Vincent Guastini: From Making Monsters to Directing & Producing + Image Gallery
This article was submitted to Dread Central by Vincent Guastini Productions Effects & Designs (VGP Effects & Designs). Be sure to check out the image gallery at the end of the article!
Most would know Vincent’s work as a special make-up and creature effects artist, on films such as The Taking of Debra Logan, Requiem For a Dream, Dogma, Jay & Silent Bob Strikes Back, Last Of the Mohicans, Letters From Iwo Jima, Stephen King’s Thinner, Scary Movie 4, Saturday Night Live, Child’s Play 3, among many others. Some of Vincent clients’ include Joe Dante, Steven Spielberg, Milos Forman, James Gunn, Kevin Smith, Ridley Scott, and Clint Eastwood, just to name a few.
Over the last few years, Vincent and his company have come onto the moviemaking scene as executive producer, co-producer, and as an award-winning director. Some of Vincent’s well known producing partners include Friday The 13th writer and producer Victor Miller, Michael Biehn, of Terminator and Aliens fame, Richard Saperstein, producer of Se7ven and Frequency, and legendary producer Fred Caruso of Blue Velvet. Some of the films released in the past few years include Hidden in the Woods, starring Michael Biehn and William Forsyth (Dick Tracy), The Employer starring Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange, Halloween), both of which Vincent co-produced. In addition, he was an executive producer on the multimillion-dollar remake of Silent Night Deadly Night, called Silent Night, again starring Malcolm McDowell.
Vincent was also involved as the effects designer & co-producer for the recently released Behind the Walls, along with Vincent’s directing debut, The Dark Tapes, which has already won over 60 filmmaking awards, with an 88% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Both films are available on Amazon, thanks to the genre film giant, Patrick Ewald of Epic Films Ent. One call and I had a deal and a release all due to Patrick, and I will never forget that. For a film called Behind the Walls, he did numerous miniature effects and a full creature suit. The film has an organic being coming to life from a haunted evil spirit that haunts the house. The evil spirit grows organically taking root in the basement of the house and growing from a giant heart cocoon into a hideous evil entity. It emerges as a monster called the ‘Growthman’ that is a cross between The Thing, and Altered States.
Doing double duty, on a new release Vincent served as both producer and effects designer on the upcoming Rock Paper Scissors, which Lionsgate & Vertical Entertainment will be releasing worldwide on July 23. The film stars Oscar-winning Actress Tatum O’Neal (Paper Moon) and Michael Madsen. For the film, Vincent had the opportunity to fulfill a lifelong dream and hire one of his all-time favorite horror directors, Tom Holland of Child’s Play and Fright Night fame, after Amy Williams asked Vincent if he knew of a horror director as the project was about to be greenlit. Once Vincent secured Holland, things fell in place to move forward on the film in less than two weeks, and it was a dream come true for Vincent.
As for what Vincent calls his “day job”, which is creature and special effects creation at his company, VGP Effects & Designs, Vincent has stayed quite busy with a huge slate of independent films. His recent work includes the main 9 ft tall Krampus creature for Spooky Dan Walker’s horror comedy Slay Belles, effects for The Russian Bride with Corbin Bernsen , and a fun evil clown movie called Circus Kane, as well as science fiction TV series called Fraxtur both produced and directed by good friend Chris Olen Ray, which has mutants and all kinds of crazy post-apocalyptic characters, and crazy steampunk Angels. Next on the menu was director Ron Carlson’s (Unnatural) 80’s style comedy giant ant film called Dead Ant starring Tom Arnold and Jake Busey. Vincent and his studio designed the look of the ants and did all the graphic make-up effects.
