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Nightmare Fuel / The Mask

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    Comic Book Series
  • Most of the entirety and concept of the original comics is this. The art style is in your face constantly, so it has certain moments that can border on Uncanny Valley. And, although cartoony in design, there's enough violence in this to border many, many, many different emotions...
  • The Toon Physics only applies to those wearing the mask, so blood and gore are everywhere, naturally. For example, in the scene where Ipkiss makes a Tommy gun out of a balloon; he doesn't use it to scare away the thugs like in the movie, he blasts them into hamburger meat. Or how about the scene where he Ass Shoves a muffler and tailpipe in the mechanics who ripped him off? In the movie, it leaves them alive but in desperate need of a proctologist; in the comic, they're left as bloody corpses.
  • Ipkiss gets worse from there, not just killing people he doesn't like, but anyone in general. Suffocating a teacher with his foot, massacring total strangers who bug him, and slaughtering cops just doing their job with a machine gun and a flamethrower.
    • Oh, and that teacher he suffocated? She bullied him when he was a child. His killing her shows he can hold a grudge for years.
    • Don't worry, though. He dies in the first story from being shot in the back by his girlfriend Kathy, after which she dons the Mask and becomes Big-Head herself.
  • Everything about Walter. An utter monster of a behemoth, with Super-Strength to spare. He is Made of Iron and uses this fact to inflict self-mutilation on such a scale that it would probably kill an average person, and he does this to mess with those with weak stomachs for laughs. He is NOT stupid either, working his way up to become the underworld boss and showing great savvy whenever he fights Big Head. If Walter wore the mask, the consequences would be utterly catastrophic. Fortunately, he is immune to it. The mask works for animals, even people like Lobo and The Joker, to put things into perspective. But not Walter; this is one of the biggest Mask mysteries ever. Why didn't it work? Was it because his head was too big for him to wear it; he's already seemingly invincible that he doesn't need it, or is it because he has no personality that the Mask can exploit?
  • The crossover with Lobo, where the Czarnian bounty hunter gets hired to hunt down the Ultimate Bastich-that is, the mask's previous wearer. It's already terrifying enough to scare away dozens of superheroes before we learn who the Ultimate Bastich is: Lobo himself. Sleep well.
  • Pictured above is one of the Mask's little tricks wisely omitted from the adaptations. In the comics, Big Head can disguise himself as anyone he wants, and when he wants to remove the disguise, he does so by ripping off a layer of bloody skin like cheap latex. He used it once in the Convention of Evil episode, minus the blood.
  • Papa Croc, the Big Bad of Southern Discomfort, and a Scary Black Man, the likes of which even scare Big Head. He is a masterful voodoo practitioner whose favorite way to kill people is by using his magic to force them to walk into lakes filled with crocodiles. Scariest of all, like Walter, he can hold his own and seemingly survive his final confrontation with Big Head.
  • Where do we even start with the 2019-2020 comic series "I Pledge Allegiance to the Mask"? How about the basic premise: in a parody of the election of Donald Trump in 2016, the Mask falls into the hands of a presidential candidate, and Big Head decides to pursue political office with all of its usual bloodthirsty mayhem and psychotic humor... and people eat it up, to the point that Big Head genuinely seems to be likely to win.
    • Then there's the way the series ends: Big Head successfully gets into office and immediately begins running America as his kingdom. He comes within an inch of pushing the button to start a nuclear war against the rest of the planet before his previous wearers make a suicide mission to kill him. In the chaos, they all get killed, and the Mask is seemingly destroyed, only for its ethereal image to rant to the reader that they don't need it anymore, and they can create all the chaos he wants without it riding their faces. The very last panel? A shot of the Statue of Liberty with Big Head's face telling the reader, "Go fuck yourself."

    Live-Action Film
  • The film starts in the most harrowing way possible. First, there's that foreboding music, and then we see a scuba diver uncover the treasure chest with the titular mask. An overhead ship suddenly drops a large metal pipe on the diver, who cries out in pain as the same pipe breaks the chest open, unleashing the mask. It's eerie enough that such a coincidence could happen in the mask's favor, but what happened to that diver afterward?
  • The scene where Niko uses his golf simulator to torture Dorian by hitting a golf ball off his face and threatening to use his Nine-Iron to give him more than a bloody lip next time. If not for this being an action-comedy movie, this would have fit right in with movies like The Godfather.
