Killer Klowns from Outer Space was the brain child of the Chiodo Brothers. This original movie-used Jojo the Klownzilla mask was created for the film by our friends and fellow Long Island natives at Chiodo Brothers Productions. Over the years the Klownzilla mask’s foam had become fragile, cracked in a few areas, and the lack of an interior support had allowed the neck to hunch a bit. Our client was looking to preserve the mask for years to come as well as bring back in some of the areas that had been lost over time.
The first step was to create a custom insert to help provide stability and structure for the Klownzilla mask. The weight of the animatronics still inside the head made this especially important. It would be a goal of ours to prevent any pressure on the fragile foam latex. Creating a custom insert before starting a restoration is like building a foundation of a house. You can build the most beautiful house, but if it doesn’t have a solid foundation, it could crumble in the future. Once the insert was made, steps were taken to seal and back the fragile foam and help slow the hands of time. Essentially, before each restoration, we have to think about conserving the piece and making sure we’re not “building on sand.”
With an insert made and conservation in place, our artists can go in and patch any of the areas where the foam was missing. They use reference images and the surrounding material to help them create a texture that mimics the Chiodo Brothers’ unique style. The more they can match this texture the more seamless the transition between original material and restoration will be. Next up is our favorite restoration technique, called “in painting.” This means we only repaint the areas we patched, not the original material. It’s a more labor-intensive process than repainting larger areas, but well worth it for the final result as it keeps as much of the original material intact as possible.
Further, when we do in-paint a prop like this Klownzilla, we’re always careful to make our patches as invisible as possible. This means matching not just color but the aging and staining of the years since production. To finish off the display we restyled his mohawk, and added some color that had faded over time. That little extra time at the TSD salon helped give this remarkable mask the makeover it needed!
Have an original tv or movie prop in need of restoration or display? Email or call today and let’s discuss your project!