(July 21, 1927 – July 10, 1983)
Painter, sculptor, visual effects creator and a most memorable monster-maker
Blaisdell was born in Newport, Rhode Island in 1927, and grew up in Quincy, Massachusetts.
In his childhood he sketched alien monsters and constructed model airplane kits.
After graduation from high school, Paul briefly worked as a typewriter repairman and served a stint in the military.
He then attended the New England School of Art and Design in Boston where he met his future wife, Jacqueline "Jackie" Boyle. Paul and Jackie got married in 1952 after finishing college and moved to Topanga Canyon in Los Angeles, California, where he worked for Douglas Aircraft.
At Douglas Aircraft Blaisdell worked as a technical illustrator.
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Blaisdell later met with Forrest J Ackerman, legendary magazine publisher, noted literary agent and founding creative director/editor of the magazine, “Famous Monsters of Filmland.” Impressed with Blaisdell’s work, Ackerman became his agent.
In 1955, Blaisdell was hired to create the creature effects for Roger Corman's low-budget film The Beast with a Million Eyes. Roger Corman had run out of funds right at the point of constructing the alien “eye-creature.” Effects wizard, Ray Harryhausen was put forward as an option but the remaining $200 in Corman’s budget was not going to cover it. Suddenly, in came Blaisdell who could work monster and special effects magic at a very modest cost.
Blaisdell spent several years designing the monsters and handling the special effects for numerous low-budget movies, such as Day the World Ended (1955), It Conquered the World (1956), Not of This Earth (1957), Invasion of the Saucer Men (1957) and The Spider (1958) and was even the actor portraying a particular creature in the film.
With independent science fiction films no longer being fashionable and Blaisdell becoming disenchanted with the film business he, together with film editor and actor, Bob Burns, formed the company Black Shield, to publish the magazine, “Fantastic Monsters of the Films” which lasted for seven issues during 1962-63. He walked away from the magazine when the plates for the eighth issue were destroyed in a fire at his printers.
Blaisdell eventually severed all ties with the movie industry to work as a carpenter.
He died of stomach cancer at the age of 55 in Topanga, California in 1983.