Nominations for the 89th annual Academy Awards were announced this morning, and not surprisingly, not a single horror movie was nominated in a single category. We were foolishly holding out hope that maybe John Goodman would nab an acting nomination or The Witch would at least be nominated for a production award, but alas, the genre was snubbed once again.
Though horror is often ignored by the Academy, that isn’t always the case. There are exceptions to every rule, and perhaps the single greatest win for the genre – aside from, of course, Silence of the Lambs winning Best Picture – took place in 1982. At that year’s ceremony, a new award was created to recognize the year’s Best Makeup, and Vincent Price was on hand to present the statue.
The presentation began with a series of clips from movies with incredible makeup effects work, including horror films such as The Phantom of the Opera, The Exorcist, and even The Howling; the clips package was basically the Academy’s way of catching up and recognizing films that would’ve won the award had it been around years prior. The award was introduced as being, in Price’s own words, “not only for the grotesque makeups or the macabre, but also for the subtle delicacy of shading and highlighting features: an art that goes back to the ancient Egyptians.”
The nominees that year were Rick Baker for An American Werewolf in London and Stan Winston for Heartbeeps. Seemingly against all odds, it was the horror movie that actually won the very first Best Makeup Oscar, with Baker accepting the award for his mind-blowing effects work in An American Werewolf in London – effects that still blow the mind to this day, 35 years later.
Yes, Baker’s effects in An American Werewolf in London were so damn good that they compelled the Academy to finally recognize makeup every year from that point forward!
Baker has gone on to be nominated in *his* category 11 times and he won 7 of those times, making him the most winning and most nominated makeup artist in the history of the Academy Awards. He also won the award for Harry and the Hendersons, Ed Wood, The Nutty Professor, Men in Black, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and the 2011 version of The Wolfman.
Travel back in time and watch Price present Baker with the first makeup Oscar in 1982!