Kiss, Alice Cooper Prop-Maker Cleve Hall Dead at 61
Cleve Hall, an acclaimed special effects artist who built props for musicians such as Kiss and Alice Cooper, died at the age of 61, his daughter confirmed.
The subject of 2012 SyFy reality show Monster Man, Hall created Gene Simmons’ chest armor and worked on a number of ‘80s movies, including Ghoulies, Re-Animator, Zone Troopers, Troll and Eliminators. He also worked as an actor and puppeteer, playing Godzilla in 1985 film Pee-wee's Big Adventure – a full-circle moment after he’d been inspired to enter the industry after seeing Godzilla vs. the Thing in 1964.
Recalling his Godzilla experience, Hall told B Movie Nation in 2014, “Coulda died that day and wouldn’t have cared! … Stompin’ on tanks, fighting King Ghidora, riding in Santa’s sleigh and running into Twisted Sister’s Cadi … it was awesome!”
He reflected that his career had taken a different turn when computer-generated effects began to replace traditional skills, adding: “I was a total whore, so kept working pretty steady making big food costumes for commercials … I don’t even want to think of how many penis costumes I ended up making [for health awareness programs] ... not to mention a couple hundred Red Robin costumes for the restaurant chain and a butt-load of chipmunks at one point!”
Hall’s daughter Constance launched a GoFundMe campaign to help with final expenses, saying: “Cleve spent many many years as a special makeup FX artist, foam fabricator and horror movie actor. He was a family man, an adored father proud, grandpa and a beloved mentor. He loved movies, Godzilla, sculpting, and inspiring the next generation of creatives.”
She quoted her father as having said, “Inspiring young minds to create is the best legacy you can leave.”