An exclusive chapter from SLASHER SAM, a new comedic horror novel about a murderous movie-obsessed psycho killer with their own blog…
Slasher movies and scary masks go together like Jamie Lee Curtis and Halloween movies – you can have one without the other, but they’re ALWAYS better together.
The truth is, even if you have a face that only a mother like Pamela Voorhees could love, all the best killers in horror movies need a great mask. It’s what strikes fear in the hearts of your prey – if the bloody axe that you’re carrying isn’t quite cutting the proverbial mustard.
10. Babyface, The Hills Run Red (2009)
How can I describe this mask? Imagine if Chucky from Child’s Play went bald and had all his teeth knocked out, and then Andy Barclay – all grown up and tired of this annoying little doll chasing him around with a knife all the time – cut his face off and wore it as a mask.
Actually, that’s not a bad idea for a new Child’s Play sequel. Somebody get my agent on the phone; I’ve got another great slasher movie idea I need to pitch them.
9. Old hag, Curtains (1983)
I think old women are terrifying – they’re old, they’re saggy, and they smell like they’re literally rotting away as they just go on living, driving very slowly, playing bingo, getting bad dye jobs in their hair, and so on.
So the image of a withered old hag with a sickle in the movie Curtains is more than enough to give me the willies. There’s something troubling, too, about seeing the young eyes behind the old face – as if old-age is a prison. It doesn’t matter how young and vital you feel; time is coming to get us all (if I don’t get to you first).
8. Plastic face, Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)
Some slasher movie purists will be cursing my name right now for including Alice, Sweet Alice among a list of slasher films. To them I say, want a fight about it?
For all intents and purposes this is a slasher movie about a killer with a penchant for yellow raincoats and a creepy plastic mask that looks weirdly like a blow-up sex doll with too much eye makeup on it. Try thinking about that the next time you bury the weasel in your blow-up Briana.
She might come to life and bury something in you. A butcher’s knife.
7. Jason, Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981)
The burlap sack with one eyehole was a good look for Jason in Friday the 13th Part 2, but his depth perception must have been non-existent. It’s no wonder he seemed to be falling all over the place. What he really needed to do was to cut two eyeholes in it like the Phantom Killer in The Town That Dreaded Sundown.
As a bonus, this must be the easiest mask on this list to replicate, which makes it a terrific option for your next Halloween party.
6. Owl, Stage Fright (1987)
The owl mask in Stage Fright is a real hoot. (You see what I did there? I’ll bet you’re owling with laughter right now.)
Seriously though, I respect the shit out of owls. They’re badass birds of prey that swoop down on their unsuspecting victims (rats, mice, insects, fish), like wise air-born serial killers of the forest.
In real life, someone might look almost comical in the over-sized owl mask from Stage Fright. But splash some blood on it, lug around an axe or a chainsaw, and then you’ll be laughing all the way to the grave.
5. Groucho Marx, Terror Train (1980)
I never forget a face, but in this case I’d like to make an exception.
There’s just something so sinister about the Groucho Marx mask (try saying that five times fast) in Terror Train. I think it’s a combination of seeing the anarchic comedian’s likeness being so straight-faced and serious, as well as the shifty all-seeing black eyes behind the mask.
Either way, if I ever saw Groucho Marx on a train (either his rotting corpse or someone dressed like him), I’ll definitely be getting off at the next stop. You can bet your life on it.
4. Ghostface, Scream (1996)
The ghost-face mask from the Scream series is simple, striking, and oh so perfect. Now, if only the people who wore it spent a bit more time killing the 30-year-old teenagers of Woodsboro and a little less time flopping around on the ground like stunned mullet.
But no matter how you feel about those flicks, the mask is a cut above. Hell, it’s a work of art, having been modelled on that wanky artwork by expressionist painter Edvard Munch, who, even during his wildest hallucinations, couldn’t possibly have imagined the effect on popular culture that his masterpiece was going to have.
3. Leatherface, The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
The biggest, ugliest member of the Sawyer clan is called Leatherface for a reason – and it’s not because he looks like Donatella Versace after a week in the Nevada dessert without any sunblock.
On the contrary, his mask made from the flesh of his victims makes even the famously ugly fashion designer look beautiful in comparison.
2. Jason, Friday the 13th Part III (1982)
Like night cheese and nightmares, Jason and his trademark hockey mask just go together. In fact, the goalie mask is so synonymous with Mr Vorhees that people forget he didn’t actually get the mask until roughly one hour into the third movie in the Friday the 13th film franchise.
It was always as inevitable as death that Jason’s hockey mask would feature prominently on any list of the top 10 masks in slasher movies, but why is it only at number two on the list? That’s because – drum roll please – the best slasher movie mask of all time is…
1. The Shape, Halloween (1978)
Who am I kidding? You knew this was coming – and if you didn’t, then you’re obviously not the sharpest knife in the drawer to stab someone with.
A Captain Kirk mask never looked so frightening as when the makers of Halloween painted it all-white, reshaped the eyes and made a few other minor adjustments, then chucked it on a man in overalls carrying a big knife. To think, they almost went with a scary clown mask instead.
The original is still the best, of course, but even at its lowest ebb – neck flaps in Halloween 5, blonde hair during that one inexplicable scene in The Return of Michael Myers, or the CGI monstrosity in H20 – the blank, emotionless Michael Myers’ mask is the standard against which all other slasher movie masks are measured.
I will straight-up murder you if you disagree with me.
In cyberspace, EVERYONE can hear you scream!
Dismayed that the slasher movie genre is currently deader than a Crystal Lake camper on Friday the 13th, ‘Slasher Sam’ is bringing new life to the art form by ending the lives of mischievous campers, sex-crazed teenagers, unruly partygoers, and anyone else who breaks one of the fundamental rules of being in a slasher movie.
Read it before you go offline… permanently.