in Horror General

Halloween Costumes: Movie Monsters

As another Halloween approaches, with many of you contemplating doing a spot of trick-or-treating, or going to a Halloween party, you may be wondering what kind of Halloween costume you should wear – that is, of course, if you’re one of these people who like to fully dress for the part.

We all know just how popular the traditional forms of Halloween costumes are: the black witch’s hat and cloak, the skeleton mask, the pumpkin head, and so on. But, for a change, what about turning your thoughts towards a more alternative kind of Halloween garb? By that, I mean wearing the kind of outfit you would normally associate with the creatures you’ve often seen in horror movies. Think Universal, think Hammer, and what are the images that immediately spring to mind? Yes, that’s right: the classic movie monsters we all grew up with.

Frankenstein’s monster would be one good choice for an alternative Halloween costume. The classic archetypal image – made so famous by Boris Karloff in the 1931 James Whale movie – of square head, heavy-lidded eyes and neck bolts can be presented in the form of either a plastic face mask, or a more realistic one made of latex rubber that covers the whole head. You could also complement the mask with either the full black suit or shirt, which the monster wore in most of the old Universal movies, or the crude sheepskin jersey that the creature wore in Son of Frankenstein (1938). Whichever version of the Frankenstein monster you decide upon, there is no doubt that when you go out all dressed up in your Frankenstein gear, you will certainly stand out from all those common witches outfits and pumpkin heads!

If, however, you don’t fancy dressing up as Frankenstein’s immortal creation, and would like to present yourself as a more human-looking, more dapper and regal kind of Halloween monster, then you could always pick Dracula. The interesting thing about a Dracula fancy dress outfit is that you can get away with not actually wearing a monster mask, and just make up your face somewhat, with blood painted trickling down from the corners of your lips accompanied by a touch of powder to pale up your face. To add to this vampiric effect, you could also stick a pair of plastic fangs in your mouth. If, however, you did want to wear a Dracula mask, then there are of course many types to choose from, and you could opt for a design based on either of the two most popular Dracula actors: a snarling, fanged Christopher Lee, or a hypnotically burning-eyed Bela Lugosi. But if you wanted to be a much more monstrous-looking Dracula, then you could decide on a Nosferatu mask (like Max Shreck or the Salem’s Lot vampire, Barlow). A word of warning though: if you do go to a Halloween party and want to attract the girls, with a view to a bit of “necking”, then you’d be well advised to go in the more aristocratic and dapper attire of the more human-looking Lee or Lugosi variety instead of the Nosferatu kind. After all, what girl would want to kiss an ugly vampire?

Last but by no means least, you could always opt for a Wolf Man outfit. The Lon Chaney werewolf masks are quite popular. But there are other kinds of lycanthrope masks that look even more ferocious, ones that resemble the snarling, pointed-eared beast we saw in the Thriller video. Imagine a resident on Halloween night opening the door and being confronted by that terrifying werewolf visage on their step! And if you’re good at belting out loud, blood-curdling howls at the full moon, then the werewolf costume would most certainly be your best bet!

Oh, I almost forgot. There is one more Universal movie monster that certainly deserves a mention as a potential Halloween fancy dress idea: The Invisible Man. What? I hear you cry. How could I possibly go dressed as The Invisible Man when nobody would be able to see me? Simple, you could go dressed up as him when he had the bandages wrapped around his face – along with the dark glasses – to convey the appearance of solidity. On reflection, though, somehow I doubt whether The Invisible Man would be an ideal choice for a good Halloween costume. Well, you never know, do you – somebody could quite easily mistake you for a rather strange version of The Mummy!

Whatever Halloween costume you do eventually decide upon, there’s no doubt that going out dressed up as a famous movie monster – especially if your costume is really authentic looking – is always an option well worth considering. And you never know – your outfit could impress enough to earn you a few extra pennies in your trick-or-treat takings!

Alan Toner