Author Topic: Back to the classics ~ DP's "highbrow" PHANTOM  (Read 133 times)

The Maskahuna

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Back to the classics ~ DP's "highbrow" PHANTOM
« on: December 06, 2017, 01:11:05 AM »
In the upcoming decade, we'll be marking the centenary of Lon Chaney's
Phantom of the Opera. This year actually marks the 50th since Post Studios
first released the "highbrow" PHANTOM mask, their third custom version
of Universal's "Erik" ~



My childhood memories of seeing them for sale in stores are no longer
vivid enough to recall exactly what color they were back then. Not until
the early 1970s was I able to operate a camera and photograph "highbrow"
PHANTOMs wherever I saw them ~

       

The early '70s version is actually my favorite look for the character ~



In his 1911 novel, author Gaston Leroux described Erik's complexion thus:

"His skin, which is stretched across his bones like a drum head,
is not white but a nasty yellow."




Do you suppose DPS painters ever read that passage for inspiration?



The PHANTOM's look was to change again before production
ceased after 1976 ~



This custom job was said to have been made for Universal Studios Tour.
How it ended up in a private collection in South Carolina is anybody's guess ~



'An early original of mine, before it got donated to the Ackerman Archives ~



These two were finished to replicate Chaney's 1925 movie makeup ~

       

'A couple of examples from the mid '80s edition ~

       

The highbrow PHANTOM last saw limited production at DPS in 1989 ~



At the time these photos were taken, only one copy was actually completed ~



I thought it was a prototype or paint master for a long while
until former DPS craftsman Eric Yeager set me straight:

"Not every mask from prior catalogs/production was represented
with 'a paint master'. I do not recall seeing a paint master for this
interpretation. It strikes me now, as it did then, how stark the
paint job is. Rather like a French-Baroque white makeup, isn't it?
The more I think about it, The Phantom would access makeup,
wouldn't he? Some zinc oxide to protect and beautify his skin ..."




Some years ago, I received two images of the master mold
while in storage out-of-state ~



Eric Yeager had an unusual memory of it,
something I hadn't considered before:

"The Phantom master mold was a well-used old mold. It had
developed that fantastic (impossible to sculpt) fine pebbling
that only special molds acquire ... not air bubbles but very
fine voids in the mold; a softening of features accompanied
by a pleasant 'rough' texture, like 180 grit sandpaper. Years
of latex pulling off one dusty layer of plaster after another."




I last saw a highbrow PHANTOM at DPS on Halloween 1999.
Its old style hangtag dates it to the '80s. Why it remained there,
unsold for so long, is not known ~



Let's end this post on a high note with images of highbrow PHANTOM masks
from various collections in and around The HMA, in hopes that you'll reply
with pics of your own copies. It's not only I but ERIK who commands you!

       

         

       






 


« Last Edit: December 06, 2017, 02:12:51 AM by The Maskahuna »

zotzcoin

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Re: Back to the classics ~ DP's "highbrow" PHANTOM
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2017, 09:12:43 PM »
Another great post, mighty 'huna!   I have always liked the high head Phantom mask.  More proof that Pat Newman was God's gift to mask making.
I used to do deluxe custom paint jobs on this Phantom and the Karloff Frankenstein for the walk around actors at Universal Studios Hollywood to wear.  Those guys in costume who wander around and pose for photos with the tourists.  One of the actors was an African American who always introduced himself as "Freddy the Phantom".  He said he was the only one of the monster crew that didn't have to apply black makeup around his eyes before putting his mask on.  I would do my very best paint job on Freddy's Phantom mask while he'd stand nearby watching.  I learned later he'd take that mask I'd painted and paint over it with brown shoe polish so it would be more of a monster of color, or whatever.  I still laugh and do a head shake when I think of it.  If you see some Universal tours photos of the Phantom taken in the early to mid 1970's and he's kind of a deep mahogany tan, it's probably high forehead Freddy the Phantom!  I wish him well!   :D

Doh!

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Re: Back to the classics ~ DP's "highbrow" PHANTOM
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2017, 01:16:28 AM »
Wonderful photos and posting, huna! I don't have any decent photos handy, but did pick up the TOTS Phantom at Don Con. I'll try to take and post photos of it this weekend.
"You're dead, son.  Get yourself buried."
--J.J. Hunsecker

Gory Glenn

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Re: Back to the classics ~ DP's "highbrow" PHANTOM
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2017, 05:55:36 PM »
Great post 'huna! Love the DP Phantom masks. A while back I had a chance to pick up a pristine (no rust) DP Phantom reissue for $99 and I passed on it because I had the ToTS version. I totally regret that now, I don't know what I was thinking. People are asking ridiculous prices for DP reissues now especially on the more popular characters. Dig your Phantom recollections as well zotzcoin! Here are a couple of Phantom photos posted on the UMA site by member Monsters for Sale when Andre the Giant was doing a publicity tour in 1974. Maybe that's Freddy the Phantom?

http://www.universalmonsterarmy.com/forum/index.php?topic=21931.45
« Last Edit: December 07, 2017, 06:03:59 PM by Gory Glenn »

Doh!

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Re: Back to the classics ~ DP's "highbrow" PHANTOM
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2017, 10:53:40 PM »
Once they perfect time travel, Glenn, you should go back in time and pick up that Phantom after all!

And then kill Hitler.
"You're dead, son.  Get yourself buried."
--J.J. Hunsecker

Gory Glenn

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Re: Back to the classics ~ DP's "highbrow" PHANTOM
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2017, 11:37:20 AM »
Once they perfect time travel, Glenn, you should go back in time and pick up that Phantom after all!

And then kill Hitler.

LOL!  ;D

theshape1188

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Re: Back to the classics ~ DP's "highbrow" PHANTOM
« Reply #6 on: December 08, 2017, 07:18:52 PM »
Another home run thread! Amazing history. One of my favorite pieces.