Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Halloween Mask Madness: Part III!

   Having reviewed 26 masks already, it's time to review another thirteen, for a terrifying 39!


   We've seen some other insect masks and a whole look at giant fly masks alone, but this is one of the very few I've seen with a pure arachnid look. The long, grey hair gives it an interestingly human touch, and I really dig how the chelicerae look a bit "fleshy," like this more of a human-spider hybrid. The eyes, of course, are the best part, each pair offering a slightly different mood. I'm glad the largest, most prominent eyes are just bulging, expressionless circles, which, to me, is both the coolest and cutest thing about real spider eyes.

"Psycho Swine"

   I mentioned how damn disturbing pigs were in our first mask review, and everything I said there still applies here, though this is more like a severed pig's head someone crudely fashioned into a mask. Its more cartoonish proportions are their own brand of freaky, though I think it might just look exceptionally nightmarish in the photo thanks to how wide-eyed and panicked the wearer looks. It's like he didn't even know they wanted him to model a rubber pig's head.

And, of course, they didn't. He got the wrong address. He has no idea who these people are and why they're making him wear this in a blank, blindingly white room with only one heavily locked exit.

"Alien Cyclops"

   I also mentioned earlier how much I love grotesque, deformed cyclopsuses, and this is another great one, albeit less amusing and more malicious looking. The arrangement of all those wrinkles and folds makes me want to think this monster's face could just sort of "close up," completely hiding the mouth and even the eye, perhaps appearing completely smooth and featureless until it gets nice and close.

"Gas Mask"

   What was I saying last time? Something about an atomic mutant fusing with their gas mask? Sadly, this mask doesn't appear to be sold anymore, and I really should have bought one when I had the chance. This thing is just beautiful. Such a simple, almost conventional "alien" face, but that air filter twisting out of its mouth area makes a world of difference. I can so easily see it twitching and snuffling about like an exaggerated pig-snout while the rest of the being - probably a thin, bony and sickly thing - remains relatively rigid, scurrying in short spider-like bursts over the rubble of a poisoned world, sniffing out whatever the hell it is that such a creature can "eat."

Maybe it just feeds through its other end.


   We've seen a scarecrow with an eerily cute personality, a demonic bloody hell-scarecrow, and now a totally blank, emotionless, minimalistic specimen I like just as much, and in fact find a little bit scarier than either of them. It's best, of course, if nobody can see your eyes and mouth through those black holes, though it might also be interesting to stick custom facial features in there; especially a set of teeth, like a pair of old dentures. Bonus points for putting them in sideways or in an eye socket...or heck, cram teeth into all those holes! All of them! Even the ones in the mask!

"Mad Cow"

   This is so, so much more horrific than necessary. It's not even the way the wearer peers out of rotten, ragged pink holes torn in the cow's face, but the perfectly normal, innocent cow-eyes just above them that give it such an abstract appearance. No need to modify anything, and your costume seriously doesn't matter, because people are just going to be staring at your face the whole time anyway, likely pissing themselves depending on their age and/or level of intoxication. A great one for ambushing the drug-addled all year round, if the hilarity would be worth the risk of getting stabbed to death.

"Eye Sore"

   Unusual, to say the least. A name like "Eye Sore" is usually reserved for a monster with extremely huge and/or extremely plentiful oculars, but this thing just has kinda big eyes, like a pug dog. In fact, almost everything about it is like a pug dog, except for its hairless flesh, lack of ears and unnaturally wide moouth, filled with tiny, nasty teeth and a set of almost insectile fangs in the back of its throat. What the hell are we looking at, here? I love it. This kind of nonspecific originality is what makes Halloween masks so awesome. Hey, maybe it's called "Eye Sore" because it eats eyes? It looks like its mouth can stretch open pretty far, so maybe it engulfs your whole head and digs your eyeballs out with its little throat-hooks!


   This isn't too terribly different from the "Infested" mask last round, but it's a much more comical, cartoon-like mask and I find the parasite itself a little more charming, with its perfectly round little mosquito-eyes and what are either multiple flesh-drilling tentacles or a single very long proboscis! In any case, though, I really wish you could buy just a parasitic bug prop like this. You can find Half Life Head-Crab hats and a wide array of Alien Facehugger props around the internet, but I'd like to see some original rubber brain-bugs you could combine with any costume you like. Get on it, guys!


   Undead pirates are kind of a dime a dozen these days, but I really appreciate how this one is being devoured by a horde of such darling little crabs. They look so sweet and innocent as they casually plunge their claws into an animate corpse, and it's hard to tell whether or not he really cares. You can easily take this expression as a "YARR! SOMEONE HELP ME WITH THESE SCURVY SEA-DEVILS! ME ARMS WERE CHEWED OFF BY THE KRAKEN, THEY WAS!" but it's equally easy to read "YARR! WHAT'RE YE STARIN' AT?! THESE BE THE LATEST FASHION, THEY IS! ALSO, I'MA GUNNA FEED YER ARMS TO THE KRAKEN!"


"Spider Clown"

   Another spider-based mask, though here the Aranean elements are much more subtle, and rather fascinatingly so. I might not have guessed it was spider-based without the Black Widow nose, but it certainly gives me some sort of venomous arthropod impression. The eyes are simply gorgeous, too, an amazing color choice both for the orbs themselves and their heavy, fleshy lids. Of course, any combination of a clown and a spider makes me think of Stephen King's It, and I could easily accept this as some transitional form of Pennywise.


   I know what you're thinking: why would I include a completely mundane, life-like, adorable panda bear mask? I guess I'm just really impressed that somebody finally knows what they're supposed to look like. Unfortunately, I don't think the same visionary included the matching ink sacs or illicium to complete the illusion, but some water balloons and a baby doll would work well enough in a pinch.


   W...what?! WHAT? WHY!? WHAT IS THIS!? I'm pretty there's only one person in the world horrified enough by corn for this to make sense as a Halloween mask, and he's writing this article. I can't abide corn. On the cob, off the cob, it doesn't matter; everything about the smell, texture, shape and color of fresh, cooked and unpopped corn is abhorrent to me, not to mention how it passes seemingly unharmed through the digestive system, how sweet and delicious cane sugar has been replaced in countless foods with sticky, plastic-tasting corn-dribblings, how cheap corn filler is ruining the digestive systems of humans and domestic animals alike, or how corn monoculture is hell on the evironment and would be all the more devastating if the corn-lobby scumbags successfully convinced the world to use it as a primary fuel source.

At long last, through a humble Halloween prop, the true face of the buttery devil has been revealed for all the world. Forget Ernest's Peanut Butter Covered Tongue or Evil Kool Aid Man, THIS is the form of my ultimate nemesis.