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Exclusive Interview: Anthony Masi’s “Stop the Killer” Board Games Are So Fun, It’s Scary!

Thursday, July 27, 2023 | Exclusives, Interviews


The world of horror merchandising is a very competitive space. While the market for horror memorabilia, toys, apparel and even games is certainly prevalent, the development, production and marketing sides take strategic planning.

Enter Anthony Masi. Masi’s portfolio of creative projects is astounding, to say the least. His production company, MasiMedia, is responsible for horror documentaries such as Halloween: 25 Years of Terror, His Name Was Jason, and Still Screaming. Having worked directly with Moustapha Akkad, he helped produce commentary and bonus features for the Halloween 4 and 5 DVDs and was instrumental in the creation of several Halloween conventions. Now, his company Stop the Killer is taking the horror board gaming community by storm.

Having already produced incredibly popular board games based on Silent Night, Deadly Night, and My Bloody Valentine. Recently, Masi partnered with Fright-Rags for Stop the Killer’s latest project, a board game version of Halloween II (coming soon!) Although the Kickstarter has wrapped, it’s not too late to be chased through the halls of Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. The Pledge Manager is still going and you can sign up at

Stop the Killer is also producing all-new novelizations based on popular horror properties. Armando Muños’ excellent adaptation of My Bloody Valentine was met with accolades, and his upcoming Silent Night, Deadly Night book is currently available for pre-order.

I was fortunate enough to discuss this gaming and literary venture with Anthony, who has become a buddy of mine and appeared as a guest host on my podcast multiple times. Our conversation is full of tricks and treats about the upcoming game, the history of the company and what’s on the horizon for Stop the Killer. He also reveals the theme of his next board game!

Let’s start at the beginning. What is Stop the Killer?

Well, we’re defining it right now! We’ve only done two games, and the first game wasn’t even my campaign. If you go look at Silent Night, Deadly Night, you’ll see Wonderwheel Entertainment, which is the licensor of [the property]. So I’ve been working with them for a while on a reboot of their title. I connected with those guys, and we hit it off right away. 

Scott Schneid, who owns the rights to Silent Night, Deadly Night, recently got all the rights. He was a co-executive producer on Silent Night, Deadly Night but was cut out of the deal right after Tri-Star Pictures made the movie. They brought him on. They brought the script on. They brought the director on, but they never actually let him and Dennis Whitehead, his business partner, on set, so they curated the movie, developed it [and] got it sold at Tri-Star. And then, they were booted. They were never part of the movie ever, including the five sequels and the remake from 2012.  They didn’t see a dime. I know I’m speaking on their behalf, but they were very public about this in other forums so I’m not telling you anything you don’t know. 

So I came in to try to reboot it, and we’re still in the process of doing that. Along the way, they were like, “Well, hey, let’s license this out for other projects.” So I helped them! One day, Scott gave me a list. Ornaments! Wrapping paper! A pop-up greeting card I helped design! And… board games! So I just started designing. I did a lot of research [and] did everything I could to learn how to design a game that was fun and didn’t take too long to play. That’s the genesis of it. So I said to him, “Let’s do this as a Kickstarter with Fright-Rags,” which is the company that does all the amazing artwork for our games. We met with Ben [Scrivens] from Fright-Rags. He’s awesome. He said, “We’ll do the artwork, Anthony will run the campaign, Scott will own the IP, and we’ll go from there.” So that’s what we did; We took a leap of faith.

 What goes into the making of a board game?

I did rigorous testing at parties and had people come over to play it, and every time it was played, somebody would say something that would make it better. We ended up with this cool, fun game, and we had no idea if people would even want to buy it or not.

I think I was born to do this because I’m a magician, and I’ve designed magic tricks. Magic tricks try to accomplish something that board games try to achieve, which is a moment… A moment of wonder and fun and escape. So that’s what I worked on, and we launched it, and it did really well! It made $82,000 on Kickstarter, which far surpassed our expectations. Then, we delivered early! So we under-promised and over-delivered. It was supposed to be delivered in December, but we got them out in November. I didn’t even know how I was gonna get the games into people’s hands. I’d never done this! So we figured out the process. You’ve got your Pledge Manager. You’ve got your fulfillment center, and I figured it all out. And it was so fun to crack.

So fun to crack, you decided to do it again!

