The Creature from the Black Lagoon – a classic universal monster whose likeness has been attempted by sculptors and avid fans for years. And just recently? Kyle Yaklin of Kyle Yaklin FX created himself one of the most amazing wearable replicas of the original Creature from the Black Lagoon suits we have ever seen. Luckily, Kyle was available to speak with us and give us some insight on his process and also let us know a little more about what’s next for him. Be sure to check out the links after the interview for access to his Facebook page and website where you can order your own copies of everything from the Creature suit to a Necronomicon.
Kyle Yaklin: I’m 21 years old and have been making props for 6 or so years, and sculpting for 4. I grew up on the universal classic horror films (my favorite being the Creature), Godzilla, and comic books (mainly Batman). I’ve been a collector since I was 5. I’d try to find all the Batman and Godzilla figures I could, but it was always hard to find some of it. So when I did, it was a big deal! As I got older and started seriously collecting, I found there were a lot of things out of my price range. Things like Han Solo’s blaster from Star Wars, or Master Chief’s helmet from Halo, so I joined some online prop forums and started making stuff!
GT: Let’s talk about that Creature suit! When did you start on him and how long did he take? Were there any particular challenges you faced in making the suit? Why did you choose to do Creature?
Kyle Yaklin: I’ve wanted a Creature suit since I was very young, but I knew that if I bought one or had my mom make one that it wouldn’t look like what I had seen on-screen so many times, so even as a kid I was pretty picky, haha! Fast forward to about three years ago, I wanted to seriously get into prop making and FX as a career and knew I’d have to start sculpting in clay, so the first thing I sculpted was a creature mask. It took me about three months in between my first year of college classes. The result was very good for a first attempt, but there was a lot to be desired in it. This was when I first planned out my creature suit though. I worked out pretty much exactly how my suit would be made, so now I just needed some more experience and skill to be able to accurately recreate the creature! I’m now in my senior year of college and finally finished my first suit! It took about 6 months of working on sculpting each part on and off and between classes to finish it all, but I’m pretty happy with the final results! The head took about a month to sculpt, and I used a casting of the original land head from my collection as reference so that I could get everything pretty close to how it’s supposed to be. I also have castings of the feet from original molds that I used as reference for my feet. The hands took about a week each, and the feet took about a month for the pair. The rest of the suit was fairly easy to sculpt and was just very repetitive haha.
GT: A lot of your props are centralized on classic and modern horror. What are some of your favorite horror films and directors and why?
Kyle Yaklin: I’ve always loved the classic universal monster movies and similar films from the genre, but some of my favorites are The Creature from the Black Lagoon, the Invisible Man, Dracula, and The Wolf Man. Those were the films I watched almost every week as a kid. In addition to those though, I love pretty much any Godzilla film from the franchise. I’ve always had a hard time describing why I love these films though, they’re just entertaining and fun to watch!
GT: Any cool upcoming projects planned? We’d love to hear about them.
Kyle Yaklin: I’ve got many ideas for future projects, but I have no clue when any of them will be made, haha! Another monster suit I’ve been wanting since I was a kid is a Godzilla suit. So that’s definitely going to happen at some point hopefully sooner than later! I’ve also got a few mask sculpts I’m working on right now including a shock monster tribute!
GT: If the readers are interested in buying some of your props or contacting you for commissions, where is the best place(s) for them to reach out to you?
Kyle Yaklin: The best way to keep track of my progress and events I’ll be attending would be through my Facebook page Kyle Yaklin FX, but I’ve also got a website that has much more information on both me and my projects. I sell on eBay frequently but also sell through my Facebook page and email. I also now have my work for sale at Mysteria Antiques and Oddities shop in Marietta, GA!