THE ORIGINAL MICHAEL MYERS MASK:
TRACKING DOWN A PROP THAT MADE HORROR HISTORY
A Horror Drunx Exclusive article
Recognize this mask?
Of course you do, it is The Shape, Evil Incarnate, the mask Michael Myers wore the night HE came home. I'm sure most of you know this already but for those that don't, it was a converted Don Post Studios Captain Kirk Star Trek Mask that was first produced in 1977. The story goes according to production manager Tommy Lee Wallace that in the spring of 1978 while getting ready to film Halloween in Pasadena and off Hollywood Blvd. that they needed a mask that had a human face but with no discerning features. So he went to a mask shop on Hollywood Blvd and picked up a "clown" mask and the Captain Kirk mask.
The story goes that the "clown" mask was not some generic mask,
but was a Don Post Emmett Kelly mask as seen below!
I have often wondered to myself what would have happened had they decided to use that one. I imagine if that had did modifications to it it could have been very creepy.
So in order to achieve what they were looking for they took the Captain Kirk mask and modified it. Wallace cut the eyes bigger, ripped off the sideburns, colored the hair and spray painted the face white. For the other masks that were used in the film there is some debate as to who actually did the work on them, as Wallace and Don Post have both taken credit for it at various times. There were at least 2 surviving masks from the movie when it had completed principal photography, as proven by the following photograph.
There are a few reasons it looks so much different. The Captain Kirk mask was really a childs costume mask and very small. So when it was put on an actors head it had to be stretched. Nick Castle has a long thin head, while Dick Warlock has a shorter wide head, thus the mask looked different on different shaped heads. Another reason it looks different is because when it sat under Debra Hills bed for 3 years it wasn't well taken care of and was constantly around cigarette smoke and thats why it appears discolored in the film. But this picture of Dick Warlock and his son Lance with the mask you can see that it is the same mask since it's not being worn.
Below is the last known picture of the mask and it quite depressing really. Years of not taking proper care of it have seemed to taken it toll and in this Horror Drunx opinion, is a real shame.
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