Famous Monsters of Filmland's 1965 guide to home monster makeup


Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/03/29/when-derelict-was-a-costume.html

You Monster

Oh man, I loved that book as a kid. But I recollect some effects that I don’t see there, a melty-face effect, for instance, and some of the more advanced makeup effects shown weren’t in my book. I’m wondering if there were various editions - perhaps I had a younger-kid version with simpler effects. I’m tempted to go rummaging through my childhood books to find it, but I don’t think mine survived, I suspect I destroyed it by spilling corn-syrup blood on it or gluing the pages together with spirit gum…


I remember the melting man’s hands effect from Alan Ormsby’s Movie Monsters. I wish I’d had Ackerman’s book, though. Spirit gum was a missing element of all my youthful makeup experiments.


Good times. Good Times.


Actually, I think the melting face I’m remembering was probably from MAKE-UP MONSTERS by Marcia Lynn Cox, which I also had. There was a fair amount of overlap with the simpler makeup effects with these books (which probably originally came from Dick Smith’s guides). It looks like the Famous Monsters of Filmland content - or at least some of it - was indeed in various editions under different names, e.g. Dick Smith’s Do-It-Yourself Monster Make-Up. I might just have had a copy of the original magazine that had some of this content, possibly missing some pages, too.

Halloween was always an excuse to go to the theatrical supply shop and pick up supplies like spirit gum and pancake makeup. The spirit gum didn’t get all that much use because once I put it on, I didn’t find it so easy to get off…


I misread the title at first, thinking it was Famous Monsters of Finland.

I would buy that in a heartbeat!


Still have mine. I did the Frankenstein makeup, the insect/alien monster, a skull face (with prosthetic teeth glued to my lips), did a lot of aging makeups and learned how to do fake hair parts (mustaches, ridiculous eyebrows, etc). Cover’s gone, the rest looks like it’s barely holding together. I should probably scan the thing into PDF format, just to preserve the info before the whole thing suddenly crumbles to dust in my hands.


I wasn’t going to say anything, but so did I. It took a full minute of trying to figure out the Finland angle (Do they use reindeer fur on the wolfman?) Before I recalibrated my eyes and read Filmland.


Oh, MAN, popped in here to specifically write how much I loved that cheap-ass magazine! I bought it at the little neighborhood grocery/newsstand in the crummy neighborhood a few streets over.


I had a few of these but in the late '60s to mid '70s I was never able to locate the morticians wax and other supplies that were called for. Then a few years later - after I’d lost much of my interest in the subject, all the corner drugstores started selling that kind of stuff for Halloween. Now with the Internet you can order special effects makeup materials easily, and even find tutorials to make it yourself.


I had to take a bus. All part of the experience.


You had me at the “Happy Mutants” tag.


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