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Face Off Trick or Treat

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Face Off Trick or Treat

Face Off makes you wish it was Halloween every week. Clowns, scarecrows, vampires, skeletons, devils: if you’re into evil, you’re a friend of mine.

Back at the Face Off pad, everyone seemed a little stunned that RJ was sent home last week (the second veteran, after Eric Z). Then it was off to a foundation challenge. With immunity on the line, the task was to create a unique character based entirely on a set of costume teeth.

With only two hours to work with, each contestant came up with a unique and well-executed design. The character concepts in this foundation challenge were for the most part better than those in the main challenge. Roy won with a reptilian dude created with one of those cool makeup shortcuts, putting a fishnet stocking over the model’s head, then applying latex over it to create a scale pattern. Laney’s cyborg and Tate’s hobo were well done too. I wish we’d had more time to linger over some of those designs.

On to the spotlight challenge, one all Face Off fans have been excited about this week. In the studio there’s a foggy makeshift graveyard. McKenzie stands between the tombstones, looking SoCal cool and bright as always. Contestants must choose from five classic Halloween costumes and reimagine them. Each design also has to incorporate a gimmick of some kind. Huge advantage for the haunted house crowd here.

In the history of Face Off, has anyone had a mold problem actually ruin a project? I guess earlier this season Roy’s giant octopus body didn’t work out, but I’m talking a sane person’s mold, not one of Roy’s mad scientist experiments. My point is, the weekly mold drama never amounts to anything. Maybe a little extra time spent patching latex or reworking edges, but it’s never fatal. And yet if the Face Off drinking game included “Drink whenever someone says, ‘I’m really afraid I could go home tonight,’” you’d be in a booze coma in minutes.

Frank put together a very traditional scarecrow monster, something that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Jeepers Creepers sequel (honestly, Frank’s monster was cooler than the actual Creeper). It’s true, he didn’t innovate or do anything elaborate, and Frank knew this. I appreciate a clean, well-done version of a classic idea.

Laura seemed to get a pass from the judges on her nosferatu vampire. We got a lot of traditional creature designs this week, which was actually pretty nice to see. But Laura’s vampire looked a little bit too much like a Halloween mask (ironic that that’s actually a strike against it this week).

Eddie’s scarecrow was another solid effort, with the bonus of having dead crows in its chest. This brings me back to one thing I desperately want from Face Off: film, or at least photograph, the completed designs in a horror setting with proper lighting and camera angles. This would allow the contestants to show off subtle effects like Eddie’s internal crows. Now they have to make a weird choice, to make it look good from across the stage where the judges sit and exaggerate details, or do something that’s best appreciated from up close. It’s all very arbitrary, and a studio lit scenario would give them something more specific to aim for.

Miranda’s skeleton queen turned out so well, it blows my mind that she still having confidence issues. Every season someone struggles with the feeling that they’re not good enough to compete. I totally get that. But even with her last minute scramble to finish (and find Frank’s scissors), she did a great job. Again, I’d have loved a closer look at how that came together, but instead we found time for the camera to linger on the judges trudging across the studio.

Skeleton’s are difficult, as Miranda pointed out. You can’t carve away your model’s flesh or chop off a nose, so you have to present something that looks denuded of flesh by building on top of flesh. It seems impossible to me. Tate’s grave shepherd had a weirdly elongated skull that I didn’t quite understand, yet it did have a terrible beauty to it, and the beating heart was by far the best gimmick. It was probably the most interesting character concept as well.

I loved Roy’s demon for a couple of reasons. The wing effect was pretty neat, even though the curry wings looked a little cheesy. That mottled paint job was incredible. I want to know how he accomplished that! Such a weird blend of colors, yet he made it work. But most of all, the face sculpture reminded me of one of my favorite movie monsters of all time, the demon from 1957’s Night of the Demon.

Laney had problems with her creepy clown that ended up making it creepier. Cotton candy hair is a brilliant idea that’s also a terrible idea, but once it melted it made her look hideous and created some contrast with the cutesy image the costume gave off. The face sculpt was almost just a plain, cute clown face, but Laney somehow nudged it over the edge into creepy, and straddling that line makes things even more horrific. The model got so into this character too. She was great.

I also want to point out something cool that Face Off’s producers did…or rather didn’t do. I didn’t realize until this week that Laney is a Suicide Girl. I’m not trying to blow her cover or anything, she doesn’t hide that aspect of her career at all. And while it’s never mentioned on the show or the SyFy site, consider how many reality shows flip out over contestants who’ve done adult work in the past. It’s awesome that Laney gets to compete on her merits as a makeup artist, instead of being treated as some kind of pariah.

Unfortunately now we have to talk about the bottom looks. First, Alana. As soon as I saw the completed design I was seriously worried that Alana might be going home. There was a Breaking Bad level of tension when they announced who got the cut this week, because if Alana got sent home this early I might rage quit Face Off altogether. So let’s just say that was not her best work.

Did you notice how the bottom looks this week were all super proud of their work? That has to be so much harder to take than when you know it’s subpar. You’re feeling pretty good and then Glen crushes your hopes and dreams with a single withering glare.

Scott and the killer clown seemed fine to me. I liked the misshapen head. It’s true that the sculpture and paint work on the face piercings were awkward. I guess they needed three in the bottom looks though. I love how that model sold the character. Scott brings so much experience, and while his designs have been mostly competent, he hasn’t wowed me yet. I was expecting more from him.

Lyma has been holding her own with some impressive designs that blend a sort of weird high fashion with creatures. That vampire looked more like the Jersey Devil though. So much so that if in fact it had been a Jersey Devil challenge, I’d totally have bought it and given her a middle look. As rough as it was, can we be honest here? Alana’s was so much worse.

Guess we dodged that bullet, eh Alana? Now we get awesome hats for at least one more week.

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Posted by on Tuesday, September 17th, 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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