John Carpenter’s Halloween movies scared us off a lot of things, from babysitting to trick-or-treating to summer camp.
At the center of the nightmare was his iconic man/monster Michael Myers, who hasn’t soon departed from our traumatized psyches. Some may wonder why on earth you would opt for a permanent likeness of Myers on your skin, but the why wouldn’t you?
The Halloween movies were of an era that delivered some of the greatest horror masterpieces of all time, and such an era–and its creations–deserve a place of honor.
Your Michael Myers tattoo is a nod to the true horror genre, and Hollywood at its best. The movies we grew up with stay with us and set the bar for pop culture to come, and the man in the ski mask is a tough act to follow. Just as our heroes remain with us into adulthood, so too do our monsters, and Michael Myers is one helluva monster. Whether you ink his legendary ski mask onto a bicep, or opt instead for his blood-specked chainsaw, your Halloween tattoo is your fandom in the flesh, and a message to the world that you hold your horror classic close to the heart.
Not all tattoo inspiration has to come from a sentimental source or “safe” place. On the the contrary, some of the best tattoo art is borne of our worst nightmares and most delicious thrills. Why would you want to keep that away from the world?
1. Surreal Michael Myers Tattoos
Horror is at its best when it plays in your unconscious mind, drawing out primal images of unease, terror, and fear. These surreal Michael Myers tattoos don’t necessarily follow the rules of nature or reality as we know it. The imagery is what’s important here, whether its punched in realistically or in an illustrative manner, with full color or black and white. This first example is a solid design concept using precise linework and bold, dynamic shading to make an unreal image come to life. The result combines the character’s iconic mask and the knife in an image dreamlike yet totally identifiable.
2. Colorful Michael Myers Tattoos
Michael Myers is not a traditionally colorful character. He’s depicted in a muted palette of white, blue and gray, with a splash of brown in the hair on the mask. A skilled artist needs to choose a color palette carefully to work within those limitations. The first tattoo example does a great job of displaying how choosing shades really adds dimensions to a character with a limited scope. The blues, whites, purples and browns that serve as accents throughout the mask give it a realism you might miss in straight, traditional black and gray.
3. Black and Grey Michael Myers Tattoos
In the original script for “Halloween,” they called Michael Myers “The Shape.” His formless darkness brought to life by the emotionless mask is a perfect base for a black and gray Michael Myers tattoo. The first tattoo depicts stark black and gray application in a difficult location on the neck. It works within the flow of the canvas with deep saturated black, and negative space to create a memorable image. Since the character himself is so often seen in flashes of light buried in shadow, a black and grey palette is all a competent artist needs to bring this concept to life.
4. Small Michael Myers Tattoos
Part of what has made Michael Myers a standout in the slasher genre of film is subtlety. He’s quiet and stealthy, which can translate into a good quality small Michael Myers tattoo that keeps the ink depiction subtle while still hitting the mark creatively. Even the back of your hand can make a perfect canvas for the dead-eyed glare of the mask as demonstrated in the first example tattoo. The application is simple, the detail isn’t punched in heavily, but the overall look works in the space to make a quality, small piece of nuanced body art.
5. Michael Myers Tattoo collages
Horror fans like to organize their favorite monsters in rogue’s galleries, which inspired a number of these detailed collage images. Realism and illustrative design elements work best in creating a Michael Myers collage tattoo. Myers is just one deftly placed element of a larger image. However, you want to make sure you’re not overreaching with a design. The first tattoo has a great concept but some of the elements fall short. The massive knife Myers holds which is disproportionate to the rest of the image and may be indicative of a rushed design.
6. Realistic Michael Myers Tattoos
Photorealism and horror make excellent partnerships in the tattoo world. Check out the design choices in this first tattoo; subtle shading around the cuts in the mask give it realistic depth and texture, the use of white space in the hair shows light and the naturally realistic sheen the hair has. The heavy black saturation in the eyes resists the light source even while it illuminates the side of Myers’ face and the hand clutching the knife. That’s an excellent example of solid application.
7. Simple Michael Myers Tattoos
You know the old saying “keep it simple, stupid?” A good tattoo doesn’t have to be an extravagantly detailed piece Sometimes making a readable tattoo by utilizing simple design choices is more difficult than it seems. With less detail, shading and linework, the fewer places there are to hide bad design choices and application of technique. As you can see in this first design a silhouette and leaves punched in, rich color and deep saturation makes for a simple but standout Michael Myers tattoo.
Michael Myers Tattoo FAQ
Why does Michael Myers wear a mask?
Like any good monster, half of what makes Myers terrifying is psychological. In the film, Michael was dressed as a clown when he committed his first murder and then later uses the almost featureless signature white mask. John Carpenter, the movie’s director, along with his prop team chose a William Shatner Captain Kirk mask and painted it white because it was the most emotionless mask they could find. The mask helped make Myers an unreadable enigma. You don’t know what he’s thinking, what he’s feeling, or why he kills.
Enjoy these Michael Meyers tattoos? Check out our galleries below for more movie character inspiration: