Wow, September is almost over. That’s scary. Hope you’re enjoying Dino Drac’s Halloween Countdown so far. Bigger things are coming in October!
When I went to Dollar Tree last week, I also picked up a bunch of masks. They’d be pretty terrible if put to use as non-ironic Halloween costumes, but if you judge them more as interpretive works of art, they’re a-okay.
On the other hand, the great thing about trick-or-treating is its loose dress code. If all you care about is the candy, any costume will do.
It was a long time ago, but I remember being at that delicate age – the age when you’re not too old to go trick-or-treating, but somehow too old to wear cheesy costumes in public. Back then, my friends and I totally relied on cheap, shitty masks like these. On Halloween or the night prior, we’d grab whichever masks were left at our local pharmacy, no matter how stupid they were. When we went trick-or-treating, we’d only slip ’em on just before knocking on strangers’ doors.
After collecting our loot, we hid the masks in our trick-or-treat sacks. To continue the illusion that we weren’t trick-or-treating, our treat sacks were actually just our schoolbags. When we passed by the other, older kids — the ones who’d so suddenly declared that Halloween was lame, and that anyone who celebrated it was deserving of punches — they were never the wiser.
Masks like Dollar Tree’s would’ve worked just fine for those purposes. There will always a plus when you’re willing to sift through decades of repressed memories to find it.
We’re going to run through the six masks Dollar Tree had available, and our model will be Harley the Crite. There are several reasons for this. Most importantly, the masks, while technically not too small for my face, are small enough to make me appear like I have an enormous head. I’m not publishing photos if they’re only going to insinuate that my head is two feet wide.
Also, so far this season, Harley really hasn’t gotten his fair share of the spotlight. For those unfamiliar, allow me to introduce you.
“This is Harley. I caught him using Hostess Scary Cakes as bait. “
Now let’s dress him up like monsters.
First is a Hunchback of Notre Dame mask. At least, I’m pretty sure it is. I should confess that I’ve never seen a movie, TV show or animated special about the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Not once. Ever. My only familiarity with him is through a series of fifteen-year-old Happy Meal toys.
I guess it could be Igor, too.
Despite knowing so little about the Hunchback, I believe it’s safe to assume that the stream of tears made of human bone was an editorial choice made by Dollar Tree. If the Hunchback really does cry like that, I hate myself for ignoring him.
Once you get past the too-uniform paint job, the details are tremendous. There are chipmunk teeth, a runny nose, and even a gash on the side of his head, which was evidently quite serious, as the Hunchback is using several types of bandages to keep the wound clean.
Then, if you look even closer, there’s a tiny vagina just under his right eye.
Next is Dracula, and boy, it isn’t a great Dracula. My issues are as follows:
1) That nose is ridiculously big. This is a recurring problem with Dracula masks, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why. If anything, Dracula should have a too-narrow nose, to highlight his vampirism. With one like this, he just looks like Grandpa.
2) Several of the Dollar Tree masks have odd rubber eyes built into the eye holes, for no good reason at all. Your own eyes are obviously going to be visible, so all this does is present Dracula as a four-eyed alien from Neptune. Of course, now that I type that out, I’m not so sure that it’s one of my issues.
3) What is going on with Dracula’s mouth? It looks like a mail slot, or maybe a cassette deck. Placing the fangs outside of his mouth was an interesting decision, too. The only way this works is if we’re to take it as a Lips Manlis-as-a-vampire mask. Problem is, I’m the only person who knows who Lips Manlis is.
4) There’s a fine line between a pronounced chin and a goiter. This mask crosses it.
But perhaps I’m being too hard on it. Dracula is my favorite of the characters represented here, so my expectations may be unreasonable. You be the judge.
YUCK! I don’t dislike witches, but I absolutely loathe this “style” of witch. You know, the goofy, lime green witches who look like the inspiration for so much terrible clipart. It’s one of the only symbols of Halloween that has never worked for me.
Harley hates this witch, too. I see the anger in his eyes, though it’s hard to tell, since this is another mask with those ridiculous rubber eyes blocking portions of the ocular holes. Why did Dollar Tree do that?
There’s nothing good about this mask. If there was, I’d never admit it. My least favorite aspect is the hat, which does nothing to dispel the idiotic notion that all witches are drunken paupers, who use their cauldrons as much to keep warm as to cast evil spells.
Hey, I like this one! And you know who else did? The sun! Compare this photo to the rest, and notice how the sunlight grew so much stronger for the devil mask. Clearly the sun’s way of saying, “End the contest, we have a winner.”
The sun was right. This is the best mask. A sinister red devil, with all the right touches. There’s the devious mustache, the gold horns, and even some kind of mystical jewel, lodged into Satan’s forehead, which I can only assume allows him to teleport like Nightcrawler.
Harley was also a big fan, because this was the only mask that made his demon eyes seem like not that big of a deal.
Kudos to you, Dollar Tree. It isn’t easy to score tens across three judges, especially when those judges include me, a Crite and the sun. You done did good, and we all love your Lucifer head.
Eeeeehhhh. Not my favorite. Considering this and the witch, it seems I have something against lime green skin.
It just isn’t a great representation of Frankenstein’s Monster. Even if he’s dimwitted, Frankie should always be presented as fearsome. You might not get the impression that he wants to kick your ass, but you should always know that he could. This mask takes it too far, and with a Frankie like this, you know that escape is as easy as telling the monster to look behind him before running the other way. Only harmless fools fall for that old trick.
The real problem is his mouth. Too crooked, too goofy. The mouth makes an awful statement. It’s the difference between saying “I AM FRANKENSTEIN” and saying “dwuhhh I’m Frank Stein.” Nobody wants to say the latter; those who claim otherwise are liars.
Plus, the rubber eyes. Again with those. I hate them.
Last but by no means least is this mask. I’ve seen it before, but I’m still not concrete about which monster it’s meant to represent. I see Frankenstein, I see the mummy, I see Dracula. It’s all of those guys at once, and it glows in the dark, too!
Only downside is that it’s a far flimsier mask than the rest. I can squish it down to the size of a superball. It’s a neat trick, but the softer rubber also makes the mask much harder to wear. Even Harley, a Crite who was practically designed with dollar store masks in mind, had trouble keeping it on.
I think Harley summarized things best. “Sskdsdks akkladklaskl ieieoweewoi.”
I’ll tell you the Crite-to-English translation…for five bucks.
Glow-in-the-dark Frankenstein/Mummy/Dracula mask.