I thought Stan Winston was older, if only because his movie monsters have had me squirming in my seat for almost thirty years. Yet, he was only 62, and had been fighting multiple myeloma for seven years, according to the LA Times. Stan Winston died Sunday evening at his Malibu home.
There will be plenty of heartfelt tributes to the man to come in the next few days, but for those of you who might not understand his influence and importance, here are a few of my favorite Stan Winston movie moments:
The Thing, directed by John Carpenter, 1982
(Rob Bottin was the primary effects artist for The Thing, but Winston also worked on the movie)
Heartbeeps, directed by Allan Arkush, starring Andy Kaufman, 1982
Monster Squad, directed by Fred Dekker, 1987
According to film news site Ain't It Cool, Stan Winston's crew sculpted the werewolf in Monster Squad to look exactly like Stan Winston.
In 1987 Winston won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects for James Cameron's Aliens:
But many of the movies Stan Winston worked on weren't exactly "critical successes," but entered the pantheon of cult classics, such as...
Pumpkinhead, directed by Stan Winston 1989
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Recently Stan Winston's studio worked on the very successful Iron Man and other recent movies, but he'll probably best be remembered for those early pre-CGI movies, full of rubber masks, animatronic robots, and spewing goo.
One last one that might perfectly sum up a Stan Winston moment: Little kids terrified by a T. Rex.
Jurassic Park, directed by Steven Spielberg, 1993