Lee Hardcastle

I traumatically discovered this animator in my early teens. His work still scares me even now I’m 18.

Lee Hardcastle is a stop motion animator that thinks he can do horror and gore better than the big blockbusters. He found fame on YouTube around 10 years ago when he started making parodies of his favourite horror movies like ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’ and ‘The Evil Dead’. It was his disappointment from finally watching ‘Chainsaw Massacre’ to find that there wasn’t enough chainsaw violence that drove him to make one of his first videos: Chainsaw Maid.

His ability to create such horrendous and distressing gore even with clay models is unmatched but it goes beyond just a keen eye for guts; he knows exactly how to shoot an action sequence like a blockbuster with all the right angles, camera movements and compositions. He works his genre like a God.

Most of his work is in the region of fantasy horror. While pretty well all of his films have a human protagonist, his monsters are quite fantastic, one of them being a flesh eating toilet, the others being mainly zombies and aliens. When asking the question, could his work be in live action I think yes, it could. It certainly draws a lot from live action films. Lee says himself that he only turned to animation because it was the only realistic way for him to realise his visions. However, all of the appeal in his work is down to the fact it is in claymation and that’s what he’s built his audience on. The fact it is in clay makes it very comic with the contrast to the other products of this very innocent style of animation. Lee also works in short format which would be much more expensive to shoot for with actors make up and locations than just with a few lumps of clay and a small cardboard set.

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