Monday, November 5, 2018

The Bible of Friday the 13th Props is Coming November 20th


Mario Kirner was recently at Weekend of Hell in Dortumund, Germany to promote the impending release of his coffee table book Friday the 13th Props Museum: The Book. I have a copy on order and I absolutely cannot wait to receive it. Mario owns the largest assembly of screen-used Friday the 13th props in the world and has never before released high-definition photos of his pieces, so this is going to be an incredible coup for fans.

He brought along the original hero mask from part 8 too... and here's one of the best photos ever taken of it, along with the original gloves. Mario bought these straight from Kane Hodder some years back, who was gifted the pieces after production wrapped.

Friday, October 26, 2018

H1 Hero Repaint

Repainted my previous Myers piece (DIY blank, hair by Martin Pena, paint by me)-- made the underlying skin tone darker, the eye cuts larger and evened out the cut of the neck a bit. Also increased the amount of skin tone exposure a bit, per photos of the hero. After a lot of trial and error, I think I know the H1 mask really well at this point, and I'm ready to take paint commissions for anyone interested. Anything you'd like to see different? Let me know!
Really proud of how the eyes have come out. Myers eyes are tough to get right because they look wildly different in every reference photo and you have to take into account stretching and sagging of the latex that will impact how they appear from shot to shot.
With its parent mask: The Medley Kirk. Screen shot from the gallery at www.michael-myers.net

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Ever Notice This?

You know that sign Marta Kober picks up in Friday the 13th Part 2?...

Well, I just realized tonight that its in Part 1 as well...
It was at the turnoff to the camp. Mrs. Voorhees blows by it in her jeep on the way to kill Annie.

It's not the exact same prop, but the one in Part 2 was clearly painted to resemble the one from the first film. Has a similar font, and the same red border.
This blew my mind. Who says they never cared about continuity!

That's all. Here's a recent photo of the Part 2 version.

Sunday, October 14, 2018

What is this mysterious mask?


Many of you saw this on eBay a couple times over the past year. The seller wanted as much as $2,500 for it at one point, even though the only thing he knew about it was that it came from a Friday the 13th film.

So is this just another Frightstuff or JDF mask that's been bronzed (for some weird reason) or is it something more?

I decided to buy it and examine it in person.

The first thing I noticed was that this mask bears all the tell-tale signs of being a movie mold mask, as opposed to a fan sculpt. It has all the same flaws as a Frightstuff/JDF: the warp of the forehead, the indentation in the lower left and the vertical crease through the mouth area. It also has an identifiable snap divot in the forehead, although the ones on the sides seem to have been masked by a border that resulted from the bronzing process (which you can see in the above photo). It is clearly cut to look like a part 7, with some quick-and-dirty scratches around the propeller damage. The mask also bears heavy pitting in the bronze.


The back of the mask was also bronzed, although you can identify the telltale haircell pattern of ABS plastic. The back of the mask seems to have been abused over many years: the bronze is discolored and feel slightly filmy. It is also peeling away from the ABS in spots, and has a slight metallic odor to it which is not present in the front. There are also streaks of superglue across the back.

The eye cuts are very crude, with some partially melted ABS clumped around the backs of the cuts. Mask artists will tell you that this is a common occurrence during dremeling. The fact that the melted ABS was not removed suggests this mask was made hastily by someone who was probably trying to bang out several of them at once.

But here's where it gets interesting.

The propeller damage is very inaccurate to the movie mask, and very distinct. It looks exactly like the cuts that were done to the promotional masks made shortly after production of part 7 by MMI special effects artist Mecki Heusen.
A reliable source told me that at least ten of these promo masks were made for part 7 for various purposes. The mask at lower left in the above photo was the one Kane wore to magazine photo shoots.
Many of these masks were sold for thousands of dollars as "screen used" although their proper value is probably closer to $800-$1,000 each, according to my source.

But if this bronzed mask is an old promo mask, which one is it?

Most likely, its this one:

A lot of fine details line up nicely: The unusually angular cut of the top perimeter, the axe cut width and penetration into the vents, the eye cuts, the angles of the propeller cut and the way they cut into the two vent holes, and tellingly, the lack of drilled holes for straps make this a very unique mask.

There's no question that this isn't a fan-made mask: trying to imitate this one obscure promo mask that almost no one has seen would be absurd. And given how sloppy the promo masks were cut, how no warping was done to the plastic to imitate the hero mask, and how consistently they cut the prop damage, chances are extremely high that this mask was made in 1988 by MMI, using the buck they had for the film.

