AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson


By: Caitlin Hu

The worst isn’t the screams or the snow or the mind-numbing blare of “Night on Bald Mountain” on repeat. It’s the cowbells: a rusty jangle that means the Christmas monsters are coming.

Until Jan. 6, demons, witches and monsters haunt Europe.

The season of terror actually begins on Dec. 5, the eve of Saint Nicholas’ Day, with public parades of the saint’s supposed companions: Across the Italian, Austrian and Slovenian Alps, cowbell-slung demons called Krampus storm mountain towns. In France, the legendary serial killer and butcher Pere Fouettard (Father Whipper) threatens naughty children with his whip, while in Belgium and the Netherlands, a controversial child-kidnapper called Zwarte Piet (Black Piet) rides through canals on a steamship.


Traditional oversized Krampus masks and fur suits are hand-made. (Photo by AJ Stephen)

Read more here

rick baker

Rick Baker


Special effects and make-up artist Rick Baker, after seven Oscar wins and dozens of film, music video, and television credits to his name, has announced plans to retire. But fans of his work will have a chance to own a piece of his deep legacy.

Baker, who may be most widely known for creating Michael Jackson’s iconic look in the “Thriller” music video, told radio station 89.3 KPCC of his intent to hang up the prosthetics and wigs after decades of memorable work.

“I said the time is right, I am 64 years old, and the business is crazy right now,” Baker told KPCC. “I like to do things right, and they wanted cheap and fast. That is not what I want to do, so I just decided it is basically time to get out.”

Baker clarified that he’s not opposed to continuing to consult or pitch in on projects, but that he doesn’t want to run such an involved operation has he has at Cinovation Studios.

His career not only includes the memrable make-up from “Thriller,” but everything from alien designs in Men in Black to creature design of Ron Pearlman’s Beast from Beauty and the Beast.

Baker’s last major project was work on last year’s Maleficent, but because of the industry’s shift to more CGI effects and less practical work, Baker’s seen less of a need for his specialty.

“I could’ve done [Maleficent] in a garage basically,” Baker said of the project’s size.

But Baker’s work will live on, as over 400 pieces are set to be auctioned off by The Prop Store in California on May 29. Everything from the Grinch’s Santa costume from the 2001 live-action How the Grinch Stole Christmas to Harry’s suit from Harry and the Hendersons will be available at the live auction.

Baker said he may continue to work on projects on his own terms, and he has been posting some of his work on his Twitter account and YouTube channel. Listen to Baker discuss his plans to retire on KPCC’s official website.

Artist Steve Missal took some time to sit with GoreMaster and talk about his influences and current projects.  He is a mentor and teacher to aspiring art students and is an amazing sculptor (including forensic sculptor).

creature heads

Creature heads by Steve Missal


GM: When did you make the decision to enter the field?

SM: Literally in the past week. Long story, but with the development of my fantasy and realistic dioramas, I realized I was on the cusp of a change that had been brewing for some time in me.

GM: Who inspired you to start? Who was your influence?

SM:I’m not sure there was one source for inspiration….but perhaps, weirdly, the original artists for Fantasia, many years ago, were the real culprits, plus, of course, Charles Knight. Beyond that, I’d have to say my sources are all ancient….not rooted in today’s special effect artists or sculptors.

GM: What is a favorite early Special Effects Makeup memory (e.g. movie, book, or TV show- it can be practical or visual)?

SM: Oh, without a doubt the original King Kong movie….with Fay Wray….my folks let me (six years old) stay up til midnight to watch it. I will always be grateful. I just about floated to bed afterwards. It was a transformative experience.

GM: What are your top five special effects movies?

SM: The Blob (surprisingly….I liked their spare, low budget effects…they worked); It Came From Outer Space; The Creature from the Black Lagoon (holy cow…whoever had to swim in that suit….); Jurassic Park (the first movie)….paradigm shifting; King Kong (first one). I don’t care much for the contemporary glizty stuff….most films now are suffocated in effects. Just enough is my motto. Terminator 2, which I thought married action, reality and effects perfectly.


