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S07.E08: Killer Instinct 2014.09.09

I just saw this episode in rerun on Space and I am completely bummed that the judges used their Save on Sasha, of all people.

 

I am sure her whiny infantilized woman number works well for her in real life with people (especially men) fighting over each other to give her advantages or rescuing her from her own ineptitude, but I would have thought these judges would be immune to that.

 

At least Space is also showing the judges compeitition at this very moment, so those three have a chance to redeem themselves in my eyes.

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I don't think Sasha is doing some kind of "number."  She seems a shy, sensitive soul in a jaded, cynical world and is trying to cope the best she can. 

 

We all have coping mechanisms.  That is simply part of the process of living.  I personally find turning them into some "label" from the latest pop psychology book totally mystifying.  It's just life and people living it.  Some ways of behaving may grate on someone but it doesn't make that other person somehow "bad" in an objective way.  It's just what people do as they struggle to survive and grow and live in a crazy, cruel world.

 

She hurts no one.  She isn't out blowing up people with bombs or trying to hurt others' feelings or threatening physical violence or even involved in malicious gossip of backbiting against anyone.  She just isn't as "tough" as many people and I say bravo for that.  I call that being a pretty sweet person.  The kind the world needs more of, not less.

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I did not think that my description of Sasha's behaviour was derived from any fashionable psychobabble trend, but was rather based on observation; it's far from a new insight that some grown women (and a few men) behave as a child to attract sympathy and favour, just like she does.

 

What you call "coping mechanism" (now, that I would consider to be a true pop psychology notion) I do not perceive as being sweet, but rather as manipulative.

 

I was surprised that the juges thought so highly of Cig's offering since it lacked variety, both in texture and in color; or perhaps the monochromatic character of the piece hid some visual qualities that were more apparent in person than on a TV screen.

 

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What I don't understand is why in 99% of cases scary = blood and gore to the contestants.  I've come to the conclusion that it must be a cultural thing, because most "horror" movies go that route in North America.

 

The most scared I've ever been by a movie was The Entity.  And I don't think there even was a single drop of blood on that one.  When that thing pulled the sheets off of a sleeping Barbara Hershey in order to rape her, I almost peed my pants I was so scared.  Blood and gore are disgusting to me, not scary.  Evil people, people who are cruel and commit unspeakable acts just because they can, or because they enjoy it are scary to me.  Blood, guts, gunshot wounds, not so much.  Maybe because my dad spent very many years in and out of hospitals and ERs with assorted maladies and I've seen quite a lot of the stuff, I don't find it scary at all.

 

Blood and gore may be, in some cases, the result of acts performed by evil people (or entities), but it's much more scary to me to see a study of the monsters themselves than the whole messy, gruesome result.

 

That said, I wasn't bothered by having a horror challenge since it seemed the producers have heard the fans complaints and this season has been very monster light (as compared to other seasons).  I also agreed with the winner and was happy to see that while the judges still seem to hold the paradigm that blood and guts are scary, they appreciated restraint and chose one of the least bloody make-ups out there.

 

As for the save, I also think it could have been used if one of the designers that have been consistently on the top had an off week, but I think in this show the "save" is kind of moot.  We've seen in the past how, when faced with two equally bad make-ups, the judges have considered body of work to make their decision, so, I don't think any of the ones that would eventually become top three are in danger of never becoming top three or needing the save.  If that makes sense.

Edited by WearyTraveler.
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What I don't understand is why in 99% of cases scary = blood and gore to the contestants.  I've come to the conclusion that it must be a cultural thing, because most "horror" movies go that route in North America.

Years ago, I interviewed horror/fantasy writer, Robert Bloch ("Psycho"), who didn't like blood anymore than you did.  This is what he told me for the article:

 

""I like scary movies in the old-fashioned sense of the word. They were more imaginative and they required audience involvement in order to create shock. You had to identify with the characters. But today, they're called spatter films, and I don't like those at all. I don't think it takes any imagination to disembowel somebody on camera. And, for some reason or other, it doesn't particularly appeal to me. I see no reason for paying $5 to watch somebody's entrails popping out, when I can get the same thing for free by visiting any slaughterhouse or stockyard."

Edited by Minerette.
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I don't think Sasha is doing some kind of "number."  She seems a shy, sensitive soul in a jaded, cynical world and is trying to cope the best she can. 

 

We all have coping mechanisms.  That is simply part of the process of living.  I personally find turning them into some "label" from the latest pop psychology book totally mystifying.  It's just life and people living it.  Some ways of behaving may grate on someone but it doesn't make that other person somehow "bad" in an objective way.  It's just what people do as they struggle to survive and grow and live in a crazy, cruel world.

 

She hurts no one.  She isn't out blowing up people with bombs or trying to hurt others' feelings or threatening physical violence or even involved in malicious gossip of backbiting against anyone.  She just isn't as "tough" as many people and I say bravo for that.  I call that being a pretty sweet person.  The kind the world needs more of, not less.

