50 Magnificent Movie Masks

Frank Dollarhyde - Manhunter (1986)

The Mask: Erm, a pair of stockings, which serial killer Francis Dollarhyde (Tom Noonan) pulls over his head as part of his serial killer ensemble.

Why It's Magnificent: You've gotta admire its simplicity - Dollarhyde just grabs the nearest pair of stockings and shoves them on his head.

The fact that he only covers half his face is particularly eerie.

Predator - Predator (1987)

The Mask: A protective bit of tech that supposedly protects this alien predator from our atmosphere.

It also hides that really ugly mug, which was surely another motivator in wearing it.

Why It's Magnificent: It's just cool. Paired with the rest of the predator's kit, this is exactly how you want an alien to look.

Frank - Blue Velvet (1986)

The Mask: All part of Frank Booth's (Dennis Hopper) strange sexual practices, which see him dry humping his desired while huffing on an unnamed gas through a gas mask.

Why It's Magnificent: It's perhaps the oddest use of a movie mask on this list.

Plus Hopper is fantastic as Booth, dragging on the gas mask like his life depends on it.

Chinese Mask - Brazil (1985)

The Mask: A baby mask as worn by Jack Lint (Michael Palin) in Terry Gilliam's mindfuck of a movie.

He wears it while torturing. Lovely.

Why It's Magnificent: It's as kooky/disturbing as anything else in the movie.

Even more so because Lint ends up shot in the head.

Ex-Presidents - Point Break (1991)

The Mask: Presidents Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B. Johnson and Jimmy Carter.

They're masks worn by a gang of surfer bank robbers who are being tracked by rookie FBI agent Johnny Utah (Keanu Reeves).

Why It's Magnificent: Not only do the masks look great, subverting the presidents' commitment to do-gooding, the characters wearing them even speak in the voice of their president. Gigglesome.

Lon Chaney - Phantom Of The Opera (1925)

The Mask: Unlike the more famous white half-face mask featured in later versions of Phantom Of The Opera , this one from the exceptional silent film is far creepier - almost like a mask of death with really sad, soulful eyes.

Why It's Magnificent: The half-translucency of the mask hints at the horrors beneath without ever revealing them.

Jason Voorhees - Friday The 13th Part 2 (1981)

The Mask: Alright, not so much a mask as, well, a sack, which poor old deformed Jason Voorhees chucks on to spare his victims the sight of his mangled face.

Bless his cottons.

Why It's Magnificent: It's exactly the kind of thing you'd expect a serial killer to wear.

None of this shot-bought stuff - Jason grabs the first thing that'll cover his noggin and just goes with it. Awesome.

Catwoman - Batman Returns (1992)

The Mask: Shiny PVC leather and lots of white stitching. It looks homemade because it is - Selena Kyle (Michelle Pfeiffer) butchered her rain coat and dragged out the sewing machine to create this.

Why It's Magnificent: It's DIY at its best! This broke the comic-book mould, presenting a 'realistic' costume that you genuinely believe somebody could have made themselves (well, in comparison to Spider-Man at least).

Also Pfeiffer doesn't exactly look bad in it, right? Miaowww.

Hannibal Lecter - Silence Of The Lambs (1991)

The Mask: Essentially, a muzzle made for a man.

It's particularly unsettling because the metal bars look just like shiny teeth - and of course the crazy eyes finish the whole thing off nicely.

Why It's Magnificent: We find out later just why Lecter needs a muzzle when he goes in and chews a guy's nose clean off.

Frank - Donnie Darko (2004)

The Mask: A buck-toothed metal monstrosity that turns a typical teenager into a rabbit-y portent of doom.

We love the ears. And the bulging eyes…

Why It's Magnificent:
It's completely nuts, as you'd expect from a film that plays havoc with the space-time continuum.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.