A Very Brief History of a Very Famous Mask

William Shatner as Captain Kirk as Michael Myers in Halloween (1978).   It’s one of the most iconic props in modern horror movie history, but what was it, anyway, and where is it now? The first mask used for the character of Michael Myers in the now-classic John Carpenter flick Halloween (1978) was a store-bought Captain Kirk mask, made by Don Post Studios (DPS). DPS had created what are called “life casts” of various actors during production of The Devil’s Rain (1975), and these molds made of the actor’s faces were then used for facial prostheses during the melting scenes. In my old Shatnerthon post linked above, you can see Ernest Borgnine in a goat mask made from what must have been a life cast, and Ida Lupino in an eyeless mask using the same process.      To the left, a replica of the Devil’s Rain life cast for John Travolta. To the right, a replica of William Shatner’s, the face that went on to become Michael Myers.   Many, myself included, have thought Shatner was wearing a full mask during some scenes of The Devil’s Rain, and that exact mask was later used in Halloween. That’s not the case; in Devil’s Rain, he was only wearing a facial piece or pieces, not a full mask. The reason there is a striking similarity between the Devil’s Rain facial prostheses and the Captain Kirk mask used in Halloween is because both were made by Don Post Studios, and both made from … Continue reading

Halloween Cheesecake: Finally Time to Relax

Barbara Britton, Ella Neal, Eva Gabor and Katherine Booth relax after a hard Halloween season.

Halloween Postcard, Circa 1915

So, this is a goblin with a bat on his crotch, a witch and her pal the Holy Ghost fighting off sentient vegetables, and a disembodied floating pumpkin. Sure, makes sense. Published by John Winsch, I believe this was the work of Samuel L. Schmucker. It’s a cut-and-paste job of a card, with bits of other cards turned into a new design. You can see the pumpkin head in this postcard, which I got from the link above: The witch and the veggies are from this card: And the goblin comes from this fantasy Halloween-themed card: The individual cards make a heck of a lot more sense than the amalgam card above. Yet, they don’t make that much sense on their own, truth be told.  

Halloween Jell-O

Vintage Halloween ad, also from Breakroom of the Glorious Worker’s Paradise.

Barack Obama and Ann Dunham, Circa 1965

Too adorable not to post: President Barack Obama and his mother Ann Dunham on Halloween, circa 1965, courtesy sunsetgun on Tumblr. For other presidential Halloween pictures, check out this terrific site with pics of White House Halloweens going back to the Eisenhower administration. Note the scariest damn pumpkin ever at Amy Carter’s party.

Joan Crawford, 1933

This is always a favorite: Joan Crawford on the cover of the Halloween edition of Rexall Magazine, 1933. This is from Breakroom of the Glorious Worker’s Paradise, which has an enormous spread of great vintage Halloween pictures. You should visit their site; you will not be disappointed.

Halloween Card, Circa Late 1920s

A stylish Halloween card from the late 1920s or early 1930s.

Virginia Bruce

This is a repeat from a previous year, but I wanted to re-post simply because it once again uses the same background from other photo shoots, like the Unidentified Hotsy-Totsy — still unidentified!

Halloween Cheesecake: Unidentified Hotsy-Totsy

This unidentified hotsy-totsy (listed as Ruby Keeler on another site, though I don’t believe it is) is fetchingly posed in front of the same bats used on the wall behind Clara Bow in her Halloween cheesecake spread. If you know who this adorable lass is, let me know in comments! UPDATE: Christiane and Bob in the comments identify the model as Nancy Carroll. I recently posted several pics of her from a Halloween themed photo shoot, and this doesn’t look like Nancy to me at all… but, as you all know, I am infamously bad at recognizing faces, so I’m going to take their word for it.

Pier Angeli

Pier Angeli circa 1953