The First Purge

First Purge stars explain the unsettling political statements behind its masks

Contributed by
Sep 17, 2018, 2:08 PM EDT

Did you ever wonder the deeper meaning behind the masks the crime-spree killers wore in the Purge movies? Okay, probably not, because up until recently, the reasons were self-evident: they were worn so the wearers could murder people anonymously and look cool and/or scary while doing so.

But a new featurette for The First Purge prequel, first posted by Bloody Disgusting, examines some of the political statements being made with the masks. (Hint: there’s a whole lot of racism and white supremacy behind them.)

Yes, some of the masks, like the teeth mask, are simply designed to be “creepy and freaky-looking,” as First Purge star Mugga (Delores) describes — and it certainly is. But clearly director Gerard McMurray wanted to have a little more going on with the disguises in his installment of the franchise. 

“I think the most interesting part about this installment of The Purge is that there’s a lot of political statements going on with masks,” says Lex Scott Davis (Nya) in the featurette as a truckload of people holding assault rifles and sporting Kuk Klux Klan robes and hoods drive past the frame.

As if those Klansmen hoods weren’t unnerving enough, Y'lan Noel (Dmitri) noted: “The ones that I’ve seen that shifted me on the inside are the ones that had like historical contexts, like the blackface masks. Those are really unsettling to see.”

And to emphasize the point, we’re shown a Purge participant wearing one of the blackface masks, complete with Nazi soldier helmet, and staring directly at the camera/viewer. Unsettling is certainly putting it mildly. 

Considering the film’s costume designer Amela Baksic told SYFY WIRE that she and McMurray sought to incorporate a real life aesthetic to the film based on how Black Lives Matter protesters and female activists were dressed, it’s not surprising that the masks have more to them than just being freaky-looking. 

The First Purge will be available on digital on September 18 and on Blu-Ray and DVD on October 2. 

(Via Bloody Disgusting)