10 Groundbreaking Uses of Special Effects Makeup


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'Creature From the Black Lagoon' (1954)
Actor and stuntman Ricou Browning did the underwater work for 'Creature From The Black Lagoon' as well as its two sequels. Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images
Actor and stuntman Ricou Browning did the underwater work for 'Creature From The Black Lagoon' as well as its two sequels. Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images

The Gill-Man, a sort of marine version of Bigfoot, is one of the most striking monsters in Hollywood history, in part because the physical features of lizards, frogs and eels are grafted bizarrely onto a human-like shape. The costume worn by actor Ben Chapman in the dry-land scenes was created by makeup artists Bud Westmore and Chris Mueller and designer Milicent Patrick [source: IFC].

As Chapman recalled in a 2000 interview, becoming Gill-Man required putting on a latex, one-piece body stocking, to which the artists laboriously affixed pieces of foam rubber, a process that took two to three hours. The suit did not allow his skin to breathe – not a problem when they were filming him on the back lot since he could spend the day in a pool. On soundstage shooting days, a man would hose him off until his body temperature returned to normal [source: Gourley].

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