9 fantastic full-body monster makeup jobs

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Marc Bernardin
Dec 14, 2012

It's become routine for filmmakers to turn to computers to warp their actors into the unnatural. But there will always be a place for the magic of traditional makeup, as demonstrated in Syfy's new Face-Off reality show, the next episode of which tackles the theme of full-body transformations.

Before diving into the series, check out some of the best the masters have to offer.


Hellboy and Hellboy: The Golden Army

Ron Perlman is no stranger to makeup, having been on our animal-human hybrid list, and director Guillermo del Toro slathered him in red paint and noggin appliqués to play this demonic, misunderstood hero.


Pan's Labyrinth

Del Toro seems to be a big fan of old-school makeup effects, and his Spanish-language Oscar-nominated fable is chock-full of creatures that could've been CG but are way better as tangible entities. It's hard to pick just one, but we're going for il Fauno (played by frequent Del Toro monster man Doug Jones).


X-Men and X2: X-Men United

It takes a confident person to get buck naked and let folks spray her blue, while just barely covering up the naughtiest of naughty bits. But if you're going to play a shapeshifter, clothes would just get in the way. And Rebecca Romijn rocked it.


X2: X-Men United

While we're talking about blue mutants from the Marvel Universe, we'd be remiss if we left out Kurt Wagner. Even though we don't see too much of Wagner's entire blue body in Bryan Singer's sequel, the little we do see of Alan Cumming's torso speaks volumes.


The Descent

Listen, do yourself a favor: Don't spelunk. Or cave-dive. Or, basically, go underground at all. You could either get trapped like a Chilean miner or get picked off by nasties like those in Neil Marshall's horror classic. Seriously, stay above ground.


How the Grinch Stole Christmas

Yes, Ron Howard's movie is an ungodly mess, and Jim Carrey indulges in some of his worst mincing-and-mugging ever ... and that's saying a lot. But Rick Baker's makeup design is pretty terrific.


The Exorcist

Maybe the scariest little girl in the history of cinema, Linda Blair's Regan goes from innocent to satanic in the blink of an eye. And the spinning-head gag, designed by Dick Smith, is the cherry on top of director William Friedkin's possession sundae.


Altered States

When a renegade professor experiments with sensory deprivation and hallucinogenic drugs, he enters a twisted physical and mental state that causes his body and mind to warp into unrecognizable forms. Trippy.


The Walking Dead

These aren't the first zombies we've seen on screen, not by a long shot, but these are the best we've ever seen on TV. Perhaps it's because Frank Darabont is trying to make this comic adaptation a drama that also features zombies and that eye towards realism has permeated every element of The Walking Dead, including the undead.

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