In theaters next Wednesday is Clint Eastwood’s slightly anticipated Razzie-contending Hoover biopic J. Edgar, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio and 50 pounds of sweaty, wrinkled silicone as the titular FBI director who nobody under 30 has ever heard of. To celebrate, Grantland’s YouTube Hall of Fame is remembering the best, worst, and least explicable movie-star physical transformations ever. Our first inductee is the trailer for Mel Gibson’s directorial debut, the 1993 disfigurement drama The Man Without a Face, about a boy who befriends a hermitic, facially scarred teacher (and suspected pedophile) played by Gibson.
At the time of Face‘s release, Gibson had just made Warner Bros. $320 million with Lethal Weapon 3, so the studio owed him a big one. Still, they probably didn’t love spending $25 million on a movie (it made $24,760,338 at the box office — so close!) adapted from a novel in which the hero actually is a child molester (all suggestions of this were omitted from the movie, thankfully). Despite the title, WB made Gibson show about two thirds of his face, since in 1993 people could still look at it without throwing up. The movie was terrible, but its trailer is really something. Watch it for the voice-over, soaring score, and casual use of the word “retard.” They sure don’t make them like this anymore.