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Want a Halloween costume that will get plenty of polite smiles and compliments at the big party this year? Then you came to the wrong place, motherfucker. Want a costume that will utterly dominate Halloween and make everyone else realize their costume is an unimaginative piece of shit? We're here for you. And it doesn't matter if you don't have access to the kind of resources that someone like perennial Halloween overachiever/succubus Heidi Klum has at her disposal.

The following homemade costumes require nothing more than a fertile imagination, some deft DIY skills, and a little elbow grease. And an obscene overabundance of free time. And a shopping trip for the kind of supplies that might cause the cashier at Home Depot to place a panicky call to Homeland Security.

But it's all worth it, because you'll wind up with costumes like ...

The Soul Walker

Manbuddha, via Costume-works.com

This colossal, shambling jabberwock was christened the Soul Walker by creator Manbuddha. It is a testament to what one man can do with a little surplus foam, some stilts, and a brain swirling with the wretched howling of the eternally damned.

Manbuddha, via Youtube
Hello. Just letting you know I'm moving into the neighborhood, as is required by law.

As impressive as the final product is, though, you can probably pull off a decent facsimile yourself using random crap laying around the shed. You know, the stuff in the boxes you keep underneath the bodies of all those missing runaways. Here, he even shows you how to do it:

Inspired by the landstriders from Jim Henson's child-scarring opus The Dark Crystal, as well as some of the more disturbing antics of the weirdos at Cirque du Soleil, the enigma known only as Manbuddha worked up the gumption one recent Halloween to create the terror-wight you see here and proudly proclaimed, "My dream/nightmare has come true!" Yes indeed, Manbuddha. You probably made every elderly resident of the housing complex open their arms to embrace the rapture.

It's not a successful costume unless it drives at least one onlooker to madness.

The Big Daddy (With Working Arm Drill)

Mcmullets, via Volpinprops.blogspot.com

If you've played any of the BioShock video games, you already know what this is. For those who have no idea what they're looking at, it's a Big Daddy. They're immense, genetically enhanced monsters who are forced to live in a diving suit and protect these young girls called Little Sisters that you, as the player, are trying to stab in the face with a hypodermic needle to harvest their sea slug essence. Yeah, these games are rated M for "mature." And possibly also for "mushrooms."

Anyway, a fellow named Harrison Krix (who admittedly has the rather unfair advantage of working at a prop company) created the Big Daddy you see here as a personal project. And yes, the massive arm-drill works:

Via Youtube
"This is just to cut through the convention crowds."

However, there's technically nothing stopping you from making your own, and he was kind enough to detail exactly how he did it:

Harrison Krix

Harrison Krix

Harrison Krix
Step 1: Burglarize George Lucas' bric-a-brac room.

Oh, sure, you need skills -- the rest of it is shaving blocks of foam into the right shape and painting it to look like weathered copper (the arm drill is simply attached to a cordless hand drill). Granted, he did note that this project was "a solid pain in the ass to build" and involved nearly 500 labor-intensive hours to complete. Hey, we didn't say that utterly dominating Halloween would be an easy task. You have to expect some effort when the result is so convincing that we at first thought the below photo was concept art from the game:

Matt Nicholson/Dim Horizon Studio
And were then disappointed to find that the aquarium gift shop does not, in fact, sell plasmids.

Hell, that photo isn't even doctored -- Krix, along with a willing ladyfriend playing the part of a Little Sister, paid a visit to the Georgia Aquarium for a dramatic photo shoot (and to possibly fulfill a murderous shark vendetta). In 2009, after a spectacular appearance at Dragon Con, Krix reportedly put the suit up for sale on eBay. Being a responsible kind of guy, he was considerate enough to warn potential buyers how the costume makes the wearer "effectively blind." But he also went on to assure everyone that navigating through crowds of onlookers isn't as problematic as one might think, by offering this advice: "Just kick the drill arm on and keep walking; they'll move."

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Homemade Hulk Muscles


Sure, for a few bucks, anyone can go to Walmart and grab a shitty Hulk costume. But at best all you'll get is a few tattered pieces of clothing over some unrealistically painted green pillow-stuffing that barely disguises your sad, doughy physique. However, if you can pony up $600 for supplies and devote 120 hours of your life to the endeavor, you too can be like this guy, who goes by Biopredator, and create a Hulk costume so awesome that the ladies probably won't even care about the horrendous smell you'll inevitably create after walking around in it for a few hours.

To be fair, the real Hulk probably smells like shit.

The only thing he didn't fashion himself was the mask, which was purchased online. After a bit of 3D modeling on his home computer, everything else was angrily (at least we hope it was done angrily, for artistic integrity) hand-carved from couch foam and painted with the help of his wife.

After a few trial-and-error revisions that were necessary to get the "deltoids, the traps, and one of the biceps" just right, he and his wife first tested it out by wrestling the whole shebang onto a mannequin they happened to have lying around, which doesn't sound creepy at all.



If this is anatomically correct, it's no wonder he's constantly pissed.

Once everything was completed to satisfaction, it was time for a trial run (after psychologically traumatizing his toddler). Which in this case means "saunter around the backyard, nude."

The result was impressive enough to win a prestigious competition, cause him to be surrounded by gawkers in the local mall as he did a little shopping at Dillard's, and earn him the admiring adulation of his fellow hobbyists. And the best thing is, with a different color paint and another mask, you can easily go as a kick-ass Skeletor.

Or take off the mask, paint it flesh color, and just wear it for the rest of your life.

