SLASHER MONTH: Death Mask (1998)

Somewhere out there in the recesses of the infinite, James Best — the man who at once was Roscoe P. Coltrane and also Quentin Tarantino’s acting coach — had the dream of writing a movie about a carnival worker who is so tired of his life in the sideshow that all he wants to do is make one beautiful piece of artwork. He wants it so much that he’ll give his life and soul to make it happen.

And then he makes the worst looking mask you’ve ever seen and it’s as if everyone in the movie fawns over it Emperor’s New Clothes-style as the most astounding thing they’ve ever seen and it really looks like something you’d make with Karens at one of those strip mall wine and paint places.

Wilbur has a burned up face, a horrible job as a carnival geek and is in love with Angel (Linnea Quigley, proving that she really can make anything better) who is really in love with the cheating owner of this horrible sideshow carnival.

All it takes to get this power to carve something so beautiful that people get the same feeling that you get when you sneeze, fart and burp at the same time is to have a voodoo woman give you a piece of the wood from the tree where her grandmother was burned at. In a bit of movie deus ex machina, Wilbur just so happens to have that head floating in a pickled punk jar.

Directed by Steve Latshaw, who made Dark UniverseJack-O and Bikini Drive-In, amongst many other movies, this film exists in a strange dimension where Best is acting his heart out, Quigley is gamely trying to make everyone happy and the rest of the cast is having a blast just screaming stupid things at the camera. I imagine Best broke down in his trailer at least once.

You can watch this on YouTube.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.