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« It's a Wrap. October Highlights | Main | Oscar Horrors: Looking into PSYCHO »
Wednesday
Oct312012

Was Oscar Horrors Your "Frieeeeeeend"?

HAPPY HALLOWEEN !

Here Lies... bits and pieces of thieves and murderers all stitched together to form the Robert DeNiro version of Frankenstein's Monster. 

Yes, we close this year's season of "Oscar Horrors" by celebrating the gruesome Oscar-nominated makeup in...(deep breath)... Columbia Tri-Star Picture's Kenneth Branagh's Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1994) . So many possessives! And the film, if I remember it correctly, is possessed. Kenneth Branagh has never been a wallflower as a director and his version of Frankenstein has the exuberant gonzo abandon (i.e. shameless confidence) that also characterized his far more artistically successful reincarnation noir Dead Again (1991).

The makeup designs by Daniel ParkerPaul Engelen and Carol Hemming won Oscar's attention but the team lost to a black and white celebration of a more infamous gonzo director, Ed Wood

Now. You might be asking "why, Nathaniel, are we looking at shirtless (briefly) buff Kenneth Branagh and his Bride of Frankenstein instead of the Frankenstein Monster?" I may answer. "Have you seen this Frankenstein Monster? He is DIS-GUST-ING. I don't want to look at him anymore." To the make-up teams credit he really does look like bits of thieves and murderers stiched together the skin being different textures, different elasticities, different stages of decay. The stitches look painful and threaded by unsterile instruments. The makeup effects err on the side of gruesome realism. He looks nothing like the traditional Frankenstein monster with a caesar haircut, green skin and bolts in his neck and Branagh even brings him to life in his birthday suit so the makeup team designed borrowed man parts, too; this monster has nuts but no bolts. 

P.S. I also went with Kenneth & Helena photos because other than the Frankenstein experiment (slimy, nude, mad, clumsy -- an original take from Branagh) the only thing I ever remember about this movie is that it marked the end of that most awesome early 90s film couple Kenneth Branagh & Emma Thompson as he threw her over for Helena Bonham-Carter before Helena then left him for Tim Burton... or something like that. Consider this film Helena's "Bridge to Burton". Here in one film she's yanked from her then familiar Victorian doll iconography and lands painfully into the now familiar decayed gothic doll aesthetic.

The Complete Season 2 of Oscar Horrors  
Psycho -Director 
Carrie - Supporting Actress
The Nightmare Before Christmas - Visual FX
The Spiral Staircase - Supporting Actress
Ed Wood- Supporting Actor

Return to Glennescaul - Short Film
Aliens - Visual FX
Jaws - Editing
Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte - Supporting Actress
Phantom of the Paradise -Original Score

Shadow of the Vampire - Supporting Actor
Dogtooth - Foreign Film
Rebecca - Supporting Actress
Monster's Inc - Animated Feature

The Virgin Spring - Foreign Film
Pan's Labyrinth - Art Direction
Them! - Visual Effects
American Werewolf in London -Makeup
Addams Family Values  -Art Direction

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Reader Comments (6)

The bridesmaid dress Helena wears in Fight Club is her Tim Burton moment before Tim Burton. Branagh use to be so hot until I saw Celebrity—his Woody surrogate (worst Woody surrogate of all time) sickened me. It made me think of his real life dogging of Emma Thompson and I was done from then on.

Nathan—I thought you disliked this movie? And speaking of Oscar Horrors why isn't this series about Oscar Horrible miscarriages of justice?

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered Commenter4rtful

When I was nine, my mom went out of town for the weekend, and my dad rented this for us to watch together. Inappropriate Parenting Moment of the Year. He finally had to 'fess up when my mom asked him why I suddenly needed to start sleeping with the lights on.

I finally worked up the nerve to rewatch it about ten years later, and I realized that it kinda sucks. And I'm a Kenneth Branagh superfan, so it hurts to admit that.

But Dead Again is completely brilliant.

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterLiz N.

Fully enjoyed this series - thanks for running it. Particularly enjoyed the Shadow of a Vampire post; it's the reason that I'm watching it right now!

October 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterMike in Canada

Liz -- agreed fully on DEAD AGAIN. Love that movie so much. Made my top ten of its year.

Mike -- great. love to hear that posts prompt viewings.

4rtful -- you remember correctly. I do not like this movie. But I do respect certain elements of it.

October 31, 2012 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

YES on "Dead Again". That movie is brilliant, I watched it 10x with my sister growing up; it gave Beanagh a free pass for TOO LONG. Nothing he did was ever as good as "Dead Again"

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRebecca

I hope this series get renewed next year. If only so someone can write about The Sixth Sense again.

November 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterkin
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