While on our 2015 Terror Dave road trip, we visited many things and had many discussions. On April 3rd we headed to one of the world’s largest bats in Louisville, KY (and I am not talking about the 120 foot baseball bat that stands outside of the Louisville Slugger Museum). Those that know us are aware of the fact that sports rate very low on our list of priorities so that when the Daves go to see the world’s largest bat, you can bet it is either something zoological or something scary.
My love of Halloween masks started in 1984 when I received my first mask catalog from Distortions Unlimited. I was totally blown away by the creativity of the designs, especially with the aliens. From there I received a catalog from the now defunct company House Of Horror Studios and immediately bought my first mask, Living Death. This mask was a zombie corpse and I also bought a set of matching hands. This purchase was all it took to become obsessed.
Like many monster kids I grew up with the magazine Famous Monsters of Filmland. One of my favorite aspects of this magazine were the Captain Company ads that appeared in the back, showcasing so many cool monster toys and collectibles. One ad in particular always drew my attention; it was the one for Don Post Studios masks. My favorite has always been the Grey Timberwolf but at the time I couldn’t afford one so all I could do each month was look at the ad and dream.
1985 was a big year for me; not only did I graduate high school but it was also the year I became a home haunter. Halloween was always a favorite holiday of mine and one of the things I always loved when I was trick or treating were the houses that did a little bit more than just putting out a lit jack-o-lantern. I decided I was going to be that guy and like most things I do, I went all out and gave it 150%. My first year was actually small with just a rotted corpse sitting in a chair and me wearing a Be Something Studios (now Zagone Studios) Shrunken Head mask to give the kids a scare before handing them their candy.
I have been a collector of Halloween masks since about 1985. At the time the 3 main companies were Distortions Unlimited, Don Post Studios and Be Something Studios (now known as Zagone Studios). Back then, before the internet, ordering out of catalogs was the norm and writing letters and making phone calls was how we were all able to keep in touch with each other. Times certainly have changed!
If you are a mask collector then more than likely you have heard the name David Lady at least once (and more than likely you actually know him and have either talked to him on the phone or have e-mailed with him). When I first became aware of David it was in the late 1980’s. At the time the big mask companies were Don Post Studios, Distortions Unlimited and Be Something Studios. Though I bought masks from all 3 companies, a trend was starting to develop where what you got greatly differed from what you were ordering from their catalogs. So, I started to look for other options and found companies like Death Studios and one of my all time favorites, the now defunct House Of Horror Studios. In my quest to find better quality masks I came across a group called The Halloween Society. This society, run by Ron Magid, Dante Renta, Guy Thorpe and yes, David Lady, introduced me to a whole new area of collecting…an area I was unaware of. Apparently there were artists out there creating limited edition masks and busts of all of the great monsters I grew up on and it was through The Halloween Society’s magazine “The Halloween Gazette” that I started to see these pieces being offered.