As promised, I’m continuing my interviews with Salem based artists, musicians, and authors. Today we have local mask-maker, Uncle Boogieman, best known for his custom Jason Vorhees masks. We talk Friday the 13th, Salem at Halloween, and mask making!
How did you get into making custom masks?
I had once purchased a set of all of the Jason masks, in fiberglass, for a good chunk of moolah. Once I received them, I felt robbed. None of them had straps, and most of them were just crap crafted and painted like crud. I…was…pissed.
I decided then, repainting all of my cruddy masks, that I was very happy doing so, and wanted to keep creating versions. Luckily, other people liked what i was doing! Oddly, I obtained my moniker from a scene in Halloween 5.
Plus, I am a Bogeyman. I just changed the spelling to reflect my groovy, music loving nature.
Can you tell us a bit about your process?
I’ll obtain masks in different ways. Online, stores, China, Frightstuff, unsuspecting Trick r Treaters….
Then, usually, Slayer – Dead Skin Mask.
Sand by hand.
Then, depending on the mask, I’ll use various tools and/or sharp objects.
Then, possibly, tequila.
My painting process depends on how I want the mask to look, obviously. But, I utilize a lot of spray paint. I’m still a novice, even after years of it. It is barely controlled chaos. Airbrush may soon join my shed of doom.
If you can imagine someone like Jason Voorhees, sitting in a dilapidated barn, using rusty tools and anger….
Jason’s mask changes slightly from movie to movie. Any particular favorite version?
I am a fan of all versions, really. They each have their personality.
But, that answer sucks.
I’ll usually gravitate to Part 4, “shower scene” mask, and Part 7. I’ve made many Part 7s.
Obviously you have a love for the Friday the 13th franchise. What about Jason resonates with you above other villains?
I can relate to the character in ways that are best left undiscussed…however, as much as I love other horror icons, Jason is the Batman of horror (settle down, comic lovers). Just my opinion.
No screwing around. No ill preparation. Tragic anti-hero. Brilliance in his own way. Rage….and the weaponry….
Best installment and worst installment of the series?
Best? Hmmm, well, Kane is awesome in 7 and I, literally, hate Jason Goes To Hell, as an installment of the Fridays…but, I think Part 4 is great. I’m also a fan of Jason X. Does it bug me he’s in Space? Nope.
It bugged me that he was little more than demon puke in JGTH, though.
Any other creative endeavors you’d like to talk about?
As Uncle Boogieman states:
I enjoy painting and making creepy things. Soon, there will be a good assortment of “Axe”tion Figures and “Die”oramas out there, too.
Currently, this October, the Ugly Mug Diner has graciously allowed me to hang my work on their walls, as well as Front Street Coffee House letting me decorate their wall with some masks. Cityside Diner is always hosting some of my work, too!
Much love to them, and anyone that supports Uncle Boog.
Salem is a big Halloween town. As a horror fan, how does it feel to live in a place steeped with grim history, where the macabre is vital to the economy of the city?
I have a separation between horror and Halloween in Salem. I love this city. I love the acceptance most people show. I love what we could embody. I just feel that we miss the right mark. I think it is sad that we wait for October to really boost us. You can find me in costume in the middle of April, Flag day, or even two weeks after Halloween. I am a total Halloweenie, but that never had anything to do with where I live. My mother and grandfather were most influential in my love for horror. Salem is more than its darkness.
Salem IS more than $alem
Still, I will keep Salem spooky in my heart and mind, year round!
You are involved with The Devil’s Race on Halloween. Can you talk a little about that?
Oh, the Devil’s Chase! Fun time! A flock of devils and other nefarious creatures running around? Good times with good people. You can blame Brandi and Steve Dion from B&S Fitness for that! Hell, yeah!
Any favorite attractions in the city?
I am a HHUUGGEE fan of Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery. James and the gang are super, and so into what they are doing there. The info that lurks in their brains and hallways is, well….scary! It is a museum of horror icons and knowledge. Two things I can dig, brought together.
I am interested in checking out Chamber of Terrors, down on the Wharf, too. Been busy Boogie-ing, but I’ll get there, soon!
Anything else you’d like to promote or perhaps some closing words?
Really big thanks to any and all that enjoy what I do, show interest, support my lunacy, or spend their earnings on my work. I still think I have a long way to go as an artist. I remain humbled.
I am forever grateful. More than I could explain. Especially to my wife, who has to put up with my childlike, horrific ways. She’s way too kind hearted.
Thank you for your time reading these words.
Be good, be well, and be excellent to each other…’cause, I’m out there, waiting…
Also, I’d like to remind people to use birth control. There are only so many Bogeymen around nowadays, and we can’t keep up with the supply. Do you know how hard it is to digest a child?
Lastly, to quote my favorite guitar hero, the late Dimebag Darrell-
“That’s the fun I have…! ”