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Starz Inside: Fantastic Flesh (2008)

This documentary delves into the art of make-up effects with industry legends Dick Smith, Rob Bottin, Tom Savini, John Landis, Frank Darabont, Joe Dante and many others with a strong focus ... See full summary »

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This documentary delves into the art of make-up effects with industry legends Dick Smith, Rob Bottin, Tom Savini, John Landis, Frank Darabont, Joe Dante and many others with a strong focus on Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger of KNB Make-Up EFX. Written by Kevin VanHook

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7 October 2008 (USA)  »

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Fantastic Flesh: The Art of Make-Up EFX  »

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$350,000 (estimated)
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Good Bare Bones Effects Documentary
15 February 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Fantastic Flesh" is a one-hour documentary briefly exploring the world of makeup and special effects in horror films. Interviews are conducted with most of the bigger names in makeup and effects today, including Tom Savini, Greg Nicotero, Dick Smith and more. Also featured are clips from some of the more notable effects sequences in horror history, such as "The Thing" and "The Howling".

The film's strong point is the variety of ground it covers, from makeup to animatronics to computer generated effects. Also, many people were interviewed... if I were to list them all, it would take up a whole paragraph. For those interested in effects, this is the perfect introductory film. I was introduced to effects masters from years past that I simply didn't know anything about, and the story of how Nicotero met George A. Romero was a bit of horror history that has escaped me up until now. I had no idea how much of a family they all are.

The drawback to this film is that it is only an hour. I could have used another hour or more. While many effects are covered, very few are actually shown in the process of creating them (with the notable exception of the tire-across-the-face scene from "Death Proof"). You will not learn how to actually apply makeup or develop effects from watching this film. And that's a shame, as anyone interested in effects is going to want to know how its done.

My recommendation is to catch this on television if you can. I received the DVD as part of my review duties, but probably won't have picked it up otherwise. As I said, there's only an hour of material. And, sadly, no special features. Unless you count English subtitles. No extended interviews, no featurettes. If these were added, I'd recommend the film, but as is it's a one-time watch.


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