updated: 11/03/2010

alien makeups: Battlefield Earth

In the year 3000 the Psychlos, a brutal and manipulative race of aliens have alien race enslaved humanity and taken all Earth’s natural resources for themselves. Humanity appears to have given up the fight but then one young man decides to take a final, courageous stand.

Chirk (Kelly Preston) is a Psychlo Babe who, according to their leader, Terl, is ‘stupid enough not to be a menace, good-looking enough to be decorative; she gets drunk with economical speed … and has other advantages’ – presumably the length of her tongue.

This film, based on the novel by Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard, ‘won’ no less than seven Razzies – tying with Showgirls for the record: in one sense it did worse than Showgirls in that the only two Razzies it didn’t win were in categories where it wasn’t nominated. Kelly Preston actually won twice – for her performance as Worst Supporting Actress and as part of the Worst Screen Couple. And it’s now been awarded yet another Razzie for Worst Film of the Decade.

Personally, I thought that was a bit tough on both the movie and Kelly Preston – I thought she did the licking quite well and I’ve seen many worse movies over the past ten years. I’m no supporter of Scientolgy but I can’t help wondering whether it was condemned as much for being a Scientology movie as for being a piece of dross.

Elie Samaha, the producer, claimed to be delighted by the reaction:

I welcome the free publicity. The more the critics hit Battlefield Earth, the more DVDs it sells … It is the kind of film that makes a movie legend and we feel we have enough staying power to last long after the critics have quieted down.

All Chirk’s screen-time took place in a room with dim, blue lighting: it is only in the onset makeup-touchup image that you can see her more natural skin tones.

Patrick Tatopoulos (Tatopoulos Studios) was creature designer; Adrien Morot was key special makeup effects artist; Jake Garber was prosthetic makeup supervisor; Jayson Philapil was special makeup effects artist; Jocelyne Bellemare was key makeup artist; Ron Pipes was hair styles supervisor; André Duval was key hair stylist; Martina Kohl was hair stylist (Psyclo); Mike Smithson was makeup artist to John Travolta who played Terl.