Maybe its better if they kept their mask on... movie edition
May 21, 2021 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Help me find scenes/clips from films and TV shows of people removing masks to reveal something monstrous underneath. Phantom of the Opera's reveal, the climax of Twilight Zone's Eye of the Beholder, Twisty from American Horror Story pulling off his creepy face mask... etc.
posted by Unsomnambulist to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
The Red Skull pulling his face off to reveal...his red skull in Captain America: The First Avenger.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 3:02 PM on May 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

Onibaba, The Abominable Dr. Phibes, The Skin I Live In,
posted by Ideefixe at 3:28 PM on May 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

The Elephant Man (1980)
Mr Sardonicus (1961)

I might be misremembering, but I think Eyes Without a Face (1960) has a scene like this.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:16 PM on May 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit
posted by Dressed to Kill at 4:17 PM on May 21, 2021 [3 favorites]

The Mummy (1999)
posted by Rhaomi at 4:22 PM on May 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

Vader in Return of the Jedi
Janos Szaby (Peter Lorre) in The Face Behind The Mask
Dr. Maru/Dr. Poison in Wonder Woman (doesn't remove it voluntarily -- it's swept away during the gods-battle storm business)

[Doesn't the reveal in Eye of the Beholder flip this trope? The Janet Tyler character having her bandages removed after another "failed operation" is shown to be conventionally beautiful by Western standards of the day, while all the other actors save one wear snout-y masks?]
posted by Iris Gambol at 4:46 PM on May 21, 2021 [2 favorites]

Darth Vader
posted by mochapickle at 5:09 PM on May 21, 2021

The Dark Knight
posted by Woodroar at 5:13 PM on May 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Halloween-themed horror anthology Trick r Treat stars a little trick-or-treater named Sam whose costume is pajamas and a burlap hood. When the hood comes off, hoo boy.

I haven’t seen any Mortal Kombat movies but I know there’s a character who wears a mask over the lower half of their face, under which is a grotesque fanged rictus.
posted by ejs at 6:11 PM on May 21, 2021

Oh, and any time Jason takes his hockey mask off in the many Friday the 13th movies.
posted by ejs at 6:12 PM on May 21, 2021

Another classic Twilight Zone episode, "The Masks."
posted by mefireader at 6:30 PM on May 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

Kind of the opposite message to what I think you're going for I think, but Penelope has a heavy mask theme.
posted by freethefeet at 10:29 PM on May 21, 2021 [1 favorite]

In the 2005 production of Bleak House, there is a scene (in episode 6) where Esther lifts her veil in front of Guppy, revealing her smallpox scars. Nothing monstous by any means, but Guppy recoils visibly at the sight.
posted by bluefrog at 6:55 AM on May 22, 2021

Mystery of the Wax Museum (1933)

And its 1953 remake House of Wax.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2021 [1 favorite]

Oh Industry from Beaches, although the faces before the reveal are creepy too!
posted by Threeve at 7:37 PM on May 22, 2021

Variation on the theme: just the other day I was remembering a Bugs Bunny cartoon that I saw as a kid in the 1980s. It was a re-run from the old Loony Tunes from the 1950s and 60s, I think. In the cartoon, Bugs meets a sexy masked girl bunny and he goes all-out trying to seduce her. I remember her wearing genie pants and being, like, a belly dancer or something. At the end of the cartoon she takes off her mask to reveal a cartoonishly unattractive female face at which point Bugs decides that he does not like her after all. I was thinking about the storyline from a feminist perspective and feeling kind of hurt about the message I learned from the cartoon about prettiness, femaleness, lovability etc. If someone can make a GIF of the sexy-bunny mask reveal moment from that old cartoon, I'd love to see it.
posted by ponibrown at 4:58 AM on May 23, 2021

Oooh, Shredder! Not very monstrous, but still. Also in the original Halloween, Laurie pulls off Michael’s mask at the end. Sort of the opposite of what you’re looking for, though.
posted by pepper bird at 5:53 PM on May 23, 2021

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