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Pinhead

In Defense of Hellraiser Inferno

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untitledI’ve saved Inferno for last because it’s far more unusual for a Hellraiser film than it appears. It’s easier to defend from an objective point of view than it is as a Hellraiser fan actually.

In many ways this was breath of fresh air when I stumbled across it in 2000 or 2001. I had no idea it was even coming out when I saw it on the used video tape shelf at Blockbuster and I immediately bought it. Four had been a big let down for me (I even saw it in the theatre, and I had no inkling that the workprint existed yet) and this was actually arefreshing return to form.

I think this film is jarring to a lot of people because it’s SO different from the other Hellraiser movies. We’re back to a small personal story after the world and star spanning scope of Hellraiser Bloodlines, and man is this a head trip with a twist ending. Still, I dug the twist and the trippyness. I got imagesCAEUHIJJit. I will admit that I was disappointed by how little Pinhead was in it (then again that would prepare me for his limited appearances in all of the DTV movies) but on the other hand we also got some very cool new cenobites with no real eyes and Lament glyphs carved into their flesh, moreover, the main bad guy the Engineer had a VERY Hellraiser look to him

Another thing that made it feel a little Hellraiser was the inclusion of Craig Schiffer. He’s definitely Barker alumni having played the main character in Clive Barker’s Night Breed. He’s even more of an anti-hero in this and it suits him. I think I believe him in this role more than I ever did as Cabal. Perhaps it’s just his age. He’s grown into his look and he plays the imagesCA0FCIR4world weary cop type perfectly. Nicholas Tourtino is a brilliant piece of casting as his partner by the way, being as familiar with him as I already was from stuff like NYPD Blue.

There”s just enough gore hereto satisfy, probably a more satisfying type of gore in fact than what we’d seen in recent years. That was actually one of my main complaints with Bloodline, it seemed like the most inventive use of gore was during the dissection scene and even that was fairly tame. Then again, Bloodline was a fairly straightforward movie (muddled mess that it was, it didn’t aspire to anythingimagesCAAC8NLL more than by-the-numbers slasher fare. Inferno wants to get under your skin (no pun intended). It wants to unease you, to disturb you. They throw images at you that are meant to make you do a double take – “did I just see that” and it fits since at the end (Spoilers) we learn that most of the film in in Craig Schiffer’s head. He’s in his own personal hell. Those little cells we see in Helbound? He’s in one, and is experiencing this mentally. It makes sense, different tortures for different people. For Craig, the slicing and punishing of flesh isn’t torture enough, his bad choices have to be paraded in front of him. Regret is far more painful than razors through skin.

But….that’s also where the Hellraiser fan in me begins to have an issue.

imagesCA5TL30HYou see, the Hell of Leviathan isn’t the Judeo-Christian Hell. That’s made clear…(at least back in the 80’s and 90’s it was, Clive seems to have changed his position on that in the last ten years or so) it’s a different dimension filled with extradimensional beings who crave order. We call it Hell because that’s the name we use for the worst thing we can  think of and they have accepted the name, but it’s not the Hell the Bible speaks of. They don’t care if you’re good or evil, they just care about desire…and flesh. imagesCASZE4DMInferno seems a little too judgemental…not that I have an issue with that in of itself, it’s just a little out of place in Hellraiser. Again, my best rationalize it is that this was determined to be the best way to torment Craig Schiffer’s character and we simply haven’t seen it before. It’s a good explanation and I’m fine with it, but I shouldn’t have to figure out how it fits in the mythology myself.

Still, that’s a small complaint, and one aimed more at appeasing Hellraiser fans who are driven nuts by this element. All in all, this is a really good supernatural detective story. It feels like something you wouldn’t be surprised to se Harry D’Amore in. If imagesCAP8XPGKyou go in not expecting to see too much Pinhead (despite his rather prominent appearance on the cover) and knowing it’s going to be a head trip, I think you will quite enjoy this one. This is back when Hellraiser still had a budget and a great cast. Definitely give this one a try on demand or borrow it from a friend.


