Monday, October 26, 2015

Night of the Living Dead Cowboys

I sort of promised you guys some weird west horror stuff at the start of the season so I need to deliver.
Now that's an undead cowboy right there.
 Thanks to an unfortunate continuing interest in zombies there are a few undead cowboy outfits on teh market.  I believe you would do better just getting some regular cowboy gear and some horror bit and making your own, but not everyone has that kind of time.  I understand.  I'm not judging.  Well, I'm not judging you, dear reader, but I'll judge the hell out of some costumes.
The whole Weird Western thing really lends itself to zombies and other spookiness well and there is something somehow appropriate about gunslingers and death in the same image.
It's really just a trench coat and a skull mask when you get right down to it.

Now you might be able, without the benefit of CGI, to pull off a decent Death Marshal...

But you just ain't gonna pull off Ghost Rider.  That's okay, you can still do some pretty nifty costumes if you have the time and the skill.  Your choices are not limitless if you want this to work.  A ghost cowboy is pretty high concept, but you could manage it.  Your basic two are the skull and the zombie.
They are not great, but they have potential.  The more complete of the two is the zombie on the right.  Buy that and all you'll need is an appropriate shirt, boots and gun.  The more whimsical skull on the left requires you provide the exact same items.  Between the two of them the zombie is more fantastic with the skull embellishments on the hat, belt and collar of the duster.  If you are going for a really Weird Western look, that'll do it.  The other guy is less fantastic, but the poncho, hat style and the noose all "tell a story" as the judges of Face Off would say.
I may or may not have said this before, but you don't want to spend all night explaining your costume to people.  A costume should be either an immediately recognizable archetype, the oft-mentioned visual shorthand I keep harping on, or it needs to immediately tell a story.  When you look at the zombie guy, unless you are up close, he's just a fancy gunslinger.  When you look at old Poncho over there you get a story.  The skull, the cut noose, the poncho evoking images of Clint Eastwood in spaghetti westerns, it all combines to tell us a story.  Somebody gave this cowpoke a hemp necktie and he liked it so much he kept it.  And he's got a mad on.

Weird Westerns combine westerns with things like steampunk, science fiction, aliens, and of course, horror.  You can definitely have some fun with the concept and with a little time and effort either of those could be the basis of a unique expression of your own, which I highly recommend.

Yeehaw, keep them pumpkins rolling.


  1. When I was a child, I mainly imagined my ghost hunters fighting pirate ghosts during summertime when it was hot, then old-fashioned ghosts, vampires and so on when it started getting cool until Halloween.

    1. That's a complex but logical mythology you had as a kid. Impressive.

    2. We actually had a Halloween game and then we had a Dracula game: