3/17/11

Kid Stuff #16: Movie Monster Make-Up

Monster Make Up and Monster Shows to Put On (1975)

When I was a kid, it seemed like every boy my age was into monsters.  Of course, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, and UFOs were huge back then.  Plus, your standard monsters (i.e. Frankenstein, King Kong, Godzilla, Dracula, The Mummy, etc.) were also hot topics on the elementary school playground.  Attribute it if you like, to a natural consequence of our parents' fascination with the occult and the horror genre during the seventies.  Or perhaps it was just a continuation of the monster love generated by Famous Monsters of Filmland enjoyed by the Boomers since 1958.  Whatever the cause, the fact was undeniable - boys of the early seventies were obsessed with monsters.

Of all the monster products back then (Aurora monster figures, Cracked monster special issues, Creepy and Eerie magazines, etc., etc.), for some reason I latched on to a little book called Movie Monsters: Monster Make Up and Monster Shows to Put On by Alan Ormsby.  I read the shit out of that book - cover to cover many times, and would savor every page.  It's very peculiar considering I never once put on a monster show or even once wore monster make up.

It's a mystery why I loved it so much, but there's no accounting for the tastes of an eight year old. At any rate, I feel compelled to share this obscure little book with the readers of Retrospace.  So, here it is.  Enjoy.

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Sorry - due to bandwidth overload, this was shut down by the file storage service.  

22 comments:

  1. Gilligan, this book was amazing to me as a kid too! Recently I bought a copy off eBay and am so glad I did; those monster/makeup illustrations are *priceless*. Other great monster kids' books from the same era were by Norman ("Clifford the Big Red Dog") Bridwell, How to Care for Your Monster and Monster Holidays. Wonderful stuff.

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  2. I didn't have this paticular book, but I was in love with monsters and had a couple movie monster books and some Bigfoot/Loch Ness kinda books too. I had them after I got married, but I can't find them now. Sure wish I had them to post.

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  3. I had this book, and I remember it very, very well. Like yourself I read and re-read the book, and I remember trying to put together the play that was in the book, but nobody would stay on script and my mom informed me we would not be getting red-dyed Karo Syrup all over everything.

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  4. I had this book, wow! What a trip. My son will love it. THANK YOU!

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  5. One of my favorite books at a time when it seemed I was destined to become a special effects make-up artist! Became a regular artist instead, but thanks for reminding me of some particular childhood joy!

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  6. Man, I bought this from one of those schoolastic book fairs in elementary school. I made tons of blood, tried the Frankenstein paper bag head, did the oatmeal aging on my hands. A kid in my class stole it from me, even wrote his name in it...what a drag. I think I got it back, but I don't know where it is today. It's weird how this book still has a charm that seems to connect a lot of us almost 40 years later. Thanks for posting this, very cool.

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  7. By Alan Ormsby... star of the movie Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things!
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068370/

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  8. Holy crap. Who knew? Excellent bit of information Project Director!

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  9. Had it and loved it! Thanks, Gil. Also, who do we petition to get those old Crestwood house (I think) 'Meet the Monsters' series of books re-published? Remember the ones with the orange spines that were all "Meet King Kong and Meet the Wolfman?" Those were much fought over at my school library.

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  10. I had this book too! I'd forgotten all about it--thanks for reminding me. Sounds like we had nearly the same life. :-)

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  11. I had this book too! It always stayed with me and was instrumental in me doing my Monster Cafe! You can see photos of the place below.

    https://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=209432898451&aid=173050

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  12. It's amazing to read that other people enjoyed this book as a kid. It was by no means a bestseller, but it obviously left a lasting impression on those kids that had it.

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  13. Good grief, I had this book too, brings back memories, I think I read it many many times... though I never attempted any of the projects. Maybe I finally will, this Halloween, now that I have your download of it... thanks! And as this is my first time commenting, let me also say, great blog!

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  14. I discovered this book in my second grade communal book shelf and fell in love with it. And, I'm ashamed to admit, stole it because I couldn't stand leaving it behind when I graduated to 3rd grade. But karma struck back and it was restolen later by a kid I knew. I read it over and over and remember agonizing over the lack of supplies I had for monster makeup. I would ask my mom, "What is pancake makeup and where do I find some?!" Several years ago I found it on an internet book site and now once again can enjoy it.

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  15. That brought me back several years. I can't count how many times I read that book from cover to cover. I lost it somewhere along the line, probably during a move. I think I need to find another copy.

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  16. JoelsquareMarch 19, 2011

    Wow. This further confirms that this is the best site on the Internet. At the elementary school I went to, we used to have a monthly book draw, where the principal would randomly select a kids name out of a hat, and that kid would be allowed to choose any book off of a shelf of brand new Scholastic books.

    In about grade 3 (circa 1983) I actually won. And this - this was the book that I chose. Read it to death. I remember the artwork and text so vividly. Thanks so much for this amazing trip back to being 10.

    Anyone else think, in retrospect, the inclusion of Blacula seems a bit funny? And to be clear, I say that only because every other monster in the book is a classic character with a literary history, and Blacula was more of... ummm... A Blaxploitation Dracula rip-off? I mean, his name was 'Blacula' for cryin' out loud. Anyway thanks so much for this Gilligan. Between this and the Bananas Magazines... Wow... This is what the Internet is really for.

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  17. I knew that Alan Ormsby was an up - and - coming filmmaker in the horror movie genre during the late sixties and early seventies, but I had no idea that he authored a book on makeup effects. I guess it shouldn't be too much of a stretch, though.

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  18. My friend had this book(late 70's)and we did the Frankenstein monster make-up. It worked out surprisingly well! Thanks for the memories. Loved this book.

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  19. I loved that book! I only wish I'd held on to all those books of my early childhood.

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  20. Good blog: You should start many more pic. I love all the info provided. I will stay tuned:)

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  21. would you happen to have this one too? Make-up monsters and creature costumes (Tempo books) by Marcia Lynn Cox

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  22. My 8 year old and I are making the Brown Bag Frankenstein as we speak!
    His grandmother always brings stuff over from thrift shops/goodwill and somehow we ended up with this treasure. The kid cant put it down.
    Its because of this book that he loves the classic horror movies and could tell you anything about Lon Chaney. Found your site while looking for another copy to replace this well used one. This book is obviously timeless and i'm sure will be enjoyed by eight year olds when he's 40.

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