Get the news, get the costume
Current events can make great Halloween garb
Whether it’s an elaborate, thought-provoking outfit that took a year to construct, or a casual number thrown together in minutes, Halloween is all about the costumes.
According to a report from the National Retail Federation (nrf.com/modules.php?name=Dashboard&id=54), Americans are expected to spend $2.6 billion on Halloween costumes for adults, children and pets in 2013.
In related news, CreditDonkey.com, a credit card comparison and financial education site, posted results at creditdonkey.com/halloween-2013.html from a recent online survey showing 82.5 percent of respondents plan to spend the same or less money on Halloween this year compared to 2012, and that 51 percent planned to buy pre-made costumes, while 49 percent planned to make their own.
If Americans love Halloween costumes so much, we ask the following: Where are all these people getting their costume ideas from?
For years, news has inspired many costumes, such as presidential hopefuls, popular musicians and superheroes. And real headlines or fake media reports in movies or music videos are a great resource for costume ideas.
Zombies are at a pop-culture zenith providing plenty of new and old “newsy” zombies to bolster this costume choice for Halloween.
There’s the 2013 movie “World War Z” about zombie plagues and it happens to open with a montage of newscasts about mysterious happenings and overseas chaos.
Also, AMC’s drama “The Walking Dead” drew 16.1 million viewers for its Season Four premiere earlier this month, the largest entertainment telecast of the fall in the adult ages 18–49 demographic, according to insidetv.ew.com.
The second episode of that zombie show aired Sunday, Oct. 20, and still drew 13.9 million viewers, the Entertainment Weekly blog said, giving zombies some serious entertainment life in the real and fake news.
And while it’s not recent, Michael Jackson’s acclaimed music video for “Thriller” will never get old. A young Jackson and his date watch a scary movie, then fall prey to zombies. It’s just a dream. Right?
Honorable mention: “Night of the Living Dead,” a 1968 black-and-white horror film directed by George Romero, features emergency radio broadcasts.
Vampires are always Halloween costume favorites, with or without the media spotlight, which currently seems to be waning.
However, entertainment news highlighted the Friday, Oct. 25, premiere of the NBC drama “Dracula” starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The series is from the producers of “Downton Abbey” and the director of “The Tudors.”
The trailer can be viewed at nbc.com, and promos for the series have aired for the past couple weeks.
Conjuring a witch — black pointy hats, capes, brooms and either green or pasty pale skin with warts — for Halloween has never been hard.
And when Harry Potter arrived on the scene, it got even more popular. The books and movies absorbed headlines for years and Harry and his friends are still fun costumes for Halloween.
Unfortunately, one newspaper-related character will never be beloved: Rita Skeeter, the sneaky, dishonest wretched writer whose articles appear in The Daily Prophet newspaper.
Honorable mention: “Bewitched,” a 1964–72 TV series following Samantha, a witch who is married to Darrin, an advertising executive and mere mortal.
In the 1984 movie “Ghostbusters,” Dana Barrett has just returned to her apartment to find an advertisement for the Ghostbusters playing on her TV. She dismisses it and goes into her kitchen only to hear and see a ghoul-like ghost dog living in her refrigerator.
Who’s she gonna call?
Probably not a ghostwriter. But a pulling a white sheet over your head is one of the easiest costumes to put together, ever.
When Superman isn’t busy fighting evil, he is Clark Kent, a newspaper reporter for The Daily Planet.
He’s not the only superhero, and perennial costume possibility, with ties to media.
Peter Parker, aka Spider-Man, is a freelance photographer for The Daily Bugle newspaper.
The Green Hornet is actually Britt Reid, the publisher of The Daily Sentinel newspaper.
Vickie Vale, Batman’s sometimes romantic interest, writes for The Gotham Gazette. (But let’s be honest, if you’re going to pick a female character from Batman lore, go with Catwoman.)
One eye or two, an oddly shaped head, antennae, green, smooth or wrinkly — alien Halloween costumes are rather timeless.
But the go-to moment for aliens in news is “The War of the Worlds” radio drama directed by Orson Welles and aired on the radio for Halloween in Oct. 30, 1938.
The episode, which included mock news bulletins, led some listeners to think Martians had invaded Earth and they panicked.
These days, perhaps we’re a little more level-headed about aliens.
In the 2002 movie “Signs,” actor Mel Gibson’s character and his family are isolated in their house, but the TV still works, so they watch newcasts to learn the crop circles outside were part of an alien invasion.
Honorable mention: The premise of 2008 release “Cloverfield” is about personal video footage used to tell the story of an alien invasion.
REALITY TV PERSONALITIES
Look out for the beards this Halloween, because arguably no reality stars are bigger right now than the camouflage-clad men of A&E’s “Duck Dynasty.”
Also consider “Ink Master” judge and tattoo fan Oliver Peck. The show airs on Spike TV.
Honorable mention: Dress like an injured seal to symbolize Discovery’s “Shark Week,” some disgruntled chef from a cooking competition, or a character from Discovery’s “Moonshiners.”
We’re thinking of the sort of celebrities who make money and grab headlines, but who also are Halloween costume fodder. Prime example: Kim Kardashian.
She has given the world so many costume ideas. The most recent? Engaged Kim with a 15-carat diamond ring.
Walter White, the lead character of the recently finished “Breaking Bad” TV show also is a trendy pick.
Honorable mention: Miley Cyrus because she’s everywhere, kind of like zombies and the Royal Family.
What or who are you dressing up as this year? Got a great Halloween costume to share? Tweet your ideas to Melinda @gj_outandabout.