If I Had Actually Been That Kid Eric Stoltz Played In “Mask”

This may be before your time, but I don’t care.

You may or may not have also seen the classic 80’s flick MASK starring Eric Stoltz as Rocky Dennis, a kid born with a really horrible facial deformation whose mother (played by Cher) is a biker-chick who is doing her best to raise a kid who is obviously a social outcast due to his horrific looking face. The story itself is inspirational and heart-warming (Rocky eventually falls for a blind girl at a summer camp played by Laura Dern, who falls for who he is and not what he looks like), and has a moral that goes a little something like, “It’s who you are on the inside that matters, and not how you look.”

But had I actually been that kid in MASK things would have played out a little bit differently.

Most importantly, the last thing I would accept as a kid with a really badly deformed face is getting sent off to be a camp counselor at a summer camp for the blind. Not that I’d have anything against blind people, but I would sort of feel even worse about myself. I mean, I know I’ve got a face that looks like a deformed lion that got beat up a bunch of times — the last thing I need to do is go somewhere like a blind camp. It’s a crutch. Plain and simple. No sir, no way.

Instead, I would probably get involved in a fight club of some kind.

Think about it — a kid with a face like mine, hanging out with a bunch of other idiots who do nothing but get their own faces pummeled on a nightly basis, well you can expect that my face wouldn’t be the only one that looked deformed. So right there from the beginning, from the moment I walked into that dank basement (or wherever the fights took place) people wouldn’t look at me and shriek in horror at the deformation, they would instead say stuff like:

“Duuuuude. Someone kicked your ass.”
“Wow, you’re still walking?”
“Hey, stay away from this guy — he’s got the juice!”

And now instead of having to worry about telling the pretty blind girl that my face is really all messed up from a birth defect, instead I would be partying it up with a group of other idiots who all got their faces bashed in on a nighty basis and no one would care what anyone looked like and it would be the kind of bonding experience a kid like me would need.

And really, if you think about it — a culture like that sort of fits in really well with my mom (who is a biker chick and hangs out with bikers) and her posse of bikers and so it really wouldn’t be too much of a stretch story-wise. I mean, mom’s a biker chick, she hangs out with bikers, they usually get in fights, and now look at me all involved and popular in the local fight club.

Makes so much more sense then sending me to a blind camp to be a counselor.

Sure, you can send me to a blind camp. Sure, you can send me to work as an usher in a movie theater (where it’s dark most of the time). Sure, you can go ahead and make me a candy striper in the corneal replacement wing of the local hospital (where people have bandages over their eyes fro 6-19 days)…

But don’t you think all that does is provide me with additional excuses for not coming to terms with my face?

Yeah, yeah — MASK is a family film. You don’t want to mess up the whole inspirational vibe by setting the middle part of the movie in the violent underworld of fight clubs, I get it. No, I totally do. So, if that’s really the issue here, then I have another suggestion that would perhaps solve my issue and your issue all at the same time and still keep everything intact.

Send me, instead, to one of those Victorian mask parties like in Eyes Wide Shut with Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman. Did you see that? It’s like a huge party with people wearing nothing but those theatrically-painted face masks. I don’t have to participate by any means with the actual strange activities going on — instead, I could just be like the door kid or serve drinks and stuff and no one would ever question my face whatsoever.

That’s an option too.

So, in both the above options (whichever one works best for you) I think as the kid in MASK I would be far more comfortable in my own skin, make lots of new friends in these new scenarios I’ve just provided, and grow as a person much faster than if I got send to the blind summer camp.

Just a few thoughs for this Monday morning.

19 comments on “If I Had Actually Been That Kid Eric Stoltz Played In “Mask”

  1. Kevin - May 22, 2006 at 8:57 am -

    You have all the best ideas! How about an entry from Rocky in the next volume of “The Lost Blogs” with him recounting his time in his fight club? Yeaaahhhhhhh…

  2. nic - May 22, 2006 at 9:17 am -

    I guess we’re all just glad you were born “good lookin”.

    I DID see that movie and Cher CAN act. Sorta.

