Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oliver Reed's Werewolf - An Artist's Dream

For classic horror artists, there are certain characters that just beg to be rendered. Lon Chaney's PHANTOM OF THE OPERA, Boris Karloff's FRANKENSTEIN monster and Vincent Price's ABOMINABLE DR. PHIBES are three that immediately come to mind. Oliver Reed's lycanthrope is another, because of Roy Ashton's unique makeup and the torn, romantic costume he wears. How can an artist resist a werewolf in a red cumberbund?

The proof is below, which two recent pieces from myself and the Mozart of monster sculpture Mike Hill. Mine is done in watercolors, his done in all sorts of materials. Both capture the essence of the character, who only is seen in the final 20 minutes of the Hammer film.

Mike's sculpture is built upon actor Oliver Reed's actual features, which is why is it so spectacular. Without a doubt, you can see Ollie in the eyes.

I liked the idea of making this watercolor look kind of like a tarot card. Werewolves in cinema have been linked to gypsies and fortune tellers since Curt Soidmak's screenplay for THE WOLF MAN in 1941.