Author Archives: Scott Essman

The FX Shop: Jack Pierce – Makeup Legend

pierce_wolfman

The Doctor had to run out for spare parts…yours maybe! So once again we are joined by the company of horror aficionado Scott Essman who has the goods on Makeup Artist Jack Piere. “I don’t use masks or any appliances whatsoever,” proclaimed Jack Pierce about the development of his famous monster characters. The one exception to Pierce’s rule occurred with his striking initial realization of The Wolf Man in 1941. “The only appliances I used was the … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Film Review: The Wolfman (2010)

The-Wolfman-2010-1

SYNOPSIS: Set in the late 1880s, the film keeps the plotline of the original, with Lawrence Talbot (Benicio del Toro) meeting his father (Anthony Hopkins) following the death (and in the remake, disappearance) of his brother. The film details events during Lawrence’s past that led to his estrangement from his father (which includes Gwen), and the setting is changed from the mythical Welsh village of Llanwelly to the English village of Blackmore and the city … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Paranormal Activity Shadows the Blair Witch

blair_witch_project_1

When filmmakers Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez wrote and directed The Blair Witch Project which debuted in theaters ten years ago this past summer, they ushered in a sub-genre of filmmaking that was part reliant on the power of suggestion, part pre-reality TV, and part old-fashioned exploitation fright film. Certainly, Blair Witch was a phenomenon in 1999, coming right at the end of perhaps the most pioneering decade in American independent filmmaking, due at least … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Roel Reiné Reinvents with Death Race 2, a January 18 Blu-ray and DVD Release

Death_Race_2_luke_goss

With the challenge of directing the modestly-budgeted follow-up to Universal Studios’ 2008 version of Death Race, itself a remake of a 1970s cult classic, Roger Corman’s Death Race 2000, director Roel ReinĂ© knew that he had to wear many hats: not only director, but also cinematographer, and lead camera operator. “Many years ago, where I come from Holland, where I made two movies and many TV series and movies, when I directed, you want to … Continue reading

1 Comment

Still ‘Psycho’ after all these Years – a movie overview

psycho-1960-2

WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS NUMEROUS DESCRIPTIONS OF THE PLOT Peripherally based on the real life character of Ed Gein, who killed two people in the 1950s and kept their body parts, the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho still resonates as one of the greatest horror films of all time, even 50 years after its 1960 release. Published shortly after the discovery of Gein’s misdeeds, Robert Bloch’s novel partly inspired Joseph Stefano’s screenplay which would become the … Continue reading

Leave a comment

The Art of Makeup Comes Alive

rick-baker-con[1]

Makeup Takes Its 29th Turn at the Academy Awards In the recent round of talk show appearances by actors from the new version of Alice in Wonderland, many of the performers discussed their lengthy stints “getting into costume.” This is both a travesty and at the same time not surprising. While costumes have been heralded by cinema onlookers for decades, makeup has only recently been given the respect is has long deserved, both by the … Continue reading

Leave a comment

United Monster Talent Agency: Short film by KNB’s Greg Nicotero

002_monstertalent1_l

If you are as yet unaware of this project, you MUST see Greg (KNB) Nicotero’s new film, UNITED MONSTER TALENT AGENCY. Created as a spoof of 1950s newsreel documentaries, it’s eight minutes and nine seconds of pure bliss. I will not spoil any surprises – but will just say that UMTA features many moments from the classic canon of Universal films (1923 onward), with some cameos from non-U monsters, all of which works very joyously … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Interview: Henry Selick – Director (Coraline)

HenrySelick_Coraline_9

Since he burst on the scene with the wildly imaginative 1993 stop-motion animated feature The Nightmare Before Christmas, California Institute of the Arts graduate Henry Selick has been one of Hollywood’s most innovative filmmakers. After his stop-motion followup to Nightmare, the well-received 1996 film James and the Giant Peach, Selick directed the partially live-action film Monkeybone in 2001. Now, the long-in-the works Coraline, a surreal mixture of animation and fantasy, arrives on DVD on July 21, 2009 … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Interview: Marcus Nispel – Director

marcus_nispel

Although he’s only 45, Marcus Nispel has been making TV commercials and music videos for 20 years, as he says, “to pay the bills.” But, obviously, Nispel’s heart has been to make feature films. He burst onto the scene with a revised Texas Chainsaw Massacre, starring Jessica Biel, in 2003. That version of the often-filmed tale in sequels and remakes stood out due to Nispel’s infusion of harsh reality using a washed-out stylized palette of colors and … Continue reading

Leave a comment

Interview: Rob Cohen – Director (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor)

mummy3_1

Former wunderkind producer and executive Rob Cohen burst onto the directing scene with his biopic Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story in 1993. Since that time, he has become one of the renowned action directors in Hollywood with films including Dragonheart, The Fast and the Furious, and XxX. Last year, he undertook his biggest project to date, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, the second sequel in Stephen Sommers’ mega-hit from 1999, The Mummy, an update of … Continue reading

Leave a comment