The Truth Behind The Michael Myers "Halloween" Mask
One of film's most iconic villains has a delightful backstory.
A quick bit of housekeeping: I’ve learned that some folks may not have received last week’s Fun Fact Friyay. This is almost certainly due to user error on my end, but I still feel distressed about it.
So, if you missed it, my sincere apologies! Catch up on the madness here.
Now, onto today’s fact!
In the Halloween movies, Michael Myers is wearing a William Shatner mask that cost $1.98.
Halloween is perhaps the most popular scary movie franchise out there. In fact, it’s often classified as a “slasher media” franchise because it’s evolved even beyond films (though we’ve still had 13 movies since 1978).
The series primarily follows Michael Myers, a man often wielding a knife while wearing a creepy mask. There’s more to his character than that, but those are the crucial elements for this story.
That creepy mask is William Shatner’s face, as Captain Kirk from Star Trek, purchased from a shop for less than $2.
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The New York Times did a fun 40-year retrospective on the franchise in 2018. They spoke with Nick Castle, who played Michael Myers.
The production designer Tommy Lee Wallace went to Bert Wheeler’s magic shop on Hollywood Boulevard to buy a mask for Michael. He came back with two: a clown mask and one of William Shatner as Captain Kirk on “Star Trek.”
As Castle puts it:
“Tommy came in with the clown mask on, and we went, ‘Ooh, that’s kind of scary.’ Then he put on the Shatner mask, and we stopped dead and said, ‘It’s perfect.’”
To add to this, Rick Sternbach was a designer/illustrator on several Star Trek films. He was also hired as an illustrator for the 1981 film Halloween II, which thankfully didn’t add a subtitle like “Bigger and Halloweenier.”
Sternbach made a discovery while working on the film and shared the origin story in a Facebook post.
In a supply cabinet at Pumpkin Pie Productions, we had one mask left from the original Halloween, and no idea where to get any others for the sequel. It appeared that we'd need to go check out some of the toys stores and such, but I noticed that there was some wording molded into the neck area. There was a model number, and ‘Don Post Studios.’ I made a call, read off the model number, and the word came back ‘It's our Captain Kirk mask.’ I asked if we could buy a number of them, and was told ‘We'll give you a box, just give us credit.’ With that, I turned the official dealings over to the higher-ups.
Try to read that last paragraph in Captain Kirk’s voice, and you’ll be here until after Halloween, with all the dramatic pauses.
Speaking of Halloween, since the holiday is right around the corner, here’s a bonus fact from CandyStore.com, which has kept tabs on candy sales since 2007:
Americans’ most-purchased candy is Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
Okay, that part isn’t so surprising. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are awesome. And M&Ms at second place isn’t that bad. But third place is where things get really out of control:
Hot Tamales are the third-most purchased candies.
I’m blown away. Maybe it’s because I don’t want my candy (or my drinks, for that matter) to be spicy. But also, there are so many other non-good chocolate candies out there. Hot Tamales are still better than candy corn, but so is literally anything else in the world. I’m amazed a seemingly more common candy like Skittles or Starburst isn’t ahead of Hot Tamales.
Anyway, I hope you get all of your favorite candy, whether you dress up for the occasion or not. Happy Halloween!
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