Written by Jonathan Wojcik
Halloween Mask Madness: Part II!
I always like the Halloween masks of completely original, uncategorizable monsters. This one has the feel of something from Resident Evil or some other survival horror game, and I think what I like the most about it is just how small and cute those eye sockets are. Something about it makes me think of a cute little baby bat.
I've seen this mask sold under various names, at various levels of quality, and interestingly enough, with variations on the lower jaw. Not extreme or anything, but some have a much longer, thinner jaw and longer, thinner teeth than others, almost like a deep-sea Anglerfish, or something. The combination of the jaws, those yellow reptilian eyeballs and the cracked, flaking skin is all fairly horrifying on such a human-like head. This is another mask that could be any kind of monster, from supernatural entities to genetic aberrations. I think I'd even try to make the rest of it something other than a normal humanoid; give it tentacles, or pincers, or even put the head on the end of some long, fleshy neck.
I like the middle ground here between human and shark. The result is slightly comical, in a way that only makes the overall effect kind of cooler. I would, however, probably have opted for round, beady dot-like pupils, which would be more accurate to a shark and a whole lot more unsettling.
We featured a monstrous "executioner" in the last round who appeared to have merged with his own mask, while this one is more obviously just wearing a hood, but still doesn't look like a normal human. The huge, bulging eyeballs are set so high that it really, really looks like he has anencephaly, which is normally fatal during infancy, but this one was apparently functional enough to enjoy a lucrative career in decapitation.
"Gas Mask Skull"
You might assume this could just be someone wearing a skull-themed gas mask, but it's a lot cooler to imagine that a gas mask was actually merged with someone's skull by the same atomic force that seared all their skin off, left them with a fashionable chrome finish and mutated them into an undying ghoul. I might kind of like it even more if it had some other color scheme, but it's still a neat visual.
Here we have one of those few monsters that truly disturbs the hell out of me to think about. Pale, cartoonishly exaggerated human faces like these are exactly what I used to fear seeing out the second-story bedroom window of my childhood home, the green puke triggers my
inner outer germaphobe and the sheer misery exuded by this being is vastly more terrifying than something that just looks like it hates you. A scary monster wants to kill you. A disturbing monster wants it the other way around.
Unlike lovable "Harold" in our last mask review, this scarecrow aims for pure ferocious terror, and it's surprisingly effective, considering I still prefer "strange" over "menacing." The gums and fangs imply a flesh and blood being but not necessarily a human under the burlap, while the single, dangling eye indicates some sort of undead or at least horrendously mutilated monster. I would reccomend a black cloth screen under this, so people can't see your boring, normal human eyes inside.
It's difficult to figure out exactly what's going on with this one, and that's always a good thing when it comes to monsters. He's got hands growing right out of his face and perpetually holding his eyes open. Why? Who knows. Who needs to know? Whatever the hell this all means, it's inventive. For a full costume, I think it'd be neat if he didn't have any other arms - like the Straight Jacket monsters in Silent Hill - as if his only hands are those that fused into his face.
I should mention that this mask, and in fact a very great deal of the best quality masks I'm featuring in this review series, all come from the exact same source, Ghoulish Productions! Chances are really quite high you've seen their work in any costume store or aisle you've ever been to.
A fairly nice "erupting parasite" mask, even if the parasite's space-demon face is actually a whole lot less weird than actual, real parasitic organisms. The mask's description jokes that this guy ate some bad fish, and I wonder if this ridged arthropod wasn't inspired in part by parasitic isopods. The tongue-biter in particular has grown increasingly famous these days, even starring in a horror movie I still haven't seen, but may have contributed a little tiny something to.
While otherwise a fairly typical interpretation of Medusa, I really like the fang arrangement on this sexy lady, and the details on the face are quite cool, especially the stretchy tendons around the jaw area, like she could probably crank her mouth open in the manner of an actual snake, swallowing you whole. She would probably need to, since you would have already turned to unchewable stone by then.
Am I completely alone in having ever pondered a gorgon that eats her petrified victims? Like she feeds exclusively on rock and has really really powerful digestive enzymes.
This magnificently sculpted, realistically painted masterpiece is about as expensive as you're probably thinking. While it's not my preferred style of insectoid monster, it's nonetheless awesome, from the colorful veiny eyes to the grotesque yellowed teeth! I think you're supposed to see out of them, but the nostrils would be a perfect place to add antennae, since it's basically exactly where an insect's antennae would be in relation to the eyes. It doesn't need them, no, but you might consider a pair if you want it to come across as some specific animal. You could make one wicked butterfly costume with this thing.
I'm pretty sure a fanged skeleton with a mohawk made of bones is uncontested as the most radical Halloween mask that could ever really exist, barring just one minor addition: there's no way you're going to wear this and not put sunglasses on it, too. I dare you to deny its silent but all-too-clear demands.
This beautiful, buggy-eyed fish creature is one of several masks offered by "Specter Studios" in their "Goonatics" line. To quote the site, "We are breaking from the tradition that creepy is limited to the blood red and decaying flesh color palette."
I couldn't support this more. Every single Goonatic is a lovable, vibrant work of art. I'd review all of them, but I'd rather force you to go look at the other four they're offering, and maybe considering throwing some cash their way. These are only half-masks, covering up only the front of your face, but all the better to mount right on your wall the rest of the year! I was even more into fish creatures as a child than I am now, and I remember a long hunt to find a fishy Halloween mask that wasn't just the Gill-Man. I eventually did find a decent one, but this is what I was really looking for. I'd have positively flipped my little lid to Trick-or-Treat as this "Muck Monster."