Our resident Friday the 13th super-fan and aficionado, Tom “Tominek” Vanner is back with a look at the mythology of the Mask. Maybe he’ll clue you in on a few things you didn’t already know about the iconic horror villain?
Hello my friends, good seeing you have all come back to play along again. If you are reading this on a Friday that must mean one thing… It’s Thomas Jefferson’s Birthday!!! That’s right folks one of our founding fathers and the author of the Declaration of Independence was born today, April 13. Happy Birthday Tom!!! This one’s for you (holding up a “coffee” yes coffee.)
Anyway we all know the real reason why we have gathered today, to honor my friend and yours, Jason Voorhees. As some of you know, quick count around the room, ok so like 2 maybe 3 of you might know, whatever. I did 5 days of babbling on about Friday the 13th last October. Well as it turns out I didn’t pay attention to a small detail, a tiny, tiny detail. You know nothing major just forgot to highlight JASON’S FREAKING MASK!!!
I know, I know you’re asking yourself “Tom how the hell did you forget about the mask?” First I didn’t forget about the mask I had talked about its progression through the movies.
You, “Dude really, you claim to be a Friday the 13th expert and you forget his mask, what a fraud.”
Ok honestly, hurtful. Secondly I NEVER CLAIMED TO BE AN EXPERT!!! (editor’s note: Great Stories claimed that Tom was an expert. Our bad! J/K. What can we say? Tom is humble.) So any way today we learn about the origins of Jason’s Iconic Hockey Mask.
Jason, as we all know made his first real on screen appearance in Part 2. He was never suppose to be an actual physical character, he was an idea, or really a motive. At the end of “Friday the 13th” Jason was finally given a face for the sole purpose of a jump scare. With the success of the original film, it was only natural to make a part 2. However they knew they couldn’t have Pamela as the antagonist, since she ain’t got no head Lieutenant Dan. The producers, screen writers or whomever’s job it was began an unofficial back story to Jason where he actually survived his drowning and grew up as a feral kid, so to speak. Keeping with primitive living they decided a potato sack with a single strand of rope and an eye hole was the best way to go with a mask.
Fun story about the Potato sack though, As “Friday the 13th” was in production so was “The Elephant Man”, a drama in which the title character wore a potato sack to hide his face. A couple months after the premier of “ The Elephant Man”, “Friday the 13th Part 2” came out and had kind of a parody feel to it, which was not the intent of the film, obviously.
Part 3 enters conception at some point and the movie begins filming. The Crew knows the Potato sack isn’t working and they need a new direction. They were throwing around ideas and Martin Jay Sadoff happened to have a hockey mask with him, because a bunch of the crew had been on a hockey team together and would often play after filming each day. Martin had jokingly suggested using his hockey mask and then we don’t have to worry about makeup. They makeup tested it and the director or producer thought it was pretty scary.
Martin’s Mask was a Leather mask, and didn’t really fit Richard J Brooker’s head. They casted the Mask in a clear plastic and the mask designer for the film actually painted it from the inside out to prevent paint chipping. There was a second cast done for the scene where Jason gets axed in the head.
Fast Forward to the debut of “Friday the 13TH Part 3”, and all their efforts paid off. The 3rd installment was a huge success. The movie was released August 13th1982, I’ll let you guess what day of the week that was. It wasn’t unit October 31 that year they had really seen the impact of the movie though. They saw kids all over buying up hockey mask to wear as their Jason costumes. At that point they knew if they were to continue the series the hockey mask had to stay, and the icon that is Jason Voorhees had finally been born.
What I find really fascinating about the whole thing is the consistency. Every Movie with exception of Part 5, (Roy you suck.) the makeup and design teams attempted to retain the original integrity of the Mask but did what was needed to carry the story. They kept consistent damage marks throughout each film while at the same time weathering and altering the mask to the current needs of the current film.
The icon that is Jason’s signature hockey mask is so profound that there are many, many people and companies that make replicas of each movies featuring mask. The one mask that gives people the most trouble is the original Part 3. The problem people have is the coloring. In most screen shots the mask appears white however, in some shots it has a yellowish aging to it. People have tried all kinds of paint combinations to mimic the effect and have been unsuccessful. The dirty little secret behind the Part 3 mask is the first layer of paint is actually a varnish. At different angles and lighting that is what gives the effect of “color change”.
In the Horror world there are many, masks and faces that stick out to viewers, Freddy’s burnt up mug, IT’s clown makeup (because well he’s a friggin clown), Pinhead’s ugly grill are all easily recognized. The Hockey mask of Jason Voorhees though, is truly a stand out look that in itself can insight a fear in someone by just being there. I can happily report that I have personally seen this happen through the eye hole in which Jason peers from.
I thank you again for spending some time reading what nonsense I have put together for you. Until next time, take care of yourself, watch something bloody, and remember it is never too early to work on your Halloween costume.
The information gathered about the origin of the mask was cited from the actual crew of “Friday the 13rth part “3 in a documentary, “Legacy of the Mask” which can be found on Youtube.