So with October upon us and the countdown to Halloween well and truly on, whether you are out trick or treating or revelling at a fancy dress ball, a decent costume is a must. I remember in my formative years in the early 1980ís mixing flour with water; slapping the gooey concoction onto my face; waiting for it to dry and harden before painting over it! Voila Ė I was a zombie. Well actually no, I was just a skinny kid with crud on his face but at least I tried!

These days simply peruse any website that caters for fancy dress and there is an abundance of costumes complete with masks. But itís not much fun having to break the illusion by lifting the facial facade in order to devour that sweet, sweet chocolate or sip that ice cold beer. A convincing make up job applied directly to the face gives you the best of both worlds. But where do you start? And how do you stop yourself simply looking like an unfathomable twat with messy paint of their face?

The answers to these questions and more are plainly evident in a new DVD claiming you can "Learn the Magic of Movie Makeup" courtesy of Trionic Entertainment.

CREATE A CREATURE is hosted by Trevor "The Shape" Overton and is a two and a half hour costume makeup tutorial that starts with the simplest of applications before steadily progressing through to more complex compositions.

Overton begins by quickly and clearly talking us through what materials and tools we will require before attempting the techniques. A rudimentary search online indeed shows that stipple sponges, liquid latex, spirit gum and the mandatory fake blood is easily obtainable at very reasonable prices. I have a few personal thoughts on the purchasing of these goods which I will come back to later.

So with the introduction out of the way, and your newly acquired materials at the ready, itís time to experiment with some transformations! The DVD is sensibly segmented, with each fiendish application given its own chapter. This naturally means you can skip the formalities when you are ready and go straight to whatever creature you wish to create.

The applications themselves on average take around 15 minutes and are performed in real time. This is an important aspect I feel as it means, once you have organised your materials, you could simply play the DVD and simulate the application on your subject as it happens on screen without the need for hitting the pause button at regular intervals.

The techniques are clearly demonstrated with real people (including some very young children for the simpler examples) and if you can get your youngling to actually sit still for a quarter of an hour, there is no reason why you couldnít unleash a macabre makeover on them. One of these demonstrations did have me in stitches though I have to admit, and I am not talking fake latex ones either! A young model named Gabe, who apparently was only 2 years old, looked positively petrified as he sat on the chair waiting for the first stroke of greasepaint on his young face! To be fair to the little fellow, he did very well but the real clincher was when the "Vampire Boy" makeup was complete and Overton asked him to make a mean face at the camera: Little Gabe just sat there with a facial expression somewhere between Ďpretty vacantí and "Mom, get me the FUCK outta here" while struggling not to swallow his rubber fake fangs! A health and safety lawsuit just waiting to happen if ever there was one - Brilliant!

Anyway back to the workshop! Overton claims to be a self-taught makeup artist and this is more than believable as his laid back and affable style is devoid any technical jargon. He steadily applies the paint and goo, while offering the odd snippet of advice as he goes. His easy going manner and steady methods are perfect for the layman to follow.

What I also liked about the programme was even in the simplest of makeupís, (the first being Zombie Boy, obviously demonstrated on a child) the means of creating fake gashes with liquid latex and cotton wool etc are revealed. There was no frustrating wait of having to develop your base coat and shading skills before you could progress to experimenting with some proper gore effects. (Canít wait to see the expression on my wifeís face on October 31st when her return from work will be greeted by our kids with their fucking throats ripped out!)

Apart from the obligatory zombies of varying advancements and vampires male and female, young and old, the presentation depicts Witches, Werewolves , Horror Victims, the Grim Reaper, Evil Clown and, for those kids out there who are more into swashbuckling then slashing, a Pirate!

So I mentioned earlier about purchasing the materials to use with these lessons. There is no shortage of makeup kits available on the likes of Ebay etc which are made up of the very materials used within this DVD. While they are very affordable and look great on the packaging, I feel you would get the most out of them if used in conjunction with the directions and tips given within this presentation. You could of course buy the materials separately but with the likelihood most people are only going to have fun with this as part of their Samhain festivities, it would be more cost effective and less wasteful, to simply by a small kit with small amounts of the materials in it.

Bottom line is CREATE A CREATURE is not going to turn you into Jack Peirce overnight. But with a little care, could create a look that may be the difference in your "treat" being Thorntonís as oppose to stale leftovers from Easter!

Review by Marc Lissenburg

Released by Trionic Entertainment
Region 1
Not Rated
Extras :
see main review