Little Green Army Men

Via Halloweenforum.com

OK, if you feel like the above examples are out of your skill and price range, we're disappointed in you, but not ready to give up yet. For example, here's an absolutely badass "little plastic Army men" costume that requires nothing more than a few dollars in supplies and a willingness to stand perfectly still for the duration of your Halloween party.

At least, until somebody dressed as a giant lighter shows up.

Look at it -- the resulting party photos always look like bad Photoshops. To start, you need to be willing to ruin a perfectly good set of clothing with primer and spray paint (just make sure you don't go too crazy with it and wind up like that girl from Goldfinger). The base for your feet is a hunk of cardboard, and the prop weapons can be toys or whatever you can make -- the fact that you're going to paint everything the exact same color means you just have to find the correct shapes.

For a great Saving Private Ryan costume, just allow an open flame to come into contact with the paint fumes.

That's an important step, by the way -- you want your bazookas, M16s, or what have you to be as unrealistically bright-green as possible in order to avoid potentially deadly confrontations with local law enforcement. Actually, you should probably leave anything even marginally resembling an RPG at home. You'll be better off if you just settle for being the radio guy.

You laugh at that suggestion now, but you won't after the tears from the Transit Authority's pepper spray make your paint run.

Beyond that, it's up to how thorough you're willing to be. After all, it's the little touches that make all the difference. Like, using a face covering to give it that unfinished, "fresh off the Chinese assembly line" look. And the simple commitment of holding the pose until you've made everyone around you as uncomfortable as that "statue guy" downtown who creeps people out for a living (or until you get lost between the sofa cushions and/or chewed up by the dog).

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Living Artwork

Banksy, George Schnakenberg III

Speaking of costumes that look like Photoshops, it doesn't take a whole lot of effort to make a surreal "work of art come to life" costume that will make the other partygoers think they're having an acid flashback. Such as, the living Banksy street art up there.

George Schnakenberg III
Yes, you have to hold that pose all night. We're tired of you asking. Do you want this, or not?

The outfit, a re-creation of the notorious graffiti artist's "Flower Thrower," shouldn't be too hard on the checkbook, considering all it looks like you'll need are some stolen cemetery posies and one can of paint.

A little too political for your tastes? Maybe you'd prefer a costume in the style of a Roy Lichtenstein painting. You know, the guy who did stuff like this ...

Roy Lichtenstein

... which means you just need to mimic the harsh ink lines, stark colors, and dotted shading:

M.A.C. Cosmetics

Tony Aceves
Don't forget the cardboard dialogue bubble.

It seems simple enough, but here's someone who was nice enough to go over all the specifics. Of course, if you're an actual artist, with a little face paint you can turn yourself into a Van Gogh "Self Portrait":

James Birkbeck
Come on! If you're not going to go the whole way and cut off your ear, we're not sure why we're still even talking to you.

... but we understand that the average guy can't pull that off without just looking like he's crudely painted some Freddy Krueger facial burns on himself. For you, how about a DIY Rene Magritte painting:

Rene Magritte, Nate Vandermeulen
Painting on the left. You may want to have Uber take you to your Halloween party if you go like this.

Finally, if you want to go a little more modern, you can turn your head into an N64-era polygon model that will make your friends think they're witnessing a glitch in the Matrix:

Eric Testroete
"Does this shirt make my nose look big?"

That one was made by 3D artist Eric Testroete, who used nothing but his brain, along with a computer and some printer paper, to create a character straight out of the big-head mode from GoldenEye.

Eric Testroete
Seen here in the brief moments before being shot by some cheap bastard dressed up as Oddjob.

The effect is as captivating as it is vaguely unnerving. Which may be why Testroete seems to enjoy freaking people out by stalking elevators, taking late night walks, and hanging out in bookstores. Note that this one does require some specialized software, not to mention a complete disregard for the sanity of whoever might happen upon the trashcan filled with your early, failed attempts.

Eric Testroete

Eric Testroete
Even Buffalo Bill would think you're a weirdo for leaving this kind of shit laying around.

... but it also saves you from having to wash paint off your face later. Speaking of which ...

Nightmarish Body Painting


OH HOLY SHIT STOP THE ARTICLE. Get that off the screen! Gah!

That's just ... wrong. But damn it, here's the one costume on the list that we're pretty sure will get you kicked out of the Halloween party, just for freaking everyone the fuck out. This is what happens when you put someone with crazy talent in charge of doodling all over your mug. These particular examples are from Chooo-san, a 19-year-old Japanese artist/student who seems to be way too interested in things like eyeballs and zippers, which she frequently plasters onto other people's bodies with an outright alarming amount of detail:


"Nice costume, four-eyes!"

Hyper-realistically surreal optical illusions are what Chooo-san specializes in, and while your attempts may not come out as spectacular as hers, at least the folks at your next Halloween gathering will surely appreciate the effort you took while they hastily retreat to the safety of literally anywhere else.

"It symbolizes how I get all of my energy from my butthole."

Her work is often mistaken for Photoshop trickery, but the only alterations you see here are via the simple application of acrylic paints. Well, not "simple" -- it helps to have an artist's touch and an imagination geared specifically toward giving other people nightmares.


And weird boners.

But no, you don't have to be Chooo-san to paint yourself into something monstrous. With a creative use of a little black paint here, a little red paint there, and some strategically placed teeth to complete the effect, you too can make the streets of your neighborhood run yellow with the urine of panic-stricken toddlers:

Specialxk, via Reddit
Happy Halloween, you sons of bitches.

E. Reid Ross is a columnist at Man Cave Daily. You can also follow him on Twitter here.

For costumes to avoid, check out 7 Halloween Costumes That Never Look as Cool as You Think and 16 Great Halloween Costumes for Telling Everyone You Suck.

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