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Creature Designers: The Frankenstein Complex ("Le complexe de Frankenstein")

Canadian Premiere
  • France
  • 2015
  • 107 mins
  • DCP
  • English
The screening will be followed by
Guillermo del Toro’s Masterclass.

Official Selection: Paris International Fantastic Film Festival 2015, Imagine Film Festival 2016, Dead by Dawn Horror Film Festival 2016

“An absorbing study… wide-ranging, informative” – Andrew Pulver, THE GUARDIAN

« Une magnifique invitation au voyage, riche en interviews et images inédites… passionnant, d’un bout à l’autre. » - Christophe Chenallet, FILM DE CULTE

The Frankenstein Complex from Festival Fantasia on Vimeo.

Back in the bygone era of 1980s horror and sci-fi flicks, monster creators such as Stan Winston, Rick Baker, Steve Johnson and the KNB boys were the rock stars of the genre-movie business. Advances in animatronic puppetry and latex appliances revolutionized the industry, and monsters of all shapes and sizes sprang to life like never before, meticulously crafted in giant FX warehouses manned by small armies of young technicians. They carried on a tradition forged by the legendary silent movie star Lon Chaney (PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) and Universal Pictures’ makeup maestro Jack Pierce, whose classic horror figures (Frankenstein’s Monster, the Wolf-Man, etc.) remain iconic images some 80-plus years later.

CREATURE DESIGNERS rates as a fascinating and thorough trip down monster memory lane. Those aforementioned “rock stars” recount the making of favourite screen bogeymen and bogeybeasts of the last four decades, including AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON, THE HOWLING, GREMLINS, THE FLY, ALIEN, JURASSIC PARK and countless others. Ironically, in 1993, Spielberg’s dinosaurs rang the death knell for many in the FX field with its introduction of revolutionary computer-generated imagery that would force numerous tactile latex slingers to close up shop, a sad development achingly recalled by stop-motion artist Phil Tippett (STAR WARS). French journalists-turned-documentarians Gilles Penso and Alexandre Poncet also interview the directorial geniuses behind several of these horror hits — loquacious fright masters John Landis, Joe Dante and Guillermo del Toro. Del Toro delivers CREATURE DESIGNERS’ most heartfelt commentary on his love affair with monsters and the art and philosophy of their birthing, sentiments he will share with us after this special screening!

— Tony Timpone