Written by Jonathan Wojcik
Updates are a little sluggish right now, since I'm currently in the midst of my yearly Maryland visit. It's where I spent most of the first 23 years of my life, and it's still the most attractive state I've ever seen in person. We've eaten many foods and collected many invertebrates unavailable in sandy, nasty Palm Bay, Florida, and we haven't even gotten around to our biggest plans, some of which may provide a little fuel for more Halloweeny fun.
Few things are more fun than crab stuffed mushrooms, though.
Unfortunately, Halloween is already demonstrating its very driest year to date. Even our old reliable Walgreens, Petco, Ross and Party City are taking their sweet-ass time getting the plastic ghosts onto shelves. Most retailers are still in full-blown "back to school" season, the exact polar opposite of anything as fun as Halloween.
So, since I still don't have any rad new garbage of my own to share, here's a thing about Fly Masks, and we're going to let Dr. Bug from Zombies Ate my Neighbors give his personal rating.
Flies are consistently my favorite animals, and by extension, my favorite monsters. Not a day goes by that I'm not thankful they inspired a horror story successful enough to generate a steady stream of imitations throughout popular culture. "Buzz" here is a classic offering by Full Moon Masks, and one of the most anatomically correct full-head fly mask I'm aware of. If you only own one rubber mask of a giant fly, I'd probably recommend this one first.
Full Moon is even cool enough to manufacture matching claws for Buzz, beautiful arthropod gloves that do a great job turning the details of an insect's tarsi into something human hands can wear.
Now, this "half mask" features some cool anatomical details that Buzz skimps out on, like those two overlapping rows of cranial setae that look so beautifully like giant stitches on the real animal, but this alternate Full Moon creation is only a half mask; a flat, backless strap-on face. If it came fully three dimensional, I'd probably favor it a little over Buzz any day.
I'm not sure where this more "alien" looking fly originates, but I've owned a copy of it since childhood. Mine is a cheaper molding job, more gumdrop-shaped, with paler matte painting, glued-on fur and tentacles fused together with the neck, but it's incredibly large, resting on your shoulders while you look out the nostrils. It was the first Halloween mask I was ever really, really excited to own as a kid, though I remember lacking any thematic ideas for the rest of the costume, recycling a black robe and a gnarled stick with real animal skulls tied all over it. I don't know what I was supposed to be, but I thought I looked pretty bad-ass.
I can't find any pictures of this one online, and I don't have it handy to photograph myself, but I do own it and here's a picture of our friend wearing it like six years ago. It's another fairly realistic one, even if it smooths out a lot of details. It's a whole lot closer to the face of a biting horsefly than a housefly, with more knife-like mouth parts than a sucking, sponging setup. This was the cheapest fly mask I could find back in 2002, and it's never been very good at holding its shape.
This mask seems to fetch a pretty steep price when you can find it at all, but it seems fairly worth it if you can handle sweat cascading from your neck region and down your shirt - or if you just want a cool display piece, that works too. It's a much more "fanciful" fly, inventing its own unnatural but fairly cool trumpet-like mouth. The eyes are also very nice and you can presumably see out of them. The whole thing looks a lot like an organic gas mask, which is always a good thing to resemble.
Far from the usual genetic hybrid or molecular mix-up, this one opts for an evenly and gruesomely "split" human and fly face, almost as though the fly half is growing and tearing its way out rather unevenly. Other than fairly cool image, though, the design of the insectoid half is a bit minimalist.
This seems to be the very newest fly mask on the market, and it's special in a lot of ways. It appears closely merged with a human head, retaining upper teeth and ghastly gums while the tongue has twisted into a sucking proboscis. I like how it still has a tiny, humanoid nose and how the holes just under its antennae come across as little sad eye sockets. Maybe a little more dramatic and fearsome for my kind of fly-monster, but a pretty striking and memorable piece.
Easily one of the coolest, this mask absurdly exaggerates the mouth parts of a fly into some weird nematode-like worm-tongue, with vicious little fangs nestled between fleshy, Freudian flesh-petals. The rest of the fly head is rather average, but the proboscis more than makes up for it.
Finally, we have this MAGNIFICENT mosquito mask, which counts because mosquitoes also belong to the order Diptera. I don't know if this was a one-off creation or just incredibly rare, because this lone specimen only showed up on Ebay back in 2007 for an exorbitant amount of money and I've never seen one since. You're lucky I'm the kind of person who will save a picture of a rubber mosquito head and carefully hang onto it, from one computer to the next, for the better part of a decade, or you would never even know that something this cool ever existed. Everything about it is just gorgeous, especially how uncannily human it looks. I just love those sad, pleading eyes and how the face is just melting off into a blood-sucking organic sawblade. It also looks amazingly similar to a fish called a long-nosed Chimaera. Maybe it's a hybrid of all three.
I hope you have enjoyed this brief foray into rubber bug heads you can put on your inferior people heads. Trust me, you're gonna need one of your own if you expect to blend in with the new world order.