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Book Review of Kane Hodder’s autobiography Unmasked: The True Story of the World’s Most Prolific Cinematic Killer

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In 2012 celebrity Kane Hodder author Mike Aloisi sat down together to pen the horror icon’s amazing life journey in his autobiography; Unmasked: The True Story of the World’s Most Prolific Cinematic Killer.  Never would you expect the trials Kane experienced on his way to the top to be so harrowing.  Nor would you predict this cinematic psycho to reveal his softer side of a family man.  In this book Kane does not hold back the highs or the lows as he recalls the stories that made him into the man we know him as today.

Unmasked: : The True Story of the World’s Most Prolific Cinematic Killer

A majority of Kane’s autobiography is filled with what you expect from the horror veteran.  He recalls his humble beginnings as a kid moved around the world as an army brat, how he was inspired and started in the world of stunt work, and his eventual raise to fame in the genre he is now a household name in.  However, what we don’t expect from the 6’4” stuntman and actor is his heart wrenching recall of the more personal and painful aspects in his life.

The man we have always known as powerfully stoic with a no-bullshit demeanor willfully removes his mask and lowers his walls to reveal his life, no matter how painful.

A young Kane Hodder

As an avid fan of his work, it was surprising to learn Kane was bullied as a child.  Yet as he explains in his book, the bulked up and towering actor we know him as today wasn’t always as physically imposing.  As a child Kane was small and vulnerable to a group of older kids when he received his first unprovoked beating.  It was an event that would forever changed him.

Later in life when Kane was freshly out of high school he followed his parents to the South Pacific for one of his father’s army assignments.  This is when he gained the muscular stature we recognize today, as there was little else to do on the small island.

One of the most interesting and emotional reveals from the author is how he received the burn scars he once so desperately hid from the world.  In Unmasked he fully admits to once lying to those who inquired about them, but for the first time ever he fully divulges how he received these burns that cover over half of his body.

Arguably even more painstaking, Kane then recalls his neglected and botched treatment in the local unequipped hospital, followed by his eventual recovery both physically and mentally.  In truth, physical recovery was much faster than the healing of his mind.  For years, the event that left his body forever scarred made even deeper impressions on his brain.  Without risking spoilers, the effects on his mind became much more debilitating than the physical results of the fire.

Even though he would never refer to himself as a celebrity, he did not hit fame before his burn accident.  He could have easily let his stunt accident prevent him from moving forward and striving for his dreams, and we would never know the Jason Voorhees we do today.  We also would never meet Victor Crowley of Adam Green’s Hatchet trilogy as well as the dozens of other roles Kane conquered in the genre.

Kane Hodder at Frightfest 2010 at The Empire Leicester Square, London, 29 August 2010. Picture by Julie Edwards

Through unparalleled determination Kane continued to pursue his love of stunt work.   In a way, we learn in his autobiography that the once hobby turned profession that nearly took the actor’s life in turn actually saved him.

If you’re gearing up for a long car ride, or if you don’t have the time or desire to sit down and read, Kane’s autobiography is also available as an audio book.  As an added treat, the man behind the mask himself narrates it!  I have both read as well as listened to the audio format of the book, and each experience is rewarding in its own way.  To hear Kane recall his life, both the pain and the victories as well as everything in between, is truly rewarding and inspiring.

It took an admirable amount of courage and determination for Kane to survive his burns and continue to pursue his dreams, it took even more so to divulge the truth in this book.

Want even more Kane Hodder?  Check out his 12 episode reality series The Killer & I!  The series follows the actor and co-writer of his autobiography as they go on a fourth month book tour, and accounts all of the shenanigans that occur along the way!  Our very own iHorror writer John Squires talks about (and links to) it here!