Star Wars Films

There is a new Star Wars film ‘The Force Awakens’ in the offing December 2015, and some of its secrets were ‘leaked’ by Vanity Fair magazine on May 4th (geddit?). Meanwhile, in London, the Secret Cinema organisation is creating a stir between June and September with its immersive version screenings of ‘The Empire Strikes Back’, even bringing the film back into the popularity charts. It is time for Props & Frocks to look at Star Wars and its characters.

A quick note: The Star Wars universe, like Space itself, is vast, with a great many more characters than are listed here. Even within the Props & Frocksiverse, we cannot necessarily hope to have all characters listed here in stock (some of them you can create yourself and others are not available on the mass-production market). On the flipside, other characters not listed here, notably the leading female character Rey, a scavenger of planet Jakku, may become available and in stock as more about the new Force Awakens film is revealed. We will try to keep you updated.

Anakin Skywalker – Anakin is key to the whole Star Wars saga in ways you can only envisage if you have seen the films. Suffice to say, costume versions of both the young Anakin and his later Jedi persona are generally available.

Asajj Ventress – An evil female sith from the Clone Wars era who clashed many times with the likes of Anakin Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi. An official costume was produced but can probably now only be found on specialist sites.

Ashoka Ta –  A character seen in the earlier Clone Wars animated episodes. She was a young Jedi padwan (apprentice), hence only childrens’ outfits were/are available. She is notable for distinctive white facial markings.

Aurra Sing - Female albino bounty hunter who trained Boba Fett following the death of his father. Seen briefly in Phantom Menace and may reappear in a future movie.

Boba Fett - Bounty hunter and son of Jango Fett, has made regular appearances throughout the Star Wars story.

Cad Ban   – A ruthless bounty hunