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Sackhead Slasher

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Horror villains who wear sacks on their head

This trope has been Launched!
Proposed By:
arbiter099 on Mar 27th 2018 at 1:24:11 AM
Last Edited By:
Morgenthaler on Apr 11th 2018 at 2:40:29 AM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: trope

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/re_4_chainsaw_wiki.jpg

Malevolent Masked Men meets Overalls and Gingham. You're all set for Hillbilly Horrors, the Cannibal Larder is stocked and the Creepy Gas Station Attendant gave those kids some great directions. But how is your bad guy dressed? Put a sack on his head. Not a wimpy paper bag but a rugged, intimidating burlap bundle that happened to be lying around the barnyard. Like other masks, it dehumanizes the wearer often reducing them to an imposing silhouette with only eyeholes for expression. It also invokes the same eerie Uncanny Valley effect of the Scary Scarecrow, who are often constructed with a burlap head covered in Scary Stitches. A Stock Costume. Compare Hockey Mask and Chainsaw.


Examples

Film - Live Action

  • Batman Begins: Jonathan Crane, in his persona as Scarecrow, just wears a burlap sack on his head along with ordinary civilian clothes (rather than his full Scary Scarecrow costume from the original comics).
  • Friday the 13th Part 2: When Jason Voorhees first took up the machete as one of slasher horror's more iconic villains, he wore a sack with a single eyehole tied around his neck with a bit of rope to hide his monstrous deformity. It wasn't until the next movie, Friday the 13th Part III, that he would receive his iconic hockey mask.
  • Nightbreed: When he moonlights as a serial killer, Doctor Decker wears a drab-looking scarecrow mask that visually clashes with his neat business suit.
  • The Strangers: The crux of the film is a home invasion by a masked trio, one of whom (credited simply as The Masked Man) combines a suit and tie with a burlap sack, with a smile drawn on in marker, over his head.
  • The Town That Dreaded Sundown: The Phantom is never seen without a burlap gunnysack with eye holes covering his head. The film is Based on a True Story with the real life suspect being described as wearing a white mask with eyeholes cut into it.
  • The mysterious killer in Triangle wears a sack as a mask leading to a Dramatic Unmask. An obvious Shout-Out to Friday The 13th Part 2.
  • Trick 'r Treat: Sam wears a burlap sack with buttons sewn on for eyes and a stitched on mouth as a trick-or-treater mask. He is actually a demonic embodiment of the spirit of halloween with a pumpkin like skull beneath the mask.

Video Games

  • Invoked in Dark Souls I by the Butchers, a pair of massive and tough enemies in the Undead Burg Depths who ambush you with their giant cleavers and wear sacks on their heads (you can loot such a sack from their bodies and wear it yourself, although it offers next to no protection). Further down in Blighttown, there is also an NPC invader named Man-eater Mildred, who likewise wears a sack on her head and wields a Butcher cleaver. All three of them are said to be cannibals, and the first Butcher is introduced hacking away at what is very likely human meat.
  • DUSK: The Leathernecks, burly men in overalls with potato sacks on their heads, are the first enemy encountered in the game when a group of them try to dice you up in a basement with chainsaws.
  • Resident Evil 4: The Chainsaw Men are sack wearing villagers who featured heavily in the marketing for the game. Infected with a malevolent parasite and controlled by the local cult, they are much more durable than the common Ganado enemy. They charge and slash at Leon, decapitating him if the player fails to Press X to Not Die.

Feedback: 15 replies

Mar 28th 2018 at 1:35:59 AM

  • Invoked in Dark Souls I by the Butchers, a pair of massive and tough enemies in the Undead Burg Depths who ambush you with their giant cleavers and wear sacks on their heads (you can loot such a sack from their bodies and wear it yourself, although it offers next to no protection). Further down in Blighttown, there is also an NPC invader named Man-eater Mildred, who likewise wears a sack on her head and wields a Butcher cleaver. All three of them are said to be cannibals, and the first Butcher is introduced hacking away at what is very likely human meat.

Mar 27th 2018 at 2:20:33 AM

  • Examples section
    • Added a line separating the Description and Examples section.
    • Added the word "Examples".
    • Added media section titles as per Media Categories.
    • De-capitalized (Hockey).
    • Corrected spelling (Leatherneck -> Leathernecks).

Mar 27th 2018 at 11:22:53 AM

Does Scarecrow from Batman count?

Mar 27th 2018 at 11:51:48 AM

I was thinking about that and the overlap between this and Scary Scarecrows who are typically built out of burlap

Mar 27th 2018 at 3:23:30 PM

Sam from Trick R Treat wears a burlap sack with buttons sewn on for eyes and a stitched on mouth.

Mar 28th 2018 at 1:19:36 AM

  • Batman Begins: Jonathan Crane, in his persona as Scarecrow, just wears a burlap sack on his head along with ordinary civilian clothes (rather than his full Scary Scarecrow costume from the original comics).

Mar 28th 2018 at 1:38:13 AM

Junior from the "Welcome to the Bayou" arc in The Punisher MAX wears one, presumably imposed by his family, as it's likely he suffers from some kind of deformity.

Mar 28th 2018 at 8:10:23 AM

  • Nightbreed: Doctor Decker's mask is slightly more professionally made, but is still just essentially a burlap sack with buttons over his eyes.

Mar 28th 2018 at 9:08:14 AM

can you guys expand a bit of context on the punisher and nightbreed examples please?

Mar 31st 2018 at 12:54:36 PM

Mar 31st 2018 at 12:57:43 PM

Apr 11th 2018 at 2:40:41 AM

^^^ Alright, I reworded it. How's this?

  • Nightbreed: When he moonlights as a serial killer, Doctor Decker wears a drab-looking scarecrow mask that visually clashes with his neat business suit.

Apr 6th 2018 at 9:29:13 PM

thanks, added to the draft

Apr 11th 2018 at 1:34:32 AM

I had that image in mind actually. I've added it although I am a bit concerned about it being NSFW and the wiki gore policy.

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