Here's the finished costume. Half Freddy, half Jason, all Marcus. But it wasn't always like this. Why I remember the process as if it was a Cockeyed.com inspired photo process...
Getting started on the costume was easy. If you recall last year's visit to Anime-Expo, I already had the makings of a Jason Voorhees costume in my closet. I threw that costume together about an hour before I left for Long Beach, and as such, all of the pieces were straight out of the store, clean, spotless, and gore free. I was telling people that I was "Jason Voorhees on his first day on the job."
My first order of business was to make those blue coveralls look as if they had been rotting at the bottom of Camp Crystal Lake for a few sequels. The summer campiest thing in the backyard was the greasy old barbecue grill, so I rubbed that all over it.
When the grill grease barely put a mark on the suit, I decided to stop trying to half-ass my way through this and do it right. If I wanted it to look like it had come out of the depths of Crystal Lake, I was going to have to recreate Crystal Lake.
To that end, I filled a bucket with water, then threw in dirt and the spent coals from the barbecue the day before. Oh wait, did I forget to mention that it was Labor Day? Well, it's never too early to get started on Halloween costumes.
The dirt and ash somehow didn't make the "Lake" look enough like it harbored a rotting corpse man, so threw in the pepperchinis and that nasty garlic oil sauce from a Papa John's pizza box that I found in the dumpster. Once all that was in the bucket, the water started to bubble like a low boil. I'm not kidding. I stuffed the coveralls in there and left them to rot.
I thought I ought to muck up the mask too while I was at it. Five minutes later I said "Wait, I have to wear that thing on my face!" and pulled it back out again.
A better idea would be to just paint it. It took about five minutes to put the red marks and the trademark brownish funk on there. It was so easy to do, it makes one wonder why the manufacturer of the mask didn't do it themselves. I guess they were catering to the people who actually buy these to be a hockey goalie for Halloween.
While my suit and mask were soaking and drying, respectively, I went out looking for Freddy gear. I came back with a pair of worn out corduroys and an itchy wool sweater from the Goodwill.
Let me just say it now so I can get it out of my system. I hate this sweater. To picture how uncomfortable this sweater is, try to imagine wearing a sweater made out of sandpaper, and then filled with bees and poison ivy. And I'm not even covered with third degree burns! No wonder Freddy is so pissed all the time!
Back over to the Jason side of things, I sprayed down my plastic machete with some metallic spray paint. This made it look approximately 4% more realistic. I suppose I could have bought a real machete, since my girlfriend had left me, taking her "Marcus isn't allowed to play with real knives" policy with her.
Honestly, what I was really concerned about was the LAPD. I planned on wearing this costume to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival, and I didn't want to end up face down in a pool of my own blood on Santa Monica Boulevard with the live news reporter saying, "Police then opened fire on the burned goalie, claiming that they saw a large knife and totally lost their shit."
A week later I pulled the suit out of the bucket. It looked pretty skanky, but certainly not like it was packed full of a murderous dead guy.
My ex-girlfriend stopped by to pick up some of her stuff. She suggested that the suit would get a more weathered look if it was beaten with a brick. After an hour, she let me take the suit off.
Another barbecue, another pile of ashes.
Die you soulless son of a bitch!
I shoved the coveralls back into Crystal Lake and went back to work on Freddy. Did you know that there are wackjobs out there who make 100% authentic Freddy Krueger gloves and sell them on eBay? By "100% authentic" I mean, real blades, sharpened, and ready for killing children with. That's just wrong on so many levels.
I bought the official "Freddy's Glove" glove from a Halloween store. At approximately eleven dollars, this was the single most expensive item purchased for this costume. As far as Freddy gloves go, you get what you pay for. This one looks like it was made by Playskool. But again, my mind turned to that puddle of blood on Santa Monica Boulevard, and I decided it was good enough.
Did you know that a Freddy sweater costs 40 bucks at a Halloween store? What the hell? My real clothes don't cost that much. For 3 bucks at Goodwill and another 10 or so at Ace Hardware, I had an (uncomfortable, horrible, allergen covered) red sweater, a roll of black duct tape, and a can of green spray paint.
After a little creative masking, it already started to look like half of Freddy's outer apparel. To get even spray coverage without having to flip it over, I stuck a shovel in the ground, and put the sleeve over that.
I left this in the backyard for a week to dry, and every time I saw it, I thought "Are you tired of sloppy, cut rate funerals..."
By this time the coveralls were not only completely disgusting, but Crystal Lake reeked oddly of cheap beer. Either the organic matter I threw in there had started to ferment, or the gardner had taken a whiz in my bucket. Either way, after all this work, I broke down and threw the suit in the washing machine.
After the hockey mask and machete, nothing defines a Jason costume quite like a good splattering of blood and gore. I used red and black paint mixed with oatmeal, and thrown with a large paintbrush. A decapitated cat also works.
The best way to get the realistic "I just killed somebody with this" splatter on your machete is to actually go ahead and kill somebody with it. Since Kelly Clarkson repeatedly turned down my invitations, I ended up just pouring my fake gore mixture into a newspaper and hacking it to death. Sorry world.
