WHAT started out as a passing interest in collecting movie memorabilia has turned into a major passion for one Corkman.
Carrigaline’s Stephen Dawes now has several rooms of his house dedicated to props, busts and masks from his favourite film characters.
But they are not just any old characters – some of them are the most scary, gory and visually detailed props and heads from some of Hollywood’s creepiest hits, and others are iconic legends.
‘I have the Hellraiser head, a white walker from Game of Thrones, masks from Terminator and even a head on a spike from Vikings,’ he explained recently.
Stephen’s original hobby was making Airfix military models which grew into collecting memorabilia, about ten years ago, and this has now become his main obsession. He reckons he has upwards of 50 items in total.
His young daughter is fascinated by the collection at their home. ‘When she was 2, she would go into the room they are in, and pat them on the head and kiss them all goodnight, she would call them her friends!’ he said.
The stories of their origins are as interesting as the figures themselves. But Stephen’s own brass neck and perseverance have helped him acquire most of these fascinating items.
He got Spiderman after a local family who had won it in a raffle decided they didn’t have any room for it. Then he saw Terminator in a Dublin music shop and approached the management who, after several months, rang him and said they would part with it in return for a donation to their favourite charity.
Other items were sourced on the internet, or found in shops and the collection is still growing, says Stephen.
‘Most of them were originally made from latex, but nowadays they are made from silicon, as it is much more realistic and a bit softer,’ he says, urging me to feel a rather creepy looking ear on The Reaper from the movie Blade II, for my own assessment. Yikes, it does feel eerily real, I tell him, backing away quickly.
His collection always draws a crowd of fascinated movie fans, wherever he goes, and he clearly loves showing them off and being quizzed on their genesis.
One of his scariest looking head pieces was made by a freelance special effects artist and has, since I viewed it, been commandeered by a studio for a ‘top secret’ character in a new movie.
Stephen, a member of the Garrison Model Club, which organises an annual display in Crosshaven, will be bringing the rest of his troupe of monsters, masks and medieval ghouls to the show this year.
The Garrison Model Club annual show is on at Camden Fort Meagher in Crosshaven on SundayAugust 28th.