Movie makeup has been an important part of cinema for as long as cinema has been around. But we’re here to discuss only the most extreme uses of the technique: When it’s used not to cover up blemishes or hide a black eye from a bad party the night before, but to completely transform the actor into someone (or something) completely different. These six examples of extreme movie makeup will provide a crash course in the art of transformation.
“The Phantom of the Opera” No discussion of extreme movie makeup would be complete without inclusion of Lon Chaney, probably the first actor to use makeup to transform himself so completely. Using his own makeup kit, he created dozens of famous characters, earning him the nickname “The Man of 1000 Faces.” And this is probably his most famous face, the horrifyingly disfigured Erik, who haunts the Paris Opera House. The reveal of his face is one of the most famous shocks in movie history, and justifiably so.