Total Recall: The Best of Stan Winston

We take a look back at the celebrated career of Hollywood's beloved creature artist.

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The Monster Squad (1987, 53 percent)

In addition to his proclivity for blood and guts, Winston made a few forays into kid-friendly territory, creating effects for Mouse Hunt and directing the Anthony Michael Hall-toplined The Adventures of a Gnome Named Gnorm. In the cult fave The Monster Squad, Winston introduced some classic cinematic creeps to a new generation. The plot involves a group of pre-teen outcasts who revel in monster movies -- and become the world's only hope when some of their supposed favorites (including Dracula, the Mummy, Frankenstein's monster, and the Wolf Man) start wrecking havoc. Praising Winston's work, Filmcritic.com's Keith Breese wrote, "The Monster Squad combines goofy humor with real scares and genuine mystery."








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Predator (1987, 78 percent)

In creating the Predator, Winston was inspired by a conversation with James Cameron, during which the director said he always wanted to see a creature with mandibles. Winston labored on the design, and after several false starts (including a halt in production to get the creature just right), he emerged with yet another terrifying monster. Inhabited by 7-foot actor and mime Kevin Peter Hall, the Predator suit made for one of the least friendly -- and most uniquely grotesque -- extraterrestrials in movie history. And as arduous as the process was, Winston picked up an Oscar nomination for Best Visual Effects. (As for the movie itself, it features two future governors!)

"The special effects have dated quite well, and the action scenes -- shot by relative newcomer John McTiernan -- work well, despite a few clunky spots," wrote Jeffrey M. Anderson of Combustible Celluloid.




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