Canuexploitation anyone?

An archeologist, in possession of an ancient mask, believes that when he puts it on he sees and does horrible things. Before committing suicide he mails the mask to his psychiatrist, Doctor Allan Barnes (Paul Stevens). The psychiatrist, whether through hubris or scientific curiosity, puts on the mask. This is where the psychedelic dreams or hallucinations come into play. (And the 3D imaging.) The doctor says he is trying to learn the secrets of the mask but it’s more of an instant addiction that is out of control. He is now fully engulfed in the power of the mask. His fiancé Pam Albright (Claudette Nevins) and his mentor Doctor Soames (Leo Leyden) are now tasked with trying to cure him from his mental addiction.

"The Mask" AKA "The Eyes of Hell" was released in 1961 and was directed by Julian Roffman. The movie was shot in 3D. The host of the movie instructs the theatre audience on when to put on their “mask” in order to see the 3D effects. I don’t have 3D glasses or a 3D TV but I do love Science Fiction and Horror movies from the 50’s and 60’s. I can’t speak to the 3D aspects but I can talk about my impressions of the movie itself. I can, however, imagine that the combination of the 3D effects and the surreal dreamlike quality of the hypnotic episodes when the main character puts on the mask would add a bizarre nightmare come to life feel of the film.

The film is more of a psychological thriller than a horror movie. It could be that the mask affects people the same way, but It seemed to me that, from the dream sequences, it appears that Allan's inner demon, or inner self, is not only a wanna be murderer but necrophiliac as well. What I also saw that was interesting is that when he had the mask on he was fully engulfed in the hallucination, however, it was when he took the mask off that he actually attempted to do the things he hallucinated. It could have been residual influence from the mask or was it that the mask took away his inhibitions and allowed him to be his primitive self?

For those aspects I found the film interesting. I may not have been able to enjoy the 3D effects, but I could enjoy the rest of movie anyway.

This movie is noted as being Canada's first film in the horror genre. It is also the first Canadian film to be widely distributed in the United States, and the only Canadian 3-D feature.