Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Off to the Beach!

I'll be on the beach for the next 5 days down in southern Cali. In an unlucky twist of fate, I'll be coming back home the day before the October Shadows show opens on Sunday.  In any case, no posts 'til next week. In the meantime, sit back with a tall frosty beer-ski, or cocktail of your choice, and check out the archives. Cheers!
Bayshore Zombie replica mask by Aaron Lewis
 Photo from J. Willis' Flickr Photostream Photo by Jackie Alpers,

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Masks of Famous Monsters - Issue #5

Welcome to the fifth installment in The Masks of Famous Monsters Series. Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine was an absolute treasure trove of early mask history. By combing through the 191 issues published between 1958-1983, it's possible to gain a good understanding of the decades of evolution and history of Don Post Studios and Topstone monster masks. The eventual goal of this series is to catalog and archive each monster mask appearance in the pages Famous Monsters.

While issues 1-4 of Famous Monsters introduced several of the classic Topstone characters that would grace the magazine for decades to come. Issue #5, released back in November 1959, offered no new mask ads and the monster mask references were minimal. But, in between the cracks, there is plenty of mask wearing fun to be found!

Some fun lovin' monster kids are pictured in the
"Dear Monster" column on page 6 each wearing a classic Topstones.
On page 53, we see publisher Warren monkeying around with a lovely lady.
A Monster Club Member from page 55 in a Topstone Gorilla
Another from page 56
Issue number 5 winds down with a few ads for some monster hands on page 57. Who doesn't dig a good pair of monster hands? This would be the first appearance of these ads within the pages of Famous Monsters.

Hey Creep- did you miss the other "Masks of Famous Monsters" Series? Check out the other posts in the Masks of Famous Monsters Series:
Masks of FM 1
Masks of FM 2
Masks of FM 3 
Masks of FM 4

Sunday, September 25, 2011

1 Week to October Shadows

The October Shadows show opens up in one week from today on Sunday, October 2nd. This "Celebration of Halloween in Art" will showcase dozens of world class artists and a handful of incredibly talented monster makers including: Rick Baker, Bruce Spaulding Fuller, Mike Hill, Thomas Kuebler, Casey Love, Justin Mabry, Jordu Schell, and others.
 Here is an article I dug up from the 2009 October Shadows that outlines the concept of the show and contains some nice photos of the artists submissions, and of course, monster masks...
"Blasphemy" by Bill Basso
Werewolf and Goon by Jordu Schell
"The Costume" by Jeff Preston

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Work of Cameron Scholes

Check out the Scarecrow's Post write up featuring artist Cameron Scholes' amazing scarecrow masks. Before reading Arcane's post, I was not aware of Mr. Scholes site or work, and WOW, I'm floored. These are the best scarecrow masks I've ever seen. The serial killers are amazing too...
Corn Row Scarecrow by Cameron Scholes
Cannibal Dr. Butcher by Cameron Scholes
Jethro the Scarecrow by Cameron Scholes
Scarecrow Clown by Cameron Scholes
Psycho Sally by Cameron Scholes

More Ani-Motion Mask Videos

I was as giddy as a little kid after picking up the Ani-motion mask that I wrote about on Monday. So,  I thought why not whip up another post about California Costume's other videos showcasing the moveable jaw and snarling lip masks. These things are too damn cool. Check out the wicked Last Laugh Clown...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Don Post Studios Nosferatu Tri-fold

This Don Post Studios tri-fold promotional brochure for the limited collector's edition Nosferatu display was nestled inside the 1979 Don Post Catalog that was posted a few days ago. The brochure itself contains the scoop on this bold studio undertaking and contains some wonderful production shots as well.

It's really a shame that the project didn't do as well as the studio had hoped, who knows what other ghoulish creations the research and development department would have conjured up in this limited collector series format.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

1979 Don Post Studios Catalog

Hey creeps, let's set the bar high for year two of the blog with something good... the Don Post Studios 1979 catalog! I just got this puppy in the mail a few days ago, and it's hot off the scanner.

This catalog does exist online in many places in various low resolution formats. These, however were scanned in glorious high resolution.  The scans here are shrunk down a considerably by Blogger, but I uploaded a nice full-resolution PDF of the whole damn catalog for your viewing pleasure here... 1979 Don Post Catalog Download so you can zoom right in on all the Don Post creations and see them like never before!


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Year Old Today!

The Blood Curdling Blog of Monster Masks is one year old today! Looking back at the 226 posts since last September 20th, it's been a fun, and quick, year.

I had two goals when I started the blog: #1 to share the collection of monster mask related materials I had amassed over the past 15-20 years. #2 to educate myself more about the art and history of monster masks. I still have much to share, and probably even more to learn, so here's to another year of celebrating the art and history of monster masks...
Photo from J. Willis' Flickr Photostream Photo by Jackie Alpers

Also, I wanted to throw out a big thanks to everyone who checks out the blog. A mere 20 visitors stumbled across this blog last September. During this past month of September 2011, more than 6,490 creeps have dropped by. It's great to know that so many folks share the love of monster masks! Thanks again, I'm looking forward to another year of monster mask goodness.

Monday, September 19, 2011

First Visit to Spirit in 2011

My wife (Mrs. Phantom) and I made our first trip to a Spirit store for the season yesterday evening. While I rarely pick up anything from any of the Halloween big box stores, it's always fun to venture in for the first time and remind myself that the season is upon us.

Much to our surprise, we actually had a lot of fun in the monster mask section! What first caught my eye was the Animotion Masks. While I think these came out last year, they were new to me. I grabbed a Night Stalker to investigate and quickly learned that this mask featured opening mouth and snarling lips motion. So we scanned the QR code which brought up this video on Mrs. Phantom's  phone...

This thing was too cool. I had to bring it home. After getting it home and trying the Night Stalker on, I was surprised at how well it works once it loosens up a bit. The mask comes with a removable hood and foam pads for making fitting adjustments. My only critical comment is that the moveable jaw mechanism tends to pinch my cheeks after a few movements. Here is a photo of the Night Stalker I took home...

We were also surprised by the number of hard plastic vacu-form masks. There were a good number of characters, but the clowns and skulls were super creepy when worn. So we ended up grabbing one each. For $3.99, you can't go wrong.  Especially for the quick and convenient costume options these offer...
All in all it was a fun stop yesterday. I definitely didn't expect to come home with any masks, but I'm happy to say we did!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Cinema Secrets 2007 Catalog

In my humble opinion, Cinema Secrets held the title of best mass-produced mask maker during the mid 90's. While this catalog is perhaps a decade past those glory days,  the mask line-up was still among the very best quality you could find on a store shelf.

The full catalog is over 190 pages, most of which are dedicated to costumes and woochie appliances,  but this post features the Walk-Arounds,  Mask Kit Gallery, Mask Gallery, and Props Gallery portions of the catalog...