Comics & Animation on its own page now
Hey, we finally identified the foreign mystery movie
Written and compiled by Kerry.
Click on links to see related images.
New material highlighted in color
Additions and corrections to this list would be appreciated. Entries are limited to examples of female rubber masks. Thanks to Michiko Ohyama, Holly Fairfa, Guise, Aaron Knute, Vicki Mock, Robur, the Magus, Brittany Rose, Jix, Elizabeth Walters, Stephanie Crosby, Jennifer Stevens, Mirwen, Stacey, Robert S., Victor, and "Covered" for additional contributions.
Special thanks to Llwyd's Actresses In Character site, and the Female Disguise Media Yahoo Group for allowing links to their images.
The Movie List
American Ninja 3: Blood Hunt (1989). Female ninja Michele Chan wears a rubber mask and wig to disguise herself as "the Minister's secretary" (Adrienne Pierce) several times during the movie.
Anatomy (2000) (aka Anatomie - original German title). A German-made film dubbed into English, where at the climax of the film, Gretchen (Anna Loos) has been dissected, injected with a preservative that "rubberized" her blood and tissues and has been mounted for display. The psychopath responsible boasts that Gretchen "...is my masterpiece." He then takes off her face and says, "And her face...it was meant for me. When I'm alone, I can put it on." Review by Jix.
Austin Powers II: The Spy Who Shagged Me (1999). At the beginning of the movie Vanessa (Elizabeth Hurley) is unmasked as a fembot, though it's too fast to see the mask properly. (Review by Jix)
Beetlejuice (1988). Geena Davis is hanging in a closet and removes her face.
Beneath the Planet of the Apes (1970). The mutants take off their rubber masks including Albina (Natalie Trundy - who was married to the producer of the series at the time).
Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey (1991). Ms. Wardroe (Pam Grier) takes off her "suit" at the end of the film to reveal she's really Rufus (George Carlin).
The Black Widow (aka "Sombra") (1947). Low-budget Republic Pictures' serial has villainess Carol Forman donning various unremarkable (and unconvincing) masks to impersonate various women throughout the story.
Captain Kronos: Vampire Hunter (1974). Twins discover their "aged" mother is in fact a young vampire who has been wearing a disguise.
Cocoon (1985). Tahnee Welch takes off her "human" skin revealing she's an alien. Also, a feature in "Cinefex" magazine about the film contains many photos of the rubber suits used in the film.
Cocoon: The Return (1988). A less visible but still interesting scene with an alien removing its disguise. (Review by The Magus)
Curtains (1983). John Vernon makes Samantha Eggar wear a full head old lady mask and tells her to seduce him. Very kinky. (review by S. Stevens)
Cyber Tracker (1994). At one point a villain removes a female android's mask.Deadly Friend (1986). In the final scene a robot's face comes through Kristy Swanson's face.
The Doll Squad (1973). Villain Michael Ansara sends his moll Maria (Lisa Todd) disguised as one of Doll Squad's contacts, Kim Luval (Jean London). Only she is immediately unmasked (look quick!) in this ultra-low budget action film.
Dominique aka Dominique Is Dead (1978). British thriller ends with Ann Ballard (Jenny Agutter) taking off an incredibly realistic mask and wig of Jean Simmons without the usual cutaway shot. Quite amazing.
Dorm Daze aka National Lampoon Presents Dorm Daze (2003). In this unfunny college comedy a mistress of disguise takes off her mask as one of the students in the dorm in the last 1 or 2 minutes of the movie. It was nothing special. Cheaply and quickly done, with little titilation. Not even a full head. Just the simple fleshy mass of latex with some hair on it. It was very obscured by the removing hand, and then sloppily morphed over with the next actress. The only thing you see of the mask itself, is a mass of "something with hair" in her hand before she throws it away. In short...disappointing. (review by Closet Monster)
Dr. Alien (1988). Female alien scientist disguised as female human scientist removes her mask. After the usual cut away, we see her tugging for some seconds at her mask, pulling it out of shape fascinatingly (but it looks more like some special video effect than a mask), eventually revealing a blue head much too large. Towards the end of the film. (review by Guise)
Eyes Wide Shut (1999). Stanley Kubrick's final movie features the notorious "orgy" sequence (don't expect a lot) and more masked naked chicks than you'll ever see in another movie. All the masks are stiff, stylized ones, but it (and the movie) are worth checking out.
The Frozen Dead (1966). A disfigured Nazi frau dons a mask of her unscarred face in this British horror film. (Review by Robur)
Happy Birthday to Me (1981). Dumb slasher movie has Melissa Sue Anderson revealed as Tracy Bregman wearing a rubber mask and wig.
Hellbound: Hellraiser 2 (1988). A skinless Clare Higgins (Deborah Joel doubling) comes back from the dead, and is pretty frightening in a morbidly sexy way. She is wrapped in gauze, and starts to make love to this man who helps her to get her skin back. Later in the movie Ashley Laurence, who is battling Clare, finds her skin somewhere in the other dimension, and puts it on like a mask to fool the creatures who are trapped there. It is really bizarre, but a must see. (review by "Covered")
Hellraiser IV: Bloodline (199?). There is a scene where a demon is summoned into (i.e. it puts on) the skin of a young woman. (Review by The Magus)
Hell Squad (1985) A grade-B action-adventure film about a group of female mercenaries who rescue the kidnapped son of a United States ambassador in the Middle East. In the conclusion, the lead mercenary unmasks the enemy infiltrator. He is the ambassador's female secretary, an Arab terrorist wearing a latex mask. His inappropriate lavatory etiquette gave him away! (Review by Robur)
The Hypnotic Eye (1960). Climaxes with the hypnotist's beautiful assistant Justine (Allison Hayes) unmasking herself to reveal a disfigured face. Not available on videocassette, but periodically airs on TNT's Monstervision. (Review by Robur)
Just Ask For Diamond aka Diamond's Edge (1988). Villainess Patricia Hodge takes off her mask as a cleaning lady on camera.