In Defense of Hellraiser Revelations

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imagesCA7N6QEIIf Rick Bota and Peter Atkins wer the custodians of Hellraiser in each of their eras, I wonder if that makes Gary Tunicliffe the custodian today.

Really, he’s been around since the early days.  doing makeup as far back as 3. He also worked second unit under Rick Bota who pretty much had complete faith in him – any shot of a hand or a back…anything without the actors face in Deader or Hellworld was Gary. He loves the series and you’ll never find a bigger cheerleader for it.

Revelations was made basically to keep the rights to Hellraiser in house. It is the most slapped together of any of the films. Remember that half a million that they had to spend in Romania  (to stretch the dollar even further) for Deader and Hellworld? Revelations got $350,000 AND had to shoot in L.A. They also had to be done in two weeks. As you can see, no one at dimension was taking this film seriously.

No one but Gary. He wrote the script, created some untitledspectacular makeup effects (better actually than we’ve seen in over a decade) and worked countless unpaid hours creating new cenobites and new costumes (we haven’t seen new costumes in ten years) and brilliant new designs so this film would have a chance at being more than just a throwaway.  Seriously, look at those. This could be straight out of any of the “respectable” Hellraiser films. All of this and the truth is, they weren’t even sure it would ever be released. It just had to be made to keep the rights.

Besides all of this (as if this weren’t all enough), it immediately had two strikes against it.

First, Dough Bradley wasn’t invited back to be Pinhead. This is a shame, butimages understandable. Doug is getting older and that collar of his gets bigger with every sequel. But also, there’s no money. He’s not going to play the character just for the love of the game, and dimension wasn’t going to shell out his fee this time. Shortsighted on their part, but then again, on the corporate level, this entire project was.

Second, Clive Barker came out and trashed the movie before it ever hit the shelves. Now THIS pisses me off. In my previous articles, you’ll notice that Barker’s name NEVER comes up as a custodian of Hellraiser. I acknowledge that he created something remarkable in the Hellbound heart, and something just as remarkable in the first Hellraiser movie., But that’s where his involvement stops. He created the premise, but really, Peter Atkins created the mythology when he wrote the second third and fourth films. Most of what we truly love about Hellraiser comes from Atkins, not Barker and I consider him the true father of Hellraiser.  I don’t know images2why Barker was so vocal abut this film. His entire involvement in all of  the sequels has been to sit at an advance screening, turn in notes (which may or may not be considered) and cash a check. I wonder if he wasn’t paid off this time.

I truly believe all of this contributes to this film being judged to harshly, certainly by the wrong measure. The film tries hard. It’s not a found footage file as is occasionally reported, though there are some found footage elements. Gary tries to recreate as many elements from the original as he can. One family destroyed by what’s in the box. We get the skinned body coming out of the mattress, we get the darkened torture room again image1s(something they tried to do in Hellseeker by the way, and failed – Bota remarks about how the room disappointed him. This one is a hundred times better), we get candles surrounding the supplicant trying to open the box. We have complicated adulterous relationships and forbidden sex. We have a puzzle guardian. All of the elements are there. The big problem is I’m sure this is a first draft, with no time or money for revisions. Two weeks means no time for rehearsals, not time even while you’re acting to find the characters…and it’s a shame because I can see what this could imag2eshave been. What it should have been if they’d been given even the meager resources they had on Deader and Hellworld. Over on the Hellbound web, one person remarked “If this were a fan film, I’d be raving about it.” This is a good point, because I know fan films with bigger budgets or at least, more resources and most have far more time.

It’s a shame my biggest defenses are “They ment well” and “there’s worse out there” but that’s really at the heart of it. This is better than any film the Asylum puts out any day of  the week. It’s better than the majority of stuff on Sci-Fi, and it has the distinctive flavor of Hellraiser to it.


In Defense of Rick Bota

defenserickWe’re continuing with the Hellraiser theme this week, but I’m lumping a bunch of films into one. You see, this is a defense of Rick Bota.

In the past I’ve called Bota the custodian of Hellraiser for the early 2000’s. He’s listed as the director on Deader, Hellseeker and Hellworld, though that doesn’t really even begin to encapsulate what he does.