  • The first time Stanley transforms into The Mask—Painful Transformation, indeed. For one thing, the Mask flings itself onto Stanley's face and then wraps itself around his head like a cartoon, all while Stanley feels nothing but pain as it tightly grips onto his head. When he's taken over by the Mask and spinning into the usual yellow suit, it comes off as a relief.
  • The Plot Twist where Peggy is revealed not to be a potential love interest but an opportunist who sells out Stanley for a suitcase full of cash to none other than Dorian. That's when everything takes a turn for the dark.
  • Peggy's death scene. She tries to leave with her cash reward, but Dorian stops her. Peggy pulls a gun on Dorian, but he crushes it effortlessly. Then he tosses her into the presses, where she becomes page one of the newspaper—printed in blood—with the headline: "Reporter Killed in Freak Accident," all while Stanley is forced to watch, unable to do anything about it. The scene is so horrifying that it's no wonder it wound up as a Deleted Scene.
    • It's worse in the comic adaptation, where the bloody ink looks messier, and Peggy's photo on the front page shows terror on her face.
  • Dorian's transformation in his Mask persona. Dorian's appearance is utterly diabolical, unlike Stanley's comedic style. Dorian's Mask persona is probably closest to Big-Head Killer in the source material.
    • His most terrifying moment comes when he storms the Coco Bongo and confronts his old boss Niko. Dorian goads Niko into shooting him, absorbs all of his gunfire, and then returns it through his mouth with enough force to send Niko flying into the air before he hits the ground. Possibly the most remarkable example of From Nobody to Nightmare committed to film.
    • In the movie's early production stages, they initially tried to follow its Dark Horse Comics roots. The creators manage to invoke the original "Big Head" persona through Dorian when you think about it.
  • The scene when Dorian confronts Tina when she tries to leave town is already pretty tense, but the film's extended workprint version manages to make it even worse, as he all but outright states to Tina that he killed one of his previous girlfriends when she tried to leave him.
    Dorian: You know what happened to the last bitch that ran out on me? Do you?!
    Tina: No...
    Dorian: Nobody else does, either. And nobody ever will.
  • Dorian gets blown to bits by a stick of dynamite in his hand in one early script.
  • Milo Mask can be a little unsetting with his sharp-looking teeth and deranged appareance.
  • An early screenplay has its share of frightening moments:
    • Outside his apartment building, Stanley/Mask takes a huge machete from his sleeve, decapitates himself, and repeatedly tosses his severed head into the air to see into his apartment, where Scully's men are guarding Stanley's girlfriend, Kathleen. When entering with Mitch, Stanley is holding his head under his arm.
    • Scully/Mask's (Dorian's) murderous rampage, including a wedding massacre at the crime boss Vitelli's (Niko's) estate, from which he emerges drenched in blood.
    • Scully/Mask's interactions with Kathleen after abducting her are uncomfortable enough to make anyone squirm. After Scully traps her in his limo and dons the mask, Kathleen asks what he wants from her. Looking down at her through the sunroof, perched like a bird, the masked Scully says he doesn't know, but "we'll think of something." During this moment, the script describes something big and thick like a "throbbing boa constrictor" starting to squirm in the crotch of his pants. Need I say anymore? After the slaughter at Vitelli's estate and a face-off with Kellaway and the cops, Scully perches over his limo's sunroof, stares down at Kathleen again like a bird of prey, and does some lip licking. Arriving at his warehouse, Scully throws Kathleen into a bedroom that the script describes as making Hugh Hefner's room resemble a monastery closet, which is quite an accomplishment. Then after Kathleen falls back onto the bed, Scully reaches for her and begins "foreplay," sprouting two extra hands from his torso and caressing her body. Luckily, Stanley arrives at the warehouse in time, interrupting Scully, who's mere moments from doing "something INCREDIBLY disgusting" to Kathleen.

    Animated Series
Even when in animated form, it still looks like it hurts.
  • While Stanley has become used to it, whenever someone puts on the Mask for the first time in the series, it still looks like a Painful Transformation like in the movie. But thankfully enough, The Mask, unlike those who put it on, is genuinely insane, but a sweet and kind person who though could keep his face on all the time very much cares and loves Stanley so; therefore, he takes his face off when he has the time and when he does it's a lot less painful coming off.
