Benoît LESTANG committed suicide the 27 th july 2008.
He was one of the french artists with Jacques GASTINEAU and his brother ( animatronics ), Pascal PINTEAU ( miniature sets and makeup ) and Jean-Manuel COSTA ( stop motion ) who tried in the eighties to put fantastic and science-fiction on the screens although french producers have ever disliked these subjects.
He worked for his first movie when he was seventeen years old, on Jean ROLLIN's LA MORTE-VIVANTE. He succeeds to obtain his place in french movie makeup system, working on some famous french movies like the comedy LES RIPOUX or LA CITE DES ENFANTS PERDUS. Because there are very few of french fantastic films, he still made scars and bloody effects, but however, he created some imaginary beings.
He made the "Night Monster"of Raphael DELPARD's oniric movie CLASH, starring Catherine ALRIC and Bernard FRESSON. He argued the siliconed costume of the creature, seeming to be a player covered of red clay, was disappointing because of lack of time and money.
In 1987, he worked with the makeup artist Gabe BARTALOS ( THE DEADLY SPAWN ) on BRAIN DAMAGE, by Frank HENENLOTTER, the director of BASKET CASE, a rather famous movie about two murderous brothers, one abnormal ( litteraly an half-brother ). In BRAIN DAMAGE, the creature, a worm with a big brain, is like a seringue, because it gives to its host a substance doing him so euphoric than he becomes able to kill to bring the human brain material neccesary to the physiology of his companion. Although very bloody like all the "gore" films, BRAIN DAMAGE is not completely gratuitous, because it's undubtuffly a metaphor about drug and addiction; more, the movie has a dark humour.
In 1989, Benoît LESTANG made another evil worm, very well animated, for a french film, Alain ROBAK's BABY BLOOD ( known in the USA as THE EVIL WITHIN ). The creature layed by a Panther ( that look alike to some real Carnivorous' parasites, Pentastomida like Armillifer ) uses a woman to breed. As soon, the woman becomes ready to kill to feed his baby with people's fresh blood. The movie is crude, because there is less humour than in BRAIN DAMAGE, only stupid or bad men killed by a criminal woman in fury, like in the feminist THELMA AND LOUISE or MONSTER. After a metamorphosis like in THE FLY 2 ( the baby's skin is just an envelop ), the new form of the baby monster recalls an ALIEN's face-hugger with tentacles instead legs and with a little insectoid head.
Benoît LESTANG made some bloody effects and also wrote the script of BROCELIANDE, a film of Doug HEADLINE, both began to work ( like the director of NECRONOMICON, Christophe GANS ) in french cinema newspapers.
The french makeup artist is gone away few time before the coming in theaters of the thriller MARTYRS, full-filthed of his work. He will be remembered as a fan who could become a respected professional, with a great disponibility to help the ones wishing to follow his example.
The Thermians who were sad after the dead of the great monsters creator Stan WINSTON in june 2008 have to deplore the disappearance of a second makeup artist this summer; bad time for creatures and for people who like them.