Unlimited Poontang: Sex, Ego and “Batman Returns” (1992)

Previous essay about the first film.

Batman Returns is the bleakest meditation on sexual dysfunction in arrested adolescence ever to be licensed for a McDonald’s Happy Meal.

Against all odds, Tim Burton had turned the first Batman into a character study about artistic ego and sexual competition, in the guise of an action film. When given total freedom for the sequel he turned what could’ve simply been Batman II: The Adventure Continues into a whirlwind tragicomedy of feminism, class struggle and kinky fetishism.

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Jennifer Aspinall on makeup illusions, toxic transformations and gothic nymph fashion tips

Jennifer Aspinall is one of the most prolific and respected artists in the world of makeup. Her creations have been seen by millions, including her work on Saturday Night Live and her Emmy award winning work on MAD TV. To horror film fans, she’s best recognized for her inventively gruesome special makeup effects in the 1980s cult classics “The Toxic Avenger” and “Street Trash.”

Ms. Aspinall was kind enough to take time out for a chat about her life and career.

How did you become interested in makeup?

I was really really shy as a kid, and I liked to disguise myself. I found a book at the library called “Stage Makeup” by Richard Corson, this book is a makeup artist’s bible. It gives you pretty much all the basic information you’d ever need to know. So for me that book was amazingly inspiring. I got really into illusion. I would make myself up, and disguise myself, and be different people. This is about when I was nine years old. When I was ten my next door neighbor, who produced dinner theater and summer stock, took me to a professional makeup supplier in Philadelphia. By the time I was eleven, going into twelve, I started working for her doing theater productions. I celebrated my twelfth birthday onstage, doing a dinner theater production. And from that point on I just continued working.

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