Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

Arts and Entertainment

Monster Maker Will Auction Off Creatures From 'Thriller,' 'Gremlins' and More

LAist relies on your reader support.
Your tax-deductible gift today powers our reporters and keeps us independent. We rely on you, our reader, not paywalls to stay funded because we believe important news and information should be freely accessible to all.

If you enjoy re-enacting the Thriller dance or loved watching the creatures of The Gremlins, King Kong, and Star Wars: Episode IV, you may want to grab your checkbook.

Tomorrow at the Universal City Hilton, special effects makeup wizard Rick Baker will be auctioning off hundreds of his famous Hollywood creatures that he created over the past several decades for movies, television, and music videos. You can also bid online or over the phone.

The auction will be the first time Baker's creations will be available to the public and will include awesome items like zombie masks from Thriller and body casts of Michael Jackson from Moonwalker, animatronic gorilla parts and suits from Gorillas In The Mist, tons of Gremlin puppets, and tons of aliens from Men in Black.

Perhaps most famously, Baker is known for designing the zombies of Michael Jackson's 'Thriller' music video, including Jackson's ferocious were-cat mask. But he's also designed countless other iconic creatures from films like Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes, the characters in the Mos Eisley cantina of Star Wars, and more recently Maleficent and Tropic Thunder.

Support for LAist comes from

Baker has been nominated for 12 Academy Awards and has won seven, the most Oscars awarded to any makeup artist. Known fondly as the 'Monster Maker', Baker has decided to retire from the film industry, which he says increasingly favors computer effects over his meticulously designed masks, animatronic gorilla heads and puppets.

“I said the time is right, I am 64 years old, and the business is crazy right now,” Baker told KPCC. “I like to do things right, and they wanted cheap and fast. That is not what I want to do, so I just decided it is basically time to get out.”

Just last year, Baker also closed Cinovation Studios, his 60,000-square-foot facility in Glendale, where he worked with his team of make-up artists and designers. Baker intends to continue making monsters, but more on a consulting basis and without his own studio. He also plans to continue his other artistic projects, including paintings, sculpting and digital models, some of which can be found on his Twitter feed.

Figure out which of Baker's awesome creatures you want to take home from the auction tomorrow with the photos down below and browse the whole collection using the online interactive catalog.

And you can take a virtual tour of Baker's now-closed Cinovation Studios in this great video:

Support for LAist comes from