Photographs from behind-the-scenes of famous movies are like gruesome car crashes. They have a magnetic pull about them that forces you to look, but you never like what you see. These photos are amazing, they really are, but they lift the curtain on the magic of the movies. We see the tricks and secrets, and the next time we watch that film, we are a little disillusioned, whether we like it or not. Well, these photos are no different. It’s neat seeing the men behind the monsters, but it might change how you look at them in the future. We’ve given you fair warning, so don’t come crying to us if your favorite horror flicks don’t scare you the way they used to after you’ve seen these photos. You see, it’s all fake. It’s just a ruse. Monsters don’t really exist.
There are plenty of movie monsters that don’t need their masks pulled off or their makeup removed to know who they are underneath. We can see Robert Englund beneath the Freddy Krueger makeup. We can make out Doug Bradley underneath all those pins in Pinhead’s face. We watched Lon Chaney turn into The Wolfman, but what about the faces beneath the makeup and the masks that are more concealing? The actors who take these roles are usually a little more obscure. Why pay an A-lister salary when you’ll never see who’s under the mask? Well, until now at least. We might not know their names or their faces, but we can appreciate the work they’ve done in costume. Let’s take a closer look at these unknowns. Here are 15 movie monsters without masks or makeup.
15. Nick Castle – Michael Myers From Halloween
Even though he is a fairly successful director (The Last Starfighter & Major Payne), Nick Castle is best known for playing the man behind the mask in Halloween. Castle is a long-time friend of John Carpenter, the two even co-wrote Escape from New York together, so when Carpenter needed someone to play the masked villain, Michael Myers, Castle agreed to take the part. Now these two men, Castle and Carpenter, were old college buddies and all, plus the film’s budget was miniscule, especially compared to today’s standards, but Castle’s pay of $25 per day is bordering on slave labor. The two had some laughs on set though. When Castle asked Carpenter for Michael Myers motivation in a certain scene, Carpenter told him, just walk from one set marker to another and don’t think. In hindsight, maybe $25 per day wasn’t all that bad.
14. John Matuszak – Sloth From The Goonies
It may seem wrong to call Sloth a monster because he was the good guy, but let’s be real here, the guy has an eyeball coming out of his cheek. The man behind the gross makeup is John Matuszak, a defensive end from the NFL turned actor. He had a few other gigs before his untimely death in 1989, but he was best known for his role in The Goonies. To get him looking so scary, the makeup crew would spend five hours each day getting it set. The weird eye was mechanically operated, so Matuszak’s blinks had to be timed off screen. Also, if you were ever curious, The Oakland Raiders shirt that Sloth wears in some of the scenes was an homage to the team he played for in the NFL.
13. Haruo Nakajima – Godzilla From Godzilla
Haruo Nakajima isn’t just one of the actors who donned the Godzilla suit. He is the Godzilla actor. For 12 straight Godzilla movies, Nakajima wore the Godzilla suit, from 1954 through to 1972. Not only did Nakajima don the Godzilla suit, he wore most of the Kaiju (monster) suits during his run. Some of the greatest behind the scenes shots available are from the sets of the Japanese Kaiju movies because the scale models and attention to detail are second to none. In many of the scenes where only the monster’s feet and legs were shown, Nakajima wouldn’t even wear the headpiece because of how hot the suit was. This led to some photographs looking like they were on break when they were actually filming a scene.
12. Kane Hodder – Jason Voorhees From Friday the 13th & Hatchet
Kane Hodder is the most well-known actor to play Jason Voorhees in the Friday the 13thfilm franchise. Even though Hodder didn’t start in the role until Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, he would stick with it for a total of four films, three more than any other actor (Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday and Jason X). Hodder would also play Victor Crowley in Hatchet I, II and III. Because of his dedication to playing Jason, most fans consider him the most important actor to wear the hockey mask. Now that he’s played two famous slashers, Hodder has ensured that he’ll go in to the horror hall of fame as one of the deadliest cinematic killers ever.
