Topic: Halloween: The Many Faces of Michael Myers, Part 8
Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007)
Shattering the record for the number of different masks seen on-screen in a Halloween film (first set by Halloween 4), Zombie's reboot has so many masks that a single collage featuring all of them would take up half a page. So I've opted instead to break them down according to the film's timeline, starting with...
TIMELINE 1: YOUNG MICHAEL
1. The clown mask, worn by Michael during the opening of the film, when he kills the bully after school, and when he kills his stepfather and Judith's boyfriend. An authentic '70s plastic clown mask Zombie and company purchased from ebay, duplicates had to be made because the original was fragile and brittle.
2. The "clean hero" mask, sculpted by Wayne Toth from a headcast of The Shape actor Tyler Mane. Young Michael would wear this mask only once, during the sequence where he kills his sister Judith. Very few copies of the "clean hero" were needed, as it's only used for the space of a few minutes in the film.
TIMELINE 2: THE ASYLUM
The series of masks Young Michael creates during his stint in the insane asylum while under Dr. Loomis' care. These masks were all created by the prop and costume departments. Most are paper mache atop either cardboard or a thin plastic base to maintain their shape during filming.
A series of masks seen on grainy black and white film during Dr. Loomis' voice-overs, depicting Michael falling further and further into insanity.
The mask Young Michael wears when he kills the nurse in the cafeteria. This would be the last time we see a masked Young Michael in the film.
Worn by the now-adult Michael when Dr. Loomis informs him he will no longer be Michael's doctor.
Escape Mask (aka The Pumpkin Mask)
The mask worn by the now-adult Michael Myers when he escapes from the asylum. The mask looks like paper mache but is actually latex, painstakingly sculpted by Wayne Toth and set atop a rigid latex bass. Multiple copies were made due to the sequence in which it appears being lengthy and stunt-heavy.
TIMELINE 3: BACK IN HADDONFIELD
1. Referred to by fans as the "buried" mask or "the artifact" mask, this is an aged version of the "clean hero" mask Michael digs up from the floorboards of his childhood home upon his return to Haddonfield, and is worn by The Shape during the remainder of the film. A new sculpt made from a clay mold of Shape actor Tyler Mane's original headcast, copies were produced which Toth hand-painted individually, sans a template. To prevent Mane from having to wear his long-haired wig under the mask, hair extensions were glued onto the inside of the mask itself around the neck, and a terrycloth towel was glued to the inside of the brow to soak up perspiration.
2. In an homage to a similar scene from Carpenter's original, The Shape at one point appears in the classic "sheet ghost" outfit. The homage was so specific that it even utilized the same style of eye glasses seen in the original.
(NOTE: This still isn't ALL the masks seen on-screen in the film. Adult Michael's cell is covered with all the different masks he's made over the years; I lost count but there looks to be at least thirty or forty unique masks hanging about the room. I considered providing a screen-cap but in order to see the masks in any kind of real detail would require a photo so large that it would double the width of this web page, so instead I encourage you to watch the film and freeze frame to see the masks for yourself.)
Eleven-years-old when filming began, Daeg Faerch had appeared in a handful of films prior to Zombie's reboot but had never seen a Halloween film, and had never even heard of Michael Myers. When asked what the experience of playing young Michael was like, Faerch claimed it was "really, really fun," gushed over being allowed to use the F-word repeatedly, and blushed over a behind-the-scenes kiss from Lori Strode actor Scout Taylor Compton. Interestingly, though Faerch did most of his own stunts in the film (including the assault on the bully in the forest), a short, female stand-in was used during the sequence where Young Michael, wearing the "clean hero" mask, assaults his topless sister (I guess it's okay for an eleven-year-old to scream "fuck" countless times but ya gotta draw then line when it comes to boobs). Faerch has been busy since his Halloween days, appearing in a number of films as well as a surprising amount of Shakespearian theater.
Adult Michael/The Shape
Tyler Mane, a 6"9" former pro wrestler, had appeared in a small number of bit roles following his retirement from the sport in 1996. But it wasn't until he appeared as Sabretooth in Brian Singer's 2000 big screen adapation of the X-Men that he gained any kind of real recognition as an actor. From that point on his bit roles turned into more recognizable supporting roles, until he landed a part in Zombie's previous film, The Devil's Rejects. Appearing for only a handful of moments in that film's opening, Mane left enough of an impression on Zombie that the filmmaker requested him personally to portray The Shape in his remake. The job wasn't easy; the mask and outfit were a constant point of discomfort, and Mane found it difficult having to perform using only his eyes and body language. But to aid in his portrayal, he sat down and watched the entire Halloween series (not counting the Shape-less part 3), paying especially close attention to the original (much like Resurrection's Shape actor, Brad Loree). Mane would return for Zombie's Halloween sequel two years later, making him one of only two actors to play The Shape twice, and the only one to do so in consecutive films.
Others who wore the mask:
Steve (Adam Weisman), the first character to wear an actual Shape mask in the film, does so while in bed with Michael's sister Judith. Moments later, Young Michael brains him with an aluminum baseball bat and takes the mask for himself. Weisman, an actor, comedian and mortician(!) has only appeared in a small handful of roles since '07, though word has it he's very active on Twitter.
And that wraps up part 8. One more to go!