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Face Off Subterranean Terror

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face off season 5 ep 4 underground

The Face Off contestants get the subterranean homesick blues, Roy sculpts a squid in one hour, one rookie gets the “Halloween mask” kiss of death, and the producers mostly ignore the middle looks because hey we need half an hour of judges judging.

Really straightforward business this week. No foundation challenge, no teams, no twists. Everyone goes underground to find one of six scenes with evidence of a subterranean creature. Twelve artists, twelve original creatures, no film or video game tie-in. Jordu Schell is the guest judge, and there aren’t many people who’ve designed cooler creatures than he has.

So, Roy. Roy had a big concept for a weird creature with a truly inhuman silhouette. He made a big deal at the beginning of the season about how he was going to focus on really good make-ups and not so many huge projects. Right out the window. Then when his giant tentacle sculpt totally failed, he actually said, “I don’t just want a head with a robe underneath.” Which is, of course, exactly what the judges want from Roy. Instead he made a pretty cool squid creature face with a hilariously bad body and wobbly tentacle arms. It looked like a monster from early Dr. Who. That bad.

The best part about Michael Westmore’s advice segments is that there’s literally nothing he hasn’t done at some point in his career. You’re making a rat person? Better keep a sleek neck profile. Creating a huge piece? Lay some 2x4s on there to help turn it over. And he’s always right. That’s the voice of experience, that is.

Laney gets the, “Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh,” award for making me yell, “Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh,” when her roach woman with those horrible horrible bulging eyes appeared on screen. I was really skeptical of this concept but oh lord help me that was creepy. We barely saw it on screen though.

Adolfo had a pretty clichéd idea (Wes Craven’s Shocker?), but I thought his face sculpt was kind of interesting. Really distinctive and weird, the kind of character I want to know more about. It was way too static though. I immediately knew the judges would call it out for looking like a Halloween mask. That paint job was abysmal. Ah well. Fare thee well Adolfo.

Alana did a mermaid woman that we saw for maybe two seconds. It wasn’t her best work.

RJ started talking about glomming various animal bits onto each other and I was very skeptical of the concept. It turned out worse than I’d imagined, and RJ had a good laugh at himself when he called it, “A Ferengi mixed with an artichoke.”

Lyma’s creature had this cool mole-vampire vibe happening that, again, was shuffled off screen and never mentioned by the judges. This show is incredibly frustrating sometimes.

I have no idea how Tate’s crustacean wasn’t a top look. The level of detail and impeccable paint jobs Tate does week after week are blowing my mind. He’ll easily make the finals this year, even with the deck as stacked as it is.

Eddie surprised me with a nicely detailed insect thing. I guess that’s what it was? Didn’t really understand the military uniform, but the face had a good range of motion, and that shell/helmet on the head was a fun touch.

Scott’s octopus hybrid woman was just sort of uninspired. As the judges said, it didn’t make a ton of sense. How that asymmetrical head and mottled texture was supposed to read “octopus,” I have no idea.

Now the top looks: Laura’s rat woman was really well sculpted. At first I didn’t like it, but Laura’s model did an amazing job selling it. I think the color put me off a bit, but imagine that creature in a well-lit underground scene. It would look great there. I still think I’d have put Tate in the top looks instead. I just feel bad for Laura because, while I’m sure every contestant gets nervous when they get up in front of the judges, it’s just so palpable with Laura. She looks like she’s stepping in front of a firing line every time, even when she’s a top look.

You could have flipped a coin to choose a winner between Frank and Miranda this week. I was leaning toward Frank, because that tooth-faced monstrosity had such a pure, clean look. There was nothing amiss there. At the same time, Miranda nailed the naked mole rat/human hybrid with utter precision, and she did more work with the chest piece. I don’t know if she chose the outfit (typically a separate wardrobe crew handles the costumes after last looks, I believe, but I think the contestants get some say in the matter). In any case, it was a great choice for him to stand tall as this powerful Lord of the Molemen. I think the instinct with that kind of creature would be to go with the crouching, furtive movements, like Laura’s rat woman. But instead we got something altogether different and far more interesting.

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Posted by on Tuesday, September 3rd, 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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1 Comment for “Face Off Subterranean Terror”

  1. Aaaaahhh Ed, it’s like you pluck thoughts right out of my head.

    First and foremost, Tate is sculpting and painting circles around everyone else. He is by far the most consistent contestant this season–everything he’s done has been excellently designed and polished to a T. Knockout work, no doubt. To quote my favorite Face Off Recapper, Tate’s a badass rocker with the time management skills of a seasoned Professional.

    Roy, poor Roy. This is the first time he’s really fell flat on his face, all for grabbing the wrong type of foam. Roy’s one of my favorite contestants in the history of FaceOff, so it was terribly painful to see him dragging that mold to the dumpster.

    That said, his seat-of-the-pants redesign left a lot to be desired. The head was decent, but the rest of it…well, calling it Early Dr. Who is being kind. It definitely deserved Bottom Looks, and I wouldn’t have been surprised to hear his name called. To tell you the truth, I would have been okay with Roy going home, because HE would have been okay with it. He knew that thing stunk. I’d rather he go when he deserved it, rather than see him (unfairly) get the boot on a snap decision to pull hair through the ears. Roy lives another day and he better see the Finals now.

    Laney’s Girlfriend of Gollum was fantastic. When I saw the mask applied for the first time, there was a good 2 inches between the mask & the model’s eyesocket. I thought she was in serious trouble, but the big glass eyes were a great touch (and part of her original design sketch). Laney herself didn’t get much airtime during the Judging, and I have to wonder if that’s partly due to her NSFW outfit, which was black, sheer, and very Suicide Girl. Anyway, I’d have had her in Top Looks with Tate & Frank.

    Frank’s eyeless horror was superb and I think it should have won.

    Lyma has surprised me two weeks in a row. The Lady Gaga Eggshell Model was beautiful and this week’s, while not up to that standard, was definitely better than anything she offered in the first couple of weeks.

    Ed, I see what you’re saying about Laura, she really let’s the judging get to her. Last week, when she was in the bottom, she looked like she was going to puke. I wasn’t quite as taken with her Rat woman, but I liked the way the model sold it.

    I have to give a plug for SyFy’s Sync app. I installed it last week and it’s a good resource for FaceOff junkies. It’s got the morphs, which are so-so, but you can also view & zoom hi-def versions of (most) everyone’s design sketches, as well as the hi-def pics of the finished product. Lotta other goodies, as well.

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