“Without creativity we are machines. Programmed to repeat the same things day after day and staying in our safe little boxes. Life gets kind of dull. Creativity is freedom – an escape – a way of thinking outside all the boxes. It gives us a more positive outlook on life – it gives us more self-confidence because by the action of creating, you’ve become an original. And creativity is within all of us. Creativity is inspirational and world changing.” – Bob Keen
The statement above speaks volumes about Bob Keen and the mind blowing work that he has given to horror fans over the decades. From his early days in the industry learning the trade on the original Star Wars trilogy, Superman, and Alien to running Image Animation with Geoff Portass. The work that Bob and Geoff produced with their team is best illustrated by their collaborations with Clive Barker which forever changed the face of horror with the films Hellraiser, Nightbreed, and Candyman. There’s precious few that have worked in the field of Makeup FX that can match the output of Bob Keen. While Bob’s been relatively low key in recent years one of his last big projects still stands to this day as an amazing feat in both design and execution. The film you ask? None other than the Neil Marshall howl at the moon modern day classic, Dog Soldiers.
When an upstart Neil Marshall began getting his cast and crew together for his first feature film there was very little buzz about the film and while not a runaway hit on release after fifteen years the film is still gaining fans year after year and in this writer’s humble opinion is the last great werewolf film that the genre has seen. It’s the perfect blend of action and horror and the perhaps the last that we’ve seen of practical FX wizardry when it comes to lycanthrope’s in film. Sean Pertwee’s character, Sgt. Harry G. Wells encapsulates the feel of the film after all of these years. Rough, rugged, and raw Dog Soldiers refuses to go down and continues to demand the respect of any genre fan brave enough to venture into the woods when the moon is full.
For those of you who are looking to be inspired I highly recommend checking out Bob Keen’s website, The Imagination Oracle HERE. There is a wealth of knowledge and links there that Bob has gathered for anyone that wants to learn and grow. As Sgt. Harry G. Wells says in the film. “We bust into their house, we eat all their porridge, we sleep in their fucking beds. No wonder they’re pissed.“