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

Best Make-up – 1978

My Nominations: Dawn Of The Dead. The Fury. Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers. The Wiz.

We’re only a few years away from this category becoming official, so for now lets continue to honour those who came before. The zombies in Dawn of The Dead have a very unique look – that blue hue which makes them look very cartoonish. Depending on your personal taste, you’ll love or hate this. Beyond that, the gunshot and gore effects for the time are second to none and while much of it doesn’t hold up today thanks to the deliberate over the top colours, it’s better than anything else of the era. Rick Baker was one of those figures who ensured that this category even existed – his work on horror going back to The Exorcist and earlier lower budget movies. He picked up a Saturn Award (along with mentor William Tuttle) for The Fury in which psychic kids learn how (not) to control their powers.

The Wiz is an obvious choice with great work by Stan Winston to turn Michael Jackson and pals into The Scarecrow, The Tin Man, and The Wiz etc. Finally, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers offers some gooey alien goodness as duplicate humans in various forms try to wake up and take over the lives of everyone in San Francisco. Not to mention that dog.

My Winner: Dawn Of The Dead.

House of Horror: Dawn of the Dead (1978) – Place to Be Nation

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Best Make-up – 1977

My Nominations: Star Wars. Eraserhead. Hausu. The Island Of Dr. Moreau. Rabid. Suspiria.

There are a few here that I’d be happy picking as winner – for sheer disturbing power Eraserhead’s work is second to none and creates a nightmarish atmosphere and vision which is difficult to get through, while the invention in Hausu puts most other movies to shame. The Island Of Dr. Moreau continues what was started with Planet Of The Apes, while Rabid offers a more urban take on zombies, with all manner of bodily stuff going on. That leaves Star Wars and Suspiria, and out of those two Star Wars wins on scope alone.

My Winner: Star Wars.

Let us know in the comments which films you would nominate here!

Best Make-up – 1974

My Nominations: Young Frankenstein. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Flesh For Frankenstein. The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad.

Once again there was no official award this year, so you’ll have to take my word on what was good. As would continue to be the case, the nominees mainly fall into the horror and fantasy genres – not genres which The Academy pays much heed to – but which nevertheless have created some of the finest examples of the craft. Young Frankenstein does subtle work to Peter Boyle to turn him into The Monster, but not so much that Boyle’s features and abilities are blocked. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre screams blood and guts, but there are only a few very minor scenes of such in the movie – it’s the make-up on Grampa and lighter touches on the rest of the family which transform them into something gruesomely human. Flesh For Frankenstein on the other hand goes all in on the gore effects, with viscera spilling all over the place. Finally, The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad is mainly notable for its stop motion and assorted effects, but the Make-up also gives a convincing sense of time and place.

My Winner: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Let us know your winner in the comments!

Best Make-Up – 1973

My Nominations: The Exorcist. Live And Let Die. Westworld.

Although there was a surplus of horror movies this year, few of them actually stand out for making advancements in this area. The one that did is of course, The Exorcist – Regan’s transformation to angelic child to spawn of Satan wouldn’t work without the talents of the Make-up team, not to mention the entirely convincing aging work done to Max Von Sydow. Live And Let Die has some nice paint and makeup jobs too on the likes of Baron Samedi and Kananga which are both for show and a specific plot point. Finally, Westworld has some notable makeup and effects works to show the gradual and sudden deterioration of the crush kill destroy bots.

My Winner: The Exorcist.

Best Make-Up – 1970

My Nominations: Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. The Bird With The Crystal Plumage. The Dunwich Horror.

No official category this year, as you well know, so you’ll have to put up with my picks scant as they are. There’s a wealth of crappy to average horror movies this year, The Dunwhich Horror just about scrapes by due to interesting ideas though it’s hackneyed and terribly dated now – decent make-up in places. The Bird With The Crystal Plumage is much better and not as gory and stylized as Argento’s later efforts. While Beneath The Planet Of The Apes doesn’t really advance the work achieved in the early entry in the series, it does offer some mutants as well as the apes, and is still my choice as winner.

My Winner: Beneath The Planet Of The Apes.

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What film of 1970 would you give the Best Make-Up award to? Let Us know in the comments!

Best Make-Up – 1969

Even with two special Awards in the last few years, the Academy was still not prepared to dedicate a yearly category for those responsible for Make-up. In their defence, it would be another few years until enough films with suitable quality were being regularly released, but lets see what 1969 had to offer.

My Nominations: They Shoot Horses Don’t They. The Wild Bunch. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid.

Not a lot to be honest.

My Winner: The Wild Bunch

What is your pick? Let us know in the comments!

Best Make Up – 1968

My Nominations: Planet Of The Apes. Night Of The Living Dead. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

John Chambers won an honorary award for his work on Planet Of The Apes this year, adding fuel to the fire of those who believed a dedicated category and award was deserved. His apes have an all too human look, yet the makeup is flawless and on a huge scale. Not too many of the other movies released in 1968 raised the Make-Up bar or changed the game significantly, but both Chitty Chitty Bang Bang with the nightmarish Child Catcher, and Night Of The Living Dead with its assortment of zombies featuring pasty, yet ultra-effective looks.

My Winner: Planet Of The Apes

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Which film of 1968 do you think has the Best Make Up? Let us know in the comments!