The List of Adrian Messenger (1963). Burt Lancaster takes off his disguise as an old lady at the end of this thriller. A number of big name cameo stars (along with villainous Kirk Douglas) wear a number of disguises throughout the movie.
The Magus (1968). Anthony Quinn as the Magus plays dirty tricks to Michael Caine including a presentation of his attractive assistant disguised as Candice Bergen using a mask. (Review by Llwyd)
Malibu Express (1985). Very cheesy T&A movie that ends with Contessa Luciana (Sybil Danning) explaining via tape that she impersonated Liza Chamberlain (Lorraine Michaels) earlier in the film. But all we get to see is a small mask of Liza on a table which quickly dissolves to destroy the evidence. (Review by Jix)
Mars Attacks (1996). A Martian disguises itself as Lisa Marie in order to gain access to the White House (and also a very funny scene with Martin Short). It takes off its mask in front of the President (Jack Nicholson) although the effect is done digitally.
The Master of Disguise (2002). In this Dana Carvey movie, Fabrizzio Disguisey (James Brolin) pulls off disguises of both Bo Derek and Jessica Simpson. Similarly, at one point earlier on the film, Grandpa Disguisey masquerades as an older female housekeeper. The unmasking is off-screen, but Pistachio Disguisey plays around with the maid's mask, stretching it around and commenting it is "like a soft fat baby bottom."
Mill of the Stone Women (1962). A French-Dutch collaboration in which an artist who owns a museum of famous murderesses kills female victims and drains their blood to keep his daughter alive, then chemically hardens their dead bodies and fits them with latex masks to add to his museum display. This film is based on one of The Flemish Tales by Pieter van Weigan, and the scene in which the doctor fits a mask to the face of one of his victims is both titillating and haunting. (Review by Elizabeth Walters)
Movie 43 (2013). During the "Gotham Speed Dating Sketch," Supergirl (Kristen Bell) is unmasked to reveal it's the Riddler.
Mrs. Doubtfire (1994). The plot of this comedy movie is about a divorced dad (Robin Williams) who wants to see his kids again, so he disguises as an old lady named Mrs. Doubtfire, to pose as a housekeeper to see his kids. Although his make-up job is actually the result of appliances, a prop "mask" is used for the on-screen disguise, which he removes a few times. (Review by Kerry and Wile_E2005)
Murderous Vision (1991). An Gein-like psychopath Stim (Joseph D'Angerio) wears the face of Ellen Green's (Elizabeth Kemp). There are other female faces in jars of preservatives. (Review by Robur)
Naked Lunch (1991). Near the end of the film, Monique Mercure takes off her rubber suit revealing Roy Scheider inside.
The New Adventures of Pinocchio (1999). In this film, Lorenzini (Udo Kier) masquerades as Madame Flambeau (Udo Kier). The mask is displayed on a dressing table.
Nighthawks (1981). In the beginning of this one Sylvester Stallone wears a mask to cover his full beard and pretends to be a nurse in a sting operation. At the end of the movie, he is also seen wearing a long blond wig and a woman's nightgown - pretending to be Lindsey Wagner (from the rear).
Nightmare on Elm Street, A (1984). In the original movie Freddy Krueger masquerades as Tina Gray in a dream sequence.
Nightmare on Elm Street 4, A: The Dream Master (1988). A hapless female teen is trapped in a king-size roach trap and falls face forward into the adhesive. When she pulls back, the adhesive goo removes her face and reveals a cockroach's head. (Review by Robur)
Not Like Us (1995). Another in the "aliens wearing human disguises" genre. Rainier Grant takes off her human skin to reveal a yucky alien underneath. She then replaces it (not for the squeamish) with Annabelle Gurwitch's skin in a nice suit sequence, but later loses her head in a fight.
No 1 Licensed To Love and Kill (aka "The Man From Sex") (1979). Features Mei Mei Lang as Madam Wang and Eiji Kusuhara as the Male Madam Wang. This is a restaging of the She-He fight of The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World (see below). (Review by Robur)
Overexposed (1990). Catherine Oxenberg is kidnapped by a woman for the purpose of taking revenge against her. In a bedroom, the villainess gives plot exposition of why it is she has been killing everyone. She then takes off her blond wig and peels off her latex mask revealing a bald, severely burned face--much like Freddy Kreuger or the mutants in "Beneath The Planet Of The Apes". (Review by Jix)
Penelope (1966). Natalie Wood impersonates an old lady when she robs a bank at the film's beginning (unmasking unseen, but the mask is).
Poltergeist III (1988). Donna Gardner (Lara Flynn Boyle) and Scott (Kipley Wentz) are in a corridor. If memory serves, our attention focuses on their mirror reflections. The two kiss. Scott then starts to caress Donna's face. He then grabs her cheek and begins to tear off her latex outer covering revealing that below the covering -- is a corpse in disguise! (Review by Jix)
Popcorn (1991). Horror movie set in a theater with the disfigured killer doning various disguises, including a girl, in order to get close to his victims.
Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre (aka "Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation") (1994) Leatherface puts on a female mask during his rampage in this sequel.