Zombie by Steve Missal


GM: Who is your favorite special effects person? (or person you admire in your field)

SM: Not a special effects guy really, but James Gurney really is remarkable. I do admire the late Stan Winston and Dick Smith. Also Rick Baker.

GM: How did you get started working in your industry?

SM: I’m not really ‘in it’ per se, but the corollary forensic art I have done started via a dare from my wife really….she was tired of me complaining about the art on forensic tv shows, and so I did something about it. The work I have done there really set me up to understand anatomy much more deeply, and to use visualization and sculpting techniques that I would never have imagined otherwise.

GM: Whose current work do you admire?

SM: The Polish surrealist artist Beksinkski.

GM: How have you gotten work in the industry?

SM: Still working on that….:) Aiming to approach museums, collectors etc….thru shows and website I will build.

House on the Hill

House on the Hill by Steve Missal

GM: How do you pick out materials to use for a project? Do you make your own? Are there any brands that you recommend?

SM: Much of my materials are ad hoc….found stuff. Also use Sculpey, Woodland Scenics stuff, general sculpting/ceramics tools, even materials like pyracantha twigs from my back yard to use for trees. They work great. The materials match my needs sometimes, and sometimes direct the imagery through their own idiosyncratic nature. Kind of a back and forth process.

GM: Are there any new breakthroughs or ideas in the industry that excite you?

SM: Oddly, not the industry per se, but avenues like Etsy where people who make remarkable one of a kinds can finally get an audience.


GM: What current projects are you working on or excited about?

SM: I’m working on a diorama that will probably end up being a prehistoric scene….I admit it has changed course a couple of times.

house on the hill

House on the Hill by Steve Missal

GM: What was your toughest job?

SM: A reconstruction of a young woman whose skull was found in the east valley. Something about it touched me….I’ve tried three times to ‘bring her to life’. Very subtle stuff…difficult.

GM: What was your favorite job?

SM: Doing small diorama pieces for my kids when they had school projects really. Recently, I did a gig with Discovery Channel, where I was the sketch artist for filler and intro interviews for the series: Are We Alone? thru the Sci-Fi Channel. Aired in March of this year (2015).

GM: Do you have advice for the beginner or someone just getting started in the business?

SM: Pay attention to technique; don’t be in a hurry; learn from the best; be humble.

GM: What was the best advice or training you ever received?

SM: If a part of the artwork doesn’t work, scrap that part, even if you love it. The whole piece is what counts. If the part that doesn’t work gums up the works, then it has to go. Tough, but necessary.


Zombie by Steve Missal



Rick Baker: Monster Maker live auction

Rick Baker Auction May 29, 2015


Treasures from the Legendary Career of Makeup Artist Rick Baker Up for Auction


A complete Mikey Alien costume display from Men In Black and a number of original Gremlins puppets are set to feature in an exclusive no reserve live auction of original treasures direct from the Rick Baker archive. The auction will be held at the Hilton – Universal City in Los Angeles and on on 29 May 2015.

Prop Store is pleased to present an exclusive auction of 417 original treasures from over 50 productions, spanning Baker’s 30 year career. All items have been acquired direct from Baker’s legendary Cinovation studio, material never before offered to market with a pre-sale estimated total value of $746,100.

Collectors and fans can bid at no reserve for historic material from productions including An American Werewolf in London, Planet of the Apes, Batman & Robin, Batman Forever, Hellboy, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Men in Black II and Mighty Joe Young.

Rick BakerBaker is responsible for creating effects for the 1988 Michael Jackson: Moonwalker film and the 1983 Thriller music video and items from both will feature in the live auction.

Items going under the hammer include pieces from Gremlins 2: The New Batch, featuring a number of principal Gremlin and Mogwai puppets including Lenny, Daffy, George and Mohawk. With an estimated value of at least $40,000.00, a Full-Size Alien Edgar Bug Animatronic Character created for the original Men in Black film is one of the highest valued lots in the auction.

Brandon Alinger, Prop Store COO, said: “We are delighted to offer a no reserve live auction of over 400 items direct from Rick Baker’s Cinovation studio to the public. Baker’s career needs no introduction and it’s been an honor to work with him to prepare this sale, which spans his 30+ years in the business. The Rick Baker auction is an exciting opportunity for collectors and fans of the make-up artist to have a chance to take home some of the brilliant creations from their favorite films.”

