No superheroes. No helmets. Shall we begin?
The Big Five
FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART III
Nobody was really happy with Jason wearing a bag over his head (in Part 2), so it was determined that in the upcoming 3-D version he would wear a mask—inspired in no small measure by the success of Halloween. The mask was still undetermined until early in filming when a make-up test was needed. Special effects man Martin Becker suggested putting a hockey mask on him, so Martin Jay Sadoff, the film’s 3D effects supervisor and recreational hockey player, pulled out a Detroit Red Wings goalie mask from his bag of hockey gear for the test. Both director Steve Miner and producer Frank Mancuso, Jr. loved it. A star was born.
“The idea was to make him almost humorless, faceless—this sort of pale visage that could resemble a human or not,” said producer Debra Hill. Production Designer Tommy Lee Wallace, responsible for creating the mask, visited Burt Wheeler’s Magic Shop and bought a Captain Kirk mask for $1.98. He widened the eye holes and spray-painted the flesh a bluish white because in the script it said Michael Myers’ mask had “the pale features of a human face.” Interestingly, there were three slightly different masks worn by at least five people in the original movie. They include Nick Castle, Tony Moran (just the final scenes…and famously unmasked by Laurie), Tommy Lee Wallace (in the closet scene), stuntman James Winburn (falling out of window), and a dog trainer (when Myers kills the Wallace family dog).
Though colloquially now known just as Ghostface, Father Death aka the Woodsboro Killer (so-named after the town where he commits his murders) was only called “Mr. Ghostface” once, by Tatum in the garage. Director Wes Craven & crew stumbled upon a version of Edvard Munch’s Scream mask while scouting for locations. Little did they know that they would be creating a horror icon which would soon become the most common costume on Halloween. FYI: Craven and Co. had to decide between two similar mask types. The one made by KNB is flatter and more symmetric than the one made by Fun World, which was whiter and more elongated. Though some fans believe both were used in the film, Craven ultimately decided on the pricier Fun World version.
THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE
Gunnar “Leatherface” Hansen: “The reason he wore a mask…was that the mask really determined his personality. Who he wanted to be that day determined what mask he put on. [There were three masks in total—Ed.] The idea of the mask is that there is no personality under the mask. He has to put on masks to express himself because he himself can’t do it. There is nothing under the mask, which is what makes him so frightening.” Fun fact: Tobe Hooper was inspired by personal experience. The writer/director knew a doctor who divulged that once, while still pre-med, he made a Halloween mask from the skin of a cadaver’s face after “obtaining” it from a local morgue.
V FOR VENDETTA
“When [writer Alan Moore and I] were talking about this, an idea for this master vigilante…one of my ideas was that he would be a member of the police force who turned on the government,” says illustrator David Lloyd. “Part of the plot was a knock that V wanted to bring down the government and bring chaos. I thought that would be great if he looked like Guy Fawkes, kind of theatrical. I just suggested it to Alan, and he said, ‘that sounds like a good idea.’ It gave us everything, the costume and everything.” Mental Floss magazine unearthed this tidbit: British actor James Purefoy was originally cast but after a few weeks he quit. Not only did James find the mask hot and uncomfortable he also soon realized that he would get no audience recognition since he would never appear without it.
The Best of the Rest
ALICE, SWEET ALICE (Rain coat killer); BLACK SUNDAY (Mask of Satan)
BRUISER (Henry); CLOCKWORK ORANGE (Rape masks)
DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW (Scarecrow); EYES WIDE SHUT (Illuminati)
EYES WITHOUT A FACE (Christiane); LAID TO REST (Chrome Skull)
THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK (Philippe); THE MASK (Indian ritual mask)
MY BLOODY VALENTINE (The Miner); NACO LIBRE (Nacho); NIGHTBREED (Buttonface)
A PERFECT WORLD (Casper); THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Red Death)
POINT BREAK (Ex-Presidents); SAW (Pig mask)
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (Lecter restraint mask); THE STRANGERS (Dollface, Man in the Mask, Pin-Up Girl)
THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (The Phantom Killer); VANILLA SKY (Expressionless latex mask)