Tag Archives: Halloween

Vintage Halloween Horrors: The Creepiest Ben Cooper Masks I’ve Ever Seen

It’s not an opinion- it’s science folks. The beloved Ben Cooper masks and costumes are a symbol of yesteryear’s Halloween. A time when making the neighborhood rounds in noisy plastic costumes while carrying your mom’s pillowcase for the candy haul, or if you were the cool kid, a McDonald’s McBoo Bucket, was the highlight of the year for many little horror-heads everywhere. Whether your Ben Cooper costume of choice was a Master of the Universe, or the doll of false dreams Barbie, I think we can all collectively agree that while we all thought we looked super cool, turns out we really were creeping the shit out of our parental units with what my Dad refers to as, “Plastic Heart-Attacks.”

I suppose he has a bit of a point…

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Although completely unintentional I’m sure, there truly is no denying the subtle creep factor these costumes gave off looking back on them now with adult(ish) eyes. While of course, these collective images of plas-tastic nightmares are on top of my unsettling Ben Cooper masks list, I challenge anyone reading this to say that they could never picture a serial killer hiding underneath these simple, yet chilling stringed- facial huggers.

Happy the Clown

Ben Cooper Clown

Image via Etsy

Straight out of your worst nightmares, Happy the Clown surfaced from the company sometime in the ‘80s and in my humble opinion, is the damn creepiest of the many Cooper clown variants over the years. Possibly due to the fact it always reminded me of the heavier set of the trio of clowns from 1989’s Clownhouse. Just. NOPE.

Ghostbusters Egon

Egon Ben Cooper

Image via Etsy

This Egon mask take from The Real Ghostbusters Saturday morning splendor from the mid-‘80s is mildly creepy. My train of thought runs, the simpler the mask, the creepier it comes across. The mildly surprised expression from the Ghostbustin’ favorite makes for something quite eerie here. Give me the ghosts over this plastic nightmare any day.

Beatle Paul McCartney

paul BC

Image via Pinterest

This. Is just bizarre, and I can’t look away. Perhaps what is most perplexing, is how the hell this was deemed a normal mask in 1964. Vintage Halloween never seems to let me down as modern times don’t hold a candle to this kind of gem. As stated, my favorite part about this is that is not meant to come off as creepy. Beatlemania never looked so damn terrifying.

King Kong (1976)

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Image via Etsy

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Image via Ebay– Both are equally as horrifying.

Because 1976 Kong wasn’t quite scary enough, the fine folks at the Ben Cooper Company just had to release this little number. OK, I know you’re probably thinking, this isn’t so bad? I’ll admit, this is a more personal thing for me, as 1976 Kong traumatized the crap out of me when I was a kid. Aside from the freaky mask, the smock is wonderfully designed with Kong in battle atop the World Trade Center. This just reminds me of the gory-as-hell ending from the Dino De Laurentiis production. I got my big girl panties on. Bring on the jokes.

Hairy & Scary

hairy and scary

Image via Pinterest

The Hairy & Scary line of Cooper masks add a little extra edge and while all variants of the curly-headed mask are sufficiently frightening on their own, THIS gorilla mask races to the front of the line with the creep factor. Although if you’re asking me, the mask looks more like it’s channeling the Zuni doll from Trilogy of Terror. This is why I felt like I would be doing a disservice to readers if I didn’t mention this sucker.

The Chattermouth Cooper Variant

chattermouth

Image via Etsy

The highly recognizable Chattermouth Ben Cooper line disables those muffled voices inside the plastic masks, and steps up the game with a moveable jawline. Productive? Yes. Less horrifying? Not even a little bit.

Phantom of the Opera

phantom

Image via Pinterest

The 1964 Phantom Ben Cooper mask looks more like Leatherface than a Phantom, but maybe that’s why it’s so damn scary. The acidic burns on both sides of the face rather than just the one, gives this version of the Phantom in the Ben Cooper universe a slight edge, even if it’s not what we’re accustomed to seeing. I like that ballsy move. You have to respect that.

Hobo with a Bowtie

hobo

Image via Etsy

Clearly, the Ben Cooper Hobo is modeled after the infamous melancholy hobo clown Emmett Kelly. If I’m wrong, there’s a hell of a resemblance going on there. Either way, you can’t argue the unnerving facial structure.

Bozo the Clown

Vintage Halloween Horrors: The Creepiest Ben Cooper Masks I've Ever Seen
credit: Ebay

While the infamous 1963 Ben Cooper clown mask and costume is the most recognized, in my personal opinion, the 1966 Bozo uniform has it beat by a mile. If I saw this on my doorstep, I would give the kid wearing it a card to my therapist in lieu of candy.

I mean, LOOK AT THIS.

