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Movie Maniacs 2
by Shocka

When Wes Craven was making Scream, not long before shooting began they found themselves still without a costume for the mystery murderer who was to terrorize Sidney Prescott and her friends.

Suddenly, a friend of the crew came up with the strangely goofy Edvard Munch-inspired costume, a costume that usually looks silly in shop windows, but looked really quite scary during the movie after the masked killer murdered Drew Barrymore and her helpless boyfriend in the dark, deserted house far away from town and any help that might have come.

Scream was another of Craven's great movies, following A Nightmare on Elm Street many years prior. Scream played on the known conventions of horror films for self-parody as well as using concepts of fear to create genuine terror. Once again, parental fears are manipulated in the opening, as is the anxiety of using the phone - you can never tell who is on the other end, especially when they don't want you to know.

I really liked Scream, but Ghostface still seems like a weird pick for the Movie Maniacs. Without any identity, the character is scarier, but it seems weird to have a faceless slasher here. Nevertheless, I have a certain liking for the figure - standing 7" tall, Ghosty is preposed lunging with his knife, the tatters of his black costume waving in the air. The sculpt is simple, though with lots of realistic fold lines in the clothes, which are all black - just a back costume, tied up in the middle, with brown boots and the white ghost face mask. The Ghostface mask looks good, too, very close to the actual mask.

Articulated at 10 places - wrists, elbows, shoulders, neck, waist, ankles - Ghostface can move, but it's mostly useless. S/he looks the best preposed as s/he is, and fooling around with the foot articulation is a big no-no, unless you want it to fall over all the time. If you try to move the arms at all, they look awful and broken.

Ghostface comes with the knife... or should we say "a" knife; it's completely different from the threatening "swish!" knife that became an icon for the film, instead some kind of serrated hunting knife. It's similar in broad strokes, but far too big and exaggerated to pass for the real knife, which was so threatening and scary. The set also has a poor mobile phone, meant to represent the cell used to call up victims before they were killed. It's poorly detailed, and fits into Ghostface's free hand with a peg, but it looks dodgy and unthreatening with the phone. It's additionally stupid, because despite much of the plot revolving around phonecalls, Ghostface him/herself is never shown using a phone at any point in any of the movies. It's a bit daft. Scrap it, and just keep the knife, which fits easily into the other hand for a menacing attacking pose.

Also included is the standard Movie Maniacs marquee, with a bit of a story behind the poster. Originally, the movie posters were the Scream poster, which was a mistake because McFarlane didn't have the rights to use them from Dimension Films - they'd never bothered to secure the rights to the film, just the costume design. Oops! Thus, later releases silenced the Scream and just had lame "Ghostface" posters in them instead. I doubt there is any higher value for either of the two, but collectors have definitely shown preference for the "Scream" ones over the "Ghostface" ones.

Overall, Ghostface is a nice figure; nothing to rave about, but nice all the same. It feels like an unusual character in the series, though it looks nice on display with the whole family. For Scream fans, it's a nice piece of memorabilia and a decent action figure.

-- 10/09/03

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