Everybody has a secret face, and Dr. Philip Decker is no exception. However, Decker’s secret face is literally a different face. Dr. Decker appeared in Clive Barker’s Nightbreed (1990) and remains one of Horror’s most overlooked psychopaths. Played by David Cronenberg, Dr. Decker seemed like a soft-spoken and mild-mannered psychologist, but he had a dark side. Decker was obsessed with killing families and anyone who had sex and reproduced. He called them filthy “breeders.”
Dr. Decker resided in Calgary and brought death to those who created life. He usually wore a misshapen mask while stabbing his victims to death. The mask was made of an undetermined material (some speculate it was human skin, others say it was leather or burlap).
The mask’s eyes are buttons and the mouth is a zipper. The mask is fastened at the back by a lace that weaves its way in and out of a series of tiny metal rings. Decker’s mask also features several scars, which indicate that the mask was stitched together.
Much like Michael Myers’ pale mask, Dr. Decker’s mask is expressionless. It is designed to instill fear without looking too threatening. It’s one of those masks that has to be worn to cause an eerie vibe and a what the hell? reaction. In Nightbreed, a cop handles Decker’s unworn mask and he isn’t spooked by it.
While Michael’s mask is easily identifiable as a human face, Decker’s isn’t. It seems as if it were thrown together, paying little attention to facial symmetry. In viewing the masks of recent villains such as Dr. Crane/Scarecrow from Batman Begins and The Man from The Collector, one sees definite influence from Decker’s mask.
My friend mtlongy and I have collected some Dr. Decker replica masks. Here they are with their relevant information (I actually need your help with one of them).
Dr. Decker by KreationX
A mask that is large enough to give a bit of a baggy look to it when worn. Great emotionless look to it.
Dr. Decker: Death Plain and Simple by Phantom67
This replica has a unique texture to it – it feels like a cross between latex and hardened leather. Should easily fit larger heads. This copy comes courtesy of fellow member mtlongy.
Dr. Decker by Silver Shampain Novelties
A smooth mask with a stellar paintjob. Size is around 24”.
Dr. Decker by unknown
I don’t know who made this mask. I’ve compared it to the ones listed here and to photo references of other Decker masks – but it doesn’t look like them. The latex is quite thin.