11. John Rosengrant – Raptor From Jurassic Park
Even though the raptors in Jurassic Park look real, they’re not. Dinosaurs are extinct. The raptor in the film is a suit and there’s a guy crammed in there, John Rosengrant is his name. Rosengrant was part of the special effects team and when they needed someone for the suit, he jumped at the chance. “I had always wanted to perform in suits. I think to do it well, you have to be a bit of an actor — although, the characters we play usually have a singular mission, which is to kill something. ‘Must eat. Must destroy.’ There isn’t a lot of deep psychological acting going on there! But I do think it requires some very good physical acting to do this work.” What Rosengrant didn’t think of was all the down time in between shots. He would need to need to stay in the suit for hours on end, mostly waiting. Since his back would give out after about 30 minutes in the suit, being bent so unnaturally, they would prop him up on a frame to relieve the pressure.
10. Tom Woodruff Jr. – Goro from Mortal Kombat
The suit for Goro in Mortal Kombat is a marvelous creation. It cost $1 million to create and was a nightmare to manage and manipulate, but it looks pretty great, if only for how cheesy it is today. As the director, Paul W.S Anderson states, “Goro was a big creation, with a lot of computers and a lot of guys working around him,” but there needed to be someone inside the suit to move him around, so they got the man who built it, Tom Woodruff Jr., to do the honors. Yet, even with someone inside, the suit was as complicated as it gets, says production designer Jonathan A. Carlson: “[Goro] had 13 to 16 puppeteers. The cables were going all over the place. One guy would be doing the eyeballs. The other guy would be doing the eyebrows. The other guy would be manipulating something else.”
9. Johnathan Breck – Creeper From Jeepers Creepers
You may not think you know Jonathan Breck, but, if you’ve seen Jeepers Creepers or the sequel then you’ve seen him. He’s the Creeper, the bad guy in the film. He also plays the coach in the new Richard Linklater film, Everybody Wants Some!!, but we’re talking monsters here. At the time of filming, each of the actors, including Justin Long, were new to film and none of them knew how big the film was going to become. After all, it had a miniscule budget of about $10 million. Somehow, this little film has stood the test of time. It even became the number one ranked film in the nation upon its release. Now with Jeepers Creepers 3 on the horizon, expect to see Breck suited up once more. This time, you’ll know exactly who’s behind that thick makeup.
8. Roberto Campanella – Pyramid Head From Silent Hill
Pyramid Head first showed up in Silent Hill 2 and he quickly became the franchise’s most recognizable villain. It’s unclear whether he is one person or a type of monster, but we do know that he is awesome. He walks around dragging a massive sword and his head is covered with a pyramid-like helmet. Underneath that helmet is Roberto Campanella. While Campanella also plays “The Janitor” in this franchise, it is Pyramid Head that is the much more significant character. Campanella is a former ballet dancer who danced with The National Ballet of Canada. He mainly works on film as a movement choreographer, so it makes sense that he plays masked villains whose movements are the majority of their performance.
7. Dane Farwell – Ghostface from Scream
If you’ve seen the Scream films, you’ll know that there are always multiple killers donning the outfit and mask, but really there is just one Ghostface and that’s Dane Farwell. As soon as the outfit is on, the actors are traded in for a stuntman and that’s Farwell for the Scream franchise, playing Ghostface in Scream, Scream 2 and Scream 4. A lot of the attitude and mannerisms of Ghostface were instituted by Farwell, including the head tilt and the bloody knife wipe with his thumb and index fingers. Wes Craven saw Farwell do this once and liked it so much, he decided to keep it as a part of the character, even though the actual killers change each film. He’s not just known for playing Ghostface, though that is his most iconic role. Farwell has an incredible resume of performing stunts on some of the biggest action films there are like the Pirates of the Caribbean films, 300 and several comic book movies.