Rick Baker Auction May 2015

Items included in the no reserve auction:

• • Frosty (Joe Sabatino) Frozen Thug Statue, Batman & Robin
•• • Animatronic Bat Puppet, Batman Forever
• •• Simba R/C Head and Remote, Gorillas In The Mist
•• • Complete Ape Display, Greystoke: The Legend Of Tarzan, Lord Of The Apes
• •• Harry Head, Hands, Feet and Muscle Suit, Harry and the Hendersons
• •• Grinch (Jim Carrey) Santa Costume Display, How The Grinch Stole Christmas
• •• Full-Size Alien Edgar Bug Animatronic Character, Men In Black
• •• Mikey (John Alexander) Costume Display, Men In Black
• •• Oversized Worm Guy Animatronic Insert Puppet, Men In Black II
• •• Hammerhead Alien Figure, Men In Black II
• •• Hero Joe (John Alexander) R/C Animatronic Head , Mighty Joe Young

The auction will take place from 11am Pacific Standard Time on 29 May 2015 at the Hilton – Universal City, Los Angeles, USA.

Bid can be made in person, via telephone or online via the Prop Store website at

About Prop Store:
Prop Store sells original movie memorabilia, with over 7,500 items available for sale on Operating since 1998, Prop Store founder Stephen Lane’s love for movies led him to begin hunting for the same props and costumes that were used to create his favourite films. He found that he could not only provide collectors with access to their most coveted pieces, but also establish archival standards for a new, pop-culture hybrid of fine art and memorabilia collecting – prop art. Prop Store handles prop disposal, sale, archive and auction services to production companies and distributors as well as fixed price item sale on its website.

Kiana Jones Zombie

Kiana Jones Freakmo SFX


GM: When did you make the decision to enter the field?
KJ: I always liked putting a lot of time and effort into costumes for parties, which lead to an interest in learning makeup effects. I was invited to a Zombie Crawl at my university in August 2012, and I put some time into learning how to use latex and fake blood on Youtube. My costume and makeup got a lot of attention at the zombie crawl, so I posted it onto Reddit. It made the front page, and I got a lot of praise and encouragement, and since then I’ve been practicing makeup consistently. Around Halloween that year, I started a Youtube channel which is the main area I practice makeup in currently.

GM: Who inspired you to start – who was your influence?
KJ: Stuart Bray has been my strongest influence from the early days until now. He works in the industry (including working on Game of Thrones!) but also has a Youtube channel, posts makeup tutorials to instructables, and has online e-courses, and DVD’s available for sale. It’s great seeing someone with a lot of experience still take the time to teach others techniques, and to see the magic happen.

GM: What is your Favorite Special Effects memory (from a TV show, Movie or Book)?
KJ: It has to be from The Walking Dead. Greg Nicotero just pushes the makeup to limits and has these disgusting practical makeup ideas, then works them into the storyline. In particular, I think it’s in the second season, there’s a car crash, and a zombie tries to stick its face through the broken windshield, which rips and pulls back the flesh on their cheeks.

Kiana Jones severed fingers

Kiana Jones severed fingers

GM: How did you get started working in the industry?
KJ: I went into a store here in Perth called Kirkside Products which supplies a lot of the mold-making materials, and started talking to a really nice guy called Will Huntly who works there. Will was a makeup artist back in LA before he moved to Australia, and I excitedly showed him some of the makeup I’d been working on for Halloween. He wanted to introduce me to another MUA in Perth, called Kate Anderson. Kate Anderson called me shortly afterwards asking if I’d like some experience doing makeup on set for an indie film being made in Perth (Fallout: Lanius). Since then she’s been kind enough to invite me onto a few other projects of hers, include a John Butler music video, some private events, and a new TV show being made for our ABC.

GM: What current projects are you working on or excited about?

KJ: I really want to create the makeup of someone who’s whole face has been degloved – to have it as a single piece which you can hold in your hand, and then to create the muscles and bone structure behind that. This is what I’m most excited about currently.

I just finished work on a show for ABC 2 here in Australia, which involved my first assistance with bald cap application, and learning how to use an air brush, which was really fun.

