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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Filmmaking > Visual FX > Make-Up Effects > Cable TV > Fantastic Flesh: The Art of Make-Up EFX (2008/Anchor Bay/Starz! DVD)

Fantastic Flesh: The Art of Make-Up EFX (2008/Anchor Bay/Starz! DVD)

Picture: B- Sound: B- Extras: D Film: B

Fantastic Flesh is an excellent documentary on of Cinema's greatest assets - the practical visual effects world. Part history lesson, part insight from some of Hollywood's best and brightest, this documentary is a must see for anyone interested in becoming a Special Effects artist or even just your causal admirer of the art form.

Focusing for just under an hour on the history of Make-up design, the Kevin VanHook-directed documentary touches on forebears like Lon Chaney Sr. (Phantom of the Opera) and Jack Pierce (Universal Monsters) before turning itself into something of a KNB EFX demo reel. While I am a fan of the company, the documentary does tend to stray away from history lessons and more about highlights of films that KNB worked on, along with a sprinkling of Rob Bottin's The Thing, a touch of Rick Baker's An American Werewolf in London and a dash of Dick Smith's work in The Exorcist - all of which are hard to resist mentioning when on this subject matter.

While the length of the telefilm is under an hour, what it truly lacks is a definitive narrator that pushes the story of the art along instead of a series of talking heads discussing appliances and techniques that they love and the history of make-up only as it correlates to the specific person relating the tale. Lucky for us, some of the filmmakers interviewed are the best including Joe Dante, John Landis, Wes Craven, John Carpenter, Frank Darabont, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Eli Roth, Frank Darabont, Mick Garris, George Romero and effects gurus including the late Dick Smith, Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger and Rob Bottin. Noticeably missing however is Rick Baker - to whom you would think would be a natural shoe in for a film of this subject.

While it could be longer and more expansive, the little doc works as an introduction piece to the art form and makes for a nice, easy watch that will suck you in. For someone like me who loves the artform and the people that are interviewed on this, its hard to not enjoy it. For DVD, the standard definition displays the 16 X 9/1.78 X 1 anamorphic widescreen production of the original broadcast. The sound mix is a lossy Dolby Digital 5.1 track that is average for the format. Total run time for the feature is 58 minutes.

No additional extras.

- James Harland Lockhart V



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