Unmasked: The True Life Story of the World’s Most Prolific Cinematic Killer by Kane Hodder & Michael Aloisi (Book Review)
Plot: Unmasked documents the unlikely true story of a boy who was taunted and beaten relentlessly by bullies throughout his childhood. Kane only escaped his tormentors when he moved to a tiny island in the South Pacific where he lived for all of his teen years. After living shirtless in a jungle for a while, he headed back to America where he fell in love with doing stunts-only to have his love burn him, literally. For the first time ever, Kane tells the true story of the horrific burn injury that nearly killed him at the start of his career. The entire heart-wrenching, inspirational story of his recovery, the emotional and physical damage it caused, his fight to break back into the industry that almost killed him, and his triumphant rise to become a film legend are told in Kane’s own powerful voice.
My Review: I’ve been a huge fan of the Friday The 13th movies since I was a pre-teen. I can’t even remember the age I first began watching them. They were just part of my childhood. When I turned 13 years old, I decided to make a website based on the movies because I was such a big fan of them. So, I made two sites, one based on the Friday The 13th series and the other based on the Halloween series. Years later I still ran the sites and got in contact via the internet with a lot of the people who had worked on the films.
One of the first people I met through Camp Blood was Kane Hodder. Its been so many years that I don’t remember much of our relationship from back then, but I considered us friends (of the online variety) and we emailed back and forth often. I was going to meet up with him at a Spookyworld one year (a horror theme park that no longer exists) but things fell through and I didn’t get to meet him till years after we lost touch. But the opening to this book, written by Adam Green (writer/director of Hatchet 1 & 2 and Frozen) completely reminded me of my thoughts/feelings when going to meet Kane at Spookyworld. Adam describes how as a teenager he was super excited to go meet Kane, and was turned away last minute due to the park closing, luckily for me I was able to meet Kane. Adam then goes on to talk about hiring Kane and working with him over the last few years.
As Kane’s story begins, he starts off with a traumatic beating he took at a young age by three unknown teenagers. The beating left him temporarily bruised and mentally scarred for the rest of his life. He goes on to describe many other bullying events or fights that happened in his life as well. I was utterly shocked at the beating he took as a child from unknown teenagers, for NO apparent reason.
He goes on to describe how he got into the movie business and he also tells the real story about how he got 3rd degree burns over 50% of his body. Honestly, it was very emotional for me to read….I was just utterly horrified by what he went through. I mean, I’ve always been terrified of burning or drowning and here he described himself burning and the smell and the chunks of skin falling off of him. I had laser surgery once on my gums while being awake, and could smell myself burning, and it was disgusting, I couldn’t ever imagine going through what he did during the burning, let alone the way his first doctor treated him at the hospital. I don’t cry when reading books. But I cried during this. I don’t know Kane personally, but in that moment, I just wanted to hug him and tell him it would be ok…like I was in that moment watching him go through it even though it was so many years ago.. I don’t pity him, I look up to him for the fact that he was able to get through it all and make something of himself, as well as help others with their burns.
Kane goes on to talk about his strange OCD habits and movies he’s worked on as well as different people he’s worked with in the industry..and in the last few chapters he goes on to tell different stories from the sets of the Friday The 13th films he worked on as well as stories from the sets of Hatchet 1 & 2 and Frozen. Mainly they are stories about all the jokes he played on people during filming…and trust me there are a lot. Seeing that he’s such a big jokester I’m sure he probably left out a ton.
Overall: When I heard that Kane was writing a book, I had no idea what he would say in it that would interest me other then tidbits about Friday The 13th, and yet I had the hardest time putting it down I was so sucked into it. I’d definitely recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of Kane’s. The only thing I found lacking was more Friday The 13th info but I could always use more of that!