I’m not a cosplayer. I haven’t dressed up for Halloween in something like ten years. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy it. There’s just something fun about staying home when every movie on television is a horror film—it’s kind of like staying at home as a character from the movie Halloween… and about twenty or thirty other slasher films that came out after it. There’s that and there’s always the fear that if I don’t stay home and hand out treats, kids will toilet paper my house.
This year I’ve decided to go out. Here are the costume ideas I ran through…
For over a year I planned on going as Breaking Bad’s Walter White. I would shave my head, find a pair of White-ish glasses in my prescription, and possibly wear the Heisenberg hat. The shirt, pants, and jacket wouldn’t be an issue; I already dress like Walter White. Unfortunately, I already shaved my head not too long ago and got sick of waiting for it to grow out to its present length. Also, there was the realization that everyone was probably going as Walter White.
But yeah, the idea is pretty simple. Grow a goatee, lose your hair, and hit the thrift store. Blue “candy” in a baggie is optional.
The problem then was finding a character to portray that A) I like and B) non-geeky people would actually recognize. So while I would love to be a character from Fargo or classic science fiction novels like The Stars My Destination or Neuromancer, very few normal adults would get it. So I thought about being a comic book superhero, but there are remarkably few such characters I both have a connection with and the average Joe would get. I thought about Man-Thing, but costumes I’ve seen online range from incredibly phony to incredibly complicated. I would also grit my teeth if anyone asked if I were Swamp Thing.
This idea is ridiculous. If you want to be Man-Thing, you might complete your costume in time for Halloween next year, but it’s going to take some dedication.
I thought about Magneto and to be honest this is my favorite idea of the bunch, but the one affordable helmet I could find comes with a hokey costume. User reviews say it’s pretty shoddy. If you want to be Magneto, you’re probably going to either drop three or four hundred bucks on a helmet or make one from scratch. Watch how to make a helmet from scratch here. I don’t think the rest of the costume would be too big of a deal. You could always find a purple robe and wear some red sweats.
Then, an epiphany: I’ll be Snake Plisken! There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this choice as John Carpenter’s one of my favorite directors ever. Unfortunately, a friend recently told me he once went as Snake and, knowing him, his costume would likely make mine look like a piece of shit.
You’d need an eyepatch and a five o’ clock shadow. The rest shouldn’t be hard to find at a thrift store. Bonus idea: Jack Burton.
The choice after this, for a few hours anyway, was The Punisher. It’s a character I like and it seems really simple: all you really need is a black T-shirt with a white skull, black pants, a few guns. Sure, that’s more or less a movie version (none of which I really cared for), but at least people would get it. All seemed good, but for one reason or another I decided against it. The biggest reason being I knew I would probably wear the shirt for weeks after Halloween, which would no doubt lessen the memory of the night itself.
You can see why I haven’t worn a costume in so long? It’s because I complicate the hell out of it.
Again, nothing wrong with this choice, other than the fact I used to go as Ash when I was a kid. All I did was tape a toy chainsaw to my arm and tear up a similar button-up shirt. Man, I was a fucking nerd back then… but not now, right? RIGHT?
I love Spider-Man, but let’s face it: I’m not going to win any sex-appeal awards in a stretchy, one-piece suit, particularly the type I can actually afford. Unless you’re lean and ripped, you should pass, too. Or not. Who gives a shit? Do what you want. Stop being as neurotic as me or else you’ll spend a month just choosing a costume, too.
This is the one I’ve decided to go with, partly because Blade Runner: The Final Cut is my second favorite movie ever, but mostly because I forced myself to stick with the plan by buying the trench coat and a Nerf gun. I’m sure it’s a popular (read: overused) choice at fan conventions, but I’m pretty sure I’ll be the only one at the party I’ll be attending. I might post some progress about my costume as I piece it together over the next few days, but don’t hold me to it. I’m notoriously cheap and have already seen fanmade costumes that’ll whoop my costume no matter how hard I try.