  3. Erica - May 22, 2006 at 10:29 am -

    See, when you say “MASK” I automatically think of the cartoon.

  4. amandarin - May 22, 2006 at 10:44 am -

    I had no idea that Eric Stoltz played Rocky Dennis.

    Time to turn in my pop culture card, clearly.

  5. Bre - May 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm -

    But in the first option, would you be getting any action? I mean really – at least in the blind camp he has Laura Dern. At fight club he just has the sweaty guy with manboobs.

  6. Hilary - May 22, 2006 at 4:15 pm -

    Ditto to what amandarin said. I suck.

  7. Pauly D - May 22, 2006 at 4:27 pm -

    I am so disappointed people don’t know Rocky Dennis.

  8. Dave - May 22, 2006 at 7:33 pm -

    I think you’re on to something, Pauly. Like life isn’t already hard enough on the guy……now he has to learn braille? Forget about it.

  9. Susan - May 22, 2006 at 8:41 pm -

    You’d rather be in a fight club than hook up with blind Laura Dern? Are you on some “reality must hurt” kick or something? Coming to terms with one’s issues is over-rated, fer sure.

  10. Jacquie - May 22, 2006 at 10:20 pm -

    When I was younger, that movie was on HBO like everyday. My sister and I watched it every time too and I had forgotten about that face until I came here. Now I’m gonna have nightmeres. I know. It’s cruel, but true.

  11. Eve - May 22, 2006 at 10:21 pm -

    I completely know Rocky Dennis. When Mask came out, I was a pre-teen and I loved Eric Stoltz (had a crush on him since Fast Times at Ridgemont High). I remember thinking I wouldn’t care about Rocky’s deformity, that I’d like him anyway, because after all, it’s Eric Stoltz under there.

    I also remember that although I was happy that Rocky finally got some chick action, I so can’t stand Laura Dern and thought Rocky could do better than her.

    But you have a point, about Rocky having to work with the blind or in the sewer and shit. Why should he have to hide just so that others don’t have to feel uncomfortable? Let the other people go hide.

  12. Alissa - May 23, 2006 at 6:14 am -

    Maybe you could go to acting school, get really really good and then tour with productions of the Wizard of Oz all over the world playing the cowardly lion. You would have fame, fortune and Dorthy.

  13. Jerry - May 23, 2006 at 6:47 am -

    wow, I never realized what that movie was about. I thought the moral of the story was if a woman wants to have beautiful children someday, she ought not hang with bikers and drop acid as a teenager.

    Thanks, Paul for expanding my world view again.

  14. better safe than sorry - May 23, 2006 at 7:14 am -

    i haven’t seen mask, but i saw the mask, with jim carrey. i haven’t seen eyes wide shut, i’ve never liked anything that both tommy boy and nicole did together. but i saw tommy boy, loved it!

  15. ms. sizzle - May 23, 2006 at 7:56 am -

    mask is really a fantastic movie. i always cry at the end with the map and the push pins.

  16. Dan - May 23, 2006 at 8:44 am -

    I would go to deaf camp – just to make a point.

  17. SmartAleck - September 12, 2006 at 10:55 am -

    Interesting commentary, tho’ I observed that Rocky had long ago accepted his own appearance (except when he felt he’d have no chance with girls). Typically those with the least tolerance were in the ‘normal’ realm.
    I just loved how Rusty handled their prejudice.

  18. Brianna Gates - October 14, 2007 at 12:14 pm -

    I think your a little right but not all the way right see if it was your deformed face I think you would totally feel like an outsider and plus if you joinned the wrestling or fighting club then it would only make it worse because they aren’t a bunch of idiots that only want to bet the crap out of each other they acually take it very seriosly and I don’t mean to sound mean or anything but I think that it would acually sound nice to go to a blind camp because it would probaly give a break to who ever has a deformed face like my friends and me.

  19. Jay - March 7, 2008 at 3:00 am -

    you would not join a fight club, no matter what you look like you have to be a complete psyco to join a fight club, plus no one would have the faces smashed that much, they would realise you have some kind of deformation, considering no bruising or scars. you wouldn’t fit in at all.

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