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Face Off Season 12, Episode 7: Feral Fungi

McKenzie explains the latest challenge (image: SyFy)

Tonight’s episode opens at the Face Off lab where McKenzie is waiting surrounded by a hazmat control center – there’s been a zombie outbreak. She discusses the TV and movie origins and then the real-life counterpart – a fungus that really takes over insects. That’s our inspiration for this challenge. The teams will be creating three zombies.

Twisted Six will have Andrew at the helm. Ethereal Effects will have Kiersten. They pick their inspirational fungus. The zombies will be one day, seven days, and 30 days post exposure. Kiersten picked the Octopus Stinkhorn fungus. They’ve got some fun and gross ideas going during the design phase. Twisted Six picked the Brain Mushroom and they’ve got some pretty clear direction across the board. I really think this is the first time that everyone seems to be inspired and driven this season and that’s always nice to see.

Michael Westmore arrives and heads for Ethereal Effects first. He doesn’t think Kiersten’s look has the bursting element so much and suggests how to give it that movement. He encourages Nelson to use paint to add some shadows and dimensions. Over at Twisted Six, he starts with Andrew and suggests that he maybe stretch and stipple the eyelid so it doesn’t look like a mask. He has some harsher words for Phil as he thinks it looks more like a burn and that’s not really the direction the challenge was going for. He reminds Phil to touch base with Andrew to make it cohesive.

Kiersten is doing much better about keeping in touch with her team this time and she’s definitely happier this week. Phil has made his changes and he’s also happier now. At the end of day one, everyone seems pretty pleased overall.

Day Two brings on more of the same, sculpting and molding and trying to keep the timeline in view. Nelson is working on his chest piece which is super gross sounding, and Faina is paying a little more attention than Kiersten seems to be, but everyone is doing what they’re supposed to do. Faina peeks a bit at the other shop and is feeling underwhelmed with her own work. Phil made a brain mushroom prop to illustrate the beginning of the outbreak, but he’s having trouble with the mold.

Day Three is also Application day. The artists arrive in the lab and immediately get to work. Andrew seems to be taking his job as foreperson very seriously. Painting and applying begins. There’s a lot of focus on the blending of the edges across both shops. KC is doing some things with paint that are pretty incredible. Faina notices that the colors they’re using aren’t cohesive and hopefully it’s in enough time to make it work so they don’t look so separate. Heading into Last Looks, Kiersten is definitely feeling the nerves as Twisted Six’s work is pretty Zombie looking.

At Last Looks, there’s a lot of work going on. At Twisted Six, it’s mostly detail work and their looks are really looking incredible. KC may have overstepped a bit on the red under the eyes, but it’s beautiful anyway. Kiersten seems a little happier but she’s helping where she can with the other people and I don’t see anything that looks really terrible from here.

At the reveal stage, McKenzie introduces the series judges, Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill, Neville page, and special guest judge, award winning game writer, Neil Druckman (the Last of Us). She reintroduces this week’s challenge before starting the runway show.

Ethereal Effects Feral Fungi looks (image: SyFy)

Ethereal Effects: My opinion: I don’t see the bursting element in first day, the seventh day look is getting pretty interesting, but muddy and static – there’s no movement to it. The thirty-day look, however, looks pretty darn neat – a little less zombie and a little more Pirates of the Caribbean. Judges’ opinion: They like Kiersten’s sculpt and paint. Faina’s face looks muddy, discolored, needs more specificity and less rubber starfish. Nelson – could have been shiny, wet, and gross. Instead, it’s too muddy and gray. Needs more contrast.

Twisted Six’s Feral Fungi Looks (image: SyFy)

Twisted Six: My opinion: the day one, looks mild and subtle. Maybe too subtle. It’s not great but it isn’t bad. Seven has some awesome spots but I’m not a fan on the red under the eyes. It is creepy. The thirty day look though is the kind of thing horror movies are made of. I love that. Judges’ opinion: nothing about the first day feel like fungus, it feels like a burn. Day seven feels like it’s right out of a transformation sequence. Very creepy. Nice design choice through the back. Day thirty is much neater up close. Great handle on anatomy.

KC’s Feral Fungi Look (image: SyFy)

KC comes to the center to talk about her character. Excellent video game design, a stunning success. Works well from afar and then also up close.

Nelson’s Feral Fungi Look (image: SyFy)

Nelson explains his character. Very muddy and dry. Some things in the flesh are lacking. The best part is the octopus thing, there’s movement there. There are some beginnings of something very cool, but it’s not there yet.

Phil’s Feral Fungi Look (image: SyFy)

Phil comes to the spotlight and explains his story. It doesn’t quite show the fungus, but more burn. If it’d had fungi clusters on the face, it would have fit in perfectly.

Andrew’s Feral Fungi Look (image: SyFy)

Andrew and his zombie come in and tell his story. This is beautiful. So well done. Pushed the anatomy enough that it feels unique and different. The sculpture and the shapes are extraordinarily well done.









Faina’s Feral Fungi Look (image: SyFy)

Faina explains her character. What’s on the face is nothing like she usually does with the grays and cartoony nature of the fungi.

Keirsten’s Feral Fungi Look (image: SyFy)

Kiersten takes her turn to explain her character. It’s well executed. Nice balance between paint and prosthetic. From a distance, it’s hard to read,  but it’s a good job.

Judges deliberate a little but, to me, it seems very clear what they’re going to decide.

There is no winning shop. They’re dividing the artists again. From here forward it’s an individual challenge.

Winner of tonight’s challenge is KC.

Joining KC in semi finals is Andrew, Kiersten, Nelson, and Faina.

Going home tonight is Phil.

The winner surprised me a little bit. I expected it to be Andrew. I certainly would have picked Andrew. The rest of the lineup didn’t surprise me at all. I’m so glad the shop ridiculousness is over though. Maybe I shouldn’t be,  but I can’t help it at this point. I really hope they don’t do this again.


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