All posts tagged Alien

Face Off Season 10 Episode 5: Foreign Bodies

Published February 15, 2016 by vfdpixie

What a treat this week!!  The lab was turned into, well, a lab, where beakers and petri dishes galore surrounded the artists.  Their special guest tonight was Lance Henriksen!  Of course, everyone thinks of  him as Bishop in Alien, but I will forever associate him with Pumpkinhead as well as his intense character Frank Black in the TV series Millennium.  Lance was there to help with the next Spotlight Challenge:  create an alien parasite bursting from its host.  The artists would work in teams of two, and Lance advised them to pull from their experiences in order to create scary parasites and use anticipation to build fear.  There was also a surprise Foundation Challenge in the mix.  The teams had to make custom slime for their parasite.  Lance would be judging this challenge and the winning team would gain immunity.  They had fun mixing ingredients to get the best texture of disgusting slime, and when judging came around, everyone had a blast splatting their models to test the consistency.  Lance loved Johnny and Walter’s slime because they “mastered the chunk”, and Mel and Melissa’s because the slime looked sinister or childlike depending on the light.  Ultimately, it was Mel and Melissa who won, walking away with immunity for the both of them!

Robert and Katie teamed up again, despite Katie’s misgivings about butting heads with him.  Their microorganism parasite would be born from food poisoning.  Along with their neon yellow slime, they wanted to make tumors as well as a worm bursting from the model’s head.  This would be the first time Katie would mold a cowl while Robert worked on his worm, who he named Hans.  When it came time to apply the cowl, they realized it was too heavy and created a ridge that looked like a bald cap line on the model’s forehead.  Robert hated the makeup because of the frustrating ridge issue.  This makeup was seen as a missed opportunity by the judges, and they also felt the colours of the cowl and the model’s face were mismatched.  Robert and Katie were in the bottom.

Anna and Yvonne worked on a parasite that burst out the side of the model’s face.  They wanted a scary looking makeup and changed the colour of their slime to a caramel hue.  Mr. Westmore told them to make the parasite look like it was bursting out more, but in the end the parasite looked more like a transformation.  The judges didn’t like that there was a clear line down the center of the face, and Neville felt it was contrived and boring.  They too were in the bottom.

Johnny and Walter’s parasite burst from the model’s chest.  Johnny was set on a moving chest gag, so he used a drill motor to make the parasite rotate.  Their first chest piece mold didn’t work, so they scrambled to make another one, using more polyfoam.  The judges thought it was a great concept, but the cowl looked like a floppy orange beret to Ve, and Neville felt the parasite emerging from the head and chest didn’t work.  They were in the bottom.

Kaleb and Rob’s parasite burst out of the back of the head.  They had an applesauce based slime, but Rob also got overwhelmed by the time it took to sculpt and mold.  He didn’t have too much to worry about though.  The guys applied all the prosthetics and painted the whole makeup at once.  The judges liked the unique way the parasite burst out of the model, and the back was alluring to Neville.  They were in top looks.

Mel and Melissa’s parasite would burst from the person’s mouth, splitting the skin in two.  Mel had trouble with the face sculpt and decided not to go too literal with the design.  They had to adjust the face appliance and painted together on separate parts of the makeup.  Their infected lab tech was a favourite with the judges.  They loved the colours and the human head flap.  There was lots of forms and details going on, and the paint job was great.  They were in top looks and enjoyed their immunity status.

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The winning team was Rob and Kaleb.  The judges loved the sense of movement  with the alien.  Rob won again for his amazing sculpting of the alien.

The bottom team was Robert and Katie.  Katie would be going home for the lumpy cowl and bad paint job.  They judges loved Katie for her great attitude and work.  She was proud to have made it to the show, and I’m sure she’ll power on to more makeup gigs.

Face Off Season 9 Finale Part 2: Short Film Frenzy!

