The Beast Comes Alive: Artwork from the Best of St. Louis 2010

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The Unspeakable Nightmare of People and Places: Nicole Angeli, Kirsten Marie Wylder, Chris M.R. Jones, Sarajane Alverson and "The Beast."

This year's Best of St. Louis takes it's visual inspiration from the fabulously cheesy horror movie posters of the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Going into the project, we did exhaustive research into this graphic genre. No, really. Our findings: Women -- usually in nightgowns, ball gowns or swimsuits -- swoon, pass out and are carried off by the beast. Either that or they scream, frozen in terror. The men -- at least the men not transformed into hideous hulking hairy creatures -- scowl and exude machismo. The world needs saving, after all. In two days of shooting, members of the Nonprophet Theater Company gathered at Koken Art Factory and donned various outfits provided by Johnnie Brock's Dungeon to replicate the look of these visual treasures. Jennifer Silverberg, assisted by her intern Theo R. Welling, lit and snapped the photos which Tom Carlson composed into the Best of St. Louis section openers that follow. Note: We sort of lost track of who was in which mask, so all masked actors are simply referred to as "The Beast."

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