Scarred (2005). A straight-to-DVD film about a woman roaming a woods in search of a pretty face to replace the vacant hole where her own was brutally torn off. (Review by Robur)
Scooby-Doo (2002). About 50 minutes into the movie, Shaggy and Mary Jane, a girl he met at the beginning of the movie and has a crush on throughout, are escaping the baddies on an all-terrain vehicle. A low tree branch smacks Mary Jane in the face, dislodging a rubber mask from position. We see that beneath, she is really a demon with glowing green eyes. She then stretches the mask and it snaps back into its properly fitting position. (Review by Jix)
Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004). At the end of the movie, girl reporter Heather (Alicia Silverstone) is unmasked to reveal she's really Jacobo (Tim Blake Nelson).
Scream Bloody Murder (2003). The heroine unmasks exchange student Monique (Anna Garcia Williams) to reveal Principal Burden (Michael McConnohie). (Review by Robur)
The Second Best Secret
Agent in the Whole
Wide World (1965). A Mongolian disguise expert, Mr. She-he
Tann), unmasks himself as an Asian seductress (Mona Chong). (Review by Robur)
The Seven Seductions of Madame Lau (1981). In this porn film Kay Parker wears a mask to disguise herself as Madame Lau, an asian suductress. It's a prosthetic mask and wig that she peels off in a real erotic fashion. Female porn stars and female masks, does it get any better than that? (Review by Stretch)
The Silence of the Hams (1994). A parody of horror movies features a finale of unmaskings including Jane (Charlene Tilton) removing an old woman mask of the Ranger's Wife (Nedra Volz). (Review by Robur)
Snowflake, The White Gorilla (2011). A witch unmasks to reveal she is a beautiful woman.
Star of Midnight (1935) This mystery features Roger Classen (Ralph Morgan) as a female-masked murderer. (Review by Robur)
Steel and Lace (1990). A dead woman is resurrected as a look-a-like robot who goes around in various disguises murdering the people responsible for "her" death. Early in the film, she masquerades as a woman who peels off her rubber mask and wig disguise in front of one of her victims.
Strait-Jacket (1964). Carol Harbin (Diane Baker) wears a Joan Crawford mask in this William Castle film. (Review by Robur)
Strange Invaders (1983). An entire town is replaced by disguised aliens. When it's time for them to return to their ship, we see a number of extras removing their rubber masks.
The Stunt Man (1980). Barbara Hershey is made up as an old woman who takes off her latex appliances in front of Steve Railsback when he saves her from drowning.
Terror from the Year 5000 (1958). A time-travel sci-fi picture in which a radiation-scarred woman from the future uses a gadget to make a mask of a nurse she has murdered so she can kidnap an injured scientist and take him back to her time to provide fresh and untainted genetic material for the sterile and dying human race. The scene in which the villainess (Salome Jens) "steals" the dead nurse's face is fascinating. What's more, the bad girl sports a set of hypnotic fingernails that could literally knock your eyes out! (Review by Elizabeth Walters)
They Came Together (2014). Paul Rudd romantic comedy has a fantasy sequence where his girlfriend peels off her mask to reveal Judge Judy.
Tommy (1975). A scene in the "Church of Marilyn Monroe" has the attendants in Marilyn masks and short dirty platinum blonde wigs. (Review by Holly Fairfa)
Too Beautiful To Die (1988). Stylish Italian production about a killer stalking a fashion show. In the first scene the models are seen wearing somewhat stiff face masks, scarves and sunglasses. Later on, the killer adopts this motif as a disguise.
Total Recall (1991). More of a special effect than a mask, but Arnold Schwarzenegger does impersonate a rather large woman with a peculiar mask that doubles as a bomb (huh?).
Vegas In Space (1995). In this sci-fi parody featuring a planet of crossdressers and drag queens, a little girl dons a female mask. (Review by Robur)
White Chicks (2004). Two black FBI agents (Shawn and Marlon Wayans) wear disguises to appear as (creepy) white, blonde co-eds. The make-up is appliances but masks are used as props.
The Witches (1990). Villainess Miss Ernst (Angelica Huston) takes off her mask and wig frequently throughout the movie to reveal she's a hideous Grand High Witch.
You'll Find Out (1940). In this Boris Karloff/Bela Lugosi vehicle, look fast for a scene in which a rubber mask of a dowager may be glimpsed. (Review by Robur)
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The Television List
Ace of Wands "Sisters Deadly" (1972). Obscure British children's show had a serial where a chair-bound woman removes an old lady rubber mask to be revealed as a man (James Bree was billed as "Henrietta Rudkin" to hide the deception). As I recall this happens without any cut aways and is quite a shock. (Review by Stacey)
Alias "Firebomb" (2003). Sidney (Jennifer Garner) is disguised as an old woman (a bit of latex on her face, it wouldn't fool anyone) and is quickly seen later in a car pulling a mask away from her face. "Resurrection" (2004). Finally, after three years there are rubber masks galore in the 3rd season finale with evil Lauren wearing a Sydney mask and then she returns the favor later in the episode.
The Amanda Show. Amanda Byrnes comes out of her dressing room but is spotted as an imposter and unmasks herself to reveal Penelope.
American Horror Story "Halloween Part 1" (2011). Constance's daughter wants to be a "beautiful girl" for Halloween instead of Snoopy (she's learning disabled but an adult). After disapproving of her wearing makeup, Constance (Jessica Lange) gives her a beautiful rubber female doll mask with hair. Alas, while trick or treating with the mask on, she gets killed by a hit-and-run driver.
