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Face Off – Hell Freezes Over

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Face Off 403, Hell Freezes Over

Face Off presents us with a tried and true horror challenge – design a demon. Then, like meddling studio executives, they throw a curveball at the contestants after they’ve already begun their designs. Hell has frozen over.

Last season, Face Off liked to do this foreshadowing thing where they’d start off an episode with a contestant saying, “I haven’t won a challenge yet, so it would really mean a lot to me if I won this week.” Then they’d win. They did the same thing tonight with Autumn talking about how she wants to beat Anthony, who still reigns undefeated. Would Autumn go on to victory? She certainly thought so.

This week was a team challenge (even number of remaining contestants), and everyone was hauled out to the desert to learn that they had to create demons. I was kind of disappointed that no one seemed to recognize any of the demon names at first. Not even Pazuzu? Some horror fans. McKenzie makes a big deal out of how hot it is, then is shaded by a Wookie.

Back at the shop, everyone starts in on their designs and sculpting. McKenzie comes striding into the joint like she’s looking for a fight – seriously, watch it again. I think McKenzie might be a Terminator. Anyway, everyone’s all, “Uh oh, her dad isn’t here, I think she’s going to relentlessly hunt us down one at a time merely for sport, or possibly reveal a twist on this week’s challenge.” It’s the latter. Hell has frozen over! Now all your demons must shiver and complain about road salt!

That was not really the most interesting “twist.” I like the idea of mucking up the process to see who can adapt, but this one had hardly any effect on the designs. It just made everyone use a cooler color palette when they did their paint jobs. How about some more realistic “script notes”?

“They want the demons to be cute so we can sell more action figures.”

“They just cast Blake Lively as Abraxas, so that demon needs to be sexy and you can’t cover up her face.”

“No demons. Just got the latest rewrites. We’re now making Michael Bay’s Care Bears: the Musical: the Movie: Furry Justice. They’ve cast Blake Lively as Funshine Bear, so that bear has to be sexy and you can’t cover up her face.”

Some of the teams work well together (Anthony and Alam, Wayne and Fox); some can’t seem to compensate for each other’s weaknesses (Katie and Jenna); some of them feel like a train off the tracks right from the beginning (Autumn and Alex). Alex actually pleads not to get paired with Autumn, then immediately does. Autumn does not seem like a very pleasant person. She showed some skill last week, and you can make the argument that you can be a dick if you can back it up with talent.

But Anthony is made of talent. That guy reaches into the pocket of an old pair of jeans he hasn’t worn in months and finds extra talent. “Oh, I forgot I even had this!” Yet he’s completely mellow. Totally cool to everyone. Has no problems working with teammates.

I loved that Fox (Wayne called him that, and there are too many Erics so I’m running with it) wanted to make animatronic eyes for Chort, but never ever do mechanical stuff on Face Off. Mechanicals never work the first time. They require a lot of trial and error, and you do not have time for that. But in one of those, “Bruce the mechanical shark didn’t work right so Jaws ended up way scarier,” kind of stories, the leering, pale, vacant eyes of Chort ended up looking absolutely terrifying despite their lack of movement.

I was interested to see what Anthony and Alam would put together. I mentioned last week I thought Alam had good ideas, but maybe not enough experience to execute them. Unfortunately, it seems like Anthony did all the heavy lifting this week. Alam did a great job on the rooster/dragon feet, but she only needed to sculpt one. I’d have liked to have seen more of a collaboration there. That said, you can’t fault Anthony’s work. He made that demon scary and beautiful at the same time, all while incorporating Deumus’ Hindu origin. It was not a big shock when Anthony won yet again.

Abraxas was not the most original design, but it was executed really well. Classic demon features and a very convincing dog/lion mouth. I honestly thought it was a bit better than Chort, which again suffered from an incomplete paint job. Azi Dahaka, the snake demon, was a bit of a laugher, with his floppy puppet snake arm, muddled paint job, and nearly featureless face. Wouldn’t it be funny to see House and Autumn paired up on a team challenge sometime soon?

Jenna and Katie’s Eurynome…I’m ambivalent about this. The walker forelegs were definitely a total failure, but I thought those oddly shaped eyes were distinctive, and that extra-wide mouth full of festering, bloody teeth was disturbing to look at. He was the only demon that I actually found somewhat scary. I feel really terrible for Katie, too – not that I necessarily disagree with sending her home, but she’s been trying to get on Face Off for a few seasons and you could tell it hit her harder than most to be eliminated. Like several other contestants this season, I think Katie has talent and a lot of great ideas, but she needs a few years as someone’s apprentice to gain practical skills and confidence.

Then there was Pazuzu. I didn’t think it was terrible, but Autumn’s ridiculous overconfidence made the whole thing hilarious. She had this smirk on her face the whole time that just screamed, “I’m so great.” Then she referred to their demon as “Pizazzu,” which is a whole other demon, one with probably a lot more sequins and rhinestones.

So it was entertaining to watch Autumn get taken down a peg. Glenn had no qualms there. But I actually thought the judges were way too harsh on her. These are actual things Glenn said:

“If she’s happy with that, there’s no hope for her.”

“It punches you in the face with how bad it sucks.”



So apparently this season, the foreshadowing at the beginning of the episode actually means, “Later on, Glenn is going to tear off your head and crap down your neck. Without CGI.”

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Posted by on Tuesday, January 29th, 2013. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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