Director – Griff Furst
Cast – Nikki Deloach, Stephen Colletti, Anabella Casanova, Ross Britz, Terry Kiser, Mariah Bonner, A.J. Allegra, Lara Grice, Michael Berryman, Treat Williams
Release Year – 2010
Reviewed by John of the Dead
My love for anything slasher-related lead me to this film a few months ago, but I constantly passed it over because it looked like the usual DTV horror junk that constantly plagues the genre. However with such a cool storyline (aided by boredom between classes) I could not help myself and took the plunge into what I expected to be a decent watch and that is mostly what I was given – decency and nothing more.
After purchasing a run down fixer-up home to start their new life together a young recently-engaged couple learns the reasoning behind the low price point when during a housewarming party with friends a vengeful killer with ties to the home is awoken.
Killers and masks go together like an oxygen atom mixes with two hydrogen atoms as both combos provide the necessary basic element to sustain life – and no I am not joking. Seeing that this storyline involved a killer who adorns his face with the fresh faces of those he has killed I was very thrilled (storywise) going into this experience as I hoped the idea would provide some damn good horror. To make a long story short this idea definitely did bring on some good horror, and while the story brought on numerous faults at times I found it fairly enjoyable due to my love for the killer/slasher sub-genre. Also those of you who know me know that I love films where the protagonists move into a new home and are unaware of the home’s past, and that plays a heavy role in this film and is where most of the mystery comes from as well. The usage of the killer was great, and watching him dismantle each of the homewarmers in gory and face-ripping fashion and I applaud writers Griff Furst and Eric Miller for throwing in many fun elements that made what could have been a really bad film one that I sat through with ease. However, I must mention that this story did not come without faults, which all resulted in possibly the worst and most blatant ripoff of Friday the 13th Part 2 I have ever seen.
Co-writer Griff Furst also serves as the film’s director, and I was very impressed initially with what he did with this flick. His visuals are awesome and he employs great sets that provide perfect haunting atmosphere that sets up the grisly events that take place, however I really wished the kills would have been more graphic. I am sure the budget was low and along with that came limitations, but aside from a few cool decapitations and face-rips the kills were not as good as I wished them to be. The editing during the kill sequences also left much to be desired as it came choppy and was obviously used to make up for the lack of money to produce quality kills. What I found most surprising regard Furst’s direction were the acting performances, which I assumed would suck given the type of film this is but surprisingly enough each actor involved was enjoyable and did things right. So speaking of actors…how was our killer executed? In my opinion I thought he was great. Our killer, hilariously named Leonard and surprisingly enough portrayed by Jonathan Breck – the man known as “The Creeper” in the Jeepers Creepers films – was great and Breck executed him to near perfection. His mannerisms were awesome, and while the kills were held back at times it was always fun to watch this enjoyable killer don someone else’s face and do what awesome killers do.
Overall, Mask Maker is a flawed film that is far from a great effort, but it tries and does what it can with a low-budget and in doing so gave me great atmosphere, supreme visuals, some good kills, and a very enjoyable killer. Had it not been for the killer and the carnage he brings with him this film would have fallen flat, but in the end Mask Maker is a flick that while not great was definitely not a waste of my time either.