Kiana Jones Maggot Eye

Kiana Jones Maggot Eye

GM: What was your toughest job?
KJ: When I first learned how to encapsulate silicone, I made a large piece to go onto my own face. It went quite far around the side of my head to my ears, and that eye was mostly covered. I didn’t consider how I’d be able to see what I was doing or blend the sides out, so that ended up being quite difficult.

GM: What was your favorite job?

KJ: My favorite job was a look I did on myself for the Warm Bodies premiere. I worked out how to create a gouged eye, with an arrow coming out of it.

Kiana Jones Arrow Wound in Eye

Kiana Jones Arrow Wound


GM: What was the best advice or training you ever received?
KJ: It was from a Stuart Bray DVD – how to apply blood more realistically, or how to create a messy look which doesn’t look too carefully placed, while not hiding your makeup underneath the blood. But basically he uses tissues to smudge and remove a lot of the blood, while leaving hints of it, and shows where to place splatter or drips to get a maximum effect with minimal blood.

GM: How do you pick your makeup for a project?  Do you make your own?

KJ: A lot of it is having used the products before and knowing their qualities and how easy they are to apply. If it’s something I want to do quickly and cheaply, and doesn’t have to withstand a lot of time or movement, then I could use something as simple as nose and scar wax. If it has to last a long time and be flexible, I will use silicone (Sculpt Gel). And just considering exactly how the injury was made – how old the blood will be (whether to use fresh or aged blood) how old the bruise would be (whether to include yellows and greens), etc.  The only thing I’ve made so far is gelatine, and the experience was… interesting. It smelt very strongly of parmesan cheese and vomit.

GM: Are there brands you recommend?
KJ: I really like all the products that Mouldlife makes; they’ve all been great quality. I have their sculpt gel, baldiez, super baldiez, silicone pigments, flocking powder, platsil gel-10 and deadener, and their Kensington Gore blood is fantastic.

Kiana Jones Bloody Eye

Kiana Jones Bloody Eye


GM: How do you envision the future of makeup effects?  Do you think that CG is hurting the industry?

KJ: I don’t think so. I think they work well together. If it can be created with makeup effects, I think it’s easier for the actors to respond to it, and it involves a lot less post-production, and will usually look more realistic than the CGI stuff (if you’re looking for it). But there are situations where you need to have a whole part missing from a face or body, which can only be achieved with CGI, but with makeup surrounding those parts, it’s perfect.

GM: Are there any breakthroughs in the industry that excite you?

KJ: It’s not a recent breakthrough, but boy I’m glad I’m learning this while encapsulated silicone is a thing. Melting away cap plastic for seamless edges is exciting, and the movement and feel of silicone is just amazing. The most comfortable and realistic makeup that I’ve worn was encapsulated silicone.

GM: Is there someone new to the industry that you like? Someone we should watch for?
KJ: Kate Anderson. I have been able to work under her for most of my makeup jobs in Perth, and on top of being a cinephile/film geek, she’s an amazing makeup artist; I’ve never seen someone get so excited over makeup products, her passion shows through, and she’s also one of the loveliest people to work with. She’s been making an impression in Perth’s film sphere, and has begun assisting in makeup departments on feature films, and being the head of makeup for music videos.


Kiana Jones more Maggot Eyes


GM: Whose current work do you admire?
KJ: As mentioned before, Stuart Bray, and Neill Gorton, and also Greg Nicotero, these are my current favorites.

GM: Do you have advice for the beginner or someone just getting started in the business?

KJ: Practice as often as you can, learn as much as you can. If you’re passionate enough to always be investigating makeup tutorials, learning about new products and techniques, and practicing whenever you get the urge to be creative, I think these things help the most. If you’re not the kind of person to be self motivating, then schools can help, but so many in the industry are self taught. Lastly, make sure you know the safety requirements of all of the materials that you’re working with; it’s really important.

GM:: What are your top five special effects movies?  (The movies can have practical or visual effects).
KJ: Jurassic Park, Terminator 2, Any Lord of the Rings movie, Gravity, and Pan’s Labyrinth.


Visit Kiana’s sensational Youtube channel Freakmo SFX to see video demos of her amazing special effects work!


