Oscar-winning makeup effects artist Christopher Nelson had a tall order when he was brought on board David Gordon Green’s Halloween, as it was Nelson who was tasked with designing a new Michael Myers mask. Or, more accurately, an *old* Myers mask, as Nelson had to depict what the mask from the ’78 film would look like today.
Yes, Michael finds and wears the same mask in this year’s film that he wore in John Carpenter’s original, so Nelson had to create a new mask that looked 40-years-old.
Nelson recently explained to Halloween Daily News, “The film takes place 40 years later, so you’re not going to have that same mask, it’s not going to be this pristine, beautiful thing that it was in 1978. You have to approach it from that standpoint. I had 40-year-old masks that I studied and looked at how they broke down, how they wrinkled, how they did this and how they did that. I also took into account the context of the film. Where is the mask now and where has it been for these 40 years? Without revealing anything, I took that into context. I had hundreds of photos and books.”
With the poster reveal last week, we now know what Nelson’s Myers mask looks like, but how does it compare to the actual William Shatner mask that was worn by Nick Castle for the original Halloween? As you may recall, an image of the mask as it appears today recently surfaced, so we wanted to put the two masks side-by-side for comparison.
Mark Roberts is the man who has been in possession of that original, screen-used hero mask since 2003, and fellow fan Benjamin Hall recently interviewed him for Michael-Myers.net. In addition to sharing an image of the mask, the first that we’ve seen since way back in 2003, Roberts also shared some insights into the mask’s history.
“I have been building and running haunts for the last 26 years. About 20 years ago I got in contact with an agent who represented Dick Warlock and asked about booking Dick for an appearance at my haunt,” Roberts recalled the story of how he came into possession of the mask. “So I set up to have Dick at the haunt and his agent said he had the mask and costume from the movie and would wear it at the appearance. When Dick came to the haunt, he was mad at his agent because he said he does not wear the costume for appearances. He did tell me that he still had the costume, boots, mask, butcher knife and scalpel and that he would sell it; he just didn’t bring them out for appearances.”
He continued, “Dick was great with the haunted house customers and hanging out with Dick and Cathy for the weekend was a lot of fun and it went so well we set it up for him to come back the next year. I’m not sure if it was after the 1st or second year but I called Dick up and we made a deal for me to purchase the mask, costume, boots, scalpel and knife. My wife and I went to Dick’s house and picked up the mask and costume. It really is amazing that Dick thought to keep that stuff and take care of it; when I went to pick it up, he had kept the mask stored in a Elvis Presley tin container.”
Roberts, who has not yet had the mask restored in any way, said he preserves his holy grail by keeping it in an air tight container that is climate controlled and in the dark.
Check out how ’78 and ’18 compare, and keep in mind that the mask Nelson designed was intentionally made to look like it *hadn’t* been well preserved over the years!