Face Off – Future Frankenstein
On this week’s Face Off, Face Off settles in for a long season of being Face Off. Now let’s make some future Frankensteins.
At the end of last season I had some suggestions to improve Face Off, because the formula’s getting a little predictable. This season’s “vets versus newbs” twist is different, but otherwise it seems like little has changed. In some cases that’s great (Michael Westmore doing weekly walk-throughs to advise the contestants); in some cases it’s deathly boring (this week, the judging segment started 35 minutes into the show’s 60-minute run time).
This week, everyone was randomly divided into teams of three and tasked with creating a Frankenstein monster and his bride. They both had to be from the future, forcing the teams to come up with backstories to explain why their creatures look like they do. I love the emphasis on story. Design is story. Otherwise you might as well go make furniture. The winning team also got their creatures scary gigs at Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights. Nice to see the victors get some spoils.
So we had: mold drama, Alana being clumsy, Michael Westmore offering sage advice, some teams not really clicking, and someone known primarily for body painting not really doing a stellar job.
Alana, Laura and Laney formed some kind of crazy Face Off all-star team. Laney has already showed some serious chops when it comes to makeup FX, and she easily pulled her weight alongside the veterans. Does Laney wear some kind of weird contacts, or just have very dark eyes? Because on my TV, her eyes look like inky black pools and it’s kind of freaky. The team’s concept was a Frank fueled by storm energy provided by contact with his terrifying wife, who holds a power collecting umbrella made from a human hand. The glowing energy transfer points looked great. Alana’s creepy/pretty bride sculpt was enough for the team win and individual win for Alana (not that she gets anything for that).
Sam, Miranda and Eddie had a tough time of it. They made these bondage borgs that just looked incredibly sad and pathetic. And not in the “evoking pathos” way that a good creature sometimes can, but just in a, “Wow I feel depressed for those poor models” kind of way. Sam had mentally checked out when she didn’t feel like she was having enough creative input, and the unpleasantly lumpy head of her bride earned her an early exit.
Roy worked with Adolpho and Scott, putting a lot of experience on one team. Their Frankenstein was a Roy trademark massive project with working pistons and a dramatically reshaped physical profile. The bride was equally stunning. I have to give a lot of credit to the model for this one. She was beautiful, and the way she maintained a sort of stunned, blank expression played horrifically off of the grotesque and painful alterations which she’d apparently endured. This was the one character that made me want to know more about her story.
Rick, Frank, and Eric Z had a mixed effort. Their bride was quite creepy, looking like she’d been mutilated on her wedding day. Their Frankenstein was simply unfinished, however, and not solely due to Eric forgetting the rivets.
Finally, Tate, RJ and Lima showed off the disparity in experience levels you tend to see on the early episodes of a season. I don’t know why the “I mostly do body painting” people end up on the show. This is clearly not their bag. Lima didn’t know how to do realistic paint, so their bride looked like a Halloween costume. Their Frankenstein was probably the best of the Franks. The model had a ton of facial movement, so watching that patchwork face grimace and leer was pretty amazing.