By Christopher Campbell | Spout October 7, 2009 at 10:05AM
Because last year’s list of dress-up ideas for cinephiles was a hit, we’re doing it again. From movies released in the past 12 months, there are few obvious costume ideas. We’re sure to see a lot of guys dress up as the main trio from The Hangover, while girls inspired by Whip It will be sexy Girl Scouts (with or without roller skates).
This time around, though, we’re presenting ten costume ideas that shouldn’t be too popular. And that makes them somewhat appealing, because nobody wants to show up at a Halloween party where someone else is dressed in the same outfit (especially if the other person’s costume is better). Of course, keep in mind that some of the following unpopular ideas could in turn make you unpopular, too.
Of the few people who actually loved Watchmen, some may actually dress up as one of the superheroes from the graphic novel adaptation this Halloween. Chances are they’ll make their own, too, since the store-bought variety of Watchmen costumes are embarrassingly awful. Only the Dr. Manhattan mask available seems well made, but it’s very unnecessary and likely too expensive. Just shave your head (or get a cheap bald cap) and blue yourself. And we’re talking from baldhead to toe. Women aren’t exactly considered nude when covered solely in body paint, so there shouldn’t be an issue with indecency laws. And what’s the point in going out as Dr. Manhattan if you don’t represent the controversial blue penis? More modest individuals could use a nudist costume dyed blue, we suppose.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
While plenty of kids will be back in their Optimus Prime and Bumblebee costumes, recycled from Halloween ’07, there were a few new Transformers characters introduced in the sequel this past summer. Maybe we’ll see some duos attempt the much-criticized pair of illiterate robots, Mudflap and Skids (are they this year’s answer to the RDJ blackface idea?). Other bold fans might prefer to avoid the racist undertones and go with something lewd instead by dressing up as Devastator, the combiner Decepticon with the infamous swinging wrecking ball testicles. Though it is possible to avoid the dangling balls, like the character’s toy does, but there’d be less chance of recognition and offense with such censorship.
Yes, a number of people will go as Brüno this year. This list isn’t about impossible Halloween costumes; it’s about unpopular ones. And there’s much less chance of your friends dressing up as Sacha Baron Cohen’s gay, Austrian fashion reporter than there was that they’d go as Borat back in 2006 and 2007 (the Borat film opened the weekend following Halloween ’06, but there were still some early fans of the character out in their suits and mustaches that year). It’s not just that Brüno was a significantly less popular film (though it wasn’t a flop by any means), but the character is just far less iconic and distinguishable than Borat. Does anybody even remember the movie after all this time, and will they even realize who you’re supposed to be?
If there’s one truly memorable film “character” from 2009, it’s the talking fox from Lars von Trier’s Antichrist, which will fortunately be released in theaters and on IFC’s video-on-demand service just in time for Halloween. However, few people will find much merriment in the film, even in its most surreal moments, with which to be inspired for fun holiday plans. Besides, too many people will assume you’re this year’s other talking fox from Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, even if you wear a t-shirt over your fur that features the signature “chaos reigns” quote on it.
Deadpool — from X-Men Origins: Wolverine
As depicted in the comic books, Deadpool makes for an easy and cool costume, but in this past summer’s X-Men spin-off, he’s either too plain or too complicated. Early on the character is just Ryan Reynolds in a tank top. Later, when he’s turned into the Frankensteinian creature Weapon XI, he’s plenty scary but also disappointingly unfamiliar. It’s highly doubtful that even those people who saw the Wolverine movie would get who you are if you dressed up as the scarred and mouth-less genetic experiment. People will think you’re just some creepy villain from a horror flick they haven’t seen. And anyway, is there anybody who really wants to go as a phony Deadpool? Wait until the character gets his own film, hopefully with the costume from the comics, before planning any costume ideas.
This animated flop from last December has been earning a lot of attention and a little respect lately thanks to its similarities with the upcoming Avatar. But is there enough of a spotlight on Delgo to warrant a costume of the title character? There certainly aren’t any Delgo masks out there, and it won’t be too easy getting that dinosaur-like face achieved with makeup. If you can do it, though, you won’t have to fear anybody else having the same Halloween costume as you. And maybe you’ll further influence what’s guaranteed to be a cult following for the film one day.
Star Trek outfits are sure to be more populous than ever this Halloween now that the franchise is finally cool (again? was it ever cool before?). Yet amidst all those yellow, red and blue shirts you’re not likely to see anyone dressed as a Romulan, specifically the main villain of this year’s reboot, Nero (played by Eric Bana). It’s of near-unanimous opinion that he was a weak character and the sole bad part of the movie. Even diehard Trekkies who’ve regularly gone as Romulans in past years are probably retiring the look for a while so as not to get too much crap from newbies.
Fans of Inglourious Basterds may choose to go as one of the titular soldiers, particularly Aldo “The Apache” or Donny “The Bear Jew,” but the most iconic and memorable character from the film is undoubtedly Christoph Waltz’s Hans Landa. Unfortunately, dressing up as a Nazi will always be taboo, even on Halloween. Some people think it’s okay if you at least avoid the armbands and insignia, though it’s just not a Nazi uniform without the Swastikas. One thing that would easily be more controversial than a normal Nazi costume, though, is one accompanied by a big bloody Swastika branded onto your forehead, a la the victim-survivors of Brad Pitt and gang in Quentin Tarantino’s new WWII fantasy. We think there are probably some ballsy guys out there who’ll think it funny to don such a costume, and they’re sure to make any party a bit awkward. If you really want to be a Nazi without being so offensive, why not a zombie Nazi inspired by this year’s Norwegian import Dead Snow? Anything is more acceptable – and funnier — as a zombie, for some reason.
Sexy Nazi (Hannah Schmitz) — from The Reader
Another way to outdo the offensiveness of a normal Nazi costume is to do what girls love to do with all kinds of characters at Halloween: make them sexy. And fortunately this year we have an Oscar-winning character who is in fact a sexy Nazi: Hannah Schmitz (Kate Winslet) from The Reader. Sure, the movie never shows Hannah in a Nazi uniform, but creative costumers can take liberties. Like other “sexy ____” outfits this will involve a lot of cleavage coming out from under the Nazi uniform jacket, and just for the hell of it, a very short skirt or hot pant-styled lederhosen. Make it a couples costume if you’ve got an underage kid to accompany you.
This would be a good costume, we think, if it weren’t so gross. One of the most memorable scenes from Best Picture Oscar-winner Slumdog Millionaire is when young Jamal jumps into a pile of shit in order not to miss an autograph from Bollywood star Amitabh Bachchan. The idea would be easy to pull off, too, whether you wanted to cover yourself with mud (the kind used for mud wraps, preferably) or fake dog shit pieces from a novelty shop. And don’t forget you’ll need the Bachchan photo so people know you’re not just the shit demon from Dogma or Chet turned dung heap from Weird Science.