Face Off Presents Cannibalistic Mutant Families
Okay, so there have been a lot of families of mutant cannibals already. So? There have been a lot of vampires, too.
Getting The New Challenge
McKenzie greets everyone at an abandoned gas station. (Not an actual abandoned gas station, of course, but a location that looks like one.) Before we get to the extremely tenuous justification for this, McKenzie announces that we're mixing stuff up. First of all, the four teams of two will agglomerate into two teams of four for this week's challenge. So this week isn't going to confer immunity on the winning team, and we're not doing the elimination every other week anymore. This week is going to have an individual elimination, which scares everyone.
The teams are chosen by the contestants, which means that Ben and Evan rush over to team up with Cig and George to create the Facial Hair Commandos. Or "Superteam One," according to McKenzie. That leaves Logan, Adam, Emily, and Tyler as the other team.
The challenge is to create a family of three cannibalistic mutants. Because people in movies are sometimes given bad directions at gas stations, which leads them to the cannibalistic mutant families.
There are two road maps that lead each team to their specific details, which sort of sticks with the idea of being given directions. Emily is jokingly bitter that she didn't get to pick which map to use, which turns into actual bitterness when she finds out that the other team gets to do a circus theme, while her team is stuck with survivors of military test range.
Team Facial hair immediately comes up with a plan for a circus family. The father is part chimpanzee and part pinhead; the mother is a strongwoman; and the child will be a hydrocephalic boy in a wheelchair dressed up as the ringmaster. The parents kidnap people and put them in a cage to act as a freak show for their baby. Then they kill and eat them. I'm impressed that there are no clowns involved, because that seems like the easy joke.
Team Not Facial Hair Except For One Guy (that's not a great name, and I'm only now really coming to terms with how many beards this season has featured) comes up with a family that lived too close to a nuclear test site. In real life, those people ended up more tragic than scary, but they're hoping for some people who have gross burns all over their faces, but who still have enough energy to eat tourists. The mother will have makeup over her burns, and the little girl will be used to lure in victims.
Day 1 Begins
Cig and Evan are working on what they call their "human-zee," on the grounds that it's a combination between a chimpanzee and a human. But the chimpanzee side is really more of a gorilla, and the human side is a pinhead. That seems like a lot of things to work in, especially since they're going to have to add circus elements when they're done. George is on the wife, who's currently a strongwoman (with the leopard singlet), but will have mouth scars from her time as a fire-eater. Makeup artists seem convinced that burn scars are terrifying. Ben is on the hydrocephalic kid, which will involve a big floppy headpiece. Cig suggests that whenever anyone's about to be done with something, they should get all team members over to sign off, which is an excellent idea.
On the other team, Emily spends a bunch of time trying to make a cool cleft palate for the girl, but it never looks like anything but a sneer. So they abandon it. Adam is working on the father, and he hates their entire concept. He thinks it's too straightforward, because it's something people would actually expect; he doesn't just want to do a knockoff of The Hills Have Eyes.
Michael Westmore's comments on the gorilla pinhead are that it mostly just seems like a gorilla. Maybe the point of the pinhead should be farther forward, which I think would make it look more like a real person with microcephaly. But right now, the head is more shaped like Zippy the Pinhead, which is probably a more common reference.
The other team is mostly just sculpting burns on everyone, and Mr. Westmore is fine with that. The team is planning on doing only a few very small appliances on the girl, because she's supposed to lure in victims, but Mr. Westmore suggests doing a bit more. Maybe add a couple of little blisters or something?
Back To Work (And Day 2)
Once Mr. Westmore has gone, the team with the pinhead agrees that the point is in the right spot. (I feel bad throwing the word "pinhead" around so casually, but can we agree that we're dealing with a caricature of a cliché, rather than an actual person with a medical condition? Great.) Meanwhile, Emily is trying to make the little girl grosser. The mother character is going to be serving a casserole made up of flesh, hair, and eyes, and they make it by pretty much just taking fake flesh, hair, and eyes and popping it in the microwave.
On the other team, Cig is working on arm flaps for their strongwoman, to suggest that she lost a lot of weight and now has extra skin. This doesn't take very long, and in fact the whole team seems to be ahead of schedule, so at the end of the day, Cig and George let the other boys into their wig club.
At the end of the first day, Adam is still very concerned that their idea is too obvious. But when Day 2 starts, he's got an idea: what if they swapped models between the father and the little girl? That way the girl, instead of being a cute kid with a couple of burn scars, will be a huge hulking dude in a little-girl dress. And some burn scars. That seems much more interesting to everyone, so it is done. There's a little concern about how the facial sculpts were done for the old models, but it'll probably be fine.
Everything else goes pretty smoothly. A lot of painting gets done before Last Looks, which is always a good sign that people aren't too far behind. There's some extremely mild drama when George turns out to have forgotten to bring eyebrows to Last Looks, but luckily Ben never goes anywhere without extra eyebrows in his kit. Whew! You know, you can just draw eyebrows on a face with a pencil designed specifically for that purpose. but that's too normal. I know they have an eyebrow pencil, because Cig uses it to draw a curly moustache on the upper lip of their hydrocephalic ringmaster character.
However, this is still worth watching because it's when you get to see the appliances actually being applied, which is always cool.
There's a guest judge again! He's introduced as the director of Friday The 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Conan The Barbarian. Now, you're probably freaking out that they got Sean S. Cunningham, Tobe Hooper, and John Milius all on the same episode, but calm down for a second. It's really Marcus Nispel, who directed the more recent versions of all three of those movies. He's a cheerful guy with a huge beard. I like him more than his films, although I did enjoy the Jason Momoa Conan.
Team Facial Hair Circus goes first.
This guy is all messed up. I don't know that I get gorilla or pinhead, but he definitely seems like a weird mutant who is about to eat someone.
I'm not crazy about the arm flaps, but I like how authentically mean the strongwoman is. I also like that the strong character is the woman.
The kid is the star. And you know what the best part is? The drool. The judges are going to go on about the moustache, but I think the drool is great.
Team No Clear Theme goes next, because there's only two teams and it's too late to go first.
I don't like the father. He doesn't have anything aside from burn scars, and they aren't even that interesting. He reminds me of Nien Nunb, which is a Star Wars character with a silly name and sillier face.
The wife looks creepy. I'll give her that. But she also looks like a flat cartoon. And not a realistic cartoon. She could be on a Wacky Packs card.
The daughter does look more interesting than it would have been with the smaller model in the dress. I assume they've changed their story a bit, because I'm not sure this daughter would be all that good at luring in tourists.
Marcus Nispel considers the drooling hydrocephalic ringmaster to be a Fellini reference. It's weird enough that he's probably right. Glenn is more interested in the direction of the stress lines on the skin around the nose, because he likes that they go in the right direction. They also like the strongwoman's smile, because they have just now noticed that her teeth are covered by fake gums. They don't like the wig, but that feels like them stretching to find something to complain about.
They also mostly like the other team. The daughter that's a large man is pleasingly unsettling. They like the exposed skull on the back of the dad's head more than the face. Marcus suggests for two different characters that they'd look fine if you just used less light and maybe some good angles. I like him now, because he's got the right attitude for a guy who directs remakes of classic movies. He's not here to insist on perfect makeup because he knows it's part of his job to make everything look good. And sometimes you just have to make the scene darker because things don't look great under bright television lights.
When the non-circus team explains how they came to their characters, the judges all praise the daughter character. But the father didn't get better when that happened. There's no real character there -- just a bunch of burn scars that aren't all that well painted. Ve doesn't like how dry the housewife is, but the team successfully explains that it's because she's covered in caked-on makeup that she keeps re-applying.
The circus team pleases the judges much more, although the praise is largely focused on the child ("Disgusting and fantastic," raves Ve Neill!) and the mother. Marcus likes the group shot because it would be a good poster that conveys what the movie would be about.
George praises Marcus's beard, which is great.
The difference between the two teams can be summed up by their clothing choices.
This team is dressed for a job interview, and they've put some effort into matching their colors. They could put together a pretty good album cover.
This team is wearing t-shirts with their own faces on them. Ben and Evan already had those, although sometimes they've been wearing the other guy's shirt. Now that they're a Superteam, Cig and George took extra shirts and painted them to match their own facial hair options. And in Cig's case, he also painted on his hat. This is more casual, but it's also more fun. And it shows a lot of attention to detail for a dumb joke, which I approve of.
The winning team is Cig/George/Ben/Evan. Of the losing team, Adam goes home because he did the facial sculpt on the father, which was the least successful look. So even though he came up with the team's Big Idea, he ended up torpedoing the look he was responsible for.
We've been in two-person teams for a while, so it's fun to mix it up.