Hollywood horror queen pays a visit

Bobbie Weiner transformed students into horror-movie monsters Wednesday.

Andy Mannix

Bobbie Weiner might not be exactly what you’d expect.

Better known as “Bloody Mary,” Weiner, a Hollywood makeup artisan, has made a reputation for herself in the horror industry for her gory touch in movies including “Titanic” and “Pumpkinhead 2: Blood Wings.”

Wednesday evening at Coffman Union’s theater, Weiner demonstrated her monstrous makeup skills on student volunteers as part of a Minnesota Programs & Activities Council event.

Decked out in a camouflage skirt, plain, off-white thermal shirt and golden curls that draped down from underneath her cowboy hat, she was pretty cheery for a horror queen.

“Most people expect me to look like Marilyn Manson or something,” she said.

Retail merchandising junior Jessica Miller, MPAC forum co-chairwoman, said she invited Weiner to speak because she thought students would be interested during the Halloween season in hearing about Weiner’s experience in the horror industry.

“I thought she’d fit in well with the time of year,” Miller said.

Prior to her demonstration, Weiner told the story of how she broke into the makeup business – more of a personal conversation than a speech, as there were just 10 people in attendance.

For the demonstration, Weiner casually transformed two students into horror-movie monsters, all the time explaining the process like the host of a cooking show.

“I’m like the Martha Stewart of makeup,” she said.

Weiner turned Phil Hart, a blond-headed first-year, into a “demented, decayed clown,” Weiner’s favorite creation, she said.

Hart described it as an experience like no other.

History senior Emily Stephenson was one of the students who attended the event.

She said she didn’t know anything about it, and wandered in when she saw a flier as she left her job at Jamba Juice in Coffman Union.

“I’m really afraid of clowns,” Stephenson said. “So I probably shouldn’t have sat in the front row.”

Bloody Mary

How Weiner became known as Bloody Mary was a mere product of chance, she said.

In 1991, Weiner was at a personal fork in the road with no sense of the right direction for her life.

After returning from a ski trip with her husband, Weiner found her drug-addicted stepson had sold her Bel-Air home and everything inside, she said.

Unwilling to cope with the situation, her now ex-husband bought a Harley Davidson and took off, Weiner said.

Weiner needed a new career and a new life.

When a friend suggested she attend makeup school, the image of operating behind a department store counter made her a little apprehensive of the concept, Weiner said.

“It never would have even dawned on me to go to makeup school,” she said. “But they suggested it, and I was desperate.”

Hesitant as she was, Weiner enrolled in a three-month program at the Joe Blasco Professional Makeup School in Hollywood.

Within three days of graduation, she was offered a position working on the set of the horror film “Pumpkinhead 2.”

It was her first night on the set when the crew nicknamed her “Bloody Mary” due to her blood work in the movie – a nickname she gladly embraced.

When working with crews of more than 200 people, Weiner said, you’re going to remember a name like Bloody Mary.

In the next 15 years, Weiner found herself creating frozen corpses for “Titanic,” transforming actors into Power Ranger villains and beautifying celebrities like Johnny Cash.

While working on “Titanic,” Leonardo DiCaprio’s stunt double asked Weiner if he could use some of her makeup to paint his face for a San Diego Chargers football game he was attending.

At that time, sports face paint had not yet become popular, and the stunt double had been showing his team spirit by covering his face with blue and gold markers, Weiner said.

He returned to the set the following Monday praising Weiner for the reactions he got from fans at the game.

Seeing an opportunity before her, after Weiner finished her work on “Titanic,” she started her own line of sports fan face paint, which she now distributes to thousands of high schools and hundreds of colleges across the country – including the University, she said.

Presently, Weiner’s business has expanded to a wide array of industries around the country.

In addition to working as a makeup artist on films such as “Shooter” and “Behind Enemy Lines,” Weiner also has her own line of hot sauce, writes her own comic book, has a Six Flags haunted house in her honor titled “The Bloody Mary Circus of Fear” and owns several makeup lines, including “Final Touch,” which is used on actual corpses at funeral homes across the country.

“The other makeup artists that can make you look good are a dime a dozen,” Weiner said. “To be in that arena of the ‘horror queen’ is great. I’m really happy.”

Weiner also received gold medals from the U.S. government for being the Department of Defense’s No. 1 distributor of camouflage makeup, she said.

Weiner recently moved to Texas, but spends most of her time traveling around the country speaking at conventions and doing makeup demonstrations like Wednesday’s.

Weiner said up next, she is working on her autobiography.