Team Demon Fabulous: Moster Make-Off "Elizabeth Bathory"

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I am always one for a  challenge when it comes to doing what I love. Not only challenges against other  people but myself. Maybe 2 months ago or so ago Scare Factor ( https://www.thescarefactor.com/ ) was looking for a team to  sponsor for a Monster Make-Off competition ( https://www.ohiohalloweenandhauntersconvention.com/monster-make-off/ ).  I didn't really have much more information than that when I threw my teams hat into  the ring. I later found out we won the sponsorship so then I had to build a team  and come up with a concept. I also had to secure some more sponsors because it  was going to be an expense we had not anticipated. Luckily our haunt the Devil's  Attic ( http://thedevilsattic.com/darknessfalls/ ) and the contact  company I'm partnered with,  Primal ( https://us.primalcontactlenses.com/ ) came through for us. 

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I keep saying us but I haven't mentioned the  team. Mary Proctor would be my second makeup artist on this challenge and we had  a model. Once we got the theme which was Classic Horror with a modern twist I  made the choice to do a Lizard Alien kind of based off the 80's television  series "V". I had a beautiful female lizard facial prosthetic that would have  been perfect from Woochie ( https://www.woochie.com/ ). The idea was that they were on our  planet in search of water. We had plans of putting together a post apocalyptic  space suit and it was going to be very cool. I'm using past tense because we had  to change course.

After reading the rules a bit more it said that  full facial prosthetics were not allowed. I toyed with the idea of trimming the  lizard prosthetic down but I didn't want to destroy such a cool piece. That said  I also had a furrowed brow prosthetic also from Woochie. From there I decided we  would do a vampire in the vein of the lost boys and or buffy. With the theme  being classic horror, it doesn't get much more classic than vampires. I threw  the idea out to the team, asking how we were going to dress our vampire  especially since I knew they were judging on costuming.

Just to get things rolling I threw out some ideas  to the team; Victorian, Punk Rock Lost Boys Style, Modern and Classy like the  Vampires in Underworld, or Maybe Elizabeth Bathory with no costume but bathed in  blood. Without much hesitation our Model chose Bathory. I knew doing a pretty  much nude character would be a risk for a couple reasons. Firstly I knew they  were judging costuming and we would have none. Secondly I knew it meant a lot  more makeup to do and skin to cover. I like the idea of the challenge of doing a  full body makeup so we decided to just go for it.

About two weeks from the competition I got a  message from our model saying she had to back out. This created a  problem for several reasons. I then had to find a model that was willing to  travel with us, be put in monster makeup, be willing to be pretty much nude and  have little to no tattoos. Luckily we were able to find Halle Brandt from  Nashville. She fit the criteria and look for what we had planned and she was  down for anything. Standing at 5'9 I knew once we had heals and tall wig styled  by Matthew Tyldsley that she would be an imposing presence.

Unfortunately I read the itinerary wrong and  instead of leaving at 6am which was already early we would have to leave at 3am.  Halle having driven from Nashville the day before slept in the back seat  while Mary kept me awake. The competition was at the Mansfield Reformatory which  is a historic old prison that is now shut down. It is also where they filmed  Shawshank Redemption. The building was amazing and so cool to be in. We quickly  hauled in our gear and got set up.

Photo by Russ Lytle

Photo by Russ Lytle

When we tested our airbrushes I had a minor heart  attack because my compressor wasn't working. Having a compressor go down on me before I  thought it had happened again and while I had a spare it wasn't as good. Turns  out there was no power, for anyone. With it being such an old building the  breaker wasn't built to power all those air compressors and hair dryers at once.  We waited over and hour and a half not knowing when they were going to call for  us to start. While it was stressful it gave us an opportunity to meet and talk  with our fellow artists which was nice. When they finally called for us to start  we were more than ready to go.

 Photo by Russ Lytle

 Photo by Russ Lytle

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With only and hour and forty five minutes Mary  and I decided I would focus on the face and chest while she did the hands and  the rest. They let us put in our contacts before the time started for sanitation reasons and they were the perfect look for this. I wanted her to look scary but also beautiful. about forty minutes in  the fire alarm went off and our MC started calling for us to vacate. Luckily  someone came in and stopped us and we were able to continue. Mary did a great  job on the hands and once we got everything mottled out we were able to start on  contouring and highlights.

Photo: Russ Lytle

Photo: Russ Lytle

Two days before the competition I was asked to write a bio for our character. I thought it was for the other contestants to read and I didn't really want anyone to know what we were doing so I made it super long, thinking it would turn people off from reading it. With Bathory being an actual historic figure I also wanted it to read like a wiki article. Little did I know that the MC, "Crazy Bob" would be reading them off during the time we all had for makeup. Sorry about that Bob, below is what he had to read.

 Photo: Russ Lytle

 Photo: Russ Lytle

Countess Elizabeth Báthory

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(August 7th 1560 – Present Day) is a Hungarian noblewoman and “serial killer” from the noble family of Báthory. She has been labeled by Guinness World Records as the most prolific female murderer. The highest number of victims cited during Báthory's trial was 650. Despite the evidence against Elizabeth, her family's influence kept her from facing trial. She was imprisoned in December 1610 within Čachtice Castle in Upper Hungary (now Slovakia) and held in solitary confinement in a windowless room until what was thought to be her death four years later.

