More than 20 years after the release of "Silence of the Lambs," one particular costume from the film has become synonymous with the finest in serial killer fashion: Hannibal Lecter's going-out ensemble (and by "out," we mean, "out of his cell"), consisting of an asylum-issued jumpsuit, a straitjacket, and of course, the iconic bite mask through which he so memorably delivered the line, "Toughened your nipples, didn't it?"
And let's be honest: It was the bite mask that really made the look. But how different might this movie have been if Anthony Hopkins, as Lecter, had sported some drastically different headgear? Thanks to io9 and some recently-released footage of Hopkins screen-testing a half dozen different masks, now we know. Check out the rejected looks below.
The Naked Face
Although Anthony Hopkins was plenty creepy without any mask at all, a truly classy serial murderer knows the value of a modest cover-up. Leave something to the imagination! (That's what Hannibal's mama always said, before he killed and ate her.)
There's something rather knightly about this mask, with its pointed peak and grille window. If Hannibal Lecter had been a medieval history fanatic in addition to a cannibal, this would have been a good choice.
At some point during the trying-on process, someone must have floated the idea of forgoing the "mask" thing entirely and just straight-up putting Lecter's entire head in a cage. Unfortunately for that person, the result was clearly more silly than scary.
Lost On the Way to the Apiary
For the serial murderer who also loves beekeeping, this attractive mask with a fine mesh frontspiece is a stylish-yet-functional option.
The Umpire Strikes Back
Steeeeeeeee-rike three, this mask is better suited for a stint behind home plate than as a restraint for the criminally insane.
The Winner, and Still Champ-een
Maybe it's just because the hockey mask-serial killer connection had already been made by the "Friday the 13th" series, but this Jason Vorhees-esque, flesh-colored mask was clearly the superior choice. As io9's Robbie Gonzalez pointed out, it really brings out Lecter's eyes.