(Above) A monkey-masked John Landis guides the action on the set of his directorial debut Schlock (1973). Landis, who also wrote the script and played the simian lead, was only 21-years-old at the time the monster movie spoof was shot in 1971. Makeup effects master Rick Baker, seen standing to the left of Landis, was only 20. Baker had the budget for just one ape suit, part of which was constructed by gluing hair and a rubber chest piece onto a pair of long johns worn by Landis.
Here’s Baker’s recollection of Schlock, from Anthony Timpone’s book Men, Makeup & Monsters: Hollywood’s Masters of Illusion and FX.
“We shot in Agoura during a heat wave, like a hundred and twenty degrees. And John was sweating like mad – the hair was dripping wet and just kept falling off. We lost about half the hair on the first day! And it took a while to lay all that hair on there. So we started taking the suit off him between takes if we could, and fortunately it cooled down some. It was an experience.” – Rick Baker
The Averardo Ciriello-painted Italian advert for 1971’s Trafic, which marked the cinematic adieu of writer/director/star Jacques Tati’s Monsieur Hulot character. Though his career spanned four decades, Tati directed only six feature films – all of which you can find in a single Criterion Collection box set.
Poster via Heritage Auctions.
A towering Gill-Man coaxes residents of Okinawa into theaters to see Revenge of the Creature (1955). This pic comes from the Facebook group Universal Monsters and More and was posted by David Crouse, whose uncle snapped the photo while stationed in Okinawa in 1957/1958.
Like its predecessor – 1954’s Creature from the Black Lagoon – Revenge was shot in 3D and director by Jack Arnold (It Came From Outer Space, The Incredible Shrinking Man). The sequel also features the screen debut of Clint Eastwood in a small role as a lab technician.
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A rock star is brought back from the dead when his final album is played backwards in 1986’s Trick or Treat. The horror flick was one of a slew of movies – both high brow (Blue Velvet, Manhunter, Crimes of Hearts) and low (King Kong Lives, The Cat’s Eye, Maximum Overdrive) – shot in North Carolina for Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis before his De Laurentiis Entertainment Group went bankrupt in 1988.
Trick or Treat features early work from legendary cinematographer Robert Elswit (Nightcrawler, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and several films for Paul Thomas Anderson) and an uncredited dialogue polish from Final Destination scribes Glen Morgan and James Wong.
To read more about the making of the film, check out this interview I did with Green Room cinematographer Sean Porter (Kumiko the Treasure Hunter, 20th Century Women) for Filmmaker Magazine.
I haven’t seen XXX: Return of Xander Cage yet, but I feel like this pic captures its quintessence. Check out more Pics of the Day.