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

The Innocents (1961)

Sheffield Park Manor, used for exteriors on The Innocents (1961).

Rosemary’s Baby (1968)

The Dakota, New York City, known as “The Bramford” in Rosemary’s Baby (1968).

Village of the Damned (1960)

  Love this movie. It was on TCM tonight and I again marveled at how terrific Martin Stephens is in it. Such a short acting career, but an amazing one. Comparisons of how these Letchmore Heath locations looked in 1960 in the film versus how they look now can be found at a neat site here. The surrounding area was so frequently used for filming locations, especially for the classic TV series “The Avengers,” that the locations in this area became known as “Avengerland.”

Suspiria (1977)

Haus zum Walfisch in Baden-Württemberg, Germany. In 2013, PeterNeal80 uploaded a fine video to YouTube, featuring three of the Suspiria filming locations:  

Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)

The home of the Hudson sisters, a private residence located at 172 N McCadden Place, Los Angeles.  

Shadow of a Doubt (1943)

The Hudson family home, a private residence located at 904 McDonald Ave in Santa Rosa, California. According to about.com, Hitch would sit on the porch of a nearby judge’s home and drink and chat during breaks in filming. Coincidentally, that judge’s house was later used as the exteriors for Tatum’s house in the movie Scream (1996).  

The Green Man (1990, miniseries)

Up Cerne Manor, used as The Green Man Hotel in the 1990 miniseries. Built around 1624 and located near some lovely historic churches. A little history from dorsetshire.com: The manor granted to Sir Walter Raleigh, he sold it to Sir Robert Mellor who built the house in the early 17th century. The fine interior of the house was largely destroyed in the early 19th century. Subsequently held by the Whites then the Battens. Used stone from the ruins of Cerne Abbey.  

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

The location used as the Sawyer family house in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre is now a field that shows no signs of a house ever having been there. The house itself was relocated to the grounds of the Antlers Hotel at 1010 King Street in Kingsland, Texas (pictured). It was fully restored and used as the Junction House Restaurant. More here.  

The House on Haunted Hill (1959)

The Ennis-Brown House by Frank Lloyd Wright, located at 2655 Glendower Avenue, Los Feliz District in Los Angeles, CA. It was used for The House on Haunted Hill (1959) residence, and can be seen in a host of other films, including Blade Runner (1982). It is apparently for sale. More here and a terrific slideshow at the LA Times here.