The Halloween franchise is perhaps best remembered for its most recurring villain – The Shape, aka Michael Myers. The character is normally portrayed as the epitome of evil, and one of the best ways of getting that concept across to the audience is with his iconic mask. As fans of the franchise likely already know, Michael Myers first dons the iconic white mask in the original 1978 Halloween. Once he appeared on screen in his proper full attire, a cinematic icon was born. But where exactly did the mask come from?
Originally, the prop department had to locate the perfect mask for Michael Myers. Without putting too much thought into it, they chose a Captain Kirk mask based on actor William Shatner and painted it white. Interestingly, the mask had actually been made from a cast of William Shatner’s face that was used in another horror film – The Devil’s Rain from 1975. As such, it seems that Shatner’s face was always destined to become an iconic piece of the horror genre.
In any case, Michael Myers’ mask turned out to be one of the most successful elements of Halloween. Audiences were obviously terrified by Michael Myers’ emotionless gaze, and it became a trademark of the character for years to come. However, only the 1981 film Halloween 2 managed to use the original William Shatner mask. While Nick Castle played Michael Myers for most of the original Halloween, he was replaced by Dick Warlock for the sequel. As such, the mask tends to have a slightly different look than it did in 1978 – but rest assured, it is the same exact mask.
Michael Myers was written out of the franchise with the next installment, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, and then written back for Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers. By this point, however, the original mask was replaced. In fact, each subsequent installment continued to introduce new and different masks, each attempting to recapture the success that the Shatner mask provided in 1978.
At the same time, actor Dick Warlock actually managed to keep his costume from Halloween 2. This included the original William Shatner mask. At one point, the current owner of the mask – a man named Mark Roberts – managed to book Dick Warlock to appear at a haunt he’d built. He eventually became good friends with Dick Warlock and managed to buy not just the original mask off him, but also the costume, boots, scalpel, and knife that were all used in Halloween 2.
Unfortunately, the materials that were used to create the mask way back when have somewhat deteriorated over the years. So the mask isn’t in perfect condition. But that being said, it’s great to see that the mask still exists at all – and it could always look worse. All things considered, it’s quite the history for a little Captain Kirk mask that was purchased from a costume store several decades ago.