Best Make-Up – 1979

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My Nominations: Alien. Apocalypse Now. Dracula. Hair. Mad Max. Nosferatu. Star Trek. Zombie Flesh Eaters.

We’re really on the precipice of peak Make-Up now, with the official aware still a couple of years away. Yet look at some of these nominees and think of how iconic they are in terms of film history and this category. Apocalypse Now may not seem like a Makeup movie at first, think of both Kurtz and Willard’s later arrivals in the film, one camouflaged in muck and ooze, the other adorned in sweat and shadow, along with all of the crazed followers of Kurtz and the many painted soldiers Willard meets heading up river. Mad Max would really amp things in sequels but even in the original there are notable effects to make certain characters look more monstrous or off-putting. Frank Langella’s Dracula is one of the more seductive takes on the eternal creature, but elsewhere there are plenty of ghostface and fanged loons dripping or hunting blood.

Nosferatu takes a more demonic, animalistic approach to its antagonist, and is memorable as the original version from decades earlier. Hair, as the name suggests, would have been a sure fire nominee if this category had already existed with early awards more focused on hair and costume and base makeup rather then the outlandish. Speaking of the outlandish, Zombie Flesh Eaters features such delights as a zombie fighting a shark and a wooden splint through the eye – it’s great. Star Trek features the expected array of aliens with less of the hokey nature of the original series. Finally, Alien features arguably the greatest original creature in the history of cinema – but does it class as Makeup? We don’t have a Best Creature Design category yet, so in lieu of that ever happening, it’s getting my vote. Beyond that, it has plenty of great, squirting stuff going on.

My Winner: Alien

2 thoughts on “Best Make-Up – 1979

  1. John Charet April 7, 2021 / 10:27 pm

    Hard to choose in this category because it only became an official one in 1981 when An American Werewolf in London became the first to take home that prize 🙂 I bet you are excited to get to that one 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • carlosnightman April 8, 2021 / 7:03 am

      The 80s are my favourite time for make-up and visual effects!

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