I grew up during the 1980’s and distinctly remember being horrified by a movie shown on local DC television. The film received high press coverage in the weeks before broadcast, it was in 3D and required the purchase of anaglyph red/blue glasses. I had never searched for the movie because I hadn’t been able remember any details except the importance of a mask and the catchphrase “Put the mask on now!”
After recently watching Tim Burton’s Ed Wood biopic I found myself obsessively reading wikipedia’s pages about horror schlock. As I consumed page after page from Plan 9 from Outer Space to Vampira and Elvira I triggered a simple but well hidden childhood memory, the movie I had feared must simply be called The Mask.
After a quick Google search I found the film that so affected me as a kid. IMDB’s description does justice to the 1961 Canadian horror flick:
A young archaeologist believes he is cursed by a mask that causes him to have weird nightmares and possibly to murder. Before committing suicide, he mails the mask to his psychiatrist, Dr. Barnes, who is soon plunged into the nightmare world of the mask.
Below is a short hallucination sequence from The Mask that, if you’re 10 or younger, should properly leave you scarred for the rest of your life.
The Mask released in 1961
Directed by: Julian Roffman
Starring: Paul Stevens, Claudette Nevins, and Bill Walker
You can purchase The Mask for around $10 USD on Amazon.com…if you dare.