I was like, “Let’s do this again.” So I called Ben, and we found the My Bloody Valentine licenses. They were very difficult to find. We did a game for My Bloody Valentine and did the exact same process, and now, we’re doing Halloween II! So now it’s a brand!

We’ve got a fourth game in the works, I also have another solo card game [I’m working on] based on another property and another game I’m designing and so, that’s where we are. We’re building a brand!

That’s so exciting! congratulations. And the games have been very popular!

For the first time, I have a booth at Midsummer Scream at the end of July, and the theme of this year’s convention is “Horror Games.” I had to be there! So I got a booth. They put me in a really good location, and I’m hoping people come by and see what we have planned. We’re announcing our fourth game there.

Stop the Killer does more than games, though…

We’re also doing novels, which is a weird thing for a gaming company, but we did! As you know, we did a My Bloody Valentine book in addition to the game, and people loved it! The book is great. Our author is named Armando Muñoz. Slasher films are his life. He loves them. He’s writing Silent Night, Deadly Night now! I’ve read it. He’s almost done with it, It’s fantastic! It’s been great because we didn’t know what was going to happen, so to see the reception has been amazing!

You have three games, all based on popular holidays. Should we expect another holiday for the fourth game?

Yes! We’re announcing this at Midsummer Scream, and I’m excited about it for so many reasons. I’ll go ahead and tell you. The next game is Ghost Face! 

So Fun World is a costume company, and they own the rights to the Ghost Face mask. They’re in every Spirit Halloween store; They have thousands of products. I’ve been friends with R.J. Torbert, he’s the licensor over there, for a while now. My company produced a documentary called Still Screaming, and I’ve been friends with him ever since. So I called him and said, “Hey, I’m doing these games!” I showed him the Silent Night, Deadly Night prototype. I said, “What do you think? Can we do a Ghost Face game?” 

The spin on the game is that it will be themed around July 4th. These games are played on holidays, at least for now, and we needed to make it different than the movies. So we’re creating a brand-new story: It’s July 4th weekend, and this little town of Clarion, Pennsylvania, is having a big drive-in for the holiday. They wake up to a newspaper report that these Ghost Face killers are running around and killing people. The idea is that the police officers have figured out that this Ghost Face (or Ghost Faces – key!) is headed to the big drive-in to kill a bunch of people. And it features nine masks in the line. So you’re gonna get the gold Ghost Face, the devil Ghost Face, the orange, the green, the scarecrow, the aged one. The idea is to celebrate the line of Ghost Face masks that Fun World has been cranking out but aren’t in any of the movies. I’m like, “There’s a story here.” And R.J. loved it! I think what’s appealing about it is that it’s a brand-new adventure for Ghost Face. He’s still killing. 

Unlike the other Stop the Killer games, we have a multiple-killer angle, which you find out throughout the game, and it’s different with every game, whether there are one, two, or three killers you have to stop. And there’s a whodunnit angle. So if you, me, and Armando are playing, three-quarters of the way through, one of us will find out if he’s the killer. [Let’s] say it’s Armando. Now, he goes on the offense and tries to kill you and tries to kill me while we’re trying to stop the other killers. It [takes] the gameplay to another level. It’s very fresh and new. We think that’s the game that’s gonna close out the Stop the Killer series as it’s playing now. Then, we’re gonna release some other games that play completely differently. But Ghost Face? No one’s expecting that. There are some [others] I’d like to do. I’d love to do Leprechaun or Slumber Party Massacre or Terror Train, but Ghost Face is such a big title, and Fright-Rags, my partner in this, is releasing some other products outside of the game, so it was a really good opportunity to release another big title. There’s a little bit for everyone. We’re very excited about that game.

The model has proven successful and perfect for repeat playing. What is it about the genre that allows for this?

These games have similar tropes. There’s always a sheriff running around. There’s Officer Hunt in Halloween II and Chief Newby in My Bloody Valentine and Officer Barnes in Silent Night, Deadly Night. The killer is always trying to get from one place to another. [There are] various weapons. So it was easy to build games with these slasher tropes in them that don’t play like any current games that I researched.

And that shows in the demand. The response has been very impressive!

