Saturday, 12 October 2013


So for Interdisciplinary Practises, we're kicking off with a task where we have to produce 20 portraits of a famous movie monster.

I've just spent the last hour on google images, working my way through the list and I'm finding it hard to make a decision!

Vampires: Blood! Vlaa!

Max Schreck, Nosferatu (1922)

This guy... I think he may be a popular choice. Just... those claws! And the silhouettes this guy produces, he has a lot of visual elements to have some creepy fun with. 

Bela Lugosi, Dracula (1931)

Probably the most iconic Dracula, the pointed collar, slick hair, funky eyebrows, cape and funny accent all originated from this guys performance, if I remember correctly. He really utilises his hands as a symbol of inhuman power. 

Christopher Lee, Dracula (1931)

Apparently this role was a labour that Sir Christopher did not enjoy enduring, appearing in multiple films. He had hardly any dialogue in most of them, instead hissing quite a lot. He looks far more manic and sinister than Lugosi in my opinion, and just look at that scarlet cape lining! Visual delight, that.

Gary Oldman, Dracula (1992)

I watched this version of Dracula whilst studying Bram Stoker's book in GCSE English.  It really sticks it's teeth into the sexual connotations of the book (I didn't actually intend to write that as a pun, oh dear.) and slaps in some 'fallen from the grace of god' origin story. My most prominent memories are his animal forms, portrayed as half human, half animal.
Ugly as sin 'Vampire Bat'

Frisky 'Wolf' 

Frankenstein's Monster's: Thick brows and wacky hair.

Boris Karloff, Frankenstein (1931)

The most iconic image of the most iconic interpretation of the monster created by Dr. Frankenstein. I think I'll have to have a watch of the film if I choose this guy, as all I can think of is Herman Munster's stupid laugh whenever I look at him. 

David Prowse, Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell (1973)

A very different take on Frankenstein's monster, made from an 'ape-like' homicidal inmate of an asylum where Frankenstein is secretly working. The monster goes on a murderous rampage, perhaps he doesn't appreciate his murdering hands being replaced with those of a clay sculptor?

Elsa Lanchester, The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Iconic hair based on Queen Nefertiti, that lightning bolt is mighty snazzy. Despite being created in the same manor as the monster, she ultimately rejects him.

Koji Furuhata, Frankenstein Conquers the World (1965)

A feral child grows from the heart of the original monster, to kick some monster lizard butt!?

Werewolves: Lots of texture to work with, thinking of creating patterns/collages.
David Naughton, An American Werewolf in London (1981)

The werewolf looks a bit derpy, but this film was best praised for the transformation sequence which was produced through analogue(?) special effects. 

Oliver Reed, Curse of the Werewolf

Somehow being born trough sexual abuse and on Christmas day results in a Spanish chap baring the curse of the werewolf. Also being around someone he loves stops him from transforming. Something about lust and the inner beast. I like this kind of interpretation of the werewolf, because there are still human elements in the design. That idea seems more horrifying to me, rather than actually becoming a large, bi-pedal wolf. 

Lon Chaney Jr. Wolfman (1941)

I quite enjoyed the recent remake of this film starring Benecio Del Toro. Admittedly the original to me just looks like a guy who needs a shave and some braces to sort out that serious under bite. But it's important to remember this was made a long time ago and the make-up effects are pretty top-notch. The true magnificence of these films is the use of lightning, which is considered greatly, seeing as the film is shot in black and white.

The Phantom of the Opera: A tragic Villain.

Lon Chaney Sr., The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

A silent film, the Phantom's appearance remains more faithful to the novel, in that he has a face that looks like a rotting corpse, rather than half of it being disfigured. Chaney devised and applied the make-up himself, leaving it as a surprise to the rest of the crew. Apparently it was considered so horrific that it was recommended smelling salts where kept nearby for when women feinted in the screenings...
I don't know what's more unnerving, his actual face or the creepy mask he wears. 
I suppose I'm just going to have to consider the ways in which I want to work before choosing the kind of shapes etc. that I'll be working with, considering as we're supposed to 'show off.' 

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