Michael Myers is one of the most popular horror movie villains, but his iconic white mask has a surprising beginning. The original Halloween movie had a fairly low budget (as far as movie budgets go), so when it came to signature killer’s mask, the crew used a 1975 William Shatner Don Post halloween mask, that they purchased for a dollar. They modified this mask by repainting it in white, removing the side burns and painting the hair. These tweaks minimized the resemblance to Shatner and gave the mask a more emotionless look, perfect for a cold blooded killer. Original Don Post ’75 Captain Kirk latex masks like this one are now highly sought after and extremely rare.
Additionally, this mask had previously been converted to a Michael Myers look, with added white paint and hair alteration. When the mask arrived at our studio for conservation, it was display on a generic foam head form, and this is something we’ve seen many times before. Certainly a head form is better than stuffing with newspaper or some such, but over time, gravity can still affect the mask. The before and after photos of this mask show what a big difference a custom insert can make. A custom crafted insert is something we do to help support the specific… ahem… shape of a mask, and it can also help minimize gravity’s affects on the fragile latex over time.
Patrick Louie was the lead artist on this cautious bit of restoration/conservation. Over the years, latex loses flexibility. With a bit of effort he was able to carefully reshape this mask to get it much closer to its original shape. To help keep it that way, he came up with a clever solution!
When creating the internal support we were able to source a high resolution 3D scan of the life cast that was originally used to create the mask back in the 1970’s. We shrunk that just slightly, and after a few size tests, worked out how big it needed to be to perfectly fit inside the 75 Kirk we needed to support. We further modified that insert to make the eyes concave and deep set, so that when the mask was viewed from various angles, the eyes would appear hollow. The blackest eyes… the Devil’s eyes!
Once the mask was safely mounted on its new form we carefully reinforced any of the more fragile areas using internal patches to help strengthen the delicate latex. We patched a few areas where the latex was missing and built back up some of the lower eye lid areas that had stretched over time to get them a more even shape. The finished mask is not just a rare Don Post mask but a unique bit of Halloween history with a fantastic backstory.
Do you have an original movie or television prop that is in need of restoration or display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!