Saturday, August 15, 2009
Saturday Morning Stuff
Eighteen months ago I bought some mid-80s Fangoria magazines off eBay... and then their warehouse holding all their back issues burned down. These five or six issues gave many hours of enjoyment, nicking down to my basement man-cave now and then to read about "upcoming" horror movies or books or special effects gurus.
But recently when this supply ran out I had the great fortune to win a massive auction of 40+ Fangorias from this era! Sure, some are missing covers and the earlier ones have some oh the pictures cut out (long with bits of the article on the other side... seems the previous owner liked Mad Max) but all in all it's a historical treasure trove of the golden age of horror films.
Last Saturday I sorted through the lot and this morning I started in on the earliest - #16 from 1981. Even at almost three years into it's publication it's interesting to see the transition away from science fiction and its sister publication Starlog. The ads, especially, run heavy on sci-fi and fantasy as the demand for scarier fare had, as yet, only created a few "A to Z" type monster books.
I read only one full article, one on Chris Tucker, the man who did the makeup for The Elephant Man, the wonderful movie directed by David Lynch. In Lynch's first film, the nightmarish EraserHead, there is a creature that is startlingly realistic, one created by Lynch who has never divulged how it was created and has said he never will. However in the article Tucker gives some insight into how this earlier effect was most likely achieved:
"According to Lynch's own account in a British film trade publication, his idea was for a suit built in layers that would have an 'incredibly organic' look [just like in EraserHead -ed] and would require five hours to apply each day. 'It was perfect in theory,' Lynch said. 'Like a ten-thousandth of a second, when I it on John Hurt the first time, he looked all right; then, the next ten-thousandth of a second... there was no way."
The ErasureHead creature was a puppet kind of thing that laid in a bassinet. It moved but only slightly. Lynch would naturally try to use the methods that he knew- thus some kind of tissue-thin layering to create the organic look.
Okay, so maybe it's not step-by-step instructions of how Lynch built the creature but it was more information on the subject than I had ever heard divulged.