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October 27, 2023

Incredible Visual Effects for the 1937 Movie “Sh! The Octopus”

In the 1937 movie Sh! The Octopus, the actress was made up in exaggerated highlights and shadows (including her teeth) using a single color shade of makeup. When filmed through a filter the same shade as the makeup, it’s invisible to the camera. Take the filter away and the makeup suddenly becomes visible. Besides a filter, the makeup can also be hidden by similar-colored light. This technique was created by cinematographer Karl Struss.

The comedy mystery film produced by Warner Bros., directed by William McGann and starring Hugh Herbert, Allen Jenkins and Marcia Ralston. While contract players Herbert and Jenkins frequently appeared in the same picture, this is the only movie to present them as an actual team.

The film’s oddball qualities have made it something of a cult favorite, while the film’s reveal and transformation of the villain using pre-CGI filmmaking techniques has gained notice on social media.


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