Found_Footage_Horror_FilmsAs the horror subgenre du jour, found footage horror’s amateur filmmaking look has made it available to a range of budgets. Surviving by adapting to technological and cultural shifts and popular trends, found footage horror is a successful and surprisingly complex experiment in blurring the lines between quotidian reality and horror’s dark and tantalizing fantasies. Found Footage Horror Films explores the subgenre’s stylistic, historical and thematic development. It examines the diverse prehistory beyond Man Bites Dog (1992) and Cannibal Holocaust (1980), paying attention to the safety films of the 1960s, the snuff-fictions of the 1970s, and to television reality horror hoaxes and mockumentaries during the 1980s and 1990s in particular. It underscores the importance of The Blair Witch Project (1999) and Paranormal Activity (2007), and considers YouTube’s popular rise in sparking the subgenre’s recent renaissance.

About the Author

Alexandra Heller-Nicholas is an adjunct research fellow at the Institute of Social Research at Swinburne University of Technology in Melbourne, Australia. She publishes regularly in a number of international magazines, journals and books on horror film and related subjects.



101 Horror Movies You Must See Before You Die

101-horror-movies-you-must-see-before-you-dieVampires, monsters, sadistic psychopaths, serial killers, vengeful ghosts, and Satan himself have been frightening and entertaining filmgoers for generations. This comprehensive, chronological film guide summarizes the 101 most important horror movies ever produced, from the 1922 silent classic Nosferatu to the low-budget, 1999 Sundance Film Festival hit, The Blair Witch Project. General editor Stephen Jay Schneider presents film summaries, reviews from a wide array of critics, cast and credit lists, and film production notes. The book’s 200 illustrations include unforgettable still shots from the movies as well as iconic film posters. Horror film buffs who open this book will renew their chilling memories of Hitchcock thrillers like Psycho and The Birds, revisit Dr. Frankenstein’s castle with Boris Karloff, haunt the sewers of Paris with Lon Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera, and recall Anthony Hopkins’ most chilling role in The Silence of the Lambs. 101 Horror Movies is international in scope, and covers films from Japan, Russia, Italy, Germany, France, and Australia. Fans of horror movies will want to see all 101 films before they die–and they’ll also want to own this entertaining and informative book.

About the Author

Steven Jay Schneider is a film critic, scholar, and an author and editor of several books on films and filmmaking, including Barron’s 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die. He is currently in Hollywood, where he plans to produce movies of his own.


Herschell-Gordon-Lewis-Godfather-of-gore-speaksExploitation filmmaker Herschell Gordon Lewis is credited with single-handedly creating the gore genre with the 1963 release Blood Feast. This low-budget shocker would ultimately influence nearly every horror movie which has followed, as well as “high-brow” films as varied The Wild Bunch and Reservoir Dogs. Lewis, dubbed “The Godfather of Gore,” crafted more than thirty-five films in his ongoing career (the exact number varies depending on whom you talk to). Lewis would ultimately work in a number of genres, including gothic horror, drama, sexploitation, blaxploitation, and even musicals, and each of his low-budget productions features a singular style and vision that cannot be ignored. No matter what genre Lewis worked in, he remained at the forefront of cinematic trends and movements. In The Godfather of Gore Speaks: Herschell Gordon Lewis Discusses His Films, the filmmaker explains his choices and motivations – from concept to finished product – in much more detail than ever before. Assisted by noted film historian Andrew J. Rausch, Lewis shares often hilarious anecdotes and provides analysis for the thirty-nine films which he either directed or assisted with direction. “Herschell Gordon Lewis is known all over the world as ‘The Wizard of Gore.’ He’s a whiz of a wiz in just about everything else, too, including, but not limited to, brain surgery, moonshine making, international diplomacy, auto body work, nuclear physics, and siding sales. He writes textbooks and does windows, and don’t ever challenge him to a game of Scrabble.” –David F. Friedman “Herschell Gordon Lewis is the man who put red meat into the American cinematic diet. Ultimately Herschell made Quentin Tarantino possible.” –Joe Bob Briggs