When the bandages came off, Freddy's sweater looked perfect. By now you efficiency experts out there have noted that I'm not painting/dirtying/creating the half of each psycho that I'm not going to use. This is partially out of solid planning, but mostly out of laziness.
This was the first time that I stepped back and said, "Dude, this is going to be frickin' awesome!
On the side of the pants that would be hidden under Jason's coveralls, I taped on a bunch of "muscle girth" made out of chopped up packing foam. You can do this with your foot planted solidly on the ground, but I like to give a little something back to the online foot fetish community.
Here's a little thing I learned last year while making my Frankenstein costume. If you cut the side off of a gallon water jug and then tape foam or newspapers inside of it, it makes an awesome hulking shoulderpad. I stuffed this into Jason's shoulder to make it look different from Freddy's/my own scrawny physique.
Then came the sewing. The infernal sewing. Why can't all clothes be held together with duct tape and spit? I could have asked my ex-girlfriend to do this, as girls love to sew, but by this time she was already dating Billy Zane, and he told me to stop calling.
I wanted the "VS" to be the only clean thing on the whole suit. I wanted it to appear not like it was part of the costume, but like it was just there, as if it was a graphic added to the poster or something. To make them I glued two sheets of foamcore together with a reverse printout of the letters glued to the back. Then I cut out around the printout with an xacto blade. The curvy parts (damn you letter S!) came out really ragged and terrible, but some quality time with sandpaper smoothed it out rather nicely. Then I outlined it with Sharpie. Then I sniffed the Sharpie for another hour and went to bed. I had a nightmare about The Phantom.
Is the world in love with fedoras? I thought it would be easy to find a crappy old fedora in a thrift store, but no matter how many I went to, I always came out empty handed. I'm expecting to see a lot of Indiana Joneses this year, all with authentic vintage headwear.
I finally ended up reluctantly going with the Halloween store special. SPUNKY suggested coloring it brown with pastel chalk instead of spray paint. That made it look really crappy, which was in this case, just what I wanted.
On the Jason side, I cut the mask in half and started attaching elastic straps. Jason's mask changes a little bit in every movie, so I looked at FreddyVsJason.com for reference. The old boy has obviously picked up a new mask recently, as the one he sports in the latest flick is missing the "Part 4 axe wound" and it has some big rivets holding the straps onto the front of the face. I'm glad that he got a new mask, because I'm not a fan of the "worn down mask is smaller than giant meaty face" look he's been sporting in the last few movies.
For my rivets, I used big plastic buttons. I needed to bisect one to use for the center strap, where half of the mask would be missing. If you're trying this at home, the best way to cut a button in half is to nail it to the wall of your garage and then hacksaw it. If my landlord is reading this, my girlfriend did this before she moved out.
Ellipsing over the less interesting parts, the whole costume was now complete. Now it was time for the finishing touch: Makeup. I went down to the mom and pop costume shop on the corner and browsed their makeup selection for something Freddyriffic.
It turned out the perfect base color for scar tissue is Zauders Superior "Indian" makeup. I was lucky they still had some left, as "Negro" and "Chinaman" were completely sold out. As if the politically incorrect name wasn't enough of a clue, the weathered condition of the box led me to believe that this makeup has been in the storeroom for a good 30 years.
And what's up with that logo?! What the hell is that? Ask Jeeves and his evil siamese twin? Creepy!
Anyway, at this point in the process I got tired of Halloween and decided to go to a football game instead. KANSAS CITY CHIEFS RULE!
I applied a base coat of red makeup, and then a coat of latex scar material. The liquid scar is translucent and pearly in its default form, so I put another coat of red over it to keep from looking like I was dressed as Jason vs. Bukkake. After that joke, my girlfriend left me again.
Just to show that there were no hard feelings, I put in an appearance at Billy Zane's Halloween party. Luckily I had the foresight to realize that I wouldn't be able to drink anything if I didn't steal a handful of Slurpee straws from the 7-11.
Our old pal Gary showed up to the party dressed as Wolverine, complete with 12 inch Adamantium claws. At this point I really began to get some serious blade envy. My lame ass glove definitely needed work. Plus, I figured if I brought Gary to Hollywood with me, those massive claws sticking out of his arms would draw all of the LAPD's fire away from me.
I took my weak Freddy glove and added six inch cardboard blades to it. I also sanded the shine off of the plastic "leather" parts, and schmootzed up the glove with some extra makeup.
Learning from Gary (and horking his materials), I covered my cardboard claws in aluminum repair tape. Now this glove was starting to look bad ass!
To flatten out the tape and make sure all the adhesive was set, I put the blades under a stack of books overnight. Yes, I have three copies of "The Illusion of Life". No, I don't want to talk about it.
With my costume complete, and looking SOOO GOOOOD, my girlfriend came rushing back to me with open arms. It was a Halloween miracle! What can I say, I'm a sucker for undead zombie cheerleaders.
As a strange footnote to this story, the first time that I wore this costume in public, I was swarmed with Asian girls who wanted lots of pictures with me. I don't know where they came from. I guess when I went to Anime-Expo dressed as Jason I was on to something after all!