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Top 10 Movie-Inspired Halloween Costumes

by JD Warnock on October 30, 2007

in Top 10s

Alright Scene-Stealers gang, before you get all twitchy, this is a favorites list – not a “best of” anything. This is a fluff list designed entirely to get our readers out there in internet land to fire back with your personal allhallows-eve movie costume faves or just the best idea for a costume yet unrealized. So friends, don’t be shy, tell us all about it. Links to related lists: Top 10 Scariest Movie Themes, Top 10 Overlooked Scary Movies, Top 10 Slapstick Horror Movies, Top 10 Giant Monster Attacks! Movies, Top 10 Movie Monsters

1. Costume: Members of Spinal Tap from “This is Spinal Tap” (1984)

A tried and true costume stand-by, the boys in the Tap are a Halloween goldmine. More times than not, bad English accents and all, a Spinal Tap costume is a hit – albeit potentially annoying. As you’ll see from the rest of my list, I’m a big proponent of ensemble Halloween costumes. This is a slippery slope, but you can’t go wrong rolling up to your local proper rock club talking about the “fine line between clever and stupid.”

Nigel Tufnel: This is my exact inner structure, done in a tee shirt. Exactly medically accurate. See?
Marty DiBergi: So in other words if we were to take all your flesh and blood…
Nigel Tufnel: Take them off. This is what you’d see.
Marty DiBergi: It wouldn’t be green though.

2. Costume: Members of Kiss from “Kiss Meets the Phantom of the Park” (1978)

The ultimate costume, period, is Kiss. Tribute bands live or die as much on the make-up and costumes as the classic tunes. Now of course I’m fudging things a little here, this is a terrible film, but who cares – it’s an excuse to get Kiss onto a Top 10 list. Sadly, I couldn’t find any sweet pics of the hard plastic Kiss masks of the late seventies, early eighties, but I think most people can appreciate a well done Kiss get-up when they see one. Turns out Ace may be a bit of a wanker in real life, but I’m always prepared to give extra props for rockin’ the Space Ace on Halloween.

Star Child: What do you compute, Space Ace?
Space Ace: Insufficient data at the moment, Star Child!

3. Costume: The Tennenbaums from “The Royal Tennenbaums” (2001)

Some unnamed friends of mine pulled this off so well at a Halloween party a few years back, I’m prepared to call it my favorite ensemble Halloween costume that I’ve ever seen. When Royal, Ritchie and Margot of the iconic Tenenbaums walked through he door everybody knew who was taking home the evening’s bragging rights. For you movie dads out there at a loss for inspiration, if you have two kids and three matching track suits, there’s some bragging rights to be had this for you this October. You just have to want it “Chas.”

Royal: I thought I’d start by taking you out to visit your grandmother.
Richie: God, I haven’t been out there in years.
Margot: I’ve never been at all. I was never invited.
Royal: Well she wasn’t your real grandmother, and I didn’t know how much interest you had. But you’re invited now!

4. Costume: A Shower from “Karate Kid” (1984)

Billy Zabka a.k.a. sweep the leg “Johnny” and the rest of his Cobra Kai hooligans rocked the skeleton hoodies in the original “Karate Kid,” but the truly innovative costume was Daniel-san’s identity-shielding shower guise. This requires a trip to the hardware store and a few extra bucks for the soap and towels.

Daniel: Oh, great, that solves everything for me. I’ll just go down to the school and straighten it out with the teacher, no problem.
Miyagi: Now use head for something other than target.
Daniel: Hey, I was just kidding about that.
Miyagi: Why kidding?
Daniel: Because I’d get killed if I go down there.
Miyagi: Get killed anyway.

5. Costume: V / Guy Fawkes from “V for Vendetta” (2005)

“V for Vendetta” is still one of my favorite films of the last five years, with its equal parts style and substance. The Guy Fawkes look is sufficiently creepy on its own, but add in some sweet moves and a cape and you have yourself a winner.

Evey Hammond: Remember, remember, the Fifth of November, the Gunpowder Treason and Plot. I know of no reason why the Gunpowder Treason should ever be forgot… But what of the man? I know his name was Guy Fawkes and I know, in 1605, he attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament. But who was he really? What was he like? We are told to remember the idea, not the man, because a man can fail. He can be caught, he can be killed and forgotten, but 400 years later, an idea can still change the world.

6. Bob and Doug McKenzie from “The Adventures of Bob and Doug McKenzie: Strange Brew” (1983)

One of two Canadian options on my list for Halloween get-ups. The McKenzie Brothers isn’t an act that’s easy to keep up for an entire evening, but there is a sweet spot somewhere between the first Labatt’s and the “soakers” on down the line, aay!

Bob McKenzie: Fleshy-headed mutant. Are you friendly?
Doug McKenzie: No way, eh? Ra-… radiation has made… me an enemy of civilization.
Bob McKenzie: Alpha Base. This is Bob McKenzie. I have a fleshy-headed mutant in the Forbidden Zone.
Doug McKenzie: Ahhh! Take off, you hoser.