The Armando Iannucci Shows (2001). Sketch comedy series, where in the first episode a female estate agent is showing a couple around a house, they notice many items are made of paper and when they challenge the agent she peels of a rubber mask (and then throws it at them) and runs off. (Review by Stacey)
Ash vs Evil Dead "Confinement" (2016). A demon uses skinsuits as disguises including two female policewomen, a blonde and an African-American.
Austin & Ally "Mysteries and Meddling Kids" (2015). In this Disney kids show Ally (Laura Marano) is unmasked during the closing credits to reveal she is Brooke in disguise.
The Avengers "The Girl From A.U.N.T.I.E" (1966). John Steed removes Bernard Cribbins' old woman mask and wig.
Baffled (1972). TV movie with Leonard Nimoy as a psychic racing car driver (!). The villain turns out to be a man wearing an old lady rubber mask and wig.
Benny Hill Show, The (197?). There is a sketch set in colonial Australia. Hill, portraying a Ned Kelly-type bandit, comes across a comely lass seated on a public bench. He is wearing a mask and the woman asks him to take it off. He does. "She" takes off her mask and dress to reveal a uniformed policeman. (Review by Robur)
Beyond Westworld (1980). Short-lived series based on the 1973 movie had female robots in various stages of disassembly. In "My Brother's Keeper" Connie Selleca is impersonated by a robot.
Big Time Rush "Big Time Pranks" (2010). In the annual boys versus girls Day of Pranks, one of the boys wears a female mask to trick the girls into using glue sticks as lip gloss.
The Bionic Woman "Kill Oscar Part I" (1976). At the beginning of the episode Dr. Franklin removes a mask from a fembot assistant. At the end of the episode, Jamie Sommers removes the mask from the same fembot. "Fembots In Las Vegas, Part I" (1977). At the beginning of the episode the Calahan fembot (Jennifer Darling) puts her mask on her face. During a fight later in the episode, the Tammy fembot (Melinda Fee) loses her face mask, and puts it back on. The Tammy fembot is later hit by a car and the mask is laying beside. Jamie Sommers displays the mask later in the epsiode. "Over-The-Hill Spy" (1977) Richard Erdman masqueraded as an old woman although when he takes off the mask the picture is way out of focus. (Review by Robur)
Buffy The Vampire Slayer "Living Conditions" (1999). Buffy's new college roommate is a demon, something Buffy discovers when she pulls her face off (not a very good look at the mask however).
Cannon "A Touch of Venom" (1975). Sondra Locke wore an old woman's mask along with another actress. (Review by Robur)
Cheers "The Improbable Dream" (circa 1990). Ted Danson dreams that Kirstie Alley takes off her rubber mask to reveal she's one of the male bar patrons.
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation "Living Legend" (2006). Roger Daltrey plays a master-of-disguise assassin, one of his characters is an elderly, fat black woman. We see him pull off his disguise quickly in a flashback.
Days of Our Lives (May 18, 2004). Mrs. B kidnaps Shawn and then unmasks (off camera) to reveal she is Jan. Sometime in 2009 a masked imposter posed as Jennifer in order to kidnap Jack.
Death at Love House (1975). Burned performer Marianna Hill wore a Sylvia Sidney mask in this rarely seen TV movie. (Review by Robur)
Department S "The Ghost Of Mary Burnham" (1968). In this episode of the British adventure series (featuring Peter Wyngarde as groovy Jason King), an economist is haunted by his dead wife (Lois Maxwell). She is unmasked by Jason and we discover in a scene that probably inspired Mike Meyers years later, She's a man, baby!
Diagnosis Murder "The Seven Deadly Sins" (1999). Stephanie Zimbalist guest stars as a jewel thief who takes off the mask of a matron in the back of a taxi after stealing a diamond.
Doctor Who "Mark of the Rani" (1985). Kate O'Mara (Dynasty) guest-stars as the villainous Rani who uses a rubber mask and wig to disguise herself as an old woman.
Doppleganger (1992). This dumb TV horror movie has murderess Drew Barrymore turn out to be her mad psychiatrist Dennis Christopher wearing a mask and wig.
Do Ya Think I'm Sexy? (1992). Music video by the group Revolting Cocks covering the Rod Stewart song, has a beautiful girl unzip her back and then pull off her mask and torso revealing she is an old hag. She then holds up the gorgeous mask/torso which is Mission: Impossible quality, before dropping it on the ground.
Fantastic Journey "Funhouse" (1977). Mary Fran (Newhart) takes off her mask to reveal she has a severe hirsuteness problem.
Faerie Tale Theatre "Sleeping Beauty" (1983). The Wicked Queen (Beverly D'Angelo) wears a mask to disguise herself as an Old Crone.
Ferris Bueller "Stand-In Deliver" (1990). In their Halloween episode, Ferris's hated sister (Jennifer Aniston - yes, THAT one) comes into his room, they French kiss - ewwwwww... and then she takes off her mask revealing Ferris's girlfriend (Amy Dolenz). Kinky or what?
Fired Up "Mission: And a-Hopin'" (1998). After an elaborate Mission: Impossible parody, Sharon Lawrence and Leah Remini both take off rubber masks of each other.
Freddy's Nightmares "The Bride Wore Red" (1988) A young man attends a stag party at a nightclub when suddenly, all the women at the club are wearing masks and wigs of his fiance. (Review by Robur)
FX: The Series "French Kiss" (1996). Rollie's actress friend is fitted with prosthetics and a wig to impersonate a dead woman, and later unmasked. "Stand-Off" (1998). Christina Cox and Natalie Radford wore masks of each other. Cox portrayed Angie, and Radford portrayed a federal witness.
