Oh, those crazy 80s. Before CG overtook everything (and I am still upset with Universal’s decision to make The Wolfman’s transformation all digital despite Rick Baker’s objections), the make-up effects teams on horror movies did a splendid or terrible job (depending on the movie’s budget) with tons of latex make-up and puppet fun. It’s Jim Henson gone evil.
Over at Pobpitch, they cover 10 of the most disgusting (and often hilarious) horror transformations ever. My favourite is The Beast Within in which the poor actor playing the monster has his head covered in latex and numerous air bladders whilst acting as though he has serious constipation – all the while the other characters spend an awful long time gawping at this monster thing and not doing anything! They deserve to die! Silly people.
I also like The Stuff in which a man appears to turn into a human Muppet. Very, very funny. The Peacock King is clearly inspired by John Carpenter’s The Thing, only taken right up to level 20. Similar techniques in the use of make-up, animatronics and stop-motion. Good fun.
Doppleganger seems to be a rip off of Frank’s Resurrection from Hellraiser (to me, on of the greatest transformations sequences ever). Arachnid is unintentionally hilarious.
What they’ve missed out is Society, in which Screaming Mad George (yes, that’s how he’s credited) provides some of the strangest orgy/transformation sequences ever.
Oh, the good old days of puppets and horror. Sadly gone away.