Top Ten Most Memorable Horror Movie Masks

I’d first off like to apologize for my absence. I’ve been working on a few Top Tens, and even though I saw a crapload of horror movies in October, I went on a sunny vacation right after and forgot most of them. So now, I present to you, an interesting theme: masks! Masks are the ultimate murdering accessory. Although makeup is more in than attachable face plastic, there are lots of awesome famous horror movie masks out there.

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I’d like to start off with an honorable mention that couldn’t be included in this list because it’s a tv show: Goosebumps, The Haunted Mask. This was most likely one of the first ever spooky masks that I encountered, in the book and then on tv. The mask that doesn’t come off has definitely been done before, but that doesn’t make the it any less awesome. I plan to add this detailed, green monster to my costume collection someday.

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10. Alice, Sweet Alice;s Plastic Make-up Mask (1976)

Although this movie isn’t super well-known, this type of see-through, second skin is still in every store selling Halloween costumes today. The plastic, makeupped adult face supposedly worn over a child’s innocent face makes it even creepier, as worn with a yellow rain jacket in the film. There is also a similar, updated version in V/H/S.

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9. Halloween III: Season of the Witch’s Silver Shamrock Masks (1982)

The Jack-o-lantern, witch, and skeleton masks intended to melt children’s faces appear only in this installment of Halloween that has nothing at all to do with Michael Myers. Although entertaining, the whole Stonehenge thing and evil mask-manufacturer situation doesn’t really make a lot of sense.

      

8. Terror Train’s Groucho Marx Mask (1980)

On New Year’s Eve, a murderer kills college kids on a train. He wears several different masks on the train that he swaps with his victims, but they don’t quite have the off-putting creepiness that the Groucho seems to have.

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7. Trick ‘R Treat’s Burlap Sack (2007)

This film is technically an anthology, but I find that it’s really only remembered for the character, Sam. It’s kind of cute, kind of creepy, and definitely silly-scary underneath.

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6. Phantom of the Opera (1925)

The phantom changes over time, but the mask doesn’t really. The first film is included in this list because it’s the only one that is actually a horror film besides the virtually unknown 1989 version with Robert Englund. It’s white, it’s simple, and it’s close enough to the iconic half-mask in the musical versions.

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5. The Strangers’ The Man in The Mask, Pin-Up Girl, and Dollface Masks (2008)

This is one of my favorite movies, as I’m terrified of stalkers and this had great tension and character story. Each of the torturers wears a mask, but the face has nothing to really do with anything besides their gender. They’re all equally scary in that they don’t have any rhyme or reason to them, and the faces behind them are never revealed.

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4. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Skin Mask (1974, 2003, and sequels)

Leatherface is inspired by Ed Gein who was obsessed with making things out of human body parts such as bones and skin. Throw in a chainsaw and some off-beat, grotesque characters and you’ve got yourself a gore fest phenomenon. Whether it be the original or the remake, both have the iconic stitches and skin mask. I wonder how Leatherface would feel about a peel at the spa.

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3. Scream’s Ghostface Mask (1996 and sequels)

If you asked people to blurt out the first Halloween mask that comes to mind, I bet Ghostface would be at the top of the list. Inspired by Edvard Munch’s The Scream painting, this franchise and its unforgettable mask made a huge dent in film history.  The return to the slasher was immensely popular, and ever since the film’s release, the Ghostface mask has been on shelves. Even though the movie has some nineties cheese, the twist is all that matters.

2. Halloween’s Michael Myers (William Shatner) Mask (1978 and sequels)

Let’s be real here, this is a bad mask. Even when you see it sold in stores the hair’s all matted and the skin is lumpy. But it serves its purpose in the movie, because the expressionless face easily gives you the creeps. Halloween is just another slasher movie with no real backstory, but it’s a fun, mindless film to watch, and there are lots of sequels to binge-watch on my favorite holiday.

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1. Friday the 13th Part 3’s Hockey Mask (1982 and sequels)

Jason Voorhees sure is a man of the times. His mask style changes in each movie, and although for the most part, he sporting a generic hockey mask, he also tries on a sack and a metal, alienlike option. Jason is supposed to be a deformed psychopath, so I suppose any old mask will do. The great thing about the Friday the 13th films are that there is a little bit of comedy, a few scares, and countless ways to kill featured. Jason has a decent backstory, and the original film’s twist makes up for the fact that the mask doesn’t appear.

 

 

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Top Ten Canadian Horror Films

Happy Canada 150, my fellow proud Canadians and adoring non-Canadians! Here are my favorite scary Canuck movies to watch after the fireworks, or hungover the next morning, accompanied by Canada’s top snacks.

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10. The Brood  (1979)

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One of four Cronenburg and sons films on the list, it’s about a woman driven by her psychologist to do some pretty strange things, among them, lead a brood of lumpy lawn gnome look-alikes. The skin sack is a hard image to forget, so you may want to have a couple 2-4s and mickeys on hand.

