A new season of SyFy's Face Off starts this week — what better way to get fired up for mind-blowing makeup skills and creature design than with a gallery filled with six seasons of top looks? Check out these great photos of zombies, werewolves, and...other things.
I've watched literally every episode of Face Off, in which makeup and FX artists create creatures in two or three days while trying to avoid reality show elimination (I recapped the last four seasons, although I've stopped for my own sanity). I went through the official spotlight challenge photo galleries to find the absolute best creatures. These selections reflect my own particular taste in freaky foam latex monsters, of course. All photos by Brett-Patrick Jenkins.
The top image, by George and Niko of season six, is probably the closest thing I've ever seen to an actual Deep One.
Season one, Conor. This is a complicated and amazingly executed transition effect.
Season four, Anthony and Alam. This ice demon manages to incorporate a ton of personality and culture into the design.
Season six, Rashaad. An entire firefighting exosuit was created in three days. That's insane.
Season three, Laura and Sarah. This was a Star Wars themed competition, and it took a couple of Star Wars geeks to totally nail the design, a bounty hunter from Dagobah with a breather for life on Tattoine. How big of a Face Off dork am I? SyFy's website didn't list the artists with this photo (and I didn't remember it), but I knew it was Laura's work just by looking at the design asthetic.
Season two, Ian and RJ. A detailed lizard design with good anatomy is enhanced by a gorgeous paint job.
Season four, Anthony. Anthony practically ran the table in season four, racking up five weekly wins and the overall win. This design is from a challenge to create bioluminescent creatures.
Season four, Frank. I love how simple, yet menacing this creature is in his prison orange jumpsuit. My favorite Face Off designs crank up the horror quotient.
Season three, Derek. This sleek volcanic wizard benefits from a striking color palette.
Season five, Laura. Her triumphant return in season five included this Cenobite-inspired demon. Laura is my favorite Face Off contestant of all time.
Season six, Tyler. This is a very straightforward werewolf design, but I love how perfectly Tyler executed it.
Season six, George. The best creature designs make me want to know more about them. What esoteric rituals summon this vision of terror to Earth?
Season five, Miranda. A challenge based on the seven deadly sins inspired all manner of grotesqueries, but Miranda created this stunning blend of terror and beauty.
Season four, Eric F. "Foxy" is another of my favorite Face Off alums. I love that, for a mummy challenge, he went straight for Eddie (of Iron Maiden album cover fame).
Season four, Eric F and Kris. This collaboration on a two-headed giant may look a bit ridiculous, but consider the ambition to even attempt it with a crushing reality TV deadline. I love it for being completely bonkers.
Season three, Derek and Tommy. Make sure to look at the full size version of this image to really appreciate the detail.
Season three, Alana and Laura. The Asian dragon challenge was a good one. Alana and Laura took a different angle and came up with something menacing and clearly evil.
Season six, Graham. Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanonono.
Season four, Eric Z and Autumn. The detail here blows my mind. This looks in every way like a being made of wood.
Season five, Frank. Just a straight up scary-ass scarecrow.
Season five, Alana and Miranda. I love the idea of dark fae creatures, and this captures so much of that feeling. Allure and temptation, horror and blood.
Season four, House. Somehow more terrifying than Killer Klowns from Outer Space. The thing about this design that you don't get from a still photo is that the model could do a little belly undulation that made the mid-mouth open and close.
Season six, Cat and Niko. A great photo makes this design look a bit better than I recall it being, but you also have to kind of love the concept of a rockabillygoat.
Season six, George. I picked most of these blind without looking at the designer until afterward. Apparently I really like George's work. This is a fully realized sci-fi character with tons of implied backstory.
Season six, George. See what I mean? This is a whimsical design, but I dig George's ability to create non-organic creatures. In my mind I refer to this as, "ROM, SpaceBarber."