Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2010 February 24 • Wednesday

After watching 13 Ghosts, I decided to check out The Mask (1961), apparently Canada's only 3-D movie.

Like 13 Ghosts, The Mask asks you to use your special viewer—in this case just plain old 3-D glasses, one lens red and one lens blue—whenever somebody wears the mask. A voice intones "Put the mask on now" or something similar, which is your cue to put on the glasses.

Whoever wears the mask gets transported to a freaky dream world that's a bit like a cross between Nobuo Nakagawa's Hell (Jigoku, 1960) and what I imagine a movie adaptation of The Manuscript Found in Saragossa directed by Edward D. Wood, Jr., could have been like.

The dream tells a sort of story about a man trying to save a woman from being sacrificed to the demon of the mask. Interestingly, the woman wears a mask that's straight out of Eyes Without a Face (Les Yeux Sans Visage, 1959).

These eyeballs come flying at you—in 3-D!

The demon of the mask is pretty cool.

Later on a huge masked head flies around belching flames all over the place. This is probably where John Boorman got the inspiration for Zardoz (1974).

There are three of these dream sequences, credited to Slavko Vorkapich, and I thought they were very impressive. The music by Louis Applebaum is also quite good; it sounds like it's all solo keyboards/organ.

The rest of the movie is pretty bad. The acting, writing and directing of the not-dreaming scenes are tedious. Perhaps this makes the dream sequences seem even better when they finally arrive.