Owning a promo mask is the closest most of us will ever get to owning an actual movie mask, so this is an interesting find. For anyone interested in owning a rare piece of F13 history, I'll consider offers on it. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

The Many Faces of Jason Voorhees


Since my "visual history of the hockey mask" was so widely viewed, I wanted to do another post as a tribute to the FX work that gave us the many versions of Jason we all saw on screen over the years.

Below is a "reference pic dump" of 200+ behind-the-scenes photos of Jason actors in the original makeup being fussed over by their creators. It's almost everything I have accumulated in the last 9 years from friends, collectors, documentaries and even a Russian film forum. Maybe if you're an artist you'll see something new and some great sculpts or paint-ups will come out of this.

Friday the 13th (1980)

Here's where we're introduced to Jason as a child in two different iterations: clean, and bottom-of-the-lake version. All the basic design elements are there--the enlarged cranium, the droopy eye and ear, the deformed mouth, based on the features of a homeless man Savini knew during his youth in Pittsburgh. Savini gave birth to Jason, and every subsequent FX artist reinterpreted Savini's basic concept.

Click to enlarge any image.

Sculpt/Application: Tom Savini
Actor: Ari Lehman





Part II (1981)

New makeup, new design, somewhat loosely based on the original, and seemingly inspired by a version of Quasimodo that appeared in a makeup instruction book by Dick Smith. According to Lloyd Albin, there were as many as two other designs for Jason's face sculpted during production. No photos are known to exist of these alt sculpts.

Sculpt/Application: Carl Fullerton
Actor: Warrington Gillette




Part III (1982)

Three versions of Jason were actually sculpted for this film:

Version 1: The Winston sculpt
Sculpt: Stan Winston
Application: Doug White, Kenny Myers
Actor: Richard Brooker, Mike De Luna


This version of Jason was sculpted by famed FX man Stan Winston (Predator, The Terminator, Terminator 2, among scores of other classics) and used for the entire film while Jason is either in shadow or has the hockey mask on. The mask was a one-piece foam latex bust that fit over Brooker's head. At least three were made for filming. The design was deemed too much of a departure from part 2, so a different design was sculpted for the unmasking.

 

 
 


Version 2: The flashback
Sculpt: Doug White
Application: Doug White, Kenny Myers
Actor: Richard Brooker

After the Winston design was rejected as the "face" of Jason, a second sculpt was made by FX artist Douglas J. White on set to look closer to Fullerton's design from part 2. Deemed unrefined by director Steve Miner, this design was used only during the flashback scene where Chris Higgins was attacked by Jason.

Version 3: The unmasking
Sculptor: Doug White
Application: Doug White, Kenny Myers
Actor: Richard Brooker

After the face was modified and refined considerably (though the neck piece appears to be the same), this final and most famous version of Jason's face was used in the unmasking.

One thing you'll notice on the application photos below is that after applying a basic skin tone, the FX artists shadowed with blue and magenta to create the illusion of depth and translucence. This time-honored coloring technique counteracts the flatness of the latex and goes all the way back to Dick Smith.

Such a color scheme was used to create almost every "living" iteration of Jason, including at least part 2, part 3, part 4 and Jason Goes to Hell.
A pipe is really the only legit way to enjoy tobacco.


Part IV (1984)

Version 1: The dummy sculpt
Sculpt: James Kagel
Dummy FX Work: Alec Gillis, John Vulich, Larry Carr
Actor: Ted White

Alec Gillis & Larry Carr
This early version of the Jason head was closely based on Tom Savini's design from the first film. Sculpted onto a lifecast of Ted White, the design was used for the two dummies (one animatronic, the other static) that were created for FX shots as well as the cowl worn by White throughout the film.
L to R: Larry Carr, Kevin Yagher, John Vulich, James Kagel, Alec Gillis. Woman at far right might be Jill Rockow.

Version 2: The prosthetic sculpt
Sculpt: James Kagel
Application: Kevin Yagher
Actor: Ted White

According to legend, the second version was sculpted merely out of expedience: Sculptor James Kagel had finished his work but production hadn't yet begun and he was still getting paid by the hour. Savini encouraged him to do another sculpt of the head, improving and enhancing features. Kagel took a wax master of his sculpt and began sculpting on top of that, changing the cranium and exaggerating features to create a bolder, more fluid design. This version was used for the appliances in the final "unmasking" FX shot.