These films are always maligned, in large part because “they aren’t as good as the first four” or three. After all they were Direct To Video and that automatically means crap. Of course the same criticism was leveled at both Hellraiser Three and Four – not as good as the first two.

Can I just take this argument off the table? Seriously, if you expect a sequel (especially one of the later ones) to be nearly as good as the source material, you’re in trouble. Hellraiser (and Hellbound for that matter, which I actually like hw1better) is nothing short of a masterpiece. They also had a budget. The  DTV sequels were made for pennies. Half a million in 2005 as opposed to one million in 1987. Huge difference. We still get two or three cenobites besides Pinhead in every one of these movies. I don’t know how they manage it. With that kind of difference you can forgive that the cenobites pants are now just leather biker pants and that the armor comes from the same mold.

It’s interesting especially in the case of Hellworld and Deader, that the films tone is criticized. Three and four are huge sprawling films where Pinhead has almost hw2become a slasher. With the first of the DTV movies, Inferno, the series went back to smaller more personal stories. The head trip aspect was amped up. It was a different direction in service of the budget, but not an entirely new one. We still have disjointed imagery and some trippy scenes in both one and two – Kirsty standing over a bloody bed surrounded by feathers, The little girls abduction in Hellbound and the funhouse scene…the emphasis is new, but it’s not out of place. In fact, it’s truer to the theme and tone of Hellraiser than three or four were. Hellseeker actually features the return of Kirsty, and we have Bota to thank for that. The script wasn’t written with that character in mind…although she had the same name. Bota brought back Ashely Lawrence to help tie this back into the series as a whole (something by the way, that the previous film Inferno, doesn’t even attempt to do).

I’m a particular fan of Deader. We once again have mysterious places much like the opening scenes of Hellraiser – I imagine this Romania is just the sort of place one would find the box, and perhaps one of the places Frank would have looked. Bota goes out of his way to link the villain Winter, with LeMerchant.

Hellworld draws the biggest criticisms, and rightly so. It’s  the weakest of the three Bota films. While Deader and Hellseeker were bother created from completed scripts (stand alone scripts from the slush pile at Dimension by the way, that were imagesCANRSRQVre-written into Hellraiser movies) Hellworld was basically a nebulous idea that was floating around when the crew headed into Romania to shoot Deader. Pages were still being written while shooting was going on…something that smells very much like a studio decision to me. The crew was handed a set and told to make a Hellraiser movie out of it. What’s fascinating is that this is where Bota really shows his love for the material. For the first time since the second movie Hellbound, we have references to Leviathan. The movie is drenched in the mythology, references to the cenobites and Lemerchant. They even brought Lance Henrickson in to chew scenery and be generally malevelont.  Unfortunately we’re also stuck with a group of lackluster teens (including future Superman Henry imagesCA8RI4X1Cavill) straight out of any 90’s horror movie. It’s a shame because there is some potential here but obviously not enough time or budget to realize it. In one scene, a victim is hooked and lifted in the air and bled out. Actually only lifted up a couple of feet, where as Bota pictured him a couple yards in the air….but no time or budget.

There’s also complaints about how Pinhead is treated in this movie, but of course (spoiler) it’s not actually pinhead so acting out of character is exactly what he should be doing. For all of it’s wallowing in the mythology, it fails to achieve the edginess of the other films, and that’s a shame because the passion behind it is obvious. Still, on it’s own, on a Saturday night with friends before heading out to the club or at a hw3party, this is a fun film. As an entry into the series, I still enjoy it the same as I enjoy the lesser episodes of Star Trek or Doctor Who.

I have heard more than once that Rick Bota tried to destroy Hellraiser. That he is to blame for substandard Hellraiser. The truth is, Dimension was going to make these films and if it hadn’t been Bota it would have been someone else…possibly someone who didn’t care about the series legacy. Or it could have just as easily been, no more films at all. I was super excited fore each and every one of these. I’m glad we have them and I’m glad someone took the time to try and link every one of these into the series proper instead of just slapping together another slasher with pinhead makeup. Nothing will ever be as good as the original, but I’ll watch these with the same vigor as I read the comics!


