In 1958 the world was introduced to perhaps the greatest monster magazine of all time, FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILMLAND. Nothing had been tried like this before and it became one of the longest running magazines as well, as it is still in print to this day, though with a different feel. James Warren and Forrest J. Ackerman were the masterminds behind this and the magazine created so many monster kids, many of which grew up to become special effects artists in some of the biggest blockbusters.
I don’t remember the exact time when collecting Halloween masks came into my life. If I had to guess it was around 1982 or 1983, after receiving a full color catalog from Distortions Unlimited in the mail, after seeing an ad in Fangoria magazine. I would go through this catalog front to back, over and over again, admiring the awesome creations by Ed Edmunds. There were so many monsters in this collection that I wanted, but since I had yet to start working, buying these masks was not in the cards.
It was at this time that I also became aware of other mask companies. I had already known about Don Post Studios, thanks to Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine but one company, also thanks to an ad in Fangoria, really struck a cord with me. The company was Joe Reader’s House of Horror Studios. I ordered their catalog as well and was blown away at his creations, so much so in fact that my first mail-order mask was from him in 1985!
Growing up, Halloween was always my favorite holiday. There was just something about that fall night that excited me, even more so than with Christmas. I love the history of the holiday and everything that it represents. I have so many fond memories trick-or-treating and actually “feeling” that the barrier between the living and the dead was thinner. There was something about the air every Halloween night…it was just different.
Recently I reviewed the excellent book on mask company Distortions Unlimited called “Remember the Future: The Distortions Unlimited Story” (seen HERE). As promised, author Lee Lambert was nice of enough to take some time to answer some questions.