Just by pure dumb luck, we found the perfect summer camp for my oldest kid – all about the engineering of movies. He loves the magic of movies – his whole damn Christmas list was full of it – green screen, better camera, books about editing and stop motion. He’s seen a number of movies that represent the best examples of current effects magic but his knowledge of practical effects is limited to the original, non-cgi’d up run of Star Wars and Dune.
I’ve been thinking about this all morning and making up a list of movies with the best practical effects. I think he might, maybe, be old enough for Alien now and that’s the best of them in my opinion. We’ve discussed Savini’s work and Lon Chaney’s work. We’ve looked at Spielberg, Lucas, and Henson’s stuff. We’ve talked Face Off type movie makeups and things like that. If we want to look at bad special effects, we’ll see about finding some Mystery Science Theater 3000. Too bad the USA network doesn’t still run their Saturday night awful movie marathons.
What are your favorite movies that use primarily practical effects? What movies do you love for their makeups or effects?
My list so far: Original run Star Wars, Original Dune, Alien, Jaws (holy moly that shark!), American Werewolf in London (he’s definitely NOT ready for this one), Terminator 2 (not sure about this one either). Most of the best ones, I don’t think he’d like. How I gave birth to a kid that doesn’t like scary things, I don’t know. So, I need help finding awesome movies that aren’t scary (even if the best effects are in the scary ones apparently).