In Defense of Hellraiser Bloodline

defense

untitledIt’s a guilty pleasure, one of the weakest of any of the theatrical Hellraiser films, but I feel I have to step up and defend this one. In fact, Hellraiser in general will be getting a lot of my attention in this column over the next year.

First and foremost, please don’t tell me that this one sucks because it’s the one in space. I’ll likely slap you in the face. Yes, a part of it does take place in space, but it’s less than a third of the film and was planned as even less.

Ah plans.

This is possibly the single most meddled with of all the Hellraiser films. I’ve read no less than four scripts for it and own not only the theatrical, but also an strange workprint that surfaced over at The Hellbound Web. You can see a great deal more emphasis placed on modern day and the past sequences, making it a great deal better in fact. There’s more terror, more threat. Less….dog.

imagesCAFH5H33Of course by this time, Dimension wanted more slasher material, less of the haunting villain. In the late 80’s and 90’s Peter Atkins was really the custodian of Hellraiser. He was the scriptwriter and one of the guiding forces of the story. You can see where the studio tinkered to get more kills, or came up with bizarre ideas like making the chatterer in this film a chatterbeast…. The litany of how much Dimeinsion interfered with this is legend but let’s hit a few key points

Adding the space wraparound to get to Pinhead sooner,  despite every version of the script up until then having him appear around the 40-minute mark.

imagesCAZ9Z6EQMore kills, less plot. Huge chunks of the script were excised. Scenes that were filmed were left of the cutting room floor – in general you edit seconds, minuets out, not scenes…certainly not ones that explain dialogue and plot points.

We know Kevin Yagher quit. I’ve read in more than one place that his replacement did as well, and in other places I’ve heard of as many as four different directors for this film.

For all of this, there are great moments. LeMerchant is portrayed a little more heroically than he was in the comics, but ochildne could chalk that up to it being told from a family history point of view which makes him more heroic, less of a sadistic serial killer. We really do get an interesting history of the box and the scene of  the Merchant building (which pretty much picks up straight off from the end of Hellraiser three) is perfect. It’s a lot of what I wanted from the end of that film. There’s a scene with Pinhead and John Merchant’s child that still disturbs me. It’s not like a jump scare, it’s not terror…it’s horror. He has the kid and you just don’t know what he’s going to do with him. He’s invaded your very ordinary domestic world and you’re just human. Powerless. The design of the cenobite Angelique is nothing short of stunning. Extremely Hellraiser.

I’ve actually got no complaints about the “in space”. The ship is gloomy, dirty, camped. There’s dust and chains and cold metal all around.  They play it straight, and really, it heightens the feeling of isolation. It’s like a haunted house with monsters romancing the halls…only there’s no hope of escape. shipYou either defeat the monsters or they YOU WILL DIE. It’s pretty horrifying in of itself. of course the idea of Cenobites roaming the station looking for people to kill is not exactly Hellraiser, instead it’s what the studio thought would be an easier sell.

If you haven’t seen it in a while, this movie is worth a second look. This is a film that improves on subsequent watching, perhaps because you know what to expect. I’ve always viewed Hellraiser as episodic and this movie is really three different episodes of that series, adding just a slight bit more to the mythos. If you can find the original workprint, it’s worth watching (avoid the “reconstruction” one floating around Youtube. It’s got some of the missing scenes, but then adds some weird CG ones of it’s own as well).


Pinhead makeup application, first attempt

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100_3339This is really the moment we’ve been waiting for. We’ve done parts of the makeup here and there, gotten all the prep work done but haven’t done an actual application.  There’s not time to do a test run. Already I can tell this is going to be a crazy long makeup, and I’m not about to waste a couple of hours and a bunch of makeup on a test run like I usually do. This is it.

We begin with some white makeup on the face, right around where the bald cap is going to meet the skin. I wan makeup under some of the cap so if it begins to ride up on my forehead we wont have a flesh toned line where the latex is escaping the skin.