 

 

I did not think that my description of Sasha's behaviour was derived from any fashionable psychobabble trend, but was rather based on observation; it's far from a new insight that some grown women (and a few men) behave as a child to attract sympathy and favour, just like she does.

 

What you call "coping mechanism" (now, that I would consider to be a true pop psychology notion) I do not perceive as being sweet, but rather as manipulative.

Like Florinaldo, I don't think my criticisms of Sasha's behavior can be fairly labeled "the latest pop psychology." I've been deeply bothered by girls and women who behave like brainless little girls since I was in junior high school, and that's been . . . wow, well over three decades.

 

Obviously I'd be in a better position to judge Sasha if I knew her in real life, but since I'm on a TV message board, I reserve the right to call 'em like I see 'em, and it's my impression that her persona is at least in part under her control. I don't like her or the stereotype that she perpetuates. Having lived through social and professional situations where I was treated like I was "less than" because of my gender, I'm of the opinion that yes, that kind of infantilized behavior in women DOES do damage, especially when it takes place in a competition involving professional skills. Others' mileage may vary, of course.

 

I do respect your openhearted attitude toward Sasha, green, and I'm glad you felt comfortable offering your feedback.

Edited by Portia.
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What I don't understand is why in 99% of cases scary = blood and gore to the contestants.

Because they're being judged on a makeup, not their ability to craft a compelling long-form story.  In this case I think the pretty girl in the French maid outfit with the bloody gunshot head wound makeup won because it will work beautifully in the haunted house walk-though context. You get the point immediately.   The creepy looking guy from the Catfishing story might be much more frightening if you saw the whole movie, but just looking at him cold there's not enough there.  Any more than you'd really get how scary Psycho and The Bad Seed are by looking at photos of Anthony Perkins or Patty McCormack, even with creepy smiles. 

 

Also our feelings about horrific characters lessen as we become more familiar with them.  Lon Chaney's Phantom,  Boris Karloff's Frankenstein's monster, Bela Lugosi's Dracula all scared me to pieces when I was a kid, and supposedly audience members fainted in the original runs of  those films.  Now they seem cuddly enough that they're stuffed toys and children's cartoon characters.

Edited by ratgirlagogo.
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Because they're being judged on a makeup, not their ability to craft a compelling long-form story

 

Yes, but their creations can still be scary without being bloody and gory.  It's more challenging that way, off course, but think of the amazing make-ups we could get!

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I think the obvious answer for the blood/gore is that the challenge was doing make ups for campy slasher movie posters. The base concept wasn't doing The Entity or The Exorcist etc, it was doing Jason, Freddy, the Leprechaun, Wishmaster etc. Campy slasher villains are in general not meant to be directly scary or horrifying.

Edited by snakenax.
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I always find it odd that when people want to create a scary killer-monster, they start by giving it a giant head wound or something. A cheerleader with an axe in her skull is less scary to me than one with an intact head. How scary can you be if you keep getting axed?

 

I remember in a previous season, there was an "explosives expert" creation that was covered in burn scars. That's not an expert!

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Lol, hadn't even thought of that Monty, but it's true!  There really is a "cargo cult" attitude when it comes to a lot of these makeup designs, in terms of mimicking cliches and tropes without even fully understanding where they come from.  I think as an aside, this is what Glenn and Neville mean when talking about "anatomically correct": it's not about there being a "right" anatomy for demons or aliens, but rather that whatever choices you make should feel natural, organic, and true to some implicit biology or evolution.  You don't have bony ridges, wounds, or eyes in just random places- it should feel earned and appropriate.

 

I apparently had not hit submit on my original comment after the episode aired, so my brief from-memory attempts to recreate that belatedly:

 

  • I'm happy they saved Sasha; whatever your feelings about her, she seemed genuinely thrilled, and it made for good TV that I rewound and watched multiple times- and I tend to forgive her youth for its lack of confidence.  That'll change in time, and she's not being a dick about it, or passively entitled in her whininess like Miranda (I think) in past seasons who seemed to think she alone had challenges to overcome each week.
  • I think Monty made a great connection in his recap about the Roger Corman style of making a cool poster/title/tagline, and only if it got greenlit do you bother inventing the actual monster and plot.  I really liked the concept of this challenge, since adding some constraints tends to make people more creative than if you just give them a blank sheet.
  • I still think the judges should have dumped Dina; her makeup was a failure in every regard, as bad as the murky design for which people like Jason got canned.  Both Dina and Sasha have a good case for the save, although arguably more so Sasha since other than her now 3 trips to the bottom, she's consistently a top look candidate.
  • George remains an irrepressible joy on screen; he's a gifted artist, and glad to see him finally win after a steady streak of safe, safe, safe.  Not to mention, he's my favorite contestant this season because his humor and attitude is infectious; contrasted to Cig's LOOK AT ME fashion stylings, George's antics don't seem to be for the camera but for his fellow contestants.  Plus, along with Rachael, he's the last contestant to never be in the bottom for any reason.
  • Rachael, in addition to being my Face Off TV girlfriend this season, did a pretty good makeup considering she was immune; she's actually won both Foundation Challenges, by the way (unless you count the premier episode as an FC).  I really liked the subtle animation of the chest-mouth, and I think if she had made a better "Old Countess" face makeup that wasn't so plastic and Halloween mask looking, she'd have given George a run for his money this week.

