In this article we explore the four masks that were chosen during the first ‘Halloween’ movie’s pre-production as possibilities for the Michael Myers mask.
Michael Myers from the “Halloween” movies is just about as iconic a horror character as there has ever been. Mostly everyone can easily recall his image: the jumpsuit, the pasty white expressionless masked face, the thick brown hair, and the mask’s large wide eye-holes. (Not to mention the stylin’ frequently popped collar).
We all know this cuddly fella, right?
“Halloween” production designer, Tommy Lee Wallace (who later went on to direct the criminally underrated “Halloween III” and the criminally overrated 1990 “It” television miniseries), was tasked with going to the store to find options for what could be ‘the mask.’ Wallace returned with four items: a William Shatner mask, a Spock mask, an Emmett Kelly clown mask, and Richard Nixon (mask).
The team ended up choosing the William Shatner mask, which was more specifically a “Star Trek” Captain Kirk commission. Rather than just having Myers look like an emotionless Willaim Shatner they painted the mask white, removed the eyebrow hair, and cut the eye holes wider. This made it 1% more emotionless looking, which is just the right amount the team was looking for, we guess…
Below is a side by side of the before and after. They are almost certainly replicas, but you get the idea.
So dolled up! Ready for that closeup?
Leonard Nimoy, the actor that originally played the “Star Trek” character Spock, was also known as the actor that William Shatner famously had a 50-year love/hate professional relationship with (which was 10% love and 90% hate). We don’t know if Nimoy resented Shatner for this strange feather in his cap, but none the less it was one more goofy successful item in Shatner’s strange charmed career. If you are geeky enough to want to know more about the lifelong Shatner/Nimoy feud, but not geeky enough to already know all the details, here is a link to more info.
Here is a photo of the original Don Post Studios Spock mask without alterations:
If you ask me it kinda looks a little Moe Howard-ish in this picture, but maybe it’s just the hair…
We are not sure if the production team got as far as ‘Myersing’ the mask up, but luckily we have the internet and all of its internet things to provide examples.
And just in case you were wondering…
The Emmett Kelly Clown Mask
Emmett Kelly was a real person. He was a circus performer from roughly 1923, into the 1960’s, back when circuses were actually a thing. “Weary Willie” the hobo clown was his most famous character.
Recognize him now? Even if you’ve never heard of Emmett Kelly, or the name of his character, his image of the ‘hobo clown’ has been very much immitated and often used visually since its creation.
As for the mask that might’ve been Myers, from what we’ve read while looking into all this, the Kelly mask was the second place choice. The logic behind it was (**40 Year Old Spoiler Alert**) that Michael Myers dressed as a clown when he killed his sister as a child, so he’d want to relive that same clowny murderous rush while hunting down his other sister as an adult. Here is what Michael Myers would have looked like had the production team chosen the Kelly:
This aesthetic could have taken the franchise in a completely different direction…
The Richard Nixon
Last, but not least, the Richard Nixon mask. The Nixon mask may not have made it’s way into the “Halloween” franchise, but it made appearances in many other films.
Here it is 1990’s Emilio Estevez and Charlie Sheen Vehicle “Men at Work”:
Here it is again, most famously used in 1991’s “Point Break”:
And here is an image from 1982’s “Airplain 2” featuring a whole plane of Nixons:
In fact, for a long time before being dethroned by the Guy Fawkes mask, the Nixon mask was the worlds most popular mask. If you’d like more information on that click here.
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