100_3343Next we put the cap on. Time for more makeup. We need to do the whole face, but special attention is paid to that seam. The white greasepaint is what we are using to make it disappear. Adding latex to it would cause a bump, not the smooth surface we need and I can’t run a horizontal grid line across it because the shape would be wrong.

Once my face is white, we begin to draw the grid lightly with black makeup. This is entirely for guidance on where to put the pins, these black lines will be completely covered by the time we are done. The grid is lined up with the bald cap and we follow the vertical lines down, and begin the adding the pins at the 100_3344intersections. This is slow as each has to be applied individually and dried. They don’t feel quite stable but that’s part of what the cotton is for, to add some support. Time to begin cotton process again, bit by bit. Applying all these small pieces was what made the Zombie Spider-man we talked about last Halloween makeup so difficult. It’s dragging this application on as well, really glad the bald cap is already done. Still, between the pins and the cotton grid, we’re still pushing three hours.

100_3360After cleaning up the grid we add some light gray to the corners to add shading and get dressed. The next step is going to be  to create a proper costume, but for now, black cloths a puzzle box and a long coat should give the right impression. Adding a sinister belt and some knives just in time to meet up with Batman.

PINHEAD MAKEUP : COMPLETE

But that’s not really the end of the story. Like I said, I still have to create a proper costume. I can probably get away with a cheap black skirt for the lower part and a long black sleeved shirt for part of the top, but I need to create a vest for the center of the Pinhead costume…and that will also serve as a central part of any other Cenobite costume I make. We’ll be back to the Hellraiser project after I create some more Violent Blue.

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Pinhead Skullcap phase two

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In our last post on the Hellraiser Project we had finally found success in creating nails for the Pinhead Baldcap. That  process was actually a great deal more difficult than I had anticipated, but I’m glad it’s done.

The next step is to create the grid of cut flesh on the top of the head. The idea is that with a bald cap complete with pins and a grid, the rest of the makeup on application day will be half as difficult.

100_3330Back when we were trying out the facial pins, I settled on the cotton ball method of creating the cuts. A little latex, with pieces torn from a cotton ball sticking to it. This is a long process, and it’s giving me an idea of how long this makeup will take to apply. Just creating the cotton grid takes between an hour and a half and two hours. Each bit between the pins has to be added individually, then heated to dry faster. Instead of the long lines that it appears to be, what you are actually looking at is dozens of tiny little 100_3333cotton pieces, four little pieces making up each square.

The next step is to mat it down with fake blood. This is where a creative choice comes in. I’ve seen people do the grid just drawn in with black, I’ve also seen it done in red. I don’t want to do any of that. I’m using blue food coloring to mat the cotton down. Pinhead is frequently shown in a blue light and the color gives an eerie look to him. It also serves to mark out the grid and highlight it, without looking unnecessarily bloody. That’s a principle of 100_3332Pinhead’s look…he cause all this horrific bodily damage, but none of the blood ever gets on him – he always looks crisp, clean. The blue color adds to that stark, clean look. When I apply the makeup, we’ll use the same method, and follow the lines set down for us on the bald cap.  Finally we add white makeup to the squares and clean up some of the edges of the cotton with white greasepaint and a brush. The idea is to create trauma, to look like the skin is puckering where the cuts are, rather than it look like there’s a bunch of makeup in rows on my head.

That’s it. Time to celebrate with some Violent Blue, because the next step is the full application of the makeup.

PINHEAD BALD CAP : PHASE TWO COMPLETE

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Pinhead Skullcap Pass Three

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100_3273I think I’ve got it.

The previous two attempts to create a bald cap with pins that matched my facial makeup failed because I was trying my usual methods of creating makeups.

Time for something new.

It came to me when I was looking at the tools I use to apply makeup. Q-Tips. Lots of100_3274 ’em. The shaft is white and soft looking, very similar to the nails I made already. The big difference is that my facial nails aren’t quite as straight as these, but I think there will be enough confusion on my face with all the pins sticking out that you probably won’t notice unless you REALLY study it.

