Posted by Jancy Richardson @Jancy
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

The Halloween franchise is iconic in horror movie history, and the Michael Myers mask has become the symbol of that horror magic. Most horror fans know by now that the mask used for Michael Myers was actually a William Shatner mask made to promote Star Trek, painted white with the eyeholes widened.

The original Captain Kirk 1975 mask, and the adjusted Michael Myers variant. Image: Monster Masks
The original Captain Kirk 1975 mask, and the adjusted Michael Myers variant. Image: Monster Masks

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The mask could have been very different, however. Early tests involved an Emmett Kelly mask — from Don Post, the same mask manufacturers who made the Captain Kirk mask — but this didn't achieve the required effect. If you take a look at the Emmett Kelly version below, you'll see why!

The Emmett Kelly mask and the adapted William Shatner mask in Halloween (1978). Image: Monster Masks / Trancas Films
The Emmett Kelly mask and the adapted William Shatner mask in Halloween (1978). Image: Monster Masks / Trancas Films

The Michael Myers Mask: Halloween and Halloween II

In-world origin: When Michael escapes the Smith's Grove Sanitarium, he steals the mask from Nichol's Hardware Store. The mask perishes in the fire at Haddonfield Memorial Hospital.

The same mask was used in Halloween and the sequel in 1981, but looks a little different for the following reasons:

  • Nick Castle (who played Michael Myers, see header pic) often crammed the mask into his pocket between shoots, weakening the material.
  • The mask was then passed to Halloween writer Debra Hill, who left it under her bed, where it gathered dust and turned yellow from Hill's heavy smoking habit.
  • Halloween II's Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) had a chunkier build than Castle, so the mask was stretched out a little on his bigger head.
  • After its years of deterioration, the crew resprayed the mask's hair, giving it a slightly different color in the sequel.

Poll

Is the Michael Myers mask the scariest horror movie mask ever?

Obviously, Halloween III: Season of the Witch didn't feature actually Michael Myers — Debra Hill and John Carpenter would only join the project if it wasn't a direct sequel to Halloween II — so there were no variations on the classic mask, although the movie did feature some fun, totally different designs.

The Michael Myers Mask: Halloween 4, 5 and 6

The Michael Myers Mask from Halloween 4, 5 and 6
The Michael Myers Mask from Halloween 4, 5 and 6

Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988)

In-world origin: Michael rouses himself from his coma at Ridgemont and steals a mask from Vincent Drug Store in Haddonfield.

The mask for Halloween 4 is more squat, square and 'normal' looking: the mask was criticized for failing to be as creepy as the mask in the earlier movies. Fun fact: a different mask was used in a couple of re-shoots: for example, the school scene sees Michael's mask with blonde hair!

Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989)

In-world origin: Michael wakes up from yet another coma, murdering a hermit to take the mask hanging from the wall of his shack.

The Michael Myers mask in action in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989). Image: Trancas
The Michael Myers mask in action in Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers (1989). Image: Trancas

The mask in Halloween 5 is notable for its longer, lighter-colored hair and strange, inverted teardrop-shaped eyes. The mask has a rougher texture, almost like bandage covered in plaster of Paris. This mask is widely regarded to be the least popular of the franchise.

Halloween 6: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

In-world origin: The movie never explains how Michael acquired this mask. Some fans believe that the Thorn devotees made the mask for him.

The Halloween 6 mask reverted to the original Halloween and Halloween II design, bringing back the classic 1978 Michael Myers features with slightly fluffier hair.

Halloween: H20 and Halloween: Resurrection

Michael's mask in Halloween: H20 and Resurrection
Michael's mask in Halloween: H20 and Resurrection

Four different masks were used for Halloween: H20, and annoyed fans by showing Michael's eyes through the mask's sockets. There was also a brief moment of CGI which made the mask look unreal. The masks are known as:

  • KNB Stan Winston mask (H20)
  • H20 Hero mask
  • Resurrection hero mask
  • Resurrection burned mask

Halloween: Resurrection played it much safer by staying faithful to the original 1978-1981 version of the mask.

Michael Myers Mask: Rob Zombie's Halloween I & II

Michael's mask workshop and his original mask in Rob Zombie's Halloween. Image: Dimension Films
Michael's mask workshop and his original mask in Rob Zombie's Halloween. Image: Dimension Films

In-world origin: The remake Michael obtains the mask from Judith's boyfriend, Steve after he brings it to their house.

When Michael escapes after fifteen years in Smith's Grove Sanitarium, he finds his mask again. The cracked appearance shows how long the mask was out of use. The same mask appears in Halloween II, but is even more damaged. It has blood on it and the cracks have widened, even showing Michael's beard poking through in places.

Which Michael Myers mask from the Halloween franchise is your favorite?

Halloween is one of the greatest horror movies of the 20th Century. Did your favorite movie make the cut?

Source: Wikia, Monster Masks, She Blogged By Night, PhotoBucket, Michael Myers Net, IMDb, Stories Behind the Screen, Trancas Films