7. Costume: Lloyd Dobler from “Say Anything” (1989)

All you need is a trench-coat, some sweet sneakers and a vintage boom-box with Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” on repeat. Cameron Crowe’s brilliant “Say Anything” isn’t just one of John Cusack’s finer moments it’s also the template for a low-budget, high-impact crowd pleaser on the Halloween party circuit.

Lloyd Dobler: She’s gone. She gave me a pen. I gave her my heart, she gave me a pen.

Lloyd Dobler: “Maybe I didn’t really know you. Maybe you were just a mirage. Maybe the world is full of food and sex and spectacle and we’re all just hurling towards an apocalypse, in which case it’s not your fault. I’m been thinking about all these things and… you’re probably standing there monitoring. And one more thing – about the letter. Nuke it. Flame it. Destroy it. – It hurts me to know it’s out there. Later.”

8. Costume: Luke Skywalker from “Empire Strikes Back” (1980)

For a kid growing up in the 80’s, “Star Wars” was a full-time obsession from breakfast to sundown. In elementary school the guys all fought over who got to be Han Solo, but if you couldn’t be Han, then Luke would do just fine. This is the only costume on the list I’ve actually attempted to pull off post-adolescence . I can’t say it went all that well, but “Empire” Luke Skywalker hammered at a party is rather amusing, and I did get a nice blaster out of the deal, so either way I win! Bonus costume: For all the bald dudes looking for a home run this Halloween, go Lobot dude.

Han Solo: How are you feeling kid? You don’t look so bad to me. You look strong enough to pull the ears off a gundark.
Luke: Thanks to you.
Han Solo: That’s two you owe me kid.

9. Costume: The Hanson Brothers from “Slap Shot” (1977)

I would rather sit through a James Woods marathon than watch a hockey game, but for better or worse, 1977’s “Slap Shot” is a sports movie classic. The Hanson Brothers costume has a few simple requirements: 3 guys with unnecessarily large sports jerseys, longish hair, fake blood, thick glasses and you’re done. Oh, and at least one other person in the room who gets the reference.

Ned Braden: What are you doing?
Jeff Hanson: Puttin’ on the foil!
Steve Hanson: Every game!
Jack Hanson: Want some?

10. Costume: Melanie Daniels from “The Birds” (1963)

I recall being very impressed when someone told me about this creative movie-inspired costume before I saw it myself. An overcoat, some 60’s apparel, fake blood and a flurry of well placed homicidal birds, and your set for a Hitchcock Halloween. Of course, you could go for Hitchcock himself. You could make a cameo at every costume party in town.

Sebastian Sholes, fisherman in diner: Hell, maybe we’re all getting a little carried away with this. Admittedly a few birds did act strange, but that’s no reason to…
Melanie Daniels: I keep telling you, this isn’t ‘a few birds’! These are gulls, crows, swifts…!
Mrs. Bundy, elderly ornithologist: I have never known birds of different species to flock together. The very concept is unimaginable. Why, if that happened, we wouldn’t stand a chance! How could we possibly hope to fight them?

There you have it. Now it’s your turn. Tell us about your favorite movie-inspired Halloween costumes. With your help, Scene-Stealers could become the world’s leading supplier of Halloween costume ideas that simultaneously don’t suck, and can prove your movie prowess all at the same time.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Eric October 30, 2007 at 10:51 am

My own personal favorite Halloween costume was inspired by two different movies in 1999. My girlfriend had bought me a full Darth Maul costume, cloak, gloves, double edged lightsaber and we were going to do the makeup. It was pretty cool.

In the meantime, I was working for a radio station at the time and to promote the upcoming, “Being John Malkovich,” we were sent these cheesy little John Malkovich masks. So I decided to use that mask with the rest of the costume and blow off the makeup. So for Halloween, I was “Darth Maulkovich.” Got a lot of laughs.


2 Kinsey October 30, 2007 at 11:05 am

Okay, not bad, but where’s overlooked scary movies? Boo:(


3 J.D. Warnock October 30, 2007 at 11:28 am

So sorry, we’ll be back to the alternating lists next week. We had so many great comments on Eric’s overlooked scary movies, I simply didn’t have anything new and exciting to add to the discussion. We decided we’d have a bit of silly fun for Halloween and get back to the serious Top 10’s next week.


4 Jon Sholly October 30, 2007 at 4:14 pm

Oddly, Eric and I did Bob and Doug McKenzie many a Halloween ago. I believe the reason we picked it was due to the fact that bottled beer was a part of the costume and we could dress in our regular clothes with the addition of ear muffs and stocking caps. We ruled, but not as much as Mary Alice and Karrin dressing as me and Eric. It’s quite strange, but even more awesome, to be the subject of a costume.


5 Alan Rapp November 1, 2007 at 5:14 pm

This is one of the coolest lists you guys have done.

And kudos for the Say Anything quote


6 John D November 6, 2007 at 11:13 am

I can never get my wife to agree to this, and I’ve never seen it, but I think the best ensemble outfit would be Dirk Diggler and Rollergirl from Boogie Nights.


7 Dana November 25, 2007 at 2:06 pm

We took some of your advise and did it rockstar style for Halloween! Check out Angus, Alice, Ace and Nikki:




8 daniel d March 13, 2009 at 6:15 am

wow did the droogs from a clockwork orange not make it in here?


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