top acting isn’t your thing, or perhaps you don’t like the lingering electricity of a good primal scream, or Joan Crawford is your personal icon and you can’t bear to see her cast in such a creepy light.

But none of that matters.

What’s important is that seeing this movie gives you permission to react to minor repeat annoyances with unrestrained histrionics.

That there is a key moment. Is she crazy? Yeah. But she’s also right. Shoulder nipples are horrible, wire hangers are the worst, and yelling about it feels strangely justified. She did it, we can do it. Precedent set. You’re welcome.

So what else can we yell about? Channel your inner Joan and consider the following list offenses when choosing your next meltdown.

Improperly Hung Toilet Paper

Misplaced Apostrophes

Coldplay at Karaoke

Dad Jokes

Gluten Free Pizza

James Franco

The list of potential pedestrian grievances is actually quite daunting, but when IFC airs Mommie Dearest non-stop for a full day, you’ll have 24 bonus hours to mull it over. 24 bonus hours to nail that lunatic shriek. 24 bonus hours to remember that, really, your mom is comparatively the best.

So please, celebrate Mother’s Day with Mommie Dearest on IFC and at IFC.com. And for the love of god—NO WIRE HANGERS EVER.

Watch More
Powered by ZergNet