The sneak peek for Face Off season 10 episode 5 promised a scary & slimy display and Face Off, “Foreign Bodies” does not disappoint. For those who love their space aliens to be less than benign this was definitely the Face Off episode for you! There’s no time to waste and once the credits have rolled the artists – Anna, Johnny, Kaleb, Katie, Mel, Melissa, Rob, Robert, Walter, and Yvonne – are brought straight to the lab. Robert likes the setup. To him it looks like a crazy mad scientist lab – and he likes crazy science.
Host McKenzie Westmore explains this week’s spotlight challenge. It’s based on movies like Alien, The Thing, and Invaders of the Body Snatchers. Working in teams of two, the artists are to create a “parasitic alien” that has invaded the body of its human host and it bursting out of it!
Everyone is pretty stoked about this. For inspiration there are 5 microscopes set up. Each one has a slide with a micro-organism on it. The team is to use whichever one they get as inspiration for their creation.
The Spotlight Challenge teams are:
- Mel and Melissa
- Anna and Yvonne
- Katie and Robert
- Walter and Johnny
- Kaleb and Rob
Katie and Robert are the default team – as everyone else paired off. That’s never a good sign….
After each team has their microscopic creature – McKenzie introduces this week’s guest. It’s the actor Lance Henriksen aka “Bishop” in the Alien movies – as well as a ton of other films with sci-fi/horror themes.
Henriksen tells the group that it’s the anticipation that something can pop up that creates the fear. Then he says this:
To really create fear – stuff that’s legitimate – it has to come from your life experiences. Use that in your work.
That’s an interesting thought, but how does one take personal fears and translate them into being eaten by an alien? I think this is a question for the psychologists out there!
Mckenzie then sends the groups off to work on their designs.
The Design Phase
Warning: this is one of those episodes you don’t want to be eating while watching!
- Anna and Yvonne – decide they want their alien to be bursting out of one side of the face.
- Katie and Robert – Katie’s worried about “butting heads” with Robert. Their concept is wonderfully gross. It’s a food-poisoning story where the worms form tumors on the head “eventually the worms explode out in slimy, bloody glory.”
- Kaleb and Rob – Rob takes on Mr. Henriksen’s point about the anticipation being a key to the fear and comes up with the idea of the alien bursting out of the back of the head – “so you can’t see it until he turns around.” Cool, right?
The design phase gets interrupted by McKenzie and Henriksen’s appearing to give everyone a second part of their design. They all have to include slime!
A Foundation challenge!
McKenzie tells the groups they have to make the slime now! They’ve got two hours to create custom slime, and the winning team gets immunity! Henriksen will be judging the slime. His criteria are: “texture, color, and does it work the way that you intended it to.” The test will be shooting the slime onto the model (encased in a white plastic suit.)
- Mel and Melissa – Their concept is that the alien burst out of her head. The part that different from the others is that they’ll have the “flayed face resting on her shoulders.” The drawing of this is completely disturbing! In terms of the slime, they both admit they have no idea what they’re doing, but they find a formula with veterinary lube that works for them. It’s super, super stretchy and a kind of aquamarine color. During the test, Henriksen is impressed with the stretch!
- Walter and Johnny – The concept is a host shedding its skin from the head and bursting from the chest. The slime will shoot from the chest… Their slime base is laundry detergent and is really gross and chunky. Johnny adds little orange fibers called “flocking” to really make it completely disgusting. When tested it’s like stretchy vomit. (I warned you about eating while reading!)
- Kaleb and Rob – They start with applesauce and when they’re done with it…it’s totally gross. Like, nauseatingly gross. Perfect! It’s a bit watering when they test it though. They have to scoop the stuff up and put it on the model for it to work.
- Katie and Robert – This slime is corn syrup based. They add yellow highlighters to make it shiny and a “gross” color. It kind of just looks like a bowl of scrambled eggs before they hit the frying pan. Egg is gross, sure, but compared to the others, I’m not as impressed. When they test it, the person looks like they’ve been egged, which is, I suppose a slime of sorts, but it doesn’t read alien.
- Anna and Yvonne – It’s pink. Their slime is pink. Is the alien My Little Pony? Plus they can’t get their texture right – they want thick and chunky and they’ve got watery and stringy. They have to pour it over the model’s head to get a sense of it.
Henriksen’s top two teams are: Walter & Johnny and Mel & Melissa. He goes with Mel and Melissa because he really likes the color they’ve used! That was surprising – until he explained more. While Walter and Johnny’s was certainly grosser, Henriksen was thinking in terms of how it would look being filmed. The blue would show up better. He also liked the versatility of it. It could be “sinister or child-like. That’s one of things that’s cool about Face Off – the pros bring in things that one really doesn’t think about!
Anna does the face. Yvonne is doing the cowl and incorporating the look of their organism into it. Their goal: scare people!
Rob is doing the cowl. Kaleb is sculpting a shoulder piece. Remember, their design is that you can’t completely tell from the front what’s going on. The shoulder piece has tentacles of different sizes coming out.
Mr. Westmore’s Visit
Mel is doing the face and Melissa the cowl. He tells Mel to not have the break in the face go straight down the middle and to open the whole thing up more.
Katie is doing the head while Robert is doing a worm attachment. (That division seems unbalanced….) Mr. Westmore tells Katie to not overdo the bloody bursting tumors in the skull – just do a few.