 

Honestly, at this point I feel like George and Rachael are almost coasting in to be two of our final three, showing comparable distinction from their peers as people like Roy and Laura did in their season.   I think one of Keaghlan, Cig, or Sasha will join them; all are less consistent, but if they get a lucky 2-3 week run at the right time and on the right topics, they have the talent to push into the finale.

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Right now I feel the top 3 is a bit of anyone's game. Everyone there has put out good make ups, everyone there has put out bad make ups. George, Cig, Rachael and Keaghlan are the most consistent so far, but Dina, Stella and Sasha can knock it out of the park when they get it right and Drew's ability to coast in the safe zone could get him in the top 3 like Wayne, Ian and Sam. It's kind of exciting, the last three seasons by the second episode I knew exactly who the top three were going to be and made a good guess on the the winner and runner up, but this season feels a bit like the first three seasons where there was a lot more question to who would win.

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I always find it odd that when people want to create a scary killer-monster, they start by giving it a giant head wound or something. A cheerleader with an axe in her skull is less scary to me than one with an intact head. How scary can you be if you keep getting axed?

The idea is to present the baddie as being unstoppable. You can hit them with an axe and they'll keep killing.

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I usually loathe the gory stuff that they trot out each episode, but this episode I didn't mind too much. I think it was because I cannot stop staring at Blue Eyebrows. They are so damn distracting. Add in green lipstick (!) and the rest of the show becomes a blur for me.

 

And maybe that's what she wants, people to talk about her. Well, we are. Or, I am. She looks ridiculous.

 

I don't mind unnatural hair colors and bold makeup but my issue is the undertone is off so the green lipstick clashes with the blue hair. I would have expected her to pull off her own makeup much better.

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Are people really complaining about there being less horror-based episodes?  

 

I really didn't understand the judges praising the shape of the "killer hillbilly's" head.  It didn't read to me as inbred, just downright strange.

Edited by iscoffy.
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And he got that really excellent petite blonde model this week, the one who really puts her all into selling the character.

 

She's great isn't she? I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed. She's been on for quite a few seasons. I always think that it would be kinda neat to get more backstory on the actors but then I am reminded of the disaster that was Models of the Runway. 

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A 1 episode special "Models of Face Off" might be good. Get a lot of the regulars on, and just do the basics. Ask them their favorite and most hated makeups, maybe which contestants they loved to work with (but maybe not the most hated), what they do when they get into the studio and start finding out what the makeup/challenge is. (Do they know anything ahead of time?) etc...  I'm sure they could fill an hour with that fairly easily.

 

I don't know what "Models of the Runway" was (though it sounds like it would be similar). The difference (I think) is that FaceOff has always had a generally good rapport between the contestants, judges and models so a Model-focused special should come off better. 

Edited by Taeolas.
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I keep thinking about that fantastic actor that RJ had for the Tim Burton challenge, the one who portrayed the valet perfectly. I would love to hear about his initial reaction when he learned what the challenge was and what exactly he was going to be.

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A 1 episode special "Models of Face Off" might be good. Get a lot of the regulars on, and just do the basics. Ask them their favorite and most hated makeups, maybe which contestants they loved to work with (but maybe not the most hated), what they do when they get into the studio and start finding out what the makeup/challenge is. (Do they know anything ahead of time?) etc...  I'm sure they could fill an hour with that fairly easily.

 

I don't know what "Models of the Runway" was (though it sounds like it would be similar). The difference (I think) is that FaceOff has always had a generally good rapport between the contestants, judges and models so a Model-focused special should come off better. 

A one episode show would be good, it would be interesting to hear how they deal with being covered in appliances & makeup.

 

"Models of the Runway" was nothing like you described. They tried to make it a standard reality show with the models living together & doing stupid challenge stuff. It sucked.

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We are going to HHN also, and are very excited to see George's creation there!  I wouldn't mind it if the Top 3 made it into the parks, actually...loved the old lady with the stomach mouth, she made a big visual impression for many reasons.   However, even though Mr. Irritable and I can handle a certain level of gore, the Axe Girlfriend's head wound was mighty accurate and graphic for an amusement park.  I wonder if it may be just a wee bit too much for some people?  Last year, they had actual amputees running around as zombies that were missing limbs (one of them not actually running around due to having no lower extremities - that vignette was INCREDIBLE, let me tell you), so I know they are not afraid to take things to the next level (which I very much appreciate), but I dunno....maybe I have some weird line when it comes to heads blown apart by a gun shot.  I guess it's not my job to worry about how other people might react to it, and I should just focus on how much fun it will be to look for her character and eventually stumble across her!

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