June 5, 2013

3-D Frankenstein in Makeup

A great find — Actor Ed Payson sits in Jack Kevan’s makeup chair at MGM, halfway through his transformation into the Frankenstein Monster for the Pete Smith comedy short, Third Dimensional Murder (aka Murder in 3-D, 1941).

Payson wears a full-head mask with angular features and heavy stitches molded in. The lips, ears and eyelids still need to be painted, the stitches highlighted, hair glued on or punched in, and a nose piece added. Photos reveal the finished makeup as crude, but it worked well in the film, The Monster usually seen at a distance and moviegoers more concerned with him throwing objects at the 3-D camera.

It’s wonderful how, years on, images like this are still surfacing, this one making the Facebook rounds recently in connection with the World 3-D Movie Expo III coming September 6-15 to the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. 

The 10-day festival is a 60th anniversary tribute to the Golden Age of 3-D, the era of House of Wax, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and It Came from Outer Space. The program will include Third Dimensional Murder, screened as part of a 3-D Rarities collection.


wich2 said...

INCREDIBLY cool find, Pierre. (Though I'd call the foundation piece here more a large appliance, than a full-head mask.)


Nate Yapp said...

Thanks for pointing me toward that 3D film festival! I know what I'm doing in September!

rnigma said...

He looks kind of like Kryten in "red Dwarf."

George Chastain said...

Coincientally, "Third Dimensional Murder" was shown on Turner Classic Movies this week, at the end of a WWII movie aired (in 3-D!) just before the "Essentials" showing of BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN. The makeup looks better in the long- and medium-distance shots used in the film than it does in closeup photos. Thanks for this rare photo of the makeup session - I wasn't aware of the original post and would have missed it!