Game of Thrones "The Broken Man" (2016). The House of Light and Dark features assassins who can "switch faces" although it is never fully explained how this is accomplished (is it magic? masks? real faces?). But the evil Waif (Faye Marsay) takes off a mask of an old woman right after she stabs Arya. In "The Winds of Winter" Arya (Maisie Williams) is masked as a handmaiden (Sabrina Bartlett) who unmasks after she kills an old enemy.
General Hospital (Oct. 10, 2013). Dr. Liesl Obrecht (Kathleen Gati) impersonates Anna Devane (Finola Hughes) several times in the episode and unmasks with a rather good-looking mask and wig (no CGI here!).
Goosebumps "Attack of the Jack-O-Lanterns" (1996). Based on the book, at the end, the twins Shane and Shana turn out to be aliens, but in this TV special version, they both (including the girl) unmask to reveal the aliens. (Review by Robur and Wile_E2005)
Halloweentown High (2004). In this Disney TV movie (part of the Halloweentown trilogy), several teenage versions of classic monsters such as vampires, wolves, etc. (including female ones) masquerade as humans by daylight by wearing rubber human skins. When back in Halloweentown, they tear off their human disguises. (Review by Wile_E2005)
Hercules: The Legendary Journeys "For Those Of You Just Joining Us" (1999). In this spoof episode, guest star Renee O'Connor is unmasked (poorly) as an evil studio executive (Robert Trebor).
The Hitchhiker "Face to Face" (1984). A plastic surgeon (Robert Vaughn) messes up the face of the post-op transsexual (Sonya Smits) and she puts on a mask and blonde wig, dresses like a VERY attractive stewardess (Robin Greer), and seeks her revenge on him, revealing herself as she slashes his face. Available on home video in "The Hitchhiker Vol. 4" (Lorimar Home Video #472). (Review by Holly Fairfa)
The Human Target "Chances Are" (1992). At the end of last episode, Chance's assistant Philo (Kirk Baltz) disguised himself as Chance's female assistant Libby (Signy Coleman). Chance even had a brief conversation with "Libby". "She" kept rubbing her face and snifling, as her face were bothering her. Then the real Libby walked in, and Philo peeled off his mask. (Review by Victor)
Hunter "The Lysenko Syndrome" (1977) . Not the Fred Dryer detective series, but a short-lived spy series with James Franciscus. In one episode a female KGB agent removes her mask of Marty Shaw (Linda Evans). (Review by Robur)
If Tomorrow Comes (1986). A Sydney Sheldon novel made for television movie. In it, Tom Berenger and Madolyn Smith (Urban Cowboy, and Funny Farm ... One of the most sexy women alive!!!) are international cat burglars who are competition with each other and eventually work together. She has to get into London after doing a job abroad, and comes across dressed as an old woman. She clears customs, and gets into a car where she removes her rubber mask right in front of the camera. You don't know it is her until she removes it. (Review by "Covered")
Jane The Virgin "Chapter 44" (2016). In the season 2 finale, Eileen (Megan Ketch) takes off her mask to reveal she is Rose (Bridget Regan) in disguise. "Chapter 60" (2017). In a sweltering hot hotel room, Rose takes off her Eileen mask again only nearly to get caught red-handed.
Jeffrey Archer: The Truth (2002). In this demented British TV movie about the life of the famous author (and later, convicted felon), Mrs. Archer (Polly Walker) takes off her mask in front of Ben Miller to reveal she's another woman.
Knight Rider "Knight of the Chameleon" (1985). Guest star Dick Gautier uses a mask (plus her robe and heels) of a female judge (Alice Backes) to escape from police custody. "Killer K.I.T.T." (1986). Bonnie (Patricia McPherson) takes off her mask and wig to reveal a blonde impostor.
La Femme Nikita
Man Called Sloane, A "Masquerade of Terror" (1979). Short-lived Robert Conrad action series featured an episode with a male assassin who was a master of disguise. One of his impersonations is a woman but Ole Bob spots it immediately and punches her in the nose!
Man From U.N.C.L.E., The "The Mad, Mad Tea Party Affair" (1965). A Thrush agent has infiltrated the Delflorio's base. He is getting his orders from a woman named Dr. Egret (Lee Meriweather). After the Thrush agent leaves, she removes her mask and wig revealing another actress. (Review by Robert S.)
Mike Hammer, The New "Mistress For the Prosecution" (198?) Mike's friend, District Attorney Barrington, is seduced by a very lovely woman at a party. She takes him back to her apartment, but he is drugged by her and as he is passing out, we see she is a man removing latex appliances from her face (they cheated and used a real woman in the "before" scenes).
Million Dollar Rip-Off, The (1976). TV movie starring Freddie Prinze and four women who wear old-men disguises. At one point one of them goes to the police in the disguise of an old lady.
Mission: Impossible (1966-1973). This should have a category of its own, being the virtual Mecca of mask appearances. Here goes with a (hopefully) complete list (female masks only):
Monsters "The Bargain" (1990). A plain woman (Kim Greist - from "Brazil") wears an enhanced latex mask of her face. In the conclusion, she removes the mask, but it peels away her facial skin's first layer. (Review by Robur)
Murder Can Hurt You (1980). TV movie with Liz Torres and Roz Kelly. Caricatures of popular fictional detectives trap Kelly's character on an apartment house roof. She pulls off her mask first revealing a male villain, but - ah ha - pulls off that mask to reveal plain-Jane spouse Liz Torres as the mastermind behind everything. (Review by Jix)
Mystery at the High Seas (1994). TV movie with the Olsen Twins has a male mime dressed as a woman. The twins pursue the woman to the lifeboat deck. An officer detains her and she removes her mask to reveal a mime. (Review by Robur)
Newsradio (1996). The Halloween episode has Bill (Phil Hartman) pick up an old woman then later dumps her. At the end of the episode the old woman is revealed to be a young woman wearing a rubber mask.