6. Doug Jones – Pale Man and Pan From Pan’s Labyrinth
You may not know it, but you’ve probably seen Doug Jones on screen several times. This former contortionist has had quite a few famous roles in huge movies, but he usually has his face covered up with makeup or a mask. In Pan’s Labyrinth, Jones was asked to play two parts, the creepy Pale Man with the eyes on his palms and Pan, the creepy faun. Because of Jones’ lanky frame and flexible body, he is able to move in such a way that makes him perfect for costume acting. Jones also played Abe Sapien in the Hellboy films and Billy, the zombie guy, in Hocus Pocus.
5. Bill Bryan – Stay Puft Marshmallow Man From Ghostbusters
Bill Bryan is capable of doing almost anything when it comes to special effects. Inspired by Jim Henson, Bryan would craft a career working on film sets, creating costumes, puppeteering and, sometimes, even dressing up and acting in the film. That’s how it went on Ghostbusters, when, after designing the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man costume, Bryan was asked to play the part as well. He would go on to do the puppeteering in Men in Black (donning a costume there too), Child’s Play and Species II. He would build some of the character costumes in The Village, Jurassic Park III and Pet Sematary II as well. You may never have heard his name and you might even forget it after you close this page, but next time you see Ghostbusters, you’ll think to yourself, I read something about that guy somewhere, and it was bloody brilliant.
4. Kevin Peter Hall – The Predator From Predator
When they first filled the role of the Predator in The Predator, Jean-Claude Van Damme was brought in because of his martial arts background, but he soon found the role to be something much different than what he pictured. The test shots didn’t look great and the suit was too restrictive for Van Damme to do his acrobatic stunts, so they brought in Kevin Peter Hall to fill in. Hall is a monster himself at 7 ft 3, so he looked much more convincing in the suit. Hall would keep his name relevant even after Predator because he was also cast to play Harry in Harry and the Hendersons. Throughout the years, Hall has played several monster-type characters because of his huge height, but Predator will always be the one that he is best known for.
3. Bolaji Badejo – The Alien From Alien
When the filmmakers of Alien were looking to find someone to play the role of the Alien, the producer explains, “We’d had this vision of a praying mantis… We needed somebody incredibly tall with very long legs, so when they crouched down it gave the impression of an insect.” Then, as casting director Peter Adram was sitting in a pub in London, he found him, a 6 ft 10 Nigerian named Bolaji Badejo. The wiry giant seemed perfect and when Ardram brought Bodejo in to meet the other head honchos, they were all blown away. In terms of film, that was it for Bodejo. Unfortunately, the Nigerian would die of sickle cell in 1992, but he will always be remembered as playing one of the better silent villains in the history of film.
2. Max Schreck – Count Orlok From Nosferatu
Max Schreck is a name that most people have no association with these days, but in the early days of film, he was quite famous. Though he has a decent film resume, his role as Count Orlok in Nosferatu is the one that made him famous. At the time of its release, Nosferatu collected quite a bit of controversy because they could not attain the rights to Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and decided to make a thinly veiled copy of it. It didn’t really work, as they were sued for plagiarism, but today people don’t really care about that. Nosferatu is considered one of the most influential horror films ever made, and Schreck’s performance is brilliant. Without makeup, Schreck still isn’t the most recognizable man, but at least we get to see what he actually looked like.
1. Boris Karloff – Frankenstein’s Monster From Frankenstein
Boris Karloff as easily the most recognizable name on this list, but there is a great many people who don’t know what the Frankenstein monster really looks like. You say, which Frankenstein monster did Karloff play? Well, close your eyes and picture Frankenstein’s monster. That’s Karloff. Nearly every version that has followed since the 1931 film have tried to replicate Karloff’s image in makeup because it’s become so iconic in horror. Even though Karloff would go on to do many, many films, it would be his portrayals of this monster that would become his primary legacy.