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The stories of her sadistic serial murders are verified by the testimony of more than 300 witnesses and survivors as well as physical evidence and the presence of horribly mutilated dead, dying, and imprisoned girls found at the time of her arrest. Stories describing her vampire-like tendencies (most famously the tale that she bathed in the blood of virgins to retain her youth) were recorded years after her death. Some insist she inspired Bram Stoker's Dracula though there is no evidence to support this hypothesis. Nicknames and literary epithets attributed to her include “The Blood Countess” and “Countess Dracula”.

 Photo: Russ Lytle

 Photo: Russ Lytle

Elizabeth had a couple of loyal followers, Anna Pap and Borbala Vadas, whom believed the tales of her being a vampire and the women exhumed Báthory’s body weeks after her death. These women desired to become vampires after having heard the remarkable stories of Báthory’s ritual involving bathing in virgin blood to maintain a beautiful youth look. However, the women knew they couldn’t do this without guidance of an existing vampire. Pap and Vadas believed that she died from being starved of blood and took it upon themselves to revive Báthory. According to Pap’s diary, the two placed the body in a tub and poured in the blood of 4 virgins allowing the body to soak in hopes of reviving their beloved noblewoman. After a day or so, fear of being caught for the murder of four women overpowered their wants to bring Báthory back to the world of the living and they fled Upper Hungary. Soon after, Anna Pap was found dead by authorities having been drained of all blood with 2 puncture wounds on her inner thigh. Borbala Vadas was never seen or heard from again. Authorities never found the body of Elizabeth Báthory and kept it secret to not scare the public.

 Photo: Russ Lytle

 Photo: Russ Lytle

Elizabeth Báthory is alive (undead) and well. Though still feeding and bathing in the blood of her victims, she has maintained a low profile. To mask her murders she often times mimics serial killers such as Fritz Haarmann, Tsutomu Miyazaki, Richard Chase, and Andrei Chikatilo to name a few. She rarely, if ever, uses her fangs as to not give proof to vampire existence. She has been known to leave behind bodies from time to time with the trademark puncture wounds on the inner thighs. Many cold cases of gruesome murders and missing persons can be attributed to her. With virgins being harder to come by in our society she often times settles for “spoiled” flesh which has brought out a more vampiric look and tendencies in her. She still seeks out virgins so the innocent should beware. Vampires are real and Countess Elizabeth Báthory is the mother of all.

 Photo by Russ Lytle

 Photo by Russ Lytle

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When they called for twenty minutes left I had to  start on the pretty aspect of the makeup in the eyes, highlights, lips and  adding gold flake for some over the top beauty. Mary took iced gold shimmer  powder and dusted her body with it to give her some glints. with 10 minutes left  we started applying blood but at the same time we were struggling with not  covering up our hard work. That said with it being Elizabeth Bathory, covering  her in blood was needed. Then we topped it all off with some awesome jewelry and  our wig.  

 Photos by Russ Lytle

 Photos by Russ Lytle

I usually like to give the people involved with projects I write blogs about a chance to weigh in on their experience. Since it was Halle's first time doing something like this I definitely wanted to know what she thought. When I asked all she had to say was, "I can’t think of what I’d say for the blog other than that it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever gotten to do." I will take that as a good thing.

 Photo by Russ Lytle

 Photo by Russ Lytle

Some people had done a lot of big costuming incorporating lights and other things. We took a huge risk and just focused on makeup. We knew it would be an uphill battle and that we wouldn't place and we were right. There were three judges, two f which were makeup artists and one was a layman. While we didn't win the two makeup artists judges gave us near perfect scores which I considered a win. We met a lot of cool people and got to do a makeup and character we were all very proud of. We hope to do more of these and create more characters.

Photo: Russ Lytle

Photo: Russ Lytle

Louisville Zombie Walk

The Louisville Zombie Attack, now Louisville Zombie Walk (louisvillezombiewalk.com) started in 2005, and without it I don't know if I would have ever found my way to makeup as stated in my "about" page. My first year was back in 2006 when we had maybe 120 people attend. With an estimated 40,000 people in attendance last year the growth of this event is staggering.

This year founder Lyndi Lou has handed over the reigns to the Devil's Attic Haunted Attraction (http://thedevilsattic.com) where I am the Makeup SPFX manager. Having been a coordinator with Lyndi in the past I couldn't be more proud that she has entrusted us with her baby. That's not the only change to the walk this year. instead of the walk always being on the 29th which would be a monday this year we will be holding it on the 27th which is a Saturday. 

My team from the Devil's Attic also known as "Team Demon Fabulous" will be set up at the Highland Taproom doing makeup for the public. I will have more information on pricing and schedule later so stay tuned. For this to come full circle is very exciting for me. Our goal is to remain true to the spirit of the event and make Lyndi Lou proud.

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