We can only sell Halloween II in Canada and the United States. We have tons of people all around the world asking, “How do I contribute to your campaign?” But our license doesn’t cover Germany, China, etc. But Ghost Face is a worldwide license with add-ons, and we have some cool add-ons to offer. So there’s a chance to make a bigger splash Kickstarter-wise, and that will open the door even more to what we can bring. We’re already approaching other licensors for other games we have in mind.

What do you think it is about board games that excites horror fans and horror collectors so much?

Well, you’re asking a magician, and I think my answer’s gonna come from that. This is gonna sound corny, but a magician’s objective, using cards and coins… these mundane objects, is to create these moments that appeal to your heart. 

I had a really good friend named Eugene Burger, a very famous older magician. He passed away. He became a friend of mine later in his life. He was a rockstar in the magic community. Anyway, he said it best: “The human heart cries out for magic.” And I think that’s how we feel about everything. We want that sense of escape and wonder. We embrace things that take us out of our problems and the mundane, and that’s the answer. Board games are huge now. I’ve done the research. The business is booming, and it’s getting bigger. I think the reason is that people are finding value in adventure and sharing that with friends. And that’s what a magic trick is!

Would you say it takes us out of our everyday life?

Genuinely, I think we’re all sick of looking at our screens everywhere we go. In your car, on your phone – everything is a screen. So I think those are the main reasons. To specifically tie into horror? Oh, my gosh! We’re experiencing the movies we love so much in brand-new, electrifying ways! The novel is not the movie, but you love the movie, so it’s another amazing romp through the movie. Then, you get to play the board game. I think that’s the reason. I can tell you, if this game, Halloween II, was on the shelf when I was a kid, I would have had it. My mom would have bought it for me. It’s just available now – all these 40 years later!

As you mentioned, there are more and more horror board games. Do you feel you blazed that trail? And if so, how does it feel?

Well, no. Maybe a certain kind of trail. If you go to Fright-Rags, they love the genre. It’s not a cash grab  … I think that’s what we have at Stop the Killer. It’s gotta be great. It’s gotta be fun. It can’t be complicated. It’s gotta appeal to fans of horror that may not be board gamers but still want the game.

What does the future look like for Stop the Killer?

[Anthony took the time to show me a top-secret solo card game based on a very popular, very buzzy property that he’s currently testing. It looks incredible, even in its prototype phase!]

I play this every night. I’m testing it. I have some prototypes for other games that I want to do that for. We’re actively creating methods of play that can be rebranded to other films. The Stop the Killer games are really the same game that’s been rebranded with tweaks, but that’s why people are buying them. That’s what we’ve learned. We didn’t know if that’s what we should do because it’s like, “Well, My Bloody Valentine is the same game as Silent Night, Deadly Night,” but that’s the point! You wanna take it out on Valentine’s Day and be familiar with how to play it without having to relearn new rules for a game. 

Some people thought that wouldn’t work, but I thought it would. Now, with Halloween II, people are like, “I need the other two games!” So it’s proving that [it works], but you can’t keep doing that for twenty games. So what we’re doing is coming up with games like this [indicates solo card game] that can be rebranded. Already, I’ve got six different versions of this in the works. We have a party game we’re doing the same thing with. That’s where we are right now. Every other day I get emails saying, “You know what you should do next?” And that’s a great sign because it shows that people are liking what we’re doing. And Fright-Rags is a huge part of that. I don’t want them to feel diluted in this. Their artists make it look so cool. They’re the eye candy.

Games are a serious business!

Trust me, I do all I can to learn what makes a great game. Anything you do, you get better at. I have a consultant, a professional board game designer that I talk to, who is very key to things now. I’m really making sure the games we put out are good. They’re not crappy games that look amazing; They’re actually fun games that look amazing.

Where can we find out about where to get your games?

Pledge to the campaign! If you’re not interested in a particular campaign, then get on our mailing list. Then, you can at least be informed. You’ll be notified when our campaigns come out because if you don’t sign up, you’re gonna be pissed when you miss it. It’s only 30 days!

Visit for updates on current and future campaigns. Be sure to keep an eye out for more coverage of Stop the Killer Games coming in a future issue of RUE MORGUE!

Ricky J. Duarte
Ricky is a writer, actor, singer, and the host of the "Rick or Treat Horrorcast" podcast. He lives in a super haunted apartment above a cemetery in New York City with his evil cat, Renfield, and the ghosts of reasons he moved to NYC in the first place., @RickOrTreatPod