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Film Review: Maskhead (2009)

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Syl and Maddie are a lesbian couple who enjoy shooting fetish films in their spare time. Luckily for them there are a lot of people who want to star in their movies so they never have to worry about a lack of potential actors. Unfortunately for the people in the films Syl and Maddie always use a certain person in each of their movies, a huge hulking deformed man known only as Maskhead. Maskhead takes joy in cruelly (and painfully) slaughtering anyone unlucky enough to appear in one of Syl and Maddie’s films. Will Syl and Maddie run out of victims…uh…actors soon or will someone be able to stop Maskhead before he kills again?


I got to meet some of the folks from Toe Tag Pictures back in 2003 at the Cinema Wasteland horror convention in Ohio. They were all a great bunch of people and a lot of fun to be around. I’ve seen some of their other films and I enjoyed most of them. Unfortunately “Maskhead” isn’t what I would call one of their best efforts and it was sort of like they just phoned this one in. It is all over the place and for the most part I just couldn’t get into it. I thought it sounded excellent and was expecting it to be a very cool, violent, fun-filled ride but in the end I was more than just a little let down.

So why wasn’t “Maskhead” that great? Well, there are a couple of different reasons why I was disappointed in it. For one it was just flat boring. There were too many scenes that ran too long that just had Syl and Maddie sitting around talking or interviewing possible victims. When Maskhead did kill someone it was usually pretty quick and wasn’t really anything special that I haven’t already seen before. I thought that the movie tried way too hard to be shocking but it didn’t quite succeed in that respect. It reminded me of a watered-down “Hostel” a little but it lacked the elements that it had that made it a good movie. I don’t know folks, maybe I’m just desensitized after so many years of watching violent horror and maybe it just takes a lot to really shock me and freak me out these days.

It was pretty apparent to me that the writer (Scott Swan) had no idea where to go with the script after he started writing it. I’ll admit that the premise is pretty good but I think that after Swan came up with the initial idea for the movie he didn’t know what to do with it. As a result we are treated to many odd, out of place scenes that are pretty much only in the movie to pad out the running time. If I had to see Syl and Maddie interview one more person I think I would have screamed!

The characters are pretty bad too. Syl and Maddie were both annoying and The Cowboy drove me bat sh*t crazy every single time he was in a scene (why was this character in the movie again? Did he really have a point?). The random victims are all interchangeable and forgettable, and even Maskhead himself was lame. He was a pretty brutal bastard, don’t get me wrong, but at the same time there was something about him that I thought was just a little silly. I did like that the filmmakers didn’t have him talk or explain who he was or why he enjoyed killing people though. I think killers are better when they don’t have any back story and are a bit of an enigma.

There is some pretty good gore to be found here, and I was happy for that. Though none of the death scenes were that original (other than the rape/murder combo at the end) most of them were pretty hardcore brutal and gorehounds should enjoy the amount of blood and violence in the film.

I wanted to like “Maskhead” but it became pretty obvious early on that that wasn’t going to be the case. It had potential to kick all sorts of ass but in the end it fell short. It wasn’t totally awful as there were some redeeming qualities about it, but if fails in comparison to Toe Tag’s other movies. Check it out if you are curious as you may end up enjoying it. I think I may actually watch it again as it may be one of those movies that is better the second time you watch it.

Maskhead (2009)

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