After debuting in 1978's Halloween, the mask worn by killer Michael Myers has gone on to become arguably the most famous mask in all of cinema history, its blank white expression creating nightmares for four decades. The legacy of the iconic character might be as effective as ever, but the owner of the original screen-used mask recently posted photos that show the condition of the prop hasn't held up quite as well.
In the original film, Michael Myers returns to his hometown after being held in a mental institution for 15 years to torment Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and her friends. To conceal his identity, Michael robs a local hardware store to grab a generic mask, with the film's crew famously purchasing a William Shatner mask and altering until the mask was unrecognizable. Sadly, with the mask being a cheap and effective prop and not being crafted for film use, it has severely degraded over the years.
The owner of the mask, Mark Roberts, also explained how he came to possess the mask, which he's had in his collection since 2003.
“I have been building and running haunts for the last 26 years. About 20 years ago I got in contact with an agent who represented Dick Warlock and asked about booking Dick for an appearance at my haunt,” Roberts shared.
Warlock has a long history as a stuntman in a variety of horror movies and played Michael Myers in Halloween II. Given the short timeframe between the original movie and the sequel, Halloween II used the same exact mask from the first film.
“So I set up to have Dick at the haunt and his agent said he had the mask and costume from the movie and would wear it at the appearance," Roberts remembered. "When Dick came to the haunt, he was mad at his agent because he said he does not wear the costume for appearances. He did tell me that he still had the costume, boots, mask, butcher knife and scalpel and that he would sell it; he just didn’t bring them out for appearances.”
"Dick was great with the haunted house customers and hanging out with Dick and Cathy for the weekend was a lot of fun and it went so well we set it up for him to come back the next year," Roberts pointed out.
"I’m not sure if it was after the first or second year but I called Dick up and we made a deal for me to purchase the mask, costume, boots, scalpel and knife," Roberts noted. "My wife and I went to Dick’s house and picked up the mask and costume. It really is amazing that Dick thought to keep that stuff and take care of it; when I went to pick it up, he had kept the mask stored in an Elvis Presley tin container.”
Given how famous the mask has become over the last 40 years, many collectors will be shocked to find out how it had been stored.
After Halloween II, the series pivoted to remove the Michael Myers mythology from the franchise. Fans were disappointed with Halloween III: Season of the Witch, causing the next installment to bring back the character.
Seven years after his last appearance, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers brought the character back, but with Warlock possessing the original mask, a prop studio had to attempt to recreate the iconic look. In the subsequent six films, including Rob Zombie's reboot universe, different masks were crafted each time in hopes of capturing the look of the original.
Audiences will potentially see the mask return with next year's Halloween sequel, which takes place after the original movie and features the return of Jamie Lee Curtis, which is slated to land in theaters on October 19.