Canadian Snack: Watch a woman lick her bloody baby while you nosh on some flavour-packed Lays ketchup chips and guzzle down a spicy Caesar with a green bean.

Review here

Trailer here

 

 

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9. Terror Train (1980)

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A satisfying New Year’s Eve slasher movie about med students at a costume party held on a train who are killed off by a masked murderer. What a kerfuffle with everyone stuck on that train. Better grab your toques and runners and get a move on.

Canadian Snack: In order to stay up past midnight you’re going to need some caffeine. But since we’re on a moving train, better reach for a Coffee Crisp instead.

Review here

Trailer here

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8. The Fly (1986)

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Jeff Goldblum and Gina Davis are surrounded by a hefty helping of that goopy, slimy, eighties blood and gore. It’s pretty much every superhero story, without the superhero part, leaving just- man turns into fly, and it doesn’t go too well.

Canadian Snack: If there’s one thing that flies like, it’s sugar. So give them what they want in a sweet, buttery treat: the butter tart.

This movie doesn’t yet have a full review.

Trailer here

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7. Black Christmas (1974)

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This is a film about a woman calling for her cat, Claude… I mean… it’s about sorority girls trapped in a house with a mystery killer. And also Christmas! So it’s snowing and no one is really around to help. Better than the 2006 version by a million kilometres, but not necessarily thrilling.

Canadian Snack: Our country doesn’t really have much to do with Christmas dinner, so instead, grab a Tims double double with a maple-glazed donut for breakfast.

Review here

Trailer here

 

 

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6. Dead Ringers (1988)

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Who wouldn’t want to watch a movie about twin gynecologists addicted to drugs, both played by Jeremy Irons? I generally dislike it when a movie is two or more hours long, but I didn’t mind it in this case. Felt like I was just watching a few episodes in a row of Twin Peaks. It’s labeled as a drama / horror / thriller, but it doesn’t have the typical tension of a horror or thriller; I found it heavy on the drama end.

Canadian Snack: Nothing goes better together than a Montreal-style bagel and Montreal smoked meat.

This movie doesn’t yet have a full review.

Trailer here

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5. Antiviral (2012)

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A film about a business that offers diseases (carried by celebrities) to the public, in order to allow the fans to feel closer to the famous person they’re obsessed with. So strange, and so creative with such a fantastically interesting lead character played by Caleb Landry Jones (Get Out). Lots of drug hazes, needles galore, and so many blood-soaked white things that even Tide couldn’t clean.

Canadian Snack: Some good ole fashioned brand-name KD with a dollop of ketchup. The Canadian way.

This movie doesn’t yet have a full review.

Trailer here

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4. Cube (1997)

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Out of the three Cube movies, the first has the best ending- with a twist. A group of people are trapped in a room-filled structure, where each room has a different violent booby-trap waiting for them.

Canadian Snack: We’re too hip to be square, but a homemade nanaimo bar is to die for, and angular enough to accompany this franchise.

Review here

Trailer here

3. American Mary (2012)

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A revenge flick about a med student turned underground body modifier is American only by title.

Canadian Snack: To go with the American theme, believe it or not, the popular sushi order, California roll, was invented by a Japanese sushi chef who moved to Vancouver in the seventies.

Review here

Trailer here

2. Ginger Snaps (2000) 

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Good things come in threes, but the original of the well-known Canadian trilogy is the best. Nothing beats some simplistic teen werewolf angst, eh?

Canadian Snack: Unfortunately, ginger snaps aren’t really Canadian, so instead how bout some Chinese food? Surprisingly, ginger beef was invented right here in Calgary, AB. I think a werewolf would prefer meat over cookies anyway.

Review here

Trailer here

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1. Silent Hill (2006)

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This dreamlike fantasy horror about a mother searching for her daughter in an eerie, ash-covered town gets the top spot. This fantastic goth film is an adaptation of a survival video game and couldn’t have been done better. Around every turn is a mysterious creature, its details creatively imagined. I’d pay a lot of loonies and twoonies to see this at the theatre in 3D.

Canadian Snack: The number one spot deserves nothing but the number one Canadian food. So versatile and comforting, you can’t do better than a proper poutine.

This movie doesn’t yet have a full review.

Trailer here

 

BONUS! The legendary tv show, Are You Afraid of the Dark, is of course, also Canadian.

Looking for more? Try Pontypool, Hobo With a Shotgun, Pin, The Changeling, Videodrome, The Shrine, Prom Night. 

Tale of Tales (2015)

Score: 4.5/10

Length: 125

Rating: Unrated

Language: English

Categories: recent, murderer, monster, almost horror, witch

Tale of Tales, originally known as Il Racconto dei Racconti holds three different stories all driven by love and obsession. It pains me to give it such a low rating, for although it is beautiful- stunning even- the characters are unlikable and the movie moves slowly forcing me to cringe both at the awkward fairy tales as well as the dullness of the film. All three stories are just so strange, it’s a shame such costumes and scenery were wasted in this dark, dreamy, disappointment.