He tells Rob to make sure the skin looks flayed and stretched.
Johnny is doing the chest piece. It has a little gizmo thing that spins to make the slime spit out. Mr. Westmore says to add some flayed skin to make sure it looks attached and not just like “a piece added on.”
His suggestion to Anna is that she redo part of her face sculpt because it doesn’t look like the alien is bursting out – it looks more like half the face is sagging – like a person who’s had a stroke.
Mel starts over her face four times! They have immunity those, so even though she’s stressed, I’m thinking that she can afford to risk using the time to try to get something that feels right. Finally, she gets something she’s happy with – but then that’s time for the day!
- Mel is roaring to go! We get a look at Melissa’s cowl and I’m already creeped out! It looks good!
- Katie’s got the bulk of the work on this while Robert is working on this one tiny worm. He’s got a weird story going on about the worm, but all I’m thinking is that the division of labor is very lopsided! Plus this is only Katie’s second cowl ever – and she’s never molded one by herself. I’m feeling like she’s being thrown under the bus. However, she’s happy with her work, so we’ll have to see.
- Johnny’s polyfoam chest piece mold doesn’t take! They have to start over. They triple the polyfoam and hope for the best. The spinning projectile thing still looks like a conic piece just attached to the chest. Hopefully once the chest piece is molded it won’t.
- Rob is worried about time and flipping out. He rushes to go get his sculpture molded. Rob worrying about time is starting to be a signature…but he’s never been on bottom looks thus far, so I think maybe it’s just part of his process.
- Yvonne and Anna make a new slime for their alien. Goodbye pretty in pink! They use caramel food coloring for a “disgusting” look.
Application Phase – Day Three
Everyone’s in a hurry at this point! Anna and Yvonne are pre-painting a lot and they are happy with what they’ve got. Rob and Kaleb are doing the opposite. They’re fitting all the application pieces on first and then painting it while on the model. Johnny and Walter are using a lot of time to get that spinning thing to work. It still doesn’t look like an organism to me, but we’ll see. Mel and Melissa are totally in synch. When Melissa starts adding real hair to the shredded face it’s really the piece-de-resistance and completely macabre! Katie and Rob are in trouble because the edges on the cowl are extremely visible around the forehead. It’s too heavy, so it’s sliding down. Really, Katie’s the one in trouble…. And that’s time!
Mel and Melissa have a snag and have to cut the cowl to fit the face mask, then they reattach the chin! Anna and Yvonne are happily applying slime. Rob and Kaleb are fine. Rob suggest to Katie that they wrap a bandage around the head as if she’s had some kind of surgery. Katie says no, because it doesn’t really serve a purpose. Right then I’m sure she’s going home. Rob’s idea could have worked if they altered their story a little and anything is better than having thick obvious edges. It’s difficult to see these things under pressure though. Rob’s annoyed because he knows they will be in bottom looks. He doesn’t come off as overly worried though. He knows it won’t be him that gets chopped.
The Face Off Reveal Stage
Certain things are obvious when the costumes are presented on stage. Top looks are a toss-up between Rob & Caleb and Mel & Melissa. Katie and Robert are bottom looks. Aside from the obvious ridge Katie may have overdone Mr. Westmore’s advice. In her drawing the head sported several bursting open bloody crater-like tumors. He said to not do so many, but now it’s like there aren’t any! The only place that’s bloody and open is where the worm actually is coming out on either side. The rest is just a bare lumpy skull. She’ll be going home. I don’t love Walter and Johnny’s. For one, it still looks like a machine is pasted onto his chest. Anna and Yvonne’s is scary and weird-looking, but not the way the two for top looks are.
The Judges Decide
They like Mel and Melissa’s the use of color, the human teeth stuck on the parasitic alien’s face as its burst up through the head. As for the head pieces hanging on the shoulders with the hair – they love it!
Walter and & Johnny’s piece has several problems. The head-piece is badly done, Glenn Hetrick says the shape is weird, Ve Neil is even less complimentary. Neville Page points out that it has two different processes happening. The top is growing out of him like a fungi while the chest is bursting out like a monster. In general they all feel like too much time was spent on the gimmick instead of tightening the concept.
Anna and Yvonne get nailed for the split being too perfect down the middle. Ve notes that the makeup looks more like a transformation rather than an alien bursting out of a human.
Robert and Katie get called on everything expected.
Rob and Kaleb’s work is praised on many levels. In particular they like all the different ways the alien has taken over the body – as well as the overall craftsmanship.
The Verdicts: winners and losers
In the end, the judges go with Rob and Kaleb’s team as the winner. Even though Mel and Melissa’s was gruesome as well, I think Rob and Kaleb have a scarier, more realistic feel to their makeup. Mel and Melissa’s reminds me of the musical, Little Shop of Horrors.
The winner of the challenge is Rob. It’s his concept and while it all looks great the work on the back of the head is phenomenal!
Katie, to no surprise, is sent home. I feel a little badly for her. We’ve no idea how that project got divided the way it did, but it certainly favored Rob! On the other hand, it’s her lack of experience that tripped her up on this.
That’s it for this week’s Face Off! Were you surprised by any of the judges comments or decisions? If so, let us know in the comments!