Night Gallery "The Phantom of What Opera?" (1971). A vignette with Leslie Neilsen as the Phantom. He accidentally unmasks the beautiful soprano (Mary Ann Beck), revealing her to be as disfigured as him. (Review by Robur)
Nip/tuck "Brigitte Reinholt" (2009). A male crossdresser named Steve asks the plastic surgeons to make him a female mask so he can go out in public (where do these Hollywood writers get their crazy ideas?). They create a full-head rubber mask with open eyeholes, neck and a zipper in back. But before Steve gets to use it, crazy Teddy (Rose McGowan) borrows it in order to murder someone. Wearing it she looks like someone wearing a rubber mask with the eyeholes cut open too large. At the end of the episode, Steve gets to try it on but we only see him from the back. The impression given the viewer is that beauty is always in the eye of the beholder.
Passions (December 20, 2006). The Charity imposter stands holding her mask. (February 7, 2007). The NBC soap opera had Charity (Kristina Sisco) revealed as an imposter wearing a rubber mask. The imposter was nearly caught on February 8th when the mask was sticking out of her purse. (October 16, 2007). The broadcast finale had a shocking revelation when Valerie (who had slept with a number of characters on the show) pulled off her mask to reveal she was really Vincent!
Police Squad "Testimony of Evil (Dead Men Don't Laugh)" (1982). Detective Frank Drebin (Leslie Nielsen) unmasks a cocktail waitress as a Frenchman. (Review by Robur)
The Powers of Matthew Star "Jackal" (1982). This youth-oriented SF show had an episode featuring an evil female robot unmasked after terminating in a swimming pool.
Pretty Little Liars "We've All Got Baggage" (2016). The unknown antagonist in the series is seen taking off her female mask while disguised as a hotel maid (in an earlier episode this same character removed an old man mask).
Private Life (2007). In the video for her version of Private Life a hooded Grace Jones removes a rigid, but realistic mask of her own face at the beginning. (Review by Stacey)
Profiler "On Your Marks" (2000). A "female" detective removes her wig and starts talking on a cell phone sounding somewhat like a man. After talking for a while you see her put a face mask on the wig.
Pushing Daisies "Bitches" (2007). Our hero Ned is having a dream that Chuck (Anna Friel) is trying to jump his bones (which if you know the format of the show, if they touch she will instantly drop dead) and says she is warm and needs to take off more clothes but he says, "You're naked" and she begins pulling up her torso (view from the rear) and then digitally (of course) peels off her skin to reveal Olive (Kristen Chenoweth). Nice concept but the digital rendering makes it very anti-climatic.
Remington Steele "Elementary Steele" (1984). An elderly "Miss Marple" impersonator (Pearl Shear) is unmasked revealing her to be young Libby Boone.
Roswell "Ask Not" (2000). At the end of the episode, Courtney peels off her face revealing herself to be a "skin."
Sabrina The Teenage Witch "A Doll's Story" (1997). Sabrina's aunts visit a magic beauticians where one proceeds to have her "face" cleaned (and later abused by the other). (Review by Stephanie Crosby)
Scarecrow and Mrs. King "Nightcrawler" (1986). In two separate scenes, Mara Petrak (Maria Mayenzet) has a mask removed revealing Amanda King (Kate Jackson). (Review by Robur)
Scrubs "My Journey" (2003). JD (Zach Braff) notices the janitor is afraid of Carla (Judy Reyes), so in a dream, he is disguised as her, but cannot speak spanish very well and is unmasked. "My Half-Acre" (2006) JD and a female friend both wear old age masks for a photo shoot which they then peel off.
She Spies "Learning to Fly" (2003). At the end there are a couple of unmaskings, one a man peels off the mask of another man (the prissy male flight attendant). But the one we're interested in is the well-dressed older redheaded English woman, who unmasks to reveal a man. And this time they actually "showed" the unmasking (unlike an earlier lamer episode), although it was a typical cutaway scene. (Review by Victor)
Slave To The Rhythm (Music video, 198?) Grace Jones commissioned a limited edition series of masks of herself, with attached hair and permanent make-up, no more than ten years ago. Although I don't know how many of these were made or whether they are available, they were used in a sequence wherein a bunch of her 'clones' dressed in jumpsuits, gloves, sunglasses and cravats marched in lockstep. (review by Aaron Knute)
Sledge Hammer "Comrade Hammer" (198?) A male Russian KGB agent wears a female latex mask. (Review by Robur)
Sonny With A Chance "Sonny With A Secret" (2010). "Sicky" Vicky Sickowitz (Aimee Spring Fortier) is unmasked to reveal she is really Penelope (Leslie-Anne Huff).
Starsky and Hutch "Photo Finish" (1978). Sally Kirkland ran around sometimes in a cheap Halloween face mask as a mistress-of-disguise professional assassin. Near the end, she confronts a guy she thinks has betrayed him and says, "I'm the White Witch, nobody sees my face," then proceeds to tear off her mask a second later and say, "Don't you recognize my voice, stupid?"
Stripped (2006). A two minute short from Britain has a beautiful woman take off her zippered bodysuit to reveal a fat, middle-aged man (hey, someone has been reading our porn!).
