Saturday, September 3, 2011

1997 Death Studios Catalog

It's been a few months since a Death Studios catalog appeared here,  so let's take the opportunity to add another to the archives. The 1997 DS catalog once again featured an amazing line-up of monster masks, and by now Death Studios had firmly established itself as the premier independent mask maker. Dollar for dollar, you could not find a better mask back in 1997.

Some highlights of the '97 line-up include the wicked Salem's Lot Barlow "Vampyre" sculpted by John Smith. In my humble opinion, this is one of the top 10 scariest monster masks ever created!
Death Studios Vampyre Mask
Another John Smith contribution to the '97 catalog  was the Bark at the Moon inspired "Wolf-Beast"...
Death Studios Wolf-Beast Mask
Yet another killer design from John Smith, the "Were-Rat" was also featured in the 1997 Death Studios catalog. While the catalog photo was impressive, it really doesn't do this amazing mask justice. I saw one in person in '97 at a trip to Death Studios, and I was absolutely blown away seeing it up close!
Death Studios Were-Rat Mask

Jeff Wehenkel's appropriately titled "Pumpkin" remains one of my all-time favorite monster mask designs. There's something so classic about it. I suppose it perfectly sums up what I think of as the essence of Halloween.
Death Studios Pumpkin Mask
Jeff Death's "Stitches" mask is another that must been seen in person to truly appreciate. I was lucky enough to be able to take a long look at the sculpture before it went to the molding room. The detail was absolutely superb, with hand sculpted skin texture that varies across each piece of stitched skin.
The "Flesheater", which also debuted in the '97 line-up, has a very special place in my heart as it was the first mask I sculpted which Jeff Death added to his catalog. For the story and details check out this post.
Of course, there were a good number of other new monster masks in the 1997 catalog. Click on the catalog above for a nice hi-res scan and check them all out for yourself. If you've missed the earlier Death Studios catalog posts check 'em out creep!

1996 Catalog
1995 Catalog
1994 Catalog
1993 Catalog
1992 Catalog
91 & 86 Catalog


  1. Hi Yellow Phantom ~~

    I just received (July 9, 2013) a personal correspondence from San Francisco artist Jeff Wehenkel about the Pumpkin mask he created for Death Studios, which you discuss in relation to the 1997 Death Studios catalog.

    According to Jeff Wehenkel, this Pumpkin mask was originally created as part of a commission he received from the Detroit rock band "Halloween: The Heavy Metal Horror Show" to build a stage show for their 1988 Halloween night concert that was then to be made into a video. And, according to Wehenkel, Nathan (Nate) Pride designed the Pumpkin mask and he then sculpted it. It was a collaborative project. Only five (5) or less of these the original 1988 Pumpkin masks were produced and each one was dated 1988 and marked as having been made by Spare Parts Studio.

    Wehenkel said that he came up with the name Spare Parts Studio from a line delivered in the movie Moontrap, which he worked on as a special-effects artist. The "Spare Parts Studio" name was only used on the special-commissioned Pumpkin masks originally created by Wehenkel and Pride in 1988.

    A year later in 1989, Death Studios purchased the licensing rights from Wehenkel and Pride to produce the Pumpkin mask as part of their catalog inventory. From 1990 until 2012, Death Studios produced this Pumpkin mask under their name. According to Wehenkel, Death Studios has now discontinued the mask and the master mold is being returned to Wehenkel.

    Again, less than five (5) of these 1988 Spare Parts Studio Pumpkin masks were personally designed, sculpted, and produced by Jeff Wehenkel and Nathan Pride!

    To this end, I have one of these original 1988 Pumpkin masks with the Spare Parts Studio label up for sale on e-Bay. Please check it out. Thank you -- Tran Turner

  2. Thanks so much for sharing and passing along a VERY cool story!

    I'll have to do some digging and see if I can track down some info on the band.

    I had no idea that Jeff had briefly worked under the name Spare Parts Studio. Hopefully he will do another release when he gets the master back.