By WILLIAM J. WRIGHT
For nearly 37 years, MastersFX Studios, founded in 1987 by the legendary Todd Masters, has created some of the most memorable TV and movie creatures in entertainment history. From such projects as Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight to the most recent cinematic incarnation of Chucky, the monster shop, based in Burnaby (near Vancouver), has been one of the prime sources of practical effects in North America.
On the appropriate date of Friday, October 13, 2023, MasterFX studios threw open the doors of its cavernous 25,000 square-foot showroom and monster-making space to the public with a (literal) bloody ribbon-cutting ceremony, establishing the MastersFX’s new Monster Museum and FX Studio. Over 400 Vancouver film and TV professionals were on hand to celebrate the grand opening.
Presenting “Forty Years of Monster-Making,” the MastersFX’s team has created a one-of-a-kind experience that takes visitors through parts of MFX’s actual working monster shop to witness practical effects artists at work, get a chance to operate working animatronics and take selfies with actual screen-used monsters. Containing over 80 screen-used creatures and effects from such films and TV shows as Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight, Fringe, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow, Sonic the Hedgehog, Yellowjackets, Stargate, Six Feet Under, Star Trek: First Contact and Predator as well as recent projects It Lives Inside, Monster High and The Fall of the House of Usher, the exhibit gives a unique insight into the studio’s revolutionary approach to creature design.
Addressing the crowd, MFX President Todd Masters declared, “Having this massive industry support for our FX, something that is very much a local art form, is exhilarating.” After severing a bleeding ribbon with a gigantic pair of scissors, a gore-soaked Masters added, “I’m overwhelmed that so many of our friends and colleagues turned out to help us bring our monster studio to life!”
“Our studios have had most of the summer to develop the museum; Our team refurbished many pieces from over decades,” says Sandy Lindala, MastersFX’s legendary FX Producer and Vice President. “Vancouver has always been a monster town, with many classic genre shows shooting here over many years. Not to mention that the Pacific Northwest is renowned for local monster legends like Sasquatch and Ogopogo is only four hours east from here, in Lake Kelowna. A bit further south in Forks, Washington, is where the Twilight vampires come from. So this part of the world is truly supernatural!”
Creature from IT LIVES INSIDEActress and longtime creature performer Jenaya Ross (It Lives Inside) was also present for the gruesome gathering. “I’ve had the privilege of working alongside the MastersFX team as a creature actor for a few years now,” she told museum visitors. “And they are easily some of the most talented artists I’ve ever met … I can’t wait for the general public to come check out MastersFX’s work at the museum and to be able to fully grasp the attention to detail and effort they lovingly put into every piece of monster art they create.”
MastersFX’s new Monster Museum and FX Studio is open every weekend in October. For tickets and more information, click here.