Switch (1975). In one episode of the Eddie Albert/Robert Wagner series, a man wears a mask of a Hispanic female. Soap opera performer Barbara Luna portrayed the mask. (Review by Robur)
Tales From The Crypt "Mournin' Mess" (1991). Steven Weber (of "Wings") and Rita Wilson (Mrs. Tom Hanks) star in a story was about a charity group that tried to do good for the homeless people in society. The group was called The Grateful Homeless Outcasts and Unwanted Layaway Society (GHOULS). Wilson plays one of the society's members, Weber plays a reporter. Turns out that these ghouls are an old and secret society that feast on corpses. In the show's climax, Wilson peels off her mask, revealing that she too, is a demon-like ghoul beneath her latex mask and wig. (Review by Jix)
Tom Clancy's Netforce (1999). In this two-part mini-series a blonde female assassin wears a series of disguises including a very good rubber mask of a man, and then impersonates Toni Fiorelli (Joanna Going) although we never see the mask, only parts of it on her face after she's dead.
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno (1998). A week before Halloween had two items: a Truth In Advertising segment featuring a Monica Lewinsky mask (finally!) or as Jay calls it, "the Bill Clinton hand puppet." And "Impeachment: Impossible" (a sketch combining Mission: Impossible with Ken Starr) "Linda Tripp" takes off a Monica Lewinsky mask. (Review by Robert S.)
The Twilight Zone "A Day in Beaumont" (1986). A parody of 50s alien invasion movies has an entire town, including a young woman, turn out to be rubber-mask wearing aliens.
Unhappily Ever After "Halloween XXVII" (1996). There is this scene where a person in a plastic "Jason" hockey mask and a black cloak is chasing the redhead girl. She pulls off the hockey mask to reveal what looks like her friend Amber (Dana Daurey). Then Amber shows up and she pulls off that mask to reveal this guy wearing glasses. It was neat as the guy was wearing an exactly matching costume and wig to Amy. (Review by Holly Fairfa)
Upright Citizens Brigade "Hurricane" (1998). Comedy Central satire series had an episode where the male and female news anchors take off their masks and reveal female and male characters, respectively (link provided by Aaron Knute).
V "The Sanction" (1984). The evil alien lizards frequently use masks to appear human but the best example is this episode where a "trainee" (played by Jane Badler) is unmasked. A behind-the-scenes feature on the syndicated "Evening Magazine" showed how the make-up effects were done. In "Secret Underground" Juliet Parrish (Faye Grant) removes a mask of herself to reveal a reptilian Visitor head. That, however, is a disguise too (though we can clearly see Juliet peel off the human mask onscreen, we don't see her remove the Visitor mask). Near the end, she knocks out a real female Visitor with its true reptilian face exposed, then puts the mask of her own face over the body to fool the other Visitors.
War of the Worlds "The True Believer" (1990). A female Mothren wears a Dr. Suzanne McCullough (Lynda Mason Green) latex mask. (Review by Robur)
The X-Files "One Son" (1999). One of the faceless "rebel" aliens (who look like zombies with their eyes and mouths sewn shut) rather improbably impersonates a white-haired nurse using a mask.
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The Commercials List
BBC Digital (2003). In this promotion for the BBC's new digital channels a man's family pull off their masks to reveal various TV personalities including his wife as Jerry Hall who later pulls off her mask to reveal Gary Lineker. It's all done using CGI but the heads grafted on the bodies is well rendered.
Catfish Brasil (2016). In a trailer for the Brazilian version of "Catfish" a woman at a computer takes off her mask to reveal it's a guy.
Lego Toys (1998). In this commercial some kids (the "Legomaniacs") play against an old lady and get trounced, but then she pulls off her mask (a video effect) to reveal an animated kid. (Review by Holly Fairfa)
Miller Lite (198?). If my memory serves me right, this beer commercial featured "Doll" removing her mask to reveal Mickey Spillane. (Review by Robur)
Pepsi Twist (2001). A couple of commercials had bodysuit "unzippings" in it. The first one has the trademark Pepsi little girl unzip a bodysuit (all the bodysuits in this are cheesy video effects) to reveal Halle Berry. Then SHE unzips, revealing Barry Bostwick. And another one from 2003 has Ozzy Osbourne's two kids (a teenage boy and girl) unzip their bodysuits to reveal the Osmonds (Donny and Marie, with more convincing CGI unzipping effects), but it is all a nightmare. (Review by Wile_E2005)
Reactin Hayfever Medicine (1998). In this commercial, Ragweed, Dandelion, Pollen, and Dust are in group therapy with an old battleaxe of a Psychologist. They're all complaining about how ineffective they've become. In the last scene, she rips her face off to reveal the guy they used to torment. (Review by Stephanie Crosby)
San Francisco Examiner (1999). This ad, running only in the Bay Area, California for a local newspaper, has two little old ladies running around town asking questions. They sit down at the end and pull off their masks to reveal two male reporters. (Review by Rogue)
Sky Italia TV (2006). This Italian commercial for Sky TV cards features a young couple going on a date, and near the end, after the young man drives off and is out of sight, the woman peels off her mask and wig to reveal a man. (Review by WileE2005)
Smokey Bear (1973). This Public Service Announcement from the Forest Service had Joanna Cassidy warn us about preventing forest fires only to duck down and come back up, rip off her mask and reveal Smokey Bear! (portrayed by a man in a creepy Smokey costume) He says as he puts on his ranger hat, "If you knew it was me, would you have listened?" This commercial was remade in 1980 with a more natural (and slightly cheesier) unmasking at the end to reveal a more friendly-looking Smokey Bear costume character underneath.