Published October 29, 2015 by vfdpixie

After waiting a whole, long week, we finally got to see the second part of the finale.  A third character was added to the three short film scripts the artists chose from last week.  Along with the added character came extra help from former contestants Libby, Jason and Ricky.  The finalists were stressed but they were pumped to work on a film set and rose to the occasion.

Evan added Libby to his team, and Patrick added a mutated infected character to the film Quarantine Zone.  That meant Evan had to rework his infected captive so he wouldn’t look so far gone, and bump up the mutant so he looked grotesque.  Patrick liked the concept for the mutated infected, and they made giant mutant arms for the makeup.  Working on a film set was Evan’s dream, and this challenge was fulfilling it for him.

On set, Evan and his team worked well together to get the mutant painted and finish all the makeups.  When Patrick saw the wanderer, he wanted to remove the coat she was wearing, so Evan had to go in and cover her exposed skin with makeup to make her look dirty and camera-ready.  The judges said they loved the captive’s veins, the mutant arms and how on the ball they were as a team.  Glenn liked how well Evan worked with Patrick.  Ve loved the paint jobs and cohesive characters, and Neville liked that he rethought the characters and managed to pull off the looks.

The cast of Quarantine Zone

The cast of Quarantine Zone


Ben added Jason on his team and they had to create a sacrifice victim that seduces the creature.  She needed to be beautiful and more human-like.  They had lots of pieces to apply, but there was some trouble with the victim.  The edges around her mouth lifted, so they added blood to make the flaw look like a wound.  Ben pre-painted most of the pieces, and although Jason was freaking out about the female character, Ben was happy.  This night shoot was really dramatic by the light of a fire, and the priest and creature got a lot of praise for their cohesiveness and forms, but the judges did notice the issues with the female victim (no victim picture available).

A shot from Ben's short Resurrection

A shot from Ben’s short Resurrection


Nora added Ricky to her team.  She had to create a giant ally for the prey in order for them to trick the hunter.  Nora was really psyched to get her makeups done.  She did a great job controlling every detail, and drew the best out of her team. On set, she had to water proof the makeups due to a last-minute directing decision, but she took it in stride.  Neville loved the giant and thought he was badass, and Glenn loved how the mud and water worked well with the makeup.  It was a great shoot, and Nora got emotional over the whole experience.

The cast of The Prey

The cast of The Prey

The winner was Nora!!  They loved how she worked well on set and how cohesive the giant and prey were.  She wins a Fiat 500, $100,000, and a VIP trip to one of Kryolan’s international locations.

Hats off to all the finalists, and congratulations to Nora, winner of Face Off Season 9!  I’m sure she’ll blaze a trail in the movie makeup world.

I’ll see you here in January when Face Off comes back for a 10th season!

Face Off Season 8 Episode 9: Face Off’s Miss Intergalactic Pageant!

Published March 12, 2015 by vfdpixie

This week, the artists had a cool Foundation Challenge.  They all headed to Long Beach where they found models and bowls of coloured powder.  They had to create a colourful makeup inspired by the Hindu Spring festival of Holi using only their hands.  Dealing with a windy beach, the artists ended up as covered by the powder as their models, but had a blast creating finger-painted and splashed up makeups.  Their judges were the team coaches, and they picked blindly, based on the makeup only.  The winner was Stephanie!  Coach Rayce liked how she transitioned blue and orange and the way it looked in terms of lighting.  Her prize was immunity which made her really happy since she was in the bottom last week, and this win kept her safe.

For the Spotlight Challenge, they had to create their own alien beauty pageant contestant to participate in Face Off’s Miss Intergalactic Pageant.  Their advisor this time was Miss Universe 2013, Gabriela Isler.  She told them that the presentation of the makeup was important and also to make sure the look exuded a friendly attitude.  The artists chose from different galaxies named on pageant sashes which were draped on dress forms.  The winner of the pageant would have a full-page spread in Entertainment Weekly, and their guest judge was senior writer for the magazine Darren Franich, so they were really excited to get started.

