Reviewed by: Ryan Doom
What's it about
A documentary that details the business and creativity of the special effects world with behind-the-scenes, interviews, and rare pictures.
Is it good movie?
Iíve always loved special effects. As a little Doom, horror especially frightened the hell out of me. I remember watching something as innocent of Michael Jacksonís Thriller video and hiding behind the couch. Peaking up just as the King of Pop mutated into something elseÖIt was the effects, the unknown knowledge of how a man could transform into a wolf that was more than I could handle. It wasnít until I saw a documentary a few years later that explained the process of special effects that erased that internal fear. After that, the gore, the creatures didnít matter. Actors were behind the make-up.
The documentary Fantastic Flesh: The Art of Make-Up EFX is the type of thing those afraid or fascinated by horror, effects, gore, or make-up should watch. It covers the entire industry, from the Universal Monsters to Grindhouse, and provides a very thorough and ultimately intelligent look at inspirations, influences, and the movies themselves. Itís great to watch so many various horror and make-up icons explaining their craft as thankfully, it relies on the old guard to detail their exploits. Everyone from Tom Savini to John Landis to Dick Smith. Only Eli Roth from new school appears.
I have to admit, I was a little surprised with as Fantastic Flesh began with The Chronicles of Narnia. Not that it didnít have great effects, but it feels out of place as the documentary is divided multiple sections with each outlining a different theme, covering such movies as Sin City, Romeroís Zombies, The Thing, Cabin Fever, The Exorcist, American Werewolf in London among others. Narnia might have worked in passing, but an entire section to on it to hook the viewer? Also, another mild complaint comes from Fantastic Flesh being divided with by many films and having no narrator to provide transitions; it creates disjointing feeling, though not that it really matters. The films and the directors carry enough weight and validity to make the thing pretty damn good.
Oh, the worst part? John Carpenter. I love this dude but damn, it looks as if heís been smoking a carton an hour as of late. Run some laps, pal. We need you to reclaim your status among the horror elite.
Video / Audio
Video: Widescreen presentation
Audio: Presented with the power of Dolby Surround 5.1
Good, effective, detailed documentary thatís a must of any fan of horror or of just old school special effects. No CGI here.