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.




Comments

Floor Man

Floor Man

Man! Guy was a genius...!

Jun 18 - 06:16 PM

Joe

Joe Joe

It'a shame he passed away... Those were good days when the special effects were made in plastic and not looked like plastic...

Jun 18 - 07:13 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Yeah I miss that. When it was good old fashion make up and stuntwrok instead of CGI.

Jun 18 - 08:46 PM

crazykila93

Fernando Aponte

He will definately live out in our hearts as a film legend.

Jun 18 - 08:12 PM

jokerboy1991

jack giroux

Yeah I miss that. When it was good old fashion make up and stuntwrok instead of CGI.

Jun 18 - 08:46 PM

Zora_187

Arrion Azimi

I completely agree with you Dioeni. It's a shame he died while Terminator: Salvation was still being made.

Jun 18 - 09:37 PM

citizenjames

James Ford

i remember watching my laserdisc for JURASSIC PARK (i'm dating myself) and my friend's wife commented that "spielberg is a genius... the guy created dinosaurs." i quickly corrected her: "stan winston created dinosaurs... spielberg just told them what to do."

i good example is i believe there is only six minutes of cgi footage in JURASSIC PARK... everything else is stan. people talk about how fake effects look but movies are more than that. i'll take bad effects and a good story over great effects and a bad story every day and twice on a sunday. what stan did was marry the two flawlessly. i defy anyone to point out the flaw in IRON MAN and what's practical and what's cgi. people complain about HULK but the problem (which i have none) isn't sloppy cgi... it's just that cgi hasn't caught up with stan.

www.jamesford.wordpress.com

Jun 19 - 06:05 AM

TombstoneLawDog

Daniel Klein

"it's just that cgi hasn't caught up with Stan."


Amen, brother.

..and there are those of us who remember laserdiscs.. (I had a friend who lost quite a bit of money investing...)

While there will always be those that rise to the occasion and show us something we've never seen before, I will not be surprised if it is a long time before anyone like Stan Winston comes along.

Jun 19 - 07:01 AM

TombstoneLawDog

Daniel Klein

"it's just that cgi hasn't caught up with Stan."


Amen, brother.

..and there are those of us who remember laserdiscs.. (I had a friend who lost quite a bit of money investing...)

While there will always be those that rise to the occasion and show us something we've never seen before, I will not be surprised if it is a long time before anyone like Stan Winston comes along.

Jun 19 - 07:01 AM

CallMeBakes

Colin Baker

There are a lot of people who can create crazy creatures and fabulous effects in their mind. It's another thing entirely to be able to actually create it physically. Stan Winston did just that. Anything that was inside his head, he could eventually bring to fully realized life. The man was simply a genius. Nothing else can be said. He will be missed.

Jun 19 - 08:58 AM

minderbinder

anonymous anonymous

Brilliant guy, he will be missed.

People always rant about how great the CGI was in Jurassic Park, not realizing that most of the shots that look photorealistic are practical effects and not computer generated.

AI had some astounding visuals, but it was such a wasted opportunity. The craftsmanship in that is just amazing, but the movie is ruined by an awful script, really a shame it could have been brilliant but ended up a mess.

Jun 19 - 09:11 AM

zsmiller79

Zachary Miller

R.I.P. Stan Winston

He changed the way effects are created for the big screen.

Jun 19 - 09:17 AM

MacLeoD39

Rob MacLeoD

OKAY!!!!! ROB BOTTIN DID THE WORK IN THE THING!!!!!!!!! AS WELL AS THE FOG!!!!!! ROB BOTTIN!!!!!!!! not Stan Winston!!!!

Jun 19 - 02:13 PM

avoidz

Mark F

@MacLeoD39 - Look up The Thing (1982) on IMDb; Stan Winston is listed under the Full cast and crew for "additional makeup effects".

:( It's extremely sad to lose such a great artist, but his art lives on in the movies he worked on.

Jun 19 - 08:28 PM

MacLeoD39

Rob MacLeoD

okay i feel very dumb lol i never knew that Stan Winston had anything to do with The Thing it's one of my all time favorite movies I just never paid close attention to the credits!! thanks for the info!!!!

Jun 20 - 01:31 PM

avoidz

Mark F

@MacLeoD39 - Look up The Thing (1982) on IMDb; Stan Winston is listed under the Full cast and crew for "additional makeup effects".

:( It's extremely sad to lose such a great artist, but his art lives on in the movies he worked on.

Jun 19 - 08:28 PM

MacLeoD39

Rob MacLeoD

okay i feel very dumb lol i never knew that Stan Winston had anything to do with The Thing it's one of my all time favorite movies I just never paid close attention to the credits!! thanks for the info!!!!

Jun 20 - 01:31 PM

RETyrant

Chase Chandler

It's a shame. He also created the monsters in the video game The Suffering. There was supposed to be a movie adaptation of the game where he was to design the actual creatures used in the film, but I don't see it being made after his death.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Suffering_(video_game)

Jun 20 - 03:21 AM

MacLeoD39

Rob MacLeoD

okay i feel very dumb lol i never knew that Stan Winston had anything to do with The Thing it's one of my all time favorite movies I just never paid close attention to the credits!! thanks for the info!!!!

Jun 20 - 01:31 PM

dyl p.

dyl perron

Leviathan looks like a great movie.

Oct 9 - 06:44 AM

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