100_3276I started by snipping off the ends of the Q-tips and trimming them down to the right size, using one of my homemade nails for reference. Next I drew a grid on the cap lightly with a bit of black makeup and started to glue the nails in at each intersection. This grid will be pained over with white makeup eventually.100_3277

Trying it on again, the nails still spread nicely, but feel sturdier coming off. No snapping and popping…..

almost none.

A few nails began to fall off. The glue holds, but not enough, because the latex bald cap stretches under it. I went through and reinforced each pin with a bit of liquid latex around the base. Cap comes on and off! Next step will be to create a permanent grid…but first I got to do some Violent Blue cartoons.

PINHEAD SKULLCAP : STAGE ONE COMPLETE!100_3280


Pinhead Skullcap Pass Two

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100_3265    Today it’s try two for the skullcap part of the Hellraiser makeup. It turns out that the sculpty pins that we made for the bald cap constantly broke when taking it on and off. We need something sturdier.

Since we need something stiff and sturdy I want to revisit the molding process. I’m hoping that using hot glue and a mold, I can create pins that are sturdy enough to withstand the bald cap being taken on and off, but light enough not to fall off or drag the makeup down. The most important thin here however, is that they look like the model magic pins I will be using on my face.

100_3264We start off with some sculpty and a nail. I like using sculpt for hot glue molds because unlike clay, it doesn’t melt. It’s designed for high temperatures and can withstand the heat of the glue. The glue isn’t hot enough however to bake the sculpt into a hardened mess so it can still be reused. I pressed a nail into the sculpt and carefully pulled it out. The impression looks good, but now we have to see how the glue holds up.100_3266 I coat the inside of the mold with a little vegetable oil. It’ll help the glue release from the mold after it cools. When I pull it out I can immediately see a problem. there’s WAY too much flash. To many ridges and bumps. even painted, this won’t pass for the same kind of nails I have in my face, and I can make nails for facial makeup out of this stuff…it’ll be too heavy. back to the drawing board.

PINHEAD SKULL CAP : FAILED100_3268


Pinhead Skull Cap take one

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100_3270Today we’re back to the Hellraiser makeup. Now that we’ve created the pins for the face (as we saw the last time)  it’s tiem to address the rest of the head. In the past I’ve simply driven nails through a plain old bald cap and called it a day. The nails were real and looked just fine. In this case however, that’s not going to work. What I’m going to need on the Bald cap are nails that match the ones that are on my face.

The natural route was to simply use the exact same nails I had created out of model magic  for my face and glue a bunch of these to the bald cap. I had made a whole lot of extras with this in mind and so I went to work gluing them on.

They ended up a little floppy100_3271, but so were the ones I had already made for my face. It really didn’t matter as long as it all matched. I tried on the cap and the pins spread evenly. Everything looked good.

Then I took the cap off.

SNAP!

Pins started to break off and flew everywhere. The model magic was too light to take the shape changes of the bald cap and constantly broke when taking it on and off. Looks like I’m going to have to find something else to try with this. Time to go work on some Violent Blue while I ponder this.

Pinhead cap : FAILED


Pinhead pins, take two.

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So when we last tried to make pins for the pinhead makeup, it was using liquid latex. That experiment failed miserably. This time we’re going straight to the modeling compuound, something I’m reasonably sure will work.

I use a product by Crayola (like the crayons) called model magic. It’s extremely lightweight and the consistency of clay. It dries hard, but still remarkably light, lighter than foam rubber even. The reason I had wanted to avoid using this was because I was going to have to roll each of those nails by hand…and yep. That’s exactly what I ended up doing.

100_3234I had counted the pins on Pinheads skull and kept coming up with different numbers. I finally settled on 120. I expected I would end up making a slightly larger grid and not needing all of those, but better to have extras than not enough.

Finally, once enough pins were done, it was time to do a test run to see if they 100_3253would be light enough to stick on my face. First we draw the grid on my face so we know where to put the pins. this will also serve as a guide for the cotton scars I’ll add later. A dab of liquid latex at the bottom each, then some heat and time  waiting for them to connect with my face. In addition, I am planning on using shredded cotton to create the grid on my face. That will have t he added effect of helping to support the pins and hide the wide bottom that is holding it on to my skin.

