Meet the morbid make up man, Rick Gonzales
Good day to all my gore loving fans. Welcome to another interview with a monster making maestro. You've probably seen his work in some of your horror movie faves. Watch me pick his brain guys, I'll have to save it for after the interview.
1) Please introduce yourself, where you are from and what do you do?
HELLO. MY NAME IS RICK GONZALES. I'M FROM SAN ANTONIO, TX, BUT I HAVE LIVED IN FLORIDA FOR MOST OF MY LIFE. I AM A PRODUCTION AND SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKEUP ARTIST, RETIRED. I CALL MYSELF A PRODUCTION MAKEUP ARTIST BECAUSE I DO ALL THE MAKEUP FOR THE SHOW, THE STRAIGHT, BEAUTY AND SPECIAL MAKEUPS, NOT JUST SPECIAL EFFECTS.
2) What were the main influences that lead you down your career path?
I AM WHAT SOME PEOPLE WOULD CALL A "MONSTER KID." I GREW UP WATCHING AND LOVING MOVIES ESPECIALLY HORROR AND SCIENCE FICTION MOVIES. AS A KID, I WOULD GET INTO MY COUSIN'S COLLECTION OF "FAMOUS MONSTERS" MAGAZINE AND FELL IN LOVE WITH LON CHENEY, SR. AND ALL THE HAMMER HORROR MOVIES. THAT'S WHERE I ALSO LEARNED ABOUT MAKEUP ARTISTS DICK SMITH AND RICK BAKER.
3) Can you give us the names of some of the films you’ve worked on?
I AM BEST KNOWN FOR BEING ON THE MAKEUP CREW FOR "DAY OF THE DEAD." SOME OF THE OTHER MOVIES I'VE WORKED ON ARE ZOMBIE CULT FAVORITES "AUTOMATON TRANSFUSION" AND "ZOMBIE, ZOMBIE, ZOMBIE." THE MOVIE "DUNSMORE" FEATURED SOME OF MY BEST WORK MAKING CHARACTERS LOOK YOUNG AND OLDER IN FLASHBACKS 10 TO 20 YEARS, AND EVEN THOUGH IT WAS A DRAMA, I CREATED A LOT OF SPECIAL EFFECTS MAKEUPS IN THE FILM.
4) DOTD is a huge cult film in the zombie genre of horror. Can you tell us how you became involved in this project ?
MY FRIEND, MAKEUP ARTIST DEAN GATES, WAS CONTACTED BY TOM SAVINI ABOUT PUTTING A CREW TOGETHER FOR THE FLORIDA SHOOT AS THEY WOULD NEED EXTRA MAKEUP ARTISTS FOR THE LARGE ZOMBIE SCENES.
5) What was it like to work under the direction of George A Romero and the fx team Tom Savini put together ?
IT WAS EXCITING AND INTIMIDATING TO WORK FOR GEORGE ROMERO WHO WAS HIGHLY RESPECTED AND LOVED. MEETING TOM SAVINI AND THE CORE MAKEUP ARTIST GROUP HE PUT TOGETHER WAS WONDERFUL! THEY WERE VERY OPEN AND WELCOMING TO US AND MANY HAVE BECOME LONG TIME FRIENDS.
6) Are there any moments in your career that you’d like to share with us?
WHILE WORKING ON "DAY OF THE DEAD," I WAS WORKING ON A ONE DAY ARMY ZOMBIE EXTRA, AND I STARTED NOTICING THE OTHER MAKEUP ARTISTS COMING OVER AND CHECKING OUT WHAT I WAS DOING WHICH MADE ME VERY NERVOUS. I THOUGHT I WAS DOING IT WRONG, AND AT THE END OF THE SHOOTING DAY, THEY CAME TO ME TO TELL ME THAT MY ZOMBIE WAS PICKED BY GEORGE AND TOM TO BE THE ONE TO BITE THE THROAT OUT OF ONE OF THE HUMAN ACTORS FOR A KEY SCENE. I WAS VERY SURPRISED AND WORRIED IF I COULD DO IT AGAIN. I DID IT AGAIN, AND THE ARMY ZOMBIE EXTRA WAS VERY HAPPY!
I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO WORK WITH TOM SAVINI AGAIN ON A CHUCK NORRIS FILM CALLED "INVASION USA." GREG NICOTERO AND HOWARD BERGER WERE ALREADY WORKING ON THE FILM, AND I WAS BROUGHT IN TO HELP ALONG WITH DEAN GATES. I LEARNED A LOT IN THAT SHORT TIME.
RALPH CLEMENTE FROM VALENCIA COLLEGE FILM SCHOOL CALLED ME ABOUT CREATING A BIG FOOT TYPE MONSTER FOR GEORGE ROMERO CALLED "JACARONDA JOE." HE KNEW THAT I HAD WORKED WITH GEORGE BEFORE. WE ONLY HAD A WEEK TO GET "JOE" MADE. SOME YEARS LATER, I MADE A COPY OF "JOE"'S HEAD AS A GIFT FOR GEORGE, AND HE LOVED IT!
IT WAS A BIG SURPRISE AT SEEING MY NAME AND PICTURE IN "FANGORIA" MAGAZINE DOING MAKEUP FOR MY FRIEND DIRECTOR DON FARMER. MY NAME AND WORK HAS BEEN MENTIONED 4 TIMES IN "FANGORIA" OVER THE YEARS WHICH ALWAYS PUT A SMILE ON MY FACE.
7) What are your favorite horror films and characters?
SOME OF MY FAVORITE FILMS INCLUDE THE ORIGINAL "PHANTOM OF THE OPERA," ALL THE UNIVERSAL HORROR AND HAMMER FILMS, AND BEING A BIG SCI-FI FAN, "2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY." I REALLY DO LOVE ALL GENRES OF MOVIES AND ESPECIALLY WHEN THEIR LOOKS HELP TELL THE STORY. FOR ME THE BEST COMPLIMENT YOU CAN GIVE ME IS NOT TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THE MAKEUP BECAUSE OF ITS BELIEVABLY.
8) Can you give our audience a quick tip to making great fake blood?
THERE ARE SO MANY BLOOD FORMULAS OUT THERE. SOME ARE RATHER ELABORATE MIXTURES. I JUST PREFER TO KEEP IT SIMPLE AND STAY WITHIN THE BUDGET, BUT I DO ENJOY USING POWDERED FOOD COLORING WITH GLYCERIN AND JET-DRY RINSE AID AS A WETTING AGENT. THEN I JUST APPLY DROPS OF BLUE OR GREEN TO DARKEN THE BLOOD AS NEEDED. I FIND THIS WASHES OFF SKIN EASILY AND COMES OUT OF MOST FABRICS WITH NO STAINING. I ALSO USE SHAVING CREAM FOR QUICK REMOVAL. ALWAYS REMEMBER, THE THINNER YOU MAKE THE BLOOD, THE WORSE IT STAINS, SO WATCH YOURSELF.
9) Are you working on anything currently or in the near future?
I STILL HELP OUT FRIENDS WITH MAKEUP AND EFFECTS IF THEY NEED HELP, AND I AM ALWAYS HAPPY TO HELP YOUNG FILM MAKERS IF THEY HAVE A COOL IDEA. RIGHT NOW I'M BUSY DOING OIL PAINTINGS FOR MY WIFE AND MAKING SOME OF THE MONSTERS THAT I NEVER GOT TO FINISH BECAUSE I WAS ALWAYS WORKING ON A PROJECT TO PAY THE BILLS.
10) Where can fans in your work go to find or follow you?
YOU CAN FIND ME MOSTLY ON MY FACEBOOK PAGE - RICK GONZALES AND THIS PAGE AS WELL.
Thank you for your time Rick. To all my horror fans, make sure to check out any films that you may have missed with Ricks make up signature. Be sure to check out the freaky photos below and remember guys...Stay Scary!