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Image: Antique Trader

“Shudders”

The smell of colorful plastic under your nostrils and vinyl smocks ensured that the “High Priest of Halloween” company dominated the scene of Samhain in not just the ‘70s and ‘80s, but for over 50 glorious years until the company ultimately went bankrupt in 1992.  

Ben Cooper masks may be off the modern market, but they will forever live in our Halloween hearts as a nostalgic memory of how simplistic, yet terrifying a mere Halloween mask once was.  As we’re strolling down vinyl Halloween memory lane, check out this really cool video put together by YouTuber Alanna Grace that showcases an array of costumes, of which the bulk is of course, Ben Cooper. Enjoy Nostalgic Nuggets!

Is there a particular Cooper mask or costume that you feel should be included? Let’s discuss some creep-tastic retro Halloween fuzzies below!

Nightmare Nostalgia’s 2022 Big Halloween Giveaway!

It’s that time again nostalgic nuggets! A little more than five years ago, I started this blog after writing for various horror outlets as a means to express myself fully as well as a useful therapy tool. Because, hey… nothing makes me happier than talking about Halloween, horror movies, and retro pop culture of yesteryear. Well, maybe except giving away stuff and this year is a doozy! Throughout the year, I scavage through antique, thrift stores, and the internet to find just the right treasures to give to one lucky fan during the Halloween season, and I think I may have outdone myself this time around. Nothing really makes me happier than making other people smile and boy I could use it this time around,

I recently lost my best friend of 14 years, my little old lady and emotional-support animal, Lydia. Things have been very tough for me since having to cope with this devastating loss so with this website reaching a milestone of five wonderful years and over 50,000 followers, I wanted to express my gratitude to those who offered some kind words during this difficult time. The same people who have been following my incoherent ramblings for close to a decade now. So thank you truly from the bottom of my dark heart for that. And with respect, I wanted to dedicate this Halloween haul to the little pup who always sat in my lap while writing these trash articles for you guys.

Miss Lydia Deetz Pauley

Now, that being said, from vintage McDonald’s Halloween totes to a retro Fright Night Bud Light Mug let’s get into the giveaway goodies!

BEHOLD. THE GLORIOUS HAUL FOR ONE LUCKY READER!

One winner will receive:

  • 1990 McDonald’s Halloween witch tote
  • 1987 Bud Light Fright Night Plastic Mug
  • 1998 General Mills Count Chocula Plush
  • 2006 Edition of HorrorHound magazine
  • Loot Crate Camp Crystal Lake Flag
  • TWO Trick R Treat Keychains
  • ONE Garbage Pail Kids Keychain
  • Basket Case Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Cassette Tape from TerrorVision
  • Vintage “30 Tales To Give You Goosebumps” Book
  • “The Others” Blu-Ray (this is so random, I know but screw it- It’s a pretty good movie!)
  • 1990 TMNT Movie Topps Cards (Unopened)
  • Official Jaws 2 Topps Cards (Unopened)

Not a bad haul eh?

NOW HOW TO ENTER:

Entering is easy peasy, you MUST be following my Facebook page to enter and share this article. Make sure when you share, it’s public so it can be counted. And that’s it! You can share as many times as you want and each share is counted as an entry!

Bonus Entries:

Additional entries can be made by following my Instagram account and by either reposting the pinned picture of the giveaway to your stories and or feed and also tagging me along with the hashtag #NNgiveaway. If you’re not following me on IG, then for shame and you can remedy that here!

You can also enter on Twitter by sharing this article there with the same hashtag, #NNgiveaway.

Welp. I tried to make it as painless as possible. Good Luck! The winner will be announced on Monday, September 12th. 2022 on all three platforms and will be contacted via DM. Happy Halloween season nostalgic nuggets!

The Rare Unearthed Test Footage From John Carpenter’s Halloween!

The Rare Unearthed Test Footage From John Carpenter's Halloween!

We’re just a little over halfway to Halloween, and every reader is entitled to one good reminder that this exists on the interwebs.

About ten years ago, the horror internet exploded with this never-before-seen footage from John Carpenter’s “immortal classic”, Halloween and I think it’s overdue to dig out those pumpkin seeds and resurrect this glorious footage once more. Uploaded on VIMEO by user Billy Kirkus, what you’re about to see is the FIRST ever Panaglide test by Dean Cundy and Ray Stella inside and outside of the Panovision studio right before principal photography began on the Halloween set.

Panaglide at the time was revolutionary and had only been used in three other films prior to Halloween, with Days of Heaven being the first on record to use the cutting-edge technology. As we’re all aware, the use of this continuous camera shot is all over the film, most importantly in the opening shots from little Michael Myers’ perspective.

In just under five minutes, Dean Cundy with Stella in tow operating the Panaglide gives us a demonstration via a test run before shooting the actual film with it.

Pretty cool stuff that should not be forgotten. And after being brought to the surface back in 2013, I’m still here talking about it almost 10 years later to remind you that it’s still cool as shit.