In the past year, Vincent has stayed busier than ever, creating a full animatronic dinosaur from baby to full grown adult for a film overseas, as well as the main Jinn AKA Genie, for the film Final Wish, which had a wide release on the big screen in April. The film stars genre superstar Lynn Shaye (Insidious) and is produced by Final Destination creator Jeffrey Reddick. After these films Vincent went into production in Vegas filmed production that was written by American Psychos’ Bret Easton Ellis, it’s an awesome horror film called Smiley Face Killers directed by Rivers Edge director Tim Hunter, and starring Crispin Glover, in which Vincent had to turn him into a hideously deformed and twisted serial killer. Vincent also did an army of Demons for the film Revenge of the Devil which William Shatner not only produced but had a starring role in. The demons are led by a multi-horned, sword-wielding demon, wearing medieval Samurai themed armor. “I mean making monsters for Capt Kirk? how awesome is that?!”
Vincent also went into production and finished two werewolf films. Title and details will be forthcoming once Vincent has permission to release the film’s title and the main creatures look and identity. Vincent also did the viral short that genre fave Eli Roth produced called The Thing in the Apartment; Vincent got rave compliments from Roth himself. Directed by John William Ross the short and the creature was a scary favorite and has since spawned a sequel. Another movie I also just finished up with heavy effects duties is on the upcoming The Great Illusion starring Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves) and Selma Blair (Hellboy). for a 21-year-old first time director Maria Gabriela Cardenas The Great Illusion, had many heavy-duty prosthetic characters that were created along with skinless anatomy suits made of silicone, in addition to numerous character’s make-up and effects like Graham’s missing ear that had to be applied every day during production.
Another film Vincent did the effects on, being released worldwide soon, is a fantasy film called Art of the Dead. It’s a Night Gallery styled movie where evil paintings come to life, each one representing the seven deadly sins. Vincent did creatures that represent each of the sins. A pig creature for gluttony, a giant snail for sloth, and a goat monster for lust, and so on. He also created aliens that invade Los Angeles for an upcoming film called Attack of the Unknown; Vincent says it’s his second film for the Mahal Bros. who are out of Vegas and seem to love creature related monster movies. “Those guys give me a lot of freedom and it’s really fun to work with them,” Vincent says. Vincent also just completed duties this past two months creating a half man/half spider for the upcoming Glenn Danzig (Misfits) directed film Verotika, based on his graphic novels as well as wrapping up effects duties on The Orchard starring Thomas Jane which plot details and Vincent’s effects have been requested to stay under wraps for now.
Vincent is being asked more and more to produce or join as a partner on genre and independent films, due in part to his effects background and the various contacts and connections he has amassed over multiple decades in the business.
Currently, his main focus is in the development of two of his own horror films, The Astronaut and Deadly Skies. Before Vincent does Deadly Skies, which has a higher budget, he will be doing The Astronaut. The Astronaut is a monster film, a true creature feature, a cross between The Right Stuff and The Fly with a dash of District 9 added in. It takes place in the turbulent 1960s during the space race and Gemini space missions. Vincent is excited to announce to Dread Central that he has just secured and signed James Duval (Donnie Darko, Independence Day, Gone in Sixty Seconds) and Cortney Palm (Sushi Girl, Silent Night) to star in the film. The story is by me and I got writer-director Rolfe Kanefsky (Art of the Dead) to write the script from my story ideas.
The film will have a bright Technicolor look, much like the old TV shows of the 60s, such as I Dream of Jeannie, and Star Trek, slowly getting darker and darker as the film progresses. The Astronaut is getting close to being made and is right now with several investors who are offering to be involved and finance the film. It’s gotten a lot of buzz with the investors who are right now considering to greenlight it as we speak. Vincent will be directing and having his company, do the creature effects on the upcoming film.
Vincent says, “I’ve realized this business is very transitory; a lot of loyalties and control can really be a minute to minute thing when it comes to Hollywood and it’s hard to find a family or a group of people who are looking out for you in the long term. I want to take control of my life and future work, so I can have the freedom to set up my own work and stability as well as being able to see my ideas and dreams come to life as I see them.”
Whether it’s make-up effects, producing, directing, Vincent just wants to keep the ball moving creatively and that will always involve making monsters and doing what he loves to do, which he says “is scaring the shit out of people!!”