SnackWells Brownies (1997). In this Pillsbury advertisement a middle-aged man discovers his mother filling the kitchen with brownies. When he answers the door and sees his real mother, the fake unmasks herself as a black woman. Very bizarre.
Sony Minidisc (1998). In a series of commercials shown one-time only on February 5, 1998 on NBC, various celebrities are shown masked or unmasking. In the first, Claudia Schiffer takes off her mask and wig and turns out to be Jon Lovitz! In another, a blond woman walks up to James Brolin at a party and asks what he has in his jacket pocket. He pulls out the Sony Minidisc and asks her if she'd like to listen to it. She does and says that she, as a big Jim Brolin fan, is shocked that he would listen to that kind of music. He says, "That's because you're not a big Jim Brolin fan. You're Dennis Rodman." Then he grabs her hair by the back of the head and pulls off and forward her mask and wig--which is a very good likeness of the actress--revealing Rodman in all his glory (though no explanation of how a 7-foot tall basketball player could impersonate a 5-foot woman). (Review by Jix)
Subaru (1998). In this commercial, a pretty redhead is driving the Subaru Forester sport utility vehicle in a warehouse. She is evading the bad guys. Suddenly, the exit door is coming down and about to trap her inside. She floors the accelerator and manages to make it out in the nick of time. When she is safely outside, she peels off her mask and wig to reveal Paul Hogan. Very good mask and wig and excellent unmasking sequence--done in plain view no less! (Review by Jix)
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Vodafone Omnitel (2000). Italian cell phone commercial where a black-haired woman attempts to smuggle said phone through a checkpoint, and drives through a car-wash, where she changes clothes and peels off a mask and wig to reveal a more younger blond-haired woman underneath. (Review by WileE2005)
Waffle Crisp Cereal (1996). Series of ads for breakfast cereal have a couple of female masks. The first one has a young boy wearing an old woman mask sneaking into the factory to find out the secret of the cereal and steal some. The second set has two old women wearing pretty good young girl masks to get the stolen cereal back. (Review by Holly Fairfa)
Walker's Crisps (1999). This British commercial for potato chips has a female schoolteacher unmask herself to reveal ex-soccer player Gary Lineker.
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The Animation List is now on a separate page
The Comic Book List is now on a separate page
Foreign Language Productions
The Apology King ("Shazai no ôsama") (2013). This Japanese thriller shows a martial arts movie being filmed and the stunt "girl" takes off her mask to reveal it's a guy.
Cat's Eye (1997). Japanese language movie based on an anime series about female cat burglers. One of them disguises herself as a large American matron who literally bursts out of her mask à la Total Recall.
Chik'nSwell (2003). French-Canadian sketch comedy show with a scene set in a restaurant where a man rants to a woman who then takes off her mask revealing it's his girlfriend. We don't actually see the mask. We only see her taking her neck and afterward we see her dropping a wig attached to a piece of skin like latex. (Review by Blondespy)
Dama rossa uccide sette volte, La (1972). Italian horror film with a female killer who is unmasked at the end as Rosemary.
Die Diebin (1998). German TV mini-series about a jewelry heist features the female thief in a number of disguises including two masks, one as an old lady, the other as a blonde who unmasks at the end of the movie.
Fantômas contre Scotland Yard (1966). French language movie about the notorious disguise-wearing criminal has the detective's fiancée Helené (Mylène Demongeot) seen unmasking.
Five (199?). Japanese TV series about five girls fighting a crooked politician. In two separate instances, they use rubber masks as disguises - the masks themselves are very realistic.
Horror Chamber of Dr. Faustus aka Eyes Without A Face (1962). This French horror film features a mad doctor attempting to restore the marred beauty of his daughter by grafting faces of kidnapped women unto her head. (Review by Robur)
J-Phone (1999). Japanese cellphone commercials with Norika Fujiwara. In three different ads she takes off masks in public revealing herself (why she's masked in the first place, I have no idea!).
Missione Speciale Lady Chaplin (1966). Italian spy movie with a mistress of disguise (Daniela Bianchi) who takes off a mask and wig at one point.
The Murder Case Of The Hanamaru Market (03/10/2000). Japanese TV show had a double unmasking. (Review by Nanae)
Novios de la muerte (1975). We're reasonably sure this mystery clip I received from Japan (!) is from a Spanish movie about a man seeking revenge against those who betrayed him. In the scene in question, a woman emerges from a cellar and then removes her mask and wig.
Nosferatu in Venice aka Vampire in Venice (1988). In this Italian vampire film, one of the young female leads wears an old lady mask under a veil to disguise herself as her grandmother, and catch her boyfriend with another woman. Having done this, she kicks him where it really hurts and then pulls off the mask. (Review by Mirwen)
O Dentist Mascarado (2013) Episode One. In this Brazilian comedy series, two guys are ripped off by a con artist wearing a mask and wig (unmasking not shown, occurs at 20:45 in video).
Painted Skin (2008). Chinese fantasy movie based on a classic tale has a demon taking off her female human disguise.
San Ku Kai (197?). Japanese TV series had a villainess, Furia, use mask disguises of people.
Switch (Tian ji: Fu chun shan ju tu) (2013). Chinese action movie. A woman riding a motorcycle unmasks to reveal a male computer hacker.
Swordmaster III: The East Is Red (1993). Hong Kong action movie features not only a transsexual leading character (which has to be seen to be believed) but a demon wearing a rubber mask to appear as a young girl (look quick!).
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