The first fable is about an infertile queen who calls upon a man of magic to guide her to the birth of her child. Her husband dies trying to kill a dragon and the queen takes the dragon’s heart home to eat as instructed by the sorcerer. She gives birth to an albino son, but so does the virgin who boiled the heart. The queen is jealous of the son’s bond (they look exactly the same) and she tries to kill the other child. This is the best one of the three simply because it stars Selma Hayek and it feels the least uncomfortable to watch.

A horny king falls in love with a maiden’s voice, but unfortunately, she hides with her sister in a house and refuses to let him see her. Most likely because they are both wrinkly and ancient. One of the sisters tricks the king, sleeps with him, and then gets kicked out of the castle. Then, a witch in the forest makes her young and she reunites with the king, soon becoming queen. The other sister find out and wants to be part of her sister’s royal life and everything gets even more awkward from there.

The third story is about yet another king who becomes obsessed with a flea and nurturing it over his own daughter. The flea grows into giant fleshy bug and then dies. The king has its skin stretched out and mounted, and then he challenges the men of the village to guess the animal it came from. An ugly ogre guesses correctly and the king follows through with his reward- the princess. The ogre takes the princess into the mountains where she cries all the time and tries to escape.

The tales aren’t connected by anything but royalty, and there isn’t really much of an ending. To be honest, I remember the ending of the last story, but not the other two. The best way to describe this movie is to think of a beautiful cake that is dry and bland on the inside.

 

photo credit: www.comingsoon.net

Sharknado Series Special

As construction season ends and the storms of fall begin, it’s time for one last hurrah! It’s the Summer storm Sharknado spectacular!

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Sharknado (2013)

Score: five out of five octopus tidal waves

Length: 86

Best Line: “Hey man, there’s a shark in your pool.”

Movies such as this is why I love good-bad movies so much. It’s exactly what you’d expect and more. Action-packed from start to finish, the movie is pretty self-explanatory. It revolves around (literally) our heroes- Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard and Tara Reid as April Wexler as they manuever a strange “natural” phenomena of tornadoes spinning with an array of sharks. Cheesy script and horrible CGI galore, nom nom nom. Poor acting, accents you can barely understand, ridiculous names, and so many levels of nonsensical water situations. But all mostly on purpose, obviously. A lot of the movie was a wet and splashy traffic jam full of starved, freak sharks. A great movie to watch in the bath. Sure, grab some toy cars and plastic sharks.

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Sharknado 2: The Second One (2014)

Score: three out of five platypus tsunamis

Length: 95

Best Line: “Even the sharknadoes are tougher in New York.”

Sharks on a plane! In New York! Our main two characters are back, and this one includes a whole slew of celebs including Kelly Osbourne, one of the girls from The Craft, Vivica A. Fox, old man Sugar Ray (Mark McGrath), Andy Dick as a cop, Kelly Ripa, Judd Hirsch, Billy Ray Cyrus, Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Biz Markie, and a bunch of others. It was a lot of the same old- bombs and sharks and water. I enjoyed the sharks on fire in this one, and the New York setting but there weren’t that many differences; they needed to kick it up a notch. The second-go involved quite a few more painful acting scenes and heroic speeches than th first, and that took some extra patience to sit through. I mean, he even chain saws through a shark again. Pulling out her hand from a shark’s mouth to get her wedding ring was pretty outrageously funny though (in the lamest way possible).

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Sharknado 3: Oh Hell No! (2015)

Score: three out of five king crab sinkholes

Length: 88

Best Line: “Sharks… in… space!”

On to number three, and from the title I’m expecting an increased dosage of hilariousness. But this time, we’re in Washington/ The White House. I was really hoping for Hawai’i or even Texas this time. Even Canada! The sharks could fight grizzly bears. Luckily, they end up in space, and so do… the sharks. The characters are comprised of our usual family, and I’m pretty over Fin and his stank face at this point. Added to the crew are the dirty and determined Frankie Muniz and Cassie Scerbo. As we’re onto number three, I’ve seen a lot of sharks die at this point, so I’m starting to feel bad for them and their inevitable extinction. You get to a point where you’re bored of the plot and begin to dissect the “veiled” stupidity of these movies, but then suddenly- luckily- you are distracted by a laser chain saw, sharks boinking against a spaceship, and a difficult struggle inside of a shark… in space… getting fried by he sun. And then I actually had to pause the movie when I saw the baby- I was laughing too hard. Here’s to Sharknado 4!

Language: English (USA)

Categories: 2000s, recent, monster, animal, horror comedy, good-bad, recommended, Painful Movie Mondays

photo credits: i.ytimg.com, www.btchflcks.com, womenwriteaboutcomics.com