The grid is going to be achieved by adding shredded cotton to my face. First you draw a line of liquid latex, then you slowly add bits 100_3255of cotton on top of it. Next you color it to blend in with the skin. When I actually do the pin head makeup, I won’t actually have to color the cotton since my skin will be white anyhow. To get it to look like a slice however, you need blood. The blood mats down the center and makes the edges look torn. For Pinhead, I plan to use blue food coloring instead of red blood.

Since I’m not in full makeup yet, I still did some of the cotton cuts, but colored them flesh tone and added a line of red blood in them so it gives kind of the effect of a pre-pinhead….it is just a test run after all.

The cotton cuts are going to take forever…I can see that just from the preliminary testing I’m doing right now. This is going to be a long makeup application.

100_3261Since it’s just a test appliance, I decided not to do the whole face, just half…it’ll save time, and still be proof of concept. I like how it looks, and the pins are working out just fine. The next step is goign to be the bald cap. There’s plenty of Model Magic pins left that I can glue them on to it….

but not tonight. I’ve already spent two hours rolling pins and another hour and a half just trying tout this makeup application. I’m loving the look, you can really see the beautiful symmetry of the pins, but I’m also getting a little tiered and need to do some Violent Blue for tomorrow. We’ll tackle the bald cap on anther night.

Pins :COMPLETE

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Hellraiser pins

hellraiser100_3226Today We are starting on creating the nails for the pinhead makeup. This time around I want something more on my face than just a painted grid, I actually want the nails to come out of the skin, but first I have to create some nail shaped appliances. I figured100_3227 we would try to make it out of solid latex. I have an alternate method in mind, but it would involve rolling each nail one at a time and I’d rather have something that I could just create a mold for and squeeze them out a bunch at a time.  I’ve had so good luck lately creating latex prosthetics so I grabbed a nail that looked about the right size, then pressed an impression into clay. Then I poured latex into the impressions, dripping it in using the brush in the jar. It dosen’t matter if there’s some overlap, I can always trim the flash off later with a razor.

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I could just wait all night for it to dry, but I keep a small hair dryer around just for this purpose. I use it frequently when I apply makeup, and this is pretty much the same thing. I’m also eager to see what the results would be and the heat could actually make it dry harder than simple air drying.

Once 100_3230things have gotten hard and dry, I tried prying them out of the clay. It didn’t work, the latex is too flexible and would stretch when I tried to flex it out. I ended up trashing that first batch and startign from scratch again….but aroudn this time I was getting a bad feeling about using this method. Once I got the second set up and dried I grabbed a razor to try and cut the nails out. It worked better, but not as well as I had hoped.

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Things were still too floppy, and I could see it as I cut them out. Those fears I had earlier were realized. Latex is just too flexible, it isn’t drying hard enough and I don’t have the resources to compress it. This isn’t going to work. I’m going have to go with plan B.

But not tonight. Tonight I’m going to go read some Violent Blue to cheer up.

Nail Appliance status:FAILED

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The Hellraiser Project

Starting a new feature here at Argo City. The Hellraiser project is a way for me to document the process of creating makeups and creature effects for at least two hellraiser characters. Right now I’m focusing on Pinhead and Chatterer. If all goes well, I’ll add a completely new Cenobite of my own creation later.

Posts will go from makeups to costumes as things get created.

In the past I’ve had a pinhead costume, but it wasn’t as good as I would like. It consisted of a white bald cap with nails driven through it and attached. Add white makeup and draw the hint of a grid on a face and top off with a long coat  buttoned to the top collar like a robe. It worked, and both I and others used it on occasion, but I was never really happy with it. This is a chance to do something different, get the makeup RIGHT (or as right as I can) and create a better costume to go with it.  We’re going to show the successes AND the failures (and trust me, there are going to be plenty of failures. When creating a new makeup, there always is). You’ll get to see every bump in the road as I try to figure out how to make this stuff.

I think this will be an interesting ride, and I hope your up for it with me. If it’s not your thing, go check out today’s Violent Blue, and hopefully that will make you smile.

See you in the Labyrinth.