Total Recall: The Best of Stan Winston

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

by Tim Ryan | Wednesday, Jun. 18 2008


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Pumpkinhead (1988, 53 percent)

Winston's directorial debut tells the spooky tale of a father who, after summoning the titular demon to enact revenge against those who killed his son, learns there's a price to be paid for his actions. Set in the Appalachian Mountains, Winston's film blends the supernatural with fairy tales, and his bony, raptor-like creature is the stuff of nightmares. Given his duties as director, Winston delegated much of the special-effects work to others; nonetheless, he crafted a creepy morality tale whose cult has only increased with time. Rob Vaux of Flipside Movie Emporium called it "satisfying B-movie fun from effects maestro Stan Winston."








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Leviathan (1989, 11 percent)

Even on the most middling of projects, Winston proved to be an inventive craftsman. Case in point: Leviathan, which was panned by critics for its hackneyed underwater monster-movie plot. Still, Winston labored to create a unique creature; pouring over medical books and photos of deep-sea life, he designed a baddie that fused human, octopus, lamprey, and eel characteristics. Andreas Samuelson of Slasherpool called it "forgettable and predictable, but with a good cast and some fun special effects."




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