‘Heroes’ Of Horror

Horror is the only genre where the bad guy is, effectively, the main character, as likely to return for the next instalment as James Bond — even if they get killed off! So, with several iconic horror-movie items in our upcoming Entertainment Memorabilia Live Auction, from Jason Voorhees’ hockey mask to Freddy Krueger’s glove, here’s a delve into four of the genre’s greatest monsters…


As seen in: The Halloween series (1978-2022)



The Inspiration: John Carpenter, the director and co-writer of the original Halloween, intended slasher-stalker Michael Myers to be an unknowable, unexplainable, unstoppable force of evil; “a force of nature.” As described by Donald Pleasance’s Dr Loomis, Myers has “no reason, no conscience,” with “this blank, pale emotionless face”. Carpenter was inspired, in part, by his memory of one young patient at a Kentucky mental institution he visited on a class trip. It’s telling that in the end credits for the first film, this killer isn’t even named; he’s simply referred to as “The Shape”.


HALLOWEEN: RESURRECTION (2002) – Michael Myers’ (Brad Loree) Mask


The Look: Myers dresses practically for mass murder; he’s typically seen stalking in a nondescript boiler suit. But his terrifying blankness is iconically captured in his mask: a simple, pale face with a neutral expression, rather than a snarl or smile. Famously, this is actually the face of William Shatner, aka Captain Kirk. The original mask was found in a Hollywood Blvd. magic shop, having been manufactured by Don Post Studios based on a cast taken of Shatner’s face for bizarre, satanic B-horror The Devil’s Rain three years earlier. Every mask since has kept the former TJ Hooker’s features, though sadly the man himself has yet to cameo in a Halloween picture.



The Legacy: After 43 years and 11 movies (including remakes and the upcoming Halloween Kills but skipping Halloween III: Season of the Witch, which isn’t about Myers), Myers has lost no knife-wielding momentum and remains one of horror’s most effective and enduring monsters. He truly is unstoppable.




As seen in: The Friday The 13th series (1980-2009)



The Inspiration: Jason Voorhees is not a horror villain who appeared fully (de)formed, like the others here. It took him time to evolve into the instantly recognisable figure he is today; indeed, he wasn’t even the main antagonist of Sean S. Cunningham’s original 1980 slasher Friday The 13th – that was his mother – though he did appear as a monstrous child (makeup designed by Tom Savini) leaping out of the lake for the shock ending. The name Jason comes from the two sons of writer Victor Miller: Josh and Ian, while Voorhees was the surname of a girl Miller knew at school.




The Look: Even when the adult Jason was introduced for Friday the 13th Part 2 (1981), he didn’t yet look like the Jason we all know; he operated with a burlap sack over his head. It wasn’t until Part III in 1982 that he obscured his hideous features with his trademark hockey mask – a Detroit Red Wings mask, with its notable blood-red arrowhead markings. Like Michael Myers’ Shatner mask, this works primarily because it’s expressionless, leaving your imagination running wild as to what kind of awful visage lies beneath.



The Legacy: Jason’s returned for 10 sequels (including Ronny Yu’s Freddy Vs. Jason and one reboot), and since his hockey-mask makeover has become a Halloween costume favourite the world over. Nothing says “unhinged killer” like that single piece of sports attire.




As seen in: The A Nightmare on Elm Street series (1984-2010)



The Inspiration: Dream-stalking child killer Freddy Krueger (played by Robert Englund in the original series) coalesced in the mind of his creator Wes Craven from a number of sources: a kid who’d bullied Craven at school; an aggressive stranger with a scarred face who’d traumatized Craven as a 12-year-old; and the 1976 song “Dream Weaver” by Gary Wright (“Ooh dream weaver / I believe you can get me through the night”). Englund, meanwhile, revealed that his performance was heavily influenced by the actor James Cagney, along with Lon Chaney and Klaus Kinski’s Dracula in Werner Herzog’s Nosferatu the Vampyre.


WES CRAVEN’S NEW NIGHTMARE (1994) – Freddy Krueger’s (Robert Englund) Sweater


The Look: There’s no mask for this killer: his fire-ravaged features are on display for all to see, while his working-class roots are reflected in his striped jumper and battered fedora. Unlike Michael and Jason, who both use everyday objects to kill, maim and slaughter, Freddy fashioned his own, unique instrument of agony: his razor-fingered glove. Craven wanted this to give a sense of an animal’s claws, to tap into his audience’s primal fears, while special effects designer Jim Doyle fashioned the glove to look like something Krueger himself could feasibly construct in his boiler-room workshop.



The Legacy: The role of Freddy made Englund an international celebrity, while the character has appeared in videogames (such as 2011’s Mortal Kombat) and even a theme-park ride, as well as his numerous returns to the big-screen across the nine-movie series. His popularity extends far beyond genre fans; the American Film Institute, named him the 40th greatest villain of all time (placing him between Cruella De Vil and Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest.)




As seen in: The Hellraiser series (1987-2018)

The Inspiration: The sado-masochistic demon-lord who leads the soul-tormenting Cenobites in Clive Barker’s Hellraiser and its sequels was unnamed in the original script, though early drafts described him as “The Priest”. Pinhead was actually a nickname he was given by the film crew during production, which caught on for obvious reasons. When advising actor Doug Bradley on how to approach the character, Barker described him as “a cross between an administrator and a surgeon”.



The Look: Barker’s main inspiration for Pinhead’s distinctive, distressing style came from some African fetish sculptures he discovered, while he also took much from time spent in New York S&M clubs. The grid-sliced, nailed-head make-up took around six hours to apply, though Bradley became so familiar with the process he effectively became an assistant make-up artist. It’s telling that Pinhead’s look changed little over the years (if it ain’t broke, why fix it?), though in his last appearance, in Hellraiser: Judgment, he does sport longer nails.


HELLRAISER (1987) – Lament Configuration Puzzle Box


The Legacy: It’s impossible to imagine Hellraiser without Pinhead. While the other Cenobites who have appeared over the series’ 31-year history have been variably weird and wonderful, it is Pinhead who has all the gravitas. He’s the demonic glue that holds the whole thing together. With a Hellraiser remake in the works, it’ll be interesting to see how much this torture-loving devil changes… Or, more to the point, how much he stays the same.



If you want to see more of our awesome horror props and costumes from the auction from the London 2021 Entertainment Memorabilia auction, check out the full catalogue now: propstore.com/liveauction



Don’t forget to follow us on Instagram Twitter and Facebook. And remember, you can explore so much more at our archive and see the extensive range of film and TV items we have for sale and auction over atpropstore.com!


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