Author Topic: Verne Langdon and the Studio Quality Masks  (Read 370 times)

The Maskahuna

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Verne Langdon and the Studio Quality Masks
« on: June 18, 2017, 01:02:46 AM »
A recent post by Josh in the "Misc Discussion" forum has inspired me to
revisit the marvelous masks of Verne Langdon. I currently own three of
the five he created (and recreated) with mask doctor Kelly Mann. Absent
from my own collection is DEAD EARNEST, their final project together.
Copies are usually available at the "World of Verne Langdon" convention
booth. Eventually, I'll break down and buy one ~



However, I was first in line for their GALATEA GORILLA. Initially offered
thirteen years ago, its design was finalized only after a comprehensive review
of numerous vintage gorilla suit photos. It requires a lot of latex and lots of
hair to create this Gorilla mask. There are less than a half dozen in existence ~



It seems downright evolutionary to proceed from here to the revival of Verne's
awesome apeman, The NEANDERTHAL ~



I was an avid reader of Famous Monsters magazine in the 1970s and
well remember the Verne Langdon article in issue #102 when it first hit
newsstands ... and the disappointment that his original NEANDERTHAL mask
was never to be marketed. It wasn't until 2009 that we could finally
welcome the big brute into our collections. Cavemen everywhere rejoiced
in unison ~



I literally went ape the very day mine arrived!



The eye sockets were trimmed extra deep. Although this was Verne's preference
on his masks, it made for a rather snug fit in that area ~



It seemed to fit my wife just fine though. Meet the gal I married ~



Maybe I'll let you cut in sometime for a dance to "The Neanderthal Stomp" ~



This brings us to Verne's most notorious mask of all ~



It was a happy day when his ZOMBIE, now out of production, returned
to our world of the living. We even marked the occasion with
a celebratory cake ~



I only found one photo of me wearing my copy before it got foam-filled
but it's as good as it gets, a photo opp that can never happen again ~



There exists one more discontinued mask that Kelly and Verne created
together but I hardly know anything about it other than its name:
Amazing ZU the Gargoyle, a pro wrestler formerly with
the "Slammers" promotion ~



Share more thoughts and images of Verne Langdon's disquieting cast
of characters (present company included) ...




Tatooine_Todd

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Re: Verne Langdon and the Studio Quality Masks
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 07:34:24 AM »
Those masks are amazing! Such a legendary talent.

Josh

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Re: Verne Langdon and the Studio Quality Masks
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2017, 11:37:41 AM »
Great thread 'huna. Where to start with Langdon? Why not jump in with what I've always considered the most perplexing piece: Amazing ZU the Gargoyle. When I first saw that mask I thought, "What the hell?!" It just seemed so incongruous with Verne's other work. All his other masks seemed firmly rooted in the world of traditional mask/monster culture. Specifically, they all seemed to be inspired by the classic '50s/'60 monster culture: The legendary Zombie with his surfer/hippie hair and deadpan smirking expression, Dead Ernest has a strong EC Comics vibe, The Gorilla, as 'huna pointed out is based on Hollywood Gorilla suits, and the Neanderthal is b-movie schlock done in the style of a classic era Don Post deluxe mask.

So where does Amazing ZU the Gargoyle fit into all this? As it turns out it fits perfectly!



The Amazing ZU the Gargoyle was a wrestler that Verne taught at Slammers Wrestling Gym. Its not hard to see from the pic why Verne would want to immortalize ZU as a mask. I'd venture to guess that it's no coincidence that ZU bears a bit of a resemblance to another bald wrestler whose savage visage we all have glowering from our mask shelves: Tor Johnson.

So, ZU forms a bit of a link between Vernes days at Don Post Studios and his days teaching young wrestlers. Sort of a winking nod to one of the most iconic masks of DP's golden age while being inspired by one of Verne's decidedly non-monster mask endeavors.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2017, 11:44:12 AM by Josh »

MonsterMatt

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Re: Verne Langdon and the Studio Quality Masks
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2017, 07:49:28 PM »
Really love this thread!  All of these are fantastic creations!!!!  Really love his new one as well!  Thanks for the super fun thread Huna!!!!