Behind the Mask Explained In a Nutshell
Behind the Mask is about an up and coming slasher movie legend named Leslie Vernon. Leslie is being interviewed by a documentary film crew and he reveals most of his trade secrets to them. The movie shows the process of finding a target group, the pre-planning, preparation, and of course the execution of a perfect and unstoppable plan…
The Behind the Mask Movie Trailer
The Behind the Mask Movie Review Breakdown
Tagline: Jason, Freddy, Myers. We All Need Someone To Look Up To.
Who is in it? Nathan Baesel, Zelda Rubinstein and Robert Englund
Genre: Horror – Comedy – Thriller
Was it horrific and funny? Not really ‘horrific’ but it is directly horror related, and yes it’s hilarious.
Would this movie be for every horror-comedy fan? If you like slasher flicks, you NEED to see this movie!
Should you see it? Yes! Right this second!
Run Time: 92 minutes
Behind the mask is one of those genius movies that should have been WAY bigger than it was. Somehow this movie has fallen into the cracks, and I will do my best to bring it into the light. Behind the Mask is my favorite horror comedy movie because of how it exposes the entire format of the slasher genre. It really stepped back to analyze the genre and really put itself out there which was great. Leslie Vernon is the new breed of slasher killer. Killers like Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddy Krueger may have put killers on the map but Leslie Vernon is the one to take it to the next level. The self-analysis of the genre was extremely beneficial when I was writing the article on How to Survive a Horror Movie, I really love this stuff!
The movie starts out with a documentary film crew doing some establishing shots. The reporter (Taylor) has gotten an exclusive with Leslie Vernon, an aspiring serial killer. Leslie reveals a lot about what a ‘good’ killer has to do in order to perform a legendary kill. When killers like Michael Myers comes to a house to kill a girl and everything goes perfectly in his favor may seem like chance, but it’s not. It’s actually months of careful planning and preparation coming to fruition. When filming Leslie in his house we see that he has several detailed ‘work related’ books on anatomy and even misdirection and slight of hand magic. He reveals that a killer has to do a lot of cardio so he doesn’t get winded.
One of the best tidbits he lays out is the concept of walking after a victim while they are at a dead sprint. An outtake scene actually shows how he does it, and it was hilarious! After we learn about the physical preparation and text book learning we get into the planning portion. The location of the killings is no accident. He carefully rigs the entire house so that the people inside basically have no chance of survival while appearing that they do. He rigs all of the ground level exits to keep ‘containment’ he has the lights rigged to go out on his command, and he rigged all of the weapons to break. The killing itself is all focused on a ‘survivor girl’. A survivor girl is a virgin like girl that just might make it through the trial by fire and survive in the end. Leslie has been eyeballing a girl in town for his survivor girl, and even plants fake evidence in a library so she believes his fake ‘legend’.
Lets kick this into high gear! A local guy played by Robert Englund warns the Taylor and the rest of the crew to stay away from Leslie, and that he isn’t who they think he is. When the night of the killing comes they camera crew have second thoughts and try to sabotage Leslie’s plan and save the kids. What they don’t know is that Leslie couldn’t care less about the kids in the house, he is out for them! The girl he said he has been eyeing as the potential survivor girl was all a lie, his real survivor girl is the reporter Taylor. Leslie kills all of the kids, and the camera guys exactly how he said he would in his plan. At the end of the movie Taylor ‘kills’ Leslie by smashing his head with an apple crusher, she had made it. The end credits shows a long shot from a surveillance camera inside a hospital room. They wheel Leslie’s body inside on a cart and as the doctor has his back turned to him, Lieslie sits straight up (just like Michael Myers does) revealing that his genius plan had indeed worked flawlessly. The funny part about the end was the super up-beat song that plays during the credits as Leslie lays on the table.
Official Nutshell-Movies Explanation
Fun Facts about Behind the Mask
- The first time Taylor interviews Eugene and his wife, a Lament Configuration puzzle box from Hellraiser (1987) can be seen sitting on a table.
- Doc Halloran’s (Robert Englund) wardrobe (and beard) is nearly identical to that of Donald Pleasence’s character Doctor Loomis from the Halloween films.
- When Leslie is applying his makeup while being interviewed about his target, the song playing in the background is the same as that heard at the end of The Shining (1980), where Jack Torrence appears in the photo: ”Midnight, The Stars and You,” sung by Al Bowlly with the Ray Noble Orchestra, 1934.
- At the beginning Taylor is standing in front of the Red Rabbit Pub. This is reference to the Red Rabbit matchbook found by Dr. Loomis in Halloween (1978).
- Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees), in seen walking into 1428 Elm Street. This was the address that Nancy lived in, in the original A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).
- When Leslie and the graduate students are scoping out potential victims at the school, Leslie makes eye contact with a young woman. As this happens, three girls can be spotted playing jump rope in the background. This is a reference to the “Nightmare on Elm Street” series.
- Leslie’s real surname is exposed to be Mancuso. Frank Mancuso Jr. is the producer of most “Friday the 13th” movies.
- Zelda Rubinstein uses her signature voice from ”The Scariest Places on Earth” (2000)while telling the legend of Leslie Vernon to the girl in the library.
- Zelda Rubinstein’s last movie.
Behind the Mask is a severely underrated movie, that should have went super nova!