To celebrate the launch of M.A.C. Cosmetics’ new Rick Baker Halloween make-up collection, Baker and his family hosted an Oct.19 ghoul-aganza in conjunction with the company. Rick Baker’s Monster Mash lured approximately 300 guests to his Glendale, Calif.-based Cinovation Studios.
“Rick and Silvia (at left) had once had a party that went down in history,” said M.A.C. Cosmetics Senior Artist John Stapleton. “So we said, ‘Let’s see if we can top that party.’”
Stapleton served as M.A.C.’s liaison to Baker throughout the yearlong development of the M.A.C. Rick Baker collection, and showed off how sufficiently scary the results could be.
“What I did was take the zombie make-up and modify it, made it a little more Mummy-like … a little more dehydrated,” said Stapleton, as he modeled his sunken face and shredded-wrap costume. “It took about four and a half hours for the outfit, and then the face was about an hour and a half.”
The studio’s main room featured a hillside graveyard on one side and a looming staircase guarded by flying monkeys from The Wizard of Oz atop each post on the other. Eerie apparitions, illuminated by faux moonlight, hung from the ceiling. Throughout the night, demons, monsters, zombies and ghouls mingled with familiar characters from film and television.
As the invitation encouraged “Monster Chic,” many guests came wearing what could only be described as gothic gruesome.
Among the characters spotted enjoying drinks and hors d’oeuvres, lining up at a photo station and dancing were Edward Scissorhands, Abe Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, Wolverine, Eddie Munster, Michael Jackson, Elvira, Jack Skellington, a pair of Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Scarlet Witch and Franken Berry. Mixed in were a few more traditional versions of Frankenstein’s monster, variations of his bride, some mermaids, some witches, enough pirates from the Caribbean to man a ship and Professor Edward C. Burke (Lon Chaney’s character from London After Midnight). Baker himself made a popular costume choice—there were at least three doppelgangers in the crowd. Like any good reporter wanting to blend into the background, I did my best Claude Rains imitation as The Invisible Man.
Though it wasn’t easy to tell, lurking among the masses were Hollywood performers including Andy Garcia, Kelly Osbourne, Markie Post, Jason Priestley, Slash and his wife Perla Hudson, Lucas Till, Victoria Summer, MythBusters’ Tory Belleci, director Jon Landis and jewelry designer Tarina Tarantino. Make-up artists in attendance included Dave Elsey, Mike Hill, Steve Prouty, Lee Joyner, Shannon Shea and Make-Up Artist publisher Michael Key. In addition to Stapleton, Nick Gavrelis, Jennifer Balbier and Karen Reddy-Medeiros represented M.A.C.
Baker stole the spotlight with an original visualization of a steampunk Frankenstein’s monster. Heavily layered in metal, with valves, pipes and rivets, he looked like a Jules Verne nightmare come to life. His wife, Silvia, was equally a standout as his steampunk bride.
As an extra treat for attendees, Baker opened the doors to the Cinovation museum, located on the second floor. Anyone willing to climb the stairs and brave the flying monkeys could get a closeup of his classic creations from Men in Black, The Nutty Professor, Mighty Joe Young, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and many more. It was well worth taking off The Invisible Man’s dark glasses and breaking character for a few moments.