|Index||8 reviews in total|
I loved this flick! It's a great look inside the life of a special effects artist: how do you get there, the highs, the lows! I'd recommend this on to any gore or horror buffs for sure! Or even if you just love docs and are curious about how so much of the non-digital movie magic is done and how that blends with CGI to make the most impossible before your eyes! If you're a Greg Nicotero fan, you get some insight on his childhood and you can see how much he really loves his craft! It's like watching "best of" moments from various Making Of docs (lots of great Walking Dead behind the scenes!!) infused with Nicotero's story of his personal fight to accomplish his dreams of being an FX artist!
This documentary offers a behind the scenes look at the life of Greg
Nicotero, a celebrated special effects makeup artist in Hollywood who I
know of solely from The Walking Dead but was surprised to learn how
many other movies he's been involved with. His Oscar award winning
production team (KNB Effects) is basically responsible for any make up
and creature effects seen in the last 25 years.
Greg himself tells his story here in a "Behind The Music" kind of way. Starting at the beginning with teenage home (monster) movies, his childhood influences, how he got started in the business, the 80's metal-hair days and including tons of behind the scenes footage from movies he's worked on and interviews with assorted directors and actors. Horror, fantasy, zombie, gore and animatronics, If your a horror fan than you'll love this, actually even if your not, its super interesting seeing behind the scenes into so many popular movies. 07.13
This film is about KNB Effects and the guys who created this successful
company that specializes in special effects and makeup in films. The
best part of the movie is the first half--when it focuses on a few guys
who had a love for horror films and horror effects when this sort of
thing was in its infancy. Starting with a break from George Romero (of
the Living Dead films), the men progressed to better and more
spectacular projects as the years passed. And, not surprisingly, they
began to receive awards and recognition for the things they created for
movies--things that had never been seen or done before that time.
I loved this first portion of the film. Afterwards, however, the film lost a bit of focus and then bounced around a little--showing various special effects tricks, more interviews with the men and never really maintaining as tight a focus as it had before. Now isn't to say this part is bad--it's just that by comparison the film lags a bit.
Nightmare Factory (2011)
**** (out of 4)
Excellent documentary taking a look at the special effects of Greg Nicotero, Howard Berger and Robert Kurtzman, the team that would make up KNB. The documentary takes a look at the early history of special effects, which included the work of Lon Chaney and works itself up to Tom Savini and his ground-breaking work on DAWN OF THE DEAD and Friday THE 13TH. From there we hear from Nicotero and how he got involved with DAY OF THE DEAD, which led to one big film after another. NIGHTMARE FACTORY does a wonderful job at not only telling you the story of these three men but it also gives you a much better appreciation of the work they do. It's strange to think that so many great make-up artists were overlooked in previous decades but thanks to DVD commentaries, featurettes and movies like this, these artists are given their due, which is great. The documentary also features interviews with the likes of John Carpenter, George Romero, Quentin Tarantino, Frank Darabont and others. These men talk about their appreciation of the KNB group but also comment on the horror films that meant so much to them as children. The best thing about this documentary is that there's plenty of behind-the-scenes footage of the team at work on various films like EVIL DEAD 2, PREDATORS, KILL BILL, PIRANHA and The Walking Dead television show. Fans of horror films will certainly want to check this out.
Just seen this at a horror festival (like, literally a few hours ago at the end of a very long night of other films) and was blown away at how absorbing I found the whole thing from start to finish. It's always fascinating to listen to anyone talking about any subject they are honestly passionate about, but these guys just appear to be a history of horror from 1980 to the present day in and of themselves, as well as an impressive gamut of non-horror films from the last 20 years. The directors they have worked with, the projects they have worked on, and the skill they bring to the craft are all on show in this brilliant bit of documentary filmmaking and make it worth watching whether you are interested in the craft, history, or just expanding general horror knowledge. I'm deducting one mark simply because I would have liked more detail on the evolving mix of traditional model making and CGI in new horror films even though it was touched on, as well as a bit more detail on some of their past projects that have since become genre set-pieces or examplars of the craft, but that may have made a 3hr doc and may not have been the directors intention. But besides, utterly compelling, even to someone who did not expect much and was exhausted at the viewing!
Loved it. Great Doc - very well put together, with inspiring insights from Greg Nicotero, John Carpenter, Frank Darabont and lots more. Perfect as entertainment(can't wait to watch it again) and as an info session for practical horror FX, but inspiring for anyone who has one burning passion for anything. Was glad to see the "torso" zombie from WALKING DEAD's 1st ep. - Absolutely iconic film/TV moment and a really nice example of a GOAL by practical effects and an ASSIST by the pandora's box of CG - brilliant scene. It's a surprisingly real-world look at the unreal worlds of genre filmmaking, and everything it takes to make it work, and it's a lot of real work ..no space for the lazy. I love seeing "true love of film" up on that film screen - I'll be watching for more from Donna Davies - she was cool as hell..
An inside look at the world of Hollywood special effects and the
company paving the way, KNB Effects.
This gets right to the heart of horror effects -- no one does better than KNB (with all due respect to Tom Savini, who is essentially their predecessor). And all the mandatory people are here: Romero, Landis, Carpenter... and of course Nicotero and Berger themselves (but no Kurtzman, who left the team). Even a few unexpected guests... like Elijah Wood.
At first, a big focus seems to be "The Walking Dead" rather than a historical look at the team... but then we get the archive footage of "Evil Dead II" and other earlier works from the guys. Amazing stuff, and gives incredible insight into the horror movie magic.
Who knew such great things came from Pittsburgh?
NIGHTMARE FACTORY, like THE SCI-FI BOYS, is one of those documentaries I could just sit and watch over and over without ever really getting bored. That's due, in no small part, to the fact that I was exactly like a lot of the people profiled in these documentaries- with one glaring distinction: I grew up in Abject Poverty, so the odds were always against my doing anything that required even a minimal outlay. I tried to WRITE my way into filmmaking, but things never quite worked out the way I'd hoped (although I DID get a response from George Romero, thanks to people like Forrest J. Ackerman and Bob Michelucci). Another problem I've always encountered: a lack of real interest on the part of any of the people I've known (I finally ran into a fellow comic book fan some years ago and we talked on the phone so much that his wife began to suspect something was up- there wasn't, of course- but even that friendship proved temporary: I haven't seen the guy in a year and a half, now; he grew "sick" of my "s***," he said). It's good to know that I'm not alone in this world when it comes to being a "fanboy." It's also good to know that some of Us make it Big in the end.
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