Last week on Face Off, the remaining contestants were given an odd challenge. Did you know Resident Evil 5: Retribution came out last week? Surprise. The film cut a deal with SyFy to promote the film on this show. Zombie makeup isn't new to the show. Neither is designing makeup for a specific film or director. Mashing together two completely unrelated properties just to promote a film is. No wonder the "Make a zombie inspired by Alice in Wonderland if they were infected with the Resident Evil virus" challenge was such a mess.
The top looks came from Laura, Roy, and Derek. Laura created a very expressive Mad Hatter. He elicited sympathy while sharing the dark humor of the Resident Evil films. The intestines around his neck were a tape measure because he retained some memory of his previous life. The character was ultimately too empathetic and feels more like a Romero zombie--a beautifully executed and fully realized Romero zombie.
Roy did the Queen of Hearts and she looked like a Resident Evil villain. Bingo. I think the skin was a little plastic looking, to be honest, but the design was perfect for the challenge. The crown of flesh on her head has that instant recognition factor like Nemesis, Tyrant, or the knock-off Pyramid Head in the fourth film.
Derek did the Cheshire Cat and made Ve Neill recoil from its appearance. Not because it was too gross; Ve loves gore makeup. No, Ve hated the initial sight of the character because Derek made a bright purple Cheshire Cat (magenta, she called it). The infection concept was genius and Derek's execution brought him to the top.
Roy pulled out win by playing straight to the Resident Evil series. Laura, once again, lost after being praised for design, creativity, and execution. At least she's on the top for a fourth challenge in a row.
The bottom three were Tommy, Nicole, and Rod. Tommy landed on the bottom for doing a totally random makeup that had nothing to do with the challenge. Sure, you can see a white rabbit in his design; it just doesn't read White Rabbit, Resident Evil, or zombie. The fake fur hid all his detail work and the wardrobe choices--flannel shirt and work boots--were inexplicable.
Nicole had the misfortune of a major equipment failure while finishing her Alice. Her airbrush broke during Last Looks (the final hour before the judging). She hand painted her sculpt, but the color went on too thick and she would up with a charcoal gray Alice. Her concept was fantastic and the level of difficulty in her prosthetics and accessories easily would have put her on top with better paint.
Rod did a gender swap/old age makeup for his vampiric Queen of Hearts. Not only was it completely unrelated to the challenge, it was poorly executed. Rod was lucky to be in the bottom with much worse work. He might have gone home if Nicole's airbrush didn't break.
Ultimately, Nicole's equipment led to her elimination. This was the first really shocking elimination to me as I thought the other two bottom looks were considerably worse. Maybe Nicole's makeup read worse in person than it did on the screen? I know that happened in season one when finalist Sam didn't finish her Little Mermaid makeup. It popped on screen but even Sam knew she couldn't win with the execution problems.
This week, the remaining makeup artists were paired off to create superhero teams inspired by vehicles. This was a cool challenge that forced the contestants to consider story and setting in their designs. Every team had a strong concept that could become real comic heroes. The storytelling through makeup alone was the struggle of the challenge.
The top team was Alana & Roy. Technically, Laura & Tommy were on top, as well, but only because (surprise!) Laura did the best makeup of the day.
Alana & Roy created an antihero story. Alana's character Fire is a daughter of Satan. She travels to earth with Roy's imp character Chaos to explore the mortal world. The team worked well together, creating a cohesive concept even when the makeups were radically different. Alana was given the victory for doing the lion's share of the sculpting, fabricating, and painting work for the team. Took long enough for her to win for her consistently strong and inventive designs.
Laura & Tommy had a great concept and 50% execution. Laura's superhero is a genetically engineered super soldier who only knows how to fight. The startling green and gray vixen looked like she stepped right out of a comic book. Tommy's sidekick is the lover of the super soldier, a demolition expert who lost his arm breaking his love out of a government facility. The texture of his prosthetic was compared to hamburger, which would be great if he sculpted a zombie run over by a car.
Derek & Sarah went the 1940s/WWII super soldier route with their superhero duo. Sarah sculpted a scarred vixen with a missing eye and no mercy while Derek sculpted Ron Perlman in Sin City. The team failed to really connect their hero team to their vehicle. They also did strange things like design an eye patch with no clue as to how it would stay on. Derek's makeup was literally falling apart under the weight of the silicone prosthetic.
Jason & Rod really did a poor job on the challenge. Admitting that superheroes are not your forte does not give you permission to not design superheroes. Conceptually, they were strong. The psychic link between a feeble super-genius and a young strongman was great. There was just nothing to suggest it in the makeup. Where is the enlarged brain on the genius? The exaggerated veins and ripped apart flesh of the chest-bursting strongman? The linking system that actually fits the characters in a believable way? Staging to suggest the story?
This team failed miserably because they weren't happy with the theme. Is it that hard to try? Slap a small eye mask on the characters with LED crystals/jewels that blink in sequence? I know they both wired LEDs before for makeup. Why not this time? Disinterest. They aimed for safe and were outclassed by more ambitious competitors.
Jason went home for execution problems across the board. The paint job was too heavy and the chest appliance was underthought and hidden by wardrobe. The character he described to the judges did not match the character standing in front of them.
Well, there was that. There was also the fact that Tommy was automatically safe for being on a top team. The judges clearly wanted him to go home for his bad burn sculpt. At least the judges can explain their decisions on this show. I appreciate that.
What did you think of these challenges? I think the superhero one was great. Alice, not so much. Share your thoughts below.
Like the pictures? They all came from SyFy's Face Off galleries. Go check them out.