Friday, November 30, 2012


This morning, make-up artist Rick Baker will receive his star on the legendary “Hollywood Walk of Fame”. And deservedly so! He has followed faithfully in the footsteps of his famous predecessors -- Pierce, the Westmore’s, Smith – and has ensured his place in the canon of the great “behind-the-scenes” artists of Hollywood who help to make the movies the magical experience that they are.

Congratulations, Mr. Baker!

Rick Baker to Receive Walk of Fame Star

The make-up artist, nominated for 12 Academy Awards and winner of seven, will be honored Nov. 30.

November 14, 2012

[The following news release was provided by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.]

The Hollywood Chamber of Commerce will honor makeup artist Rick Baker with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 30, 2012 at 11:30 a.m. at 6764 Hollywood Boulevard in front of The Guinness World Records Museum.

“We are proud to honor those who have successfully helped make Hollywood what it is today with their talent and magical creations that fans have enjoyed since the beginning of the motion picture industry. Rick Baker is a revered artist who we are proud to say started his extraordinary career in California, home of the movies,” stated Ana Martinez, Producer of the Walk of Fame ceremonies.

During the ceremony, Mr. Baker will also be entered into The Guinness World Records™ Book twice – once for the most Oscar® wins, and also for the most Oscar nominations for Best Achievement in Makeup. He has been nominated a total of twelve times with seven wins: An American Werewolf in London (1981), Harry and the Hendersons (1987), Ed Wood (1994), The Nutty Professor (1996), Men in Black (1997), How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) and The Wolfman (2010).

Rick Baker has been an influential force in the creation of creatures and prosthetic makeup for more than 40 years.

Born in Binghamton, New York, the son of Ralph (an artist) and Doris Baker (a bank teller), Baker moved with his family to Southern California at an early age and grew up in Covina. When he was a child, Baker wanted to be a doctor, but he wanted to be Dr. Frankenstein so he could make monsters. At 10 years old, he realized that doctors didn't make movie monsters, make-up artists did. His passion was fueled by -- in addition to TV monster movies and such shows as “Twilight Zone” and “Outer Limits” -- the magazine “Famous Monsters of Filmland” and, particularly, articles by legendary makeup artist Dick Smith. That led to building monster model kits, making his own 8mm version of “Frankenstein,” and eventually erecting his first makeup lab in his bedroom.

Baker’s first professional job came when he was still a teenager at the (Art) Clokey Studios, where he was a puppet designer for the stop-motion animation series Davey and Goliath and Gumby. When Rick was 18, he wrote a letter to his idol Dick Smith, who invited him to his house and showed him his makeup lab. Smith became Baker’s mentor and their continued association culminated in Baker assisting Smith on The Exorcist.

Baker honed his craft on early films including Live and Let Die and TV’s The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, for which Baker won an Emmy. As his reputation grew within the Hollywood community, he pushed the boundaries of traditional makeup effects by transforming David Naughton into a four-legged, ferocious werewolf in An American Werewolf in London. Rick’s ingenious use of prosthetics and puppet effects won him an Academy Award® for Outstanding Achievement in Makeup, the debut year of the category.

Garnering a reputation for excellence and resourcefulness, Rick’s assignments became a diverse and iconic collection of creatures including those in Star Wars; Harry and the Hendersons; Michael Jackson’s Thriller; Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes; Gorillas in the Mist; Coming to America; Gremlins 2: The New Batch; Men in Black; The Nutty Professor; Mighty Joe Young;and How The Grinch Stole Christmas, to name but a few. Last year, Rick won his seventh Academy Award® for his contributions transforming Benicio Del Toro and Sir Anthony Hopkins into werewolves for The Wolfman.

He recently supplied a new population of aliens for Barry Sonnenfeld’s MEN IN BLACK™ 3. This out-of-this-world 3D adventure will be released November 30 by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment as a Blu-ray 3D™ Combo Pack, Blu-ray™/DVD Combo Pack and DVD -- all with UltraViolet™. Earning more than $624 million at the worldwide box office, this action-packed sci-fi comedywill be released for the first time in 3D for the home.

Baker and his wife Silvia are active supporters of Autism Speaks, American Cancer Society, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and Friends and Helpers.

[Information provided by Scott Essman.]

Thursday, November 29, 2012


FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND recently revealed their cover for issue #266 -- a stunning rendition of The Creature From the Black Lagoon by none other than one of the more notable artists from the days when Jim Warren published the magazine . . . Sanjulian!

The issue is being offered as a bundled deal with a poster and other goodies at the CAPTAIN COMPANY page.