Part V (1985)

No creature design here, but David Miller evidently recasted a part 4 hood and inserted a casting of actor Dick Wieand's face for a final FX shot.
FX artist David Miller with the massive mask he created for the opening shot.
 


PART VI (1986)

Version 1:The Bradley hood
Sculpt: Brian Wade
Actor: Dan Bradley, C.J. Graham
Respect the Graham Stache
This was a faceless head-and-shoulders sculpt for actor Dan Bradley. It was worn by both Bradley (in the paintball scene and other shots of Jason speedwalking through the woods) and by Graham throughout nearly the entire film. The paint scheme featured a blue-gray base with purple shadowing and black and brown accents.
A version of this hood with a movie-accurate paint job had a crude face that was added some time before 1996 (possibly for display purposes). Look closely and you can see the seam. Two original copies are known to exist like this; one owned by Billy Kirkus, and another in a private collection in Japan.

Version 2: The Cemetery mask (a.k.a. the C.J. mask)
Sculpt/Application: Brian Wade
Actor: C.J. Graham
According to Brian Wade, after Bradley was fired, a second sculpt was requested for the new actor, which he claimed to have completed from scratch in just 24 hours. This version was a one-piece appliance with cutouts for the left eye and nose and a detachable lower mandible. A separate insert was created to snap in the carnage for the right eye, which had been sculpted separately.
Brian Wade adding some filth to C.J.'s mask
Brian Wade's eye casting. The carnage was sculpted separately on this and plugged or snapped into the finished product. (Photo courtesy of Brian Wade)
 This mask made it in to a couple of pickup shots toward the end of the film as well...
 

Version 3: The Coffin Dummy
Sculpt: Brian Wade, FX team.




Part VII (1988)

Sculpt: John Buechler/A.J. Workman/MMI
Application: MMI
Actor: Kane Hodder

One of the most popular physical iterations of Jason, this one is perhaps the most monstrous. This paint scheme featured a brown base with black or gray shadowing and some reddish-brown accents near the wounds in the face.



Part VIII (1989)

Sculpt/Application/Dummy Work: Tibor Farkas, Jamie Brown, William Terezakis
Actor: Kane Hodder

This was a jack-o-lantern type design that blurred the lines between the bony and fleshy structures of the face. One of the more unique and controversial face designs for Jason, the paint job is more detailed than its often given credit for, even if the sculpt is a bit lacking.


And here's a nice shot of the back of an in-progress Jason hood with a mask courtesy of Tibor Farkas Jr.:
And one of Timothy Burr Murkovich as young Jason in the giant foam Jason face Tibor Sr. was making in one of the above photos. THANK GOD this shot didn't make it into the movie.


Jason Goes to Hell (1993)

Sculpt and Paint: Robert Kurtzman
Actor: Kane Hodder

KNB decided on a lumpy, over-sized head inspired by Carl Fullerton's part 2 design, with some detail enhancement. As with earlier designs for "living" Jason, this was heavily shadowed in overlapping blue and magenta tones to make the lumps really pop onscreen.

Robert Kurtzman applying blood to the mask.
 

Above: A stunt dummy used during the chest stab in the film's finale.


Jason X (2002)
Sculpt: Stephen Dupuis
Paint: Damon Bishop

Version 1 Stunt FX head: This was evidently a early design used for the FX dummy that was blown up. Most notably, it doesn't have a lumpy head. Beautifully layered paint job on this piece.


Version 2 hero head: This is the design seen during the unmasking in the first act, and used through most of the film. Primary difference from the stunt head is the added scalp layer designed to grab onto the hockey mask, reminiscent of the Jason Goes to Hell cranial design.


Version 3: Uber Jason. Fitting that this version is in outer space because this design is light years away from any previous iteration of Jason there is... aside from perhaps the part 8 design.


Freddy vs. Jason (2003)
Sculpt/Paint: Jamie Salmon/WCT Productions

Wish I had more info on this! No version of the face is known to exist. Not known at present whether one was ever sculpted, since there was no full unmasking in the film. I'll update this section when I know more. For now, here's a photo of a screen-used cowl owned by Mario Kirner. Check out his upcoming coffee table book for more photos! You can buy it on eBay.

Friday the 13th (2009)

Sculptor/Painter: Scott Stoddard + FX team
Actor: Derek Mears
Scott Stoddard working on Derek Mears.