Emily picked the Pinwheel Galaxy.  Her concept involved an asymmetrical dress and a pinwheel wig.   She made foam tubing swirls for the dress and just had fun with her design, adding day-glo paint and glitter on her model’s skin.  I loved the colours, but the judges thought the mouth looked slightly injured.  Darren thought the character did tell a story however, and Emily was safe this week.

Ben got the Andromeda Galaxy.  He created an alien with three points on her head and used a four piece mold for the cowl to get a sleeker prosthetic.  His edges were great but it was a lot of work ahead of him as he scrambled to get his three-pointed eye mask on.  I thought the face was too flat in terms of colour or lack there of, and the judges thought some of the details looked stuck on.  Although Neville liked the chin, he also felt it looked like a 60’s Japanese superhero, and they all thought the texture and colour could have pulled it together but something was missing.  He was in the bottom looks.

Logan created a contestant from the Comet Galaxy.  His concept was a beautiful face and chaos in the back.  This put him out of his comfort zone.  The face wasn’t looking right to him, so he worked on subtleties, and created a beautiful alien that the judges thought was brave and original.  Stephanie had the Tadpole Galaxy and designed an alien with a tail feature.  The colours were cool, but Glenn thought it looked like a microwaved peep, and the back and front didn’t quite work together.  They were both safe.

Julian worked on the Whirlpool Galaxy.  He came up with an elongated head and a green colour scheme.  His cowl was indented, so he had to use a foam patch to fix it.  He had also never done a beauty makeup before, so Coach Laura helped him out with it.  He was worried, but the judges loved it.  They thought it was simple and effective with a beautiful face shape, and balanced alien beauty.  Ve liked the eye makeup and balanced cheekbones.  His stellar use of forms got him into tops looks.  (I would just like to add that I thought she looked like a beautiful brussels sprout.  There I said it.  That’s why I’m not a judge on this show).

Kelly picked the Sombrero Galaxy.   Her concept was an amphibious alien that hid from the hot suns of the galaxy.  She at first wanted multiple eyes, but Coach Anthony helped her realize that it would look too spider-like.  She started to panic and felt lost.  They came up with tentacles instead that would wrap around into an updo.  She had a lot of work with the tentacles so they would look defined, and in the end, it was not what she wanted.  The judges thought it was too busy with no focal point, and even though the sculpt was nice, it looked like a mask.  She was in the bottom looks.

Darla got the Sculptor Galaxy.  She wanted a spiral shape at the back of the head, but after consulting with Coach Laura, she moved them to the side of the head as it would be more symmetrical and beautiful.  After she fixed a minor crease in the nose, her makeup was just amazing!  She is finally showing her talent!  The judges thought it was gorgeous and the beauty makeup widened the face to make it pretty.  Darren thought it was glamorous in and old Hollywood way, calling it a space Norma Desmond.  Her classy, elegant and stunning makeup put her in the top looks.

Adam created an alien from the Cigar Galaxy.  He designed a crested head and wanted old Hollywood elegance as well.  He had a lot of appliances to put on the model, and in last looks, he came up with a great way to cool down hot glue with just air from the airbrush.  I loved the head and the judges thought it was a brave design with shapes they had never seen before.  Ve thought it was elegant from the side, and Darren liked the lava and rock look that carried onto the model’s cheeks.  He was in top looks.

The winner was Darla!!!  Yay!!! I was so happy!  Her alien would be in Entertainment Weekly because of Darla’s flawless makeup and application.  Kelly was the one going home.  The judges felt the rough paint and placement of details showed that she struggled to put things together.  I was sad to see her go but she has a lot of confidence and she is amazing, so she’ll get noticed for sure.

Team Tally:

Team Anthony: Ben (yikes!)

Team Laura:  Darla, Julian, Emily and Stephanie

Team Rayce:  Logan and Adam

Pixie’s Cabin Fever!

