After watching the repulsive Megan is Missing, I had to get to something else to get my mind off of it – and fast. I’m no prude but I like my horror to be “good, clean, fun” and that movie was certainly none of that, it was repulsive and disgusting. Anyway, Behind the mask is just that – good, clean, fun about a serial killer who invites a documentary crew to follow him along as he plans his next killing spree – and then executes it. I also like that this is smart: a serial killer movie about a serial killer who has the desire to be the next Myers, Krueger or Vorhees. That sentence is clunky… in the world of this movie, Michael Myers, Freddie Krueger, Jason Vorhees and Chucky (the doll) are all real and Leslie Vernon is going to be the next great thing when it comes to mass murder. To capture this story, the film crew follows him along as he explains his plans to create his legend. “First off, have a location” he explains, such as his families’ abandoned apple orchard, where “the soil will run with blood if you till it on the harvest moon.” Second, “find your target group” he advises as they all spy on the kids of the local high school. “You mean victims?” the reporter, Taylor asks. “PotAto potato,” he sighs.
So they set out learning the to-dos and what-nots, the good and the bad, and the general ways of life of the mass murdering serial killer, including a few lessons from his mentor, a killer from back in the 60s who went out of business “when the guys like J and Fred and Mike came around in the 70s”. You know – all of the cardio he has to do to keep running around after kids, all the time spent in sensory deprivation chambers in case he has to play dead, doing CGI images of his mom to make a fake article about his “mark’s” dead great uncle who raped his mother and created him, all the day to day stuff. Eventually, things get crazy and we end up with tons of victims, evil masks, crazy psychiatrists and the final showdown in that apple orchard, and a pretty fun final credits that sets up a sequel.
There’s not a lot else to say – this is a typical slasher movie about how the slasher does his thing, and then it turns into a slasher movie. There’s a lot of comedy to it, there’s also Robert Englund (Freddie Krueger himself), Scott Wilson (from a hundred movies – my most memorable: The Exorcist 3), there’s Zelda Rubinstein (the little lady from the Poltergeists) an attractive lady named Angela Goethals and Nathan Baesel as Leslie Vernon.