I have always been a fan of the big-brained aliens. There is just something about a creature from outer space who have their brains on the outside. For me, my all time favorite design was that by Paul Blaisdell in the 1957 movie INVASION OF THE SAUCER-MEN. My second favorite design is that of the martians from the trading cards from 1962 and the Tim Burton film from 1996.
I started collecting masks in 1984, after receiving various mask catalogs in the mail. One of the companies that always stood out to me was Be Something Studios. I loved their designs and every mask I bought looked as good as they did in the catalog photos. The detailing was second to none and many featured a high quality plush hood to accentuate the design. Many of their masks were sculpted by Bill Ystrom and he would always sculpt the letters BYBY into the backs of his creations.
Welcome to my latest Monstrous Mask Review. Once again Trick Or Treat Studios is represented with another of their fine creations. The only downside of this review is that this mask is no longer available directly from Trick Or Treat Studios, though it can be found from other mask distributors who have unsold inventory and it shows up from time to time on eBay and on Amazon.
If you are a regular reader of the Basement of the Bizarre, then you know how much I loved growing up in the 1970s. There were just so many things to love as a kid, especially a kid with interests that most kids didn’t share. I loved monsters, comic books and collecting insects. Comic books were a huge part of growing up and one thing that I loved as much as the stories were the ads from companies such as the Johnson Smith, Co., Honor House and of course, the Gayle House. Gayle House was best known for their ad to invite your friends over for a haunting, thanks to a record with scary sound effects.
Throughout science fiction cinematic history, alien invaders have always been portrayed as vastly superior in intellect and development. Though we almost always thwart them in their attempts to take over the world, their initial attacks are usually spectacular and well thought out. Oftentimes the aliens were portrayed as having larger than usual craniums to represent having a larger brain. But what about the aliens whose heads were actually brain-like in appearance, or were actually a brain?
In 2007, film maker Michael Dougherty released a film that would become an instant cult classic and is now a must-see film every October. The film, Trick ‘R Treat, introduced the world to Sam, a sort of defender of all of the rules and traditions of Halloween. The creation is one of the coolest creatures to come around in many years and one that fully represents the Halloween season.
Trick or Treat Studios, one of today’s best mask companies, has available the only licensed version of this mask and it looks amazing. This amazing replica was sculpted by Russ Lukich with help from Trick ‘R Treat writer and director Michael Dougherty. Michael was kind enough to provide them with the actual screen used mask for reference and personally oversaw the sculpture and paint master. This is, without a doubt, the most accurate Sam mask ever produced and the closest you will ever get to having the screen-used mask.
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!