CGI is for wimps and babies. Real makeup effects “ now that’s where the true craft lies. Besides, using imagination and ingenuity is always more interesting than letting pixels do the work for you.
The hour-long documentary “Fantastic Flesh: The Art of Make-Up EFX” looks at the amazing practitioners of this delicate, dying skill, including Rob Bottin, Rick Baker, Tom Savini, Dick Smith, Greg Nicotero and Howard Berger. Cult film fans know their names as if they were above-the-title talent, but even the average moviegoer knows their work: “The Exorcist,” “The Chronicles of Narnia,” “Dances with Wolves,” “Total Recall,” “Sin City” “ the list goes on and on.
However, it’s the horror stuff at which they excel, and “Fantastic Flesh” peels back the layers to reveal some of their tricks of the trade, including:
the leg-shaving scene of “Cabin Fever”; the chest-chomps-arms bit in John Carpenter’s “The Thing”; the groundbreaking werewolf transformations in “An American Werewolf in London” and “The Howling”; the zombie eviscerations in “Day of the Dead”; and the face-ripping car crash of “Grindhouse.”
It’s not essential viewing for those curious about behind-the-scenes stuff, but it’s certainly interesting viewing. The DVD contains no extras, but the doc itself spotlights interviews with genre giants George Romero, Joe Dante, John Landis, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, Eli Roth and others.