Originally slated for a release this month, MONSTERS FROM THE VAULT #31 has been delayed. Editor and Publisher Jim Clatterbaugh says he is still preparing it and hopes to have it to the printers by the 10th of December and released by Christmas.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012


It's true that Unviversal's monster movies wouldn't be much if it weren't for the monsters themselves and the mon-stars that played them. Production design, sets, scripts, and music also play a large part in the general atmosphere of these gothic greats.

Another important element that makes these vintage horror films classics are the numerous supporting cast members, many of them playing memorable roles that have over the years, become iconic in the oeuvre. After all, whrere would Dr. Frankenstein be without Dwight Frye's Fritz, or Rathbone's Frankenstein be without Lugosi's Ygor?

One of the most unique of these supporting players was a woman who knew how to "say her prayers by night" and avoid the bite of the werewolf -- the character that monster fans the world over know as "the old gypsy woman", Maleva, played by Maria Ouspenskaya.

Maria Ouspenskaya was born in Tula, Russia, on July 29, 1876. She played in hundreds of Russian films before coming to America to make a few more.

In her biography by Homer Dickens in SCREEN FACTS #4 (Fall 1963), he proclaims that her "unusual accent, luminous eyes and bold Tartar feautures created an image not easily forgotten". He goes on to chronicle her short run of 20 American films that includes her role as Maleva in THE WOLF MAN and FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLF MAN.

We all know and are endeared towards the character of Maleva as she is always seen as the wise benefactor and sometimes-protector of our anti-hero turned werewolf, Larry Talbot. The role couldn't have been more perfectly cast.

Friday, November 16, 2012


The French do not lack in their admiration of American classic horror films. Universal's monsters in particular are held in high regard.

They have also not been without their monster magazines. The famous MIDI-MINUIT FANTASTIQUE was a long-running publication that featured not only Universal monsters, but monsters, creatures and aliens from films all over the world. In that sense it was a true, "Universal Horror" magazine.

The French language MAD MOVIES has had a life-span of over 250 issues so far. In a recent issue (#257), they include a feature on the career of the King of Monster Make-Up, Jack Pierce. Entitled, "Sacred Monsters", it is an installment of the "Legends of the Fantastic" department.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


If you happen to find yourself in Paris this weekend, be sure to check out the 2012 Paris International Fantastic Film Festival. The distinctly "Cthulhuesque" poster depicted above promises a healthy dose of fantastic film fare. The artwork is by French illustrator and graphic artist Frederic Domont.


Sunday, November 11, 2012


Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later. Earlier last week, my primary computer -- an HP laptop -- decided to give up the ghost. I lifted the lid and the lights went on, but nobody was home. No activity on the hard drive light led me to the conclusion that it was toast.

In times like these it becomes immediately evident how much we rely on these things called computers. For instance, I can't tell you how many hours I have invested in the blog you are presently reading. Along with the countless hours mining the 'net for materials and resources, I'd have to say that a good portion of my waking state is spent on the modern-day version of Bierce's eponymous "Damned Thing". At least you can't accuse me of wasting my time with TV!

Some -- but not all -- was lost. I have a lot of my stuff backed up except for the very recent files. So, outside of the inconvenience (and quite a major one at that), I'm not entirely devasted. In fact, I've just in the last few days returned my (hopefully) trusty XP to service. This is the destop that I've used last 3 years for little else than a computer to receive page scans on. My HP multi-use printer along with Photoshop 5 (!) and Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 have been more than enough to create images that you have seen nearly daily here at MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD. A few upgrades and a little nip and a tuck later, and I can get on with things, albeit in a slight slower and clunkier way.

Now, before you start asking if I'd like some cheese with my whine, I'll just close by saying -- for the time being, anyway -- MONSTER MAGAZINE WORLD'S schedule will be a little modified until I get back to a full head of steam again. That said, you will probably see less posts here for a while. I will not complety abandon this project or you, faithful Monsteologists, but I will have to slow down the breakneck pace that I've been keeping of late because, frankly, it's just too difficult to set up things for daily posting.

Please bear with me. In the meantime, I hope that you enjoy what I can offer.

Friday, November 9, 2012


Europe has Paul Naschy to thank for bringing the classic monsters to life in his native Spain and other countries. When the dubbed versions of his werewolf and vampire and hunchback movies hit the states, we saw that Naschy took his monsters seriously. As a result, he has left fans the world over a legacy of monster movies that will endure.

The staff at CREEPY IMAGES magazine have published a tribute to Paul Naschy in the way of a hardbound, deluxe volume entitled -- aptly enough -- MUCHAS GRACIAS SENOR LOBO. Available through their website, this book looks like a definitive collection of Naschy's work.

Here are samples from the book: