Facial Prosthetics

The use of facial prosthetics to hide an actor or actress’ face and make them appear more “ape-like” is not a new technique – in fact, the technique was first used to create the creepy looking Winged Monkeys from The Wizard of Oz in 1939. The technique has, for the most part, greatly improved over the decades, with each attempt turning out better than the last. This technique is a huge step up from standalone makeup in terms of realism, but it still has its flaws. While the actor’s face is almost entirely covered with prosthetic fur and rubber – often employing a puppet-like mouth for speaking roles, such as those in the Planet of the Apes series – their eyes are left in their original state, which often heightens the creepiness factor.

Winged Monkeys – The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Buster Brodie as a Winged Monkey from The Wizard of Oz

Various – Planet of the Apes (1968)

Various actors from Planet of the Apes

Various – 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Unknown actor from 2001: A Space Odyssey

Harry – Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

Kevin Peter Hall as Harry from Harry and the Hendersons

Man-ape – Missing Link (1988)

David Hughes as Man Ape from The Missing Link

Various – Planet of the Apes (2001)

Helena Bonham Carter as Ari and Paul Giamatti as Limbo from Planet of the Apes 2001

Body Suits…

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