    • Evelyn and Dr. Neuman, though, have no experience putting the Mask of Loki on, so imagine how it would look from their perspectives:
      • Evelyn puts it on unknowingly when she tried to put her glasses on. But it wraps itself around her, and considering what it does: making the glasses disappear; turning her eyes into cartoony eyes; making her teeth large and white, along with altering her mind so since it's the first time that Eve has come out, she goes all wild, lustful and unpredictable with Stanley which ends with her putting him through the ceiling at the Coco Bongo which makes her realize that she needs to slow down a bit. Hence, she eases up a bit and goes a lot easy on Stanley feeling guilty for what she did, which is a relief seeing that she is like The Mask, genuinely insane but a good-hearted person like him.
      • Dr. Neuman, on the other hand, had no such luck. His mask persona, though cartoonish and polite, is evil. Imagine ending up remembering what your mask self did and was planning to do will undoubtedly leave you terrified if he finds it and wears it again since he still thinks it does not work even though it did.
  • Quite a few villains in the series have put on the Mask and become even more dangerous than they already were; Pretorius in "Sister Mask," Chet Bozzack in "Split Personality," and Fish Guy in "The Good, the Bad, and the Fish Guy," to name a few. But would you believe that Dr. Neuman, who isn't even a villain, would be the most dangerous of them all? In the episode "Shrink Rap," he puts on the Mask and becomes an Axe-Crazy Psycho Psychologist. He attacks random people, puts them in wedgie straitjackets, nearly lobotomizes Charlie, and tries to help Dr. Pretorius nuke Edge City because he decided that killing the population would end the "scourge of Ipkissia Maskosis.” At one point, he tries to kill Stanley via electrocution. And don’t even get me started on his voice, which alternates between a deep hellish sound and an insane high pitch.
    • Even if Masked Neuman knows Pretorius is insane, he is a lot more willing to team up with him, making him even more terrifying since it's clear that he is ready to be a supervillain rather than a hero.
    • Compared to other wearers of the mask in the series, he's the one who's the most prone to more violent methods, such as threatening to remove Charlie's brain or using a chainsaw and electricity in his attempts to kill Stanley, making him the closest thing we've ever gotten to an animated version of Big Head, and that alone is bone-chilling.
      Masked Dr. Neuman: Come back, Mr. Ipkiss! You’re overdue for your lobotomy!
  • Walter is the only one who is played entirely seriously, with him being immune to the Mask’s antics and wacky behavior. It causes The Mask himself to have an Oh, Crap! whenever Walter appears, knowing that the only way to defeat him is to send him elsewhere instead of using his usual methods. When The Mask, the most powerful superhero, is genuinely scared of Walter, you know that’s saying something, considering The Mask is usually not fearful of his enemies, always confident that he will beat them. Still, Walter is the only one he’s afraid of, and The Mask will do anything to send him somewhere so that he does not have to face him.
  • Skillit's victims undergo Rapid Aging after losing their shadows. At first, the effects are only minor, but it accelerates daily.
    • This line he says to Stanley in his debut episode gives us a little Fridge Horror.
      Skillit: I’ve known everyone who has ever possessed the Mask. Or should I say the Mask has possessed.
    • Skillit's rather graphic description of the type of fun he wants to have with the Mask leaves the latter visibly repulsed.
      Skillit: Ah, Mask! I know you came here to take back those shadows, but let's go to the Shadowland instead! Come on, we'll boil Shadowland denizens in oil, flay their skin from their bodies, split their spines like boiled lobsters!
      Mask: What kind of sicko do you think I am?!
    • Of course, we must consider that Skillit is a Psychopathic Manchild who cannot comprehend that the Mask is a neutral force. The only believable part is the previous wearers, Atilla the Hun, Blackbeard the Pirate, and Genghis Khan. There's no imagining how these loons used the Mask against the world; we're lucky the world is in one piece after their little rampages. That's the real Nightmare Fuel.
  • The future of the planet Earth doesn't look too good.
    • At some point later, Edge City would be taken over by a power-hungry dictator. And with no Mask around, he's practically untouchable.
    • Even further into the future, humanity is no longer the dominant species. It's the pigs running the show. And any humans that get captured are sent to camps where they're never seen again. Sure, they are not being processed for food (or are they?), but it could be anything.