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Face Off: Sexy Beasts

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Face Off Sexy Beasts

The sixth season of Face Off gets off to a mediocre start with a new crop of artists and a castle full of not so beautiful beasts.

The new contestants seem more or less evenly split between “really talented hobbyist” and “owner of a small FX studio.” I’m not entirely sure the semi-pros have a big advantage – not the way the east coast haunted house people usually have an advantage over the west coast film people. Experience is never a bad thing, but we’ve seen people stumble over their overconfidence in earlier seasons.

By the end of last season I was feeling pretty curmudgeony about Face Off, so this season I vowed to ignore the show’s stale formula and overemphasis on judging and just focus on the awesome stuff being created by the talented artists. And while it looks like there’s some awesome stuff to come later in the season, this week was quite a letdown. Of all the final creatures, only one made me say, “That’s cool.” The rest were either ok or laughably bad.

Before we get to that, there was a good foundation challenge, judged by Tami Lane, veteran make-up artist and Academy Award winner. Pick a model with a crazy wig and design a character around it. A lot of these two-hour projects were better than the spotlight challenge later. Rashaad’s bird woman was pretty wild, while Bethany’s wounded queen was beautiful and creepy. George won with his strange copper and blue woman, taking immunity and the honor of being the third wheel on a spotlight team.

The middle part of the episode was boilerplate Face Off. Rashaad and Chloe worked really well together, but they had mold drama. They resolved the mold drama. Tess had mold drama. Cat’s partner was kind of lame. Michael Westmore came in and gave awesome advice. Everything worked out in the end. Sort of.

See, the challenge was to create a beast based on a castle inhabited by a Belle…you know, Beauty and the Beast? So the beast had to be kind of scary, kind of sexy, and also reflect the specific castle the team chose. Some teams made some super weird (which is a nice of saying terrible) choices, and some teams just didn’t execute their make-ups very well.

Tess and Niko created a dragon guy inspired by a desert castle, and the design was cool, especially Tess’ scars to hide the torn cowl. The application on the face was a little sloppy, but it was a solid middle look. Cat and Daniel had a traditional fairy tale castle, and while their make-up was applied very nicely, the paint was only ok, and the idea of the human face emerging from the beast face seemed odd to me. Daran, Graham, and George interpreted the “inspired by the castle” thing literally, making a beast slowly transforming into a castle. The sculpt was cool, but the pale paint on the face looked unfinished. Corinne and Tanner had an ice castle, and their furry snow beast was pretty bad (Corinne seemed to realize this). The nose was a sort of random lump, and the chest piece looked super fake. Matt and Margaret made an alien based on a moon castle. I liked their design, but the execution was really weak. It was so obvious where the face ended and the cowl began, and the bland pink paint job showed a serious lack of creativity.

And then there was Tyler and Bethany’s beast. Based on a sultan’s castle, it was one of a small handful of Face Off designs that has straight up made me laugh out loud. A goofy, semi-cute face set off by castle spires randomly jutting out from his bulbous head? Holy f@#$ that looked hilarious. Tyler’s attempt to add color by painting a big red castle shape on his stomach? Not helping. Even Ve laid into them, calling it one of the kookiest choices she’d ever seen. I will say that they did an very skillful job of applying their astonishingly bad design.

The only possible winning team this week was Rashaad and Chloe. Their fish beast was intensely detailed, wonderfully painted, and to top it all off, Chloe said it was inspired by the Gill Man from Creature from the Black Lagoon. I’m not a Face Off judge, but if I was, that kind of awareness and homage to the cornerstones of make-up/FX history would win me over big time. The fish guy’s face was a little immobile, but the detail made up for it, and Rashaad’s chest piece was impeccable.

So I don’t know. I guess I’m going to be a curmudgeon about Face Off for another season.

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Posted by on Tuesday, January 14th, 2014. 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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