a_sci-fi_swarm_and_horror_hordeIn this jam-packed jamboree of conversations, more than 60 movie veterans describe their experiences on the sets of some of the world’s most beloved sci-fi and horror movies and television series. Including groundbreaking oldies (Flash Gordon, One Million B.C.); 1950s and 1960s milestones (The War of the Worlds, Psycho, House of Usher); classic schlock (Queen of Outer Space, Attack of the Crab Monsters); and cult TV favorites (Lost in Space, Land of the Giants), the discussions offer a frank and fascinating behind-the-scenes look. Among the interviewees: Roger Corman, Pamela Duncan, Richard and Alex Gordon, Tony “Dr. Lao” Randall, Troy Donahue, Sid Melton, Fess Parker, Nan Peterson, Alan Young, John “Bud” Cardos, and dozens more.


About the Author

Tom Weaver lives in Sleepy Hollow, New York, and has been interviewing moviemakers since the early 1980s. The New York Times called him one of the leading scholars in the horror field and USA Today has described him as the king of the monster hunters. Classic Images called him “the best interviewer we have today.” He is a frequent contributor to numerous film magazines including Starlog, Fangoria, Monsters from the Vault and Video Watchdog, and he has been featured in the prestigious Best American Movie Writing. A frequent DVD audio commentator, he is the author of numerous reference and other nonfiction books about American popular culture, including Universal Horrors: The Studio’s Classic Fims, 1931-1946.




FROM: EmipreOnline

The Godfather of Makeup has passed away

by Ben Kirby


Dick Smith, the renowned “Godfather of Makeup”, has died aged 92. Smith was a legend in the field, pioneering an astonishing number of different techniques and trickery in-camera. He’s best known for his work on an impressive list of classics, including Taxi Driver, The Godfather, The Exorcist and Amadeus. Indeed, it’s a tribute to his talents that – The Exorcist aside – audiences often forget that these films had such extraordinary special effects and makeup, all hiding in plain sight.

Born in June 1922, Smith began his career in television as head of the New York NBC make-up department in 1945. He was one of the first pioneers in using small sections of foam latex (instead of one whole mask), which freed an actor up to be far more expressive and mobile. During that time, he worked on shows from Roald Dahl’s Way Out to cult hit Dark Shadows. However, it is for his work in films for which Smith is primarily remembered.

The list of his achievements is remarkable, beginning with his first big job on The Godfather. Here, he transformed Marlon Brando from a matinee idol to the aged, jowly Vito Corleone, using a variety of techniques that were all the more impressive considering this was the same year Brando was naked and far more youthful in Bertolucci’s Last Tango In Paris.

One year later, Dick Smith became a part of horror legend with The Exorcist in 1973. The gruesome transformation of Regan (Linda Blair) from a sweet 12 year-old girl into a demon-possessed monster was vivid and wholly believable, thanks in large part to Smith’s astounding work. As if this wasn’t enough, three years later he helped bring the bloody climax of Scorsese’s Taxi Driver to life. In fact, so realistic were the prosthetic injuries shown onscreen that Scorsese famously had to desaturate the colours, making the blood less red, in order to be granted the necessary R rating.

From there, Smith went on to work on Marathon Man, The Deer Hunter and Amadeus, where he transformed the then 44 year-old F. Murray Abraham into a 73 year-old Antonio Salieri. Together with Paul LeBlanc, Smith won the 1984 Academy Award for Best Makeup, while Abraham also won Best Actor. Smith himself recalled afterwards, “It was the best job I ever had. I did all the work, had plenty of time, total co-operation, [and a] proper screen test.”

Following this triumph, Smith continued to work on various projects, including on the TV show Monsters and Robert Zemeckis’ effects spectacular Death Becomes Her. He also continued to offer training and courses on movie makeup, passing on his pioneering techniques to new generations of artists. In 2011, he received one of the film industry’s highest accolades when he was given an Honorary Award from the Academy. Accepting the award, he said, “This has been an incredible joy… I have loved being a makeup artist so much, but this kind of puts a crown on all of that.”

A younger legend of movie makeup, Rick Baker, said of Smith, “There’s never going to be another Dick Smith. Dick is, without a doubt, the greatest makeup artist who’s ever going to live.”

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