Spook Spotter: Don Post Studios Halloween III (Silver Shamrock) Masks

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The following does not constitute an endorsement of any product or retailer.   It is for information purposes only.

It’s a last “Hoorah” for the most famous mask-maker of them all, Don Post.  Don Post Studios was recently dissolved when part of its parent company merged with Gemmy Industries.   While the fate of the delightful mask molds remains uncertain, one thing is clear: This is probably the last time we will get to see the “most famous masks of Halloween,” at least from their original creator.

Those masks, of course, are the Big Three from Halloween III: Season of the Witch.  While the film has received mixed reactions since its release, the masks have endured the test of time and have become almost as symbolic of the season as pumpkins and black cats.  These reproduction masks are a little different from the originals.  First, they are made of vinyl – not latex.  This means, they are not subject to the same hazards and could last longer, assuming they are treated well.  The next difference is the size and the paint.  These appear to be smaller than the originals and some have an altered paint application.  But, in person, the differences seem rather minute, especially to someone who may have wanted these masks for many years.

Retailing at around $57.00 each, they are a bit expensive.  But, considering that these could very well be the last creations from Don Post, this release is rather historic in the world of masks.  Because of the unusual conditions under which they were released, they are rather difficult to track down.  They have not, to our knowledge, made it to any physical retail locations.  However, limited quantities are available at various online retailers, including eBay.  If you are interested, securing an order in the near future may be in your best interest.

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Halloween Home Entertainment Preview: Halloween II and III

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Welcome guys and ghouls to another week of thrills, chills, and spills on The Big Scare.  This week, we have a complete lineup of the “must-have” home entertainment releases of the season.

The News:

Don Post Studios Halloween III Silver Shamrock Masks 3 SkullCertainly two of the biggest releases this year are the second and third installments of John Carpenter’s Halloween series.  While both titles have been out on DVD for years, and Halloween II had a bare-bones Blu-Ray release last year, Scream! Factory, a new division of Shout! Factory, will unveil its treatment of these classics tomorrow, September 18.

Not only has Shout! Factory produced some of the finest artwork ever created for a home video release, but both titles come with extras, including audio commentaries, “making of” specials, trailers, and more!

The Views:

So just how good are these movies anyway?

If you haven’t had a chance to see Halloween II, you need to.  It’s a sequel that is definitely worthy of the “Halloween” name, quite unlike later installments which shall not be named here.  While II is not as good as Halloween, and lacks a lot of its predecessor’s subtlety and substance, it manages to evoke many of the same feelings and allows for further commentary on the concept of “evil.”   But what makes it exceptionally memorable is the fact that Donald Pleasance and Jamie Lee Curtis get to share some screen-time.  This is the last film in the series in which both original stars appear.  And neither talent is wasted.  But it is Pleasance’s character, Sam Loomis, that manages to steal the show.  Halloween II gives the Loomis character the opportunities to achieve depths impossible in the original film, and Pleasance pulls it off brilliantly.  This film gets 3 1/2 skull pumpkins out of 5.

As for Halloween III?  You’ve probably heard some negative things about it, mostly from the biggest fans of Michael Myers.  While the film does lack the illustrious villain, it makes up for his absence with its strong Halloweentime imagery.  Case in point:  The masks.  Need I say more?  Those Don Post masks symbolize this time of year as much as Jack-O’-Lanterns and Candy Buckets.  In addition, there are plenty of other opportunities to spot signs of the season throughout the movie. It’s worth a watch, if only for this reason.  All in all, while the plot is a little far-out, it’s still stronger than a lot of the stories that came out of  1980s Horror.  Halloween III: The Season of the Witch gets 2.5 Don Post Masks out of 5.

If we have managed to pique you interest, you can pick up copies of both films tomorrow or rent them from your favorite video rental service.