Published March 2, 2015 by vfdpixie

So once again I find myself unemployed and isolated.  This horribly cold winter and my job search has kept me indoors, inactive and a little insane, truth be told.  Case in point:  a knock on my apartment door last week prompted me to tip-toe barefoot, Mission Impossible style, to the peep-hole of my front door.  Who was this intruder, this interloper who dared to knock at my door, bypassing our lame security buzz code system?!! I saw a small being, hobbit-like, hover by my door, and I heard what sounded like a photo being taken.  That was beyond weird.  Was it a serial killer taking a trophy photo of their victim’s front door? Was it the Tall Man’s minion, come to take me to another dimension? I wasn’t about to find out and crept slowly away from the door.  When my sister came home, she announced that there was a jumbo box of cat litter left at our door.  My interloper was the delivery hobbit from Walmart, and the photo was probably them scanning their delivery.

Lack of human contact and a schedule, believing your cats can read your mind, plus the ridiculous amounts of snow and cold weather alerts have contributed to this pixie’s descent into Cuckoo Land.  After that delivery incident, I started to think about all the isolation horror films where characters-mostly employed-start to lose it out in space or the elements; battling aliens, themselves and unseen threats.  I thought I would do a Cabin Fever post about my brothers and sisters in arms sacrificing themselves, mostly at work, as they fight various terrors or their own mental states (I will however, make a note of  putting these jobs in my “circular file” as I look for gainful employment, for obvious reasons).

My top film for this sort of mayhem is of course, John Carpenter’s The Thing.  A research team minding their own business out in the Antarctic, is infiltrated by a voracious alien life form that hitches a ride in a cute dog on the run.  Imagine being out there in the cold, maybe more than a touch bored,  only to have your solitude disrupted by an alien threat.  That kind of excitement I can do without!



Alien is the next film on this list.  A crew on their way back to Earth after their space mission makes a stop due to a potential distress signal where they find a heap of alien trouble awaiting them.  So basically, this lot was on their way home from work only to have another assignment thrown at them and end up being violated by an alien.  Talk about your contractual obligations.  Sheesh!



Black Mountain Side, inspired by The Thing, is about another set of researchers on the brink of discovering a ground breaking archeological find on an isolated snowy mountain range.  When they start to have psychological problems, things become deadly.  Once again, researchers doing boring researchy things in the middle of nowhere are at the mercy of an unknown threat.



Mr. Jones is my next pick.  A filmmaker and his girlfriend move to the woods so he can work on a nature documentary and they end up becoming obsessed with a reclusive artist who creates disturbing sculptures. This film got mixed reviews, but I liked it.  A case of recluse vs. recluse, it’s basically a story of one artist seeking the solace of nature interrupting another artist’s solitude and paying the supernatural consequences.  Note to self:  artists who live in the backwoods do so for a reason.



The Corridor deals with a boy’s weekend deep in a winter wonderland.  Some high school friends try to reconnect years after one of them has had a mental breakdown.  They enjoy a laddish night of drinking and re-establish their footing with one another until an anomaly in the forest sends them into a spiral of violent psychosis.  This time no one is working, merely trying to relax with their friends and they end up getting scalped, among other nasty things.



To round it all up, I’ll give Mother Nature the final word, because she going to have it whether we like it or not.  The Day After Tomorrow, which sounds like my West Indian uncle’s promise to return a drill, kicks our butts with some hard-core, extreme and devastating weather.  When a paleoclimatologist warns against a catastrophic event caused by global warming, he is at first ignored, but when the snow hits the fan, he races to save his son and other survivors as North America hightails it to Mexico.  While we are not near this type of disaster (yet), it sure as heck feels like Spring has tapped out this year.


The moral of this post?  Well, I’m still not answering my door if you haven’t been invited over, but I will take heed when heading out to an isolated cabin in the winter or deep space, maybe just get some fresh air to clear my head and go for a walk in a highly populated area with a decent coffee shop instead, and perhaps apply for a more, um, “people person” job…




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