Monday, February 20, 2012

Fangoria February - Strange Halloween Masks!

Fangoria February is a month long celebration dedicated to the grooviest horror movie magazine ever created... FANGORIA!

Deciding what to write about is not always as easy as it seems. A lot of times I find things that seem interesting but when I actually sit down and start typing, just sort of fall flat. This is not one of those times. As a matter of fact, this could turn out to be one of my favorite posts I have ever done. You see what we have here is an entire full page spread selling some sort of cheap sort of generic Halloween masks. "Spectacular over-the-head nu-skin masks, with plush hair!" would be the exact description

What is nu-skin you ask? I have no idea but I can almost guarantee you it is some made up marketing term that someone created to better sell you on the idea of purchasing these really dorky looking Halloween masks. And boy oh boy what a collection of masks do we have to look at today. I have nothing against most masks sold today, but they tend to lack a certain charm. These Fangoria masks are plenty cheap and all around generic but in a way not seen in today's market. This is a post that I could have saved for the 2012 Halloween Countdown... but what the heck lets do it now for Fangoria February!
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#1 VIKING: Doesn't really strike me as much of a Viking. I think he looks more like a wild caveman. Could it be that we are looking at the original Geico Caveman? Will he have the roast duck with the mango salsa? I sure hope so! I really enjoy the goody expression on his face and the war paint under his eyes. There is a really odd bird-like quality to this mask that I cannot quite place my finger on. This mask is hybrid Viking Caveman Bird... from Mars. That sounds like a film written and directed by Rob Zombie.

#2 PRICKLE PUSS: I have no idea what the hell this mask is supposed to be but I do know that Ed Wood would be proud as hell to own one. OK where do even begin with this one. It sort of looks like a puffer fish only with hair and the most bizarre lips you could possibly imagine. Then we have the eyes, which resemble orange pool balls. Holy cow I really like this mask. Realizing that its early on in this post I think I am ready to declare Pickle Puss the winner and quite frankly the greatest Halloween mask ever created!

#3 FANG FACE: Is sort of a generic looking mask amongst many generic looking masks. Not a good sign. I feel like we have all seen masks with this exact same theme being sold in stores year after year after year. Generic black hood? Check. Generic open mouth? Check. Generic white/blue skin? Check. I can pass without owning Fang Face... but I really like that name. Fang Face sounds like an insult I would have came up with in the 4th grade to taunt some other kids during recess and it is quite frankly an awesome name for a Halloween Mask. (most) Companies simply do not put forth the time or effort to name things creatively like this anymore, here in 2012 it would simply be "Vampire Ghoul #483" or something equally uninspiring.

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#4 PHANTOM: Sometimes to much of a good thing results in this Phantom mask, which has a bit more going on for it than it probably should. Judging by the name I believe it is supposed to be some generic, unlicensed version of the 'Phantom of the Opera' Which I suppose if you super glued that films iconic half mask over top of this one and then squinted really hard... and supposing you have never actually seen the film, yea you might have something close to that. To me it looks more like a zombie version of Doc Brown from the 'Back to the Future' films. Which sounds much cooler the way I typed it than Phantom actually looks. This is not the worst mask of the bunch but its also no Prickle Puss... just sort a middle of the pack Halloween mask. 

#5 FANATIC: I must be missing something here because I totally do not "get" this mask. Realizing that not every one of these Halloween masks has to have some sort of elaborate story or theme behind them... I still don't like it. Lets start with the name, Fanatic; That just does not work for me. Fanatic of what? Perhaps they could have taken this mask one step further and called it the Canniable Fanatic and made it up to look like one of those generic canniable people you sometime see in films. The ones with the long hair, face paint, and the bone through the nose. That would have been a great mask. Instead we get this one. A bottom of the barrel 'fanatic' that I can totally pass up owning.

#6 DEVIL: No mask collection is complete with out at least one devil mask. I've seen better devil masks but I have also seen lots that are far worse. For the price that you are spending, this is not that bad of a purchase. I enjoy the deep black sunken sockets around the eyes and the way the hair sort of fades from black to white. You can tell that some TLC went into creating this mask and that is often times the difference between a good generic mask and a crappy generic mask.

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#7 STONE AGE CREATURE: Filling the 'what the fuck is that supposed to be' quota of any cheap mask collection, we have the seventh mask in our collection the Stone Age Creature. Which sort of looks like an oriental Chinese island tiki mask with a fu manchu mustache. I am not sure if that last statement is racist or not. I cannot decide if I like this one or not. Its unique and really bizarre looking but maybe not in a good way. I just cannot shake the feeling that the actual Stone Age Creature mask would probably fall apart fifteen minutes after you put it on. I appreciate how strange of a design this mask has but can honestly say that it is not one of my favorites in the set.

#8 GHOULISH: And then we have the eighth mask in the set, Ghoulish. Everything about this particular mask is wrong. From the weird cockeyed eyes, the bizarre facial expression, the neanderthal-ish eyebrow line. It has an over-sized hood and a really slender looking undersized face. It almost seems like Ghoulish was made up with the leftover parts from like five or six different masks. Yet somehow it manages to look so bad that it kind of works. But only in that slightly charming crappy Halloween mask kind of way.
 
#9 SILVER WOLF: Just like the generic devil mask a generic werewolf always seems to pop up in these mask collections. Its a little tough to see in the photograph  but the face isn't really that detailed except for the eyes, but I have a feeling that those have been doctored to look better for the magazine add. Otherwise, I like the bloody mouth and the transitional hair line. A good werewolf mask is always tough to pull off, especially when your trying to do one on a budget. I feel like they did the best they could with what they had to work with. I wouldn't be ashamed to own this one.

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#10 GORILLA: The generic gorilla mask always seems to exist in the same line that has the generic werewolf mask. This is probably because its fairly easy for the company that makes these things to use leftover materials from one and turn them into the other. It is kind of a crappy looking gorilla mask, but ultimately because it is so cheap it is going to get a pass as well. In large part because it does vaguely remind me of Beast Man from 'The Masters of the Universe' lore.  To bad there is no generic Skeletor mask here!

#11 HENCHMAN: Jackpot. This is the greatest crappy Halloween mask I think I have ever seen! They call him the Henchman but he is very clearly an extremely shocked and appalled executioner. Almost as if he cut off someones head and out spilled a bunch of Tootsie Rolls, which would indeed be quite an odd appearance. All the other masks in this set very in quality but this one is hands down the bottom of the barrel worst. For starters, I would bet my house that it is only half a mask (the bottom half) with a generic black hood that's been loosely glued to the top. Meaning that there is no possible way that it is ever going to fit a normal humans face. None of this matters because Henchman is so poorly conceived and badly designed that is actually one of my favorite Halloween masks ever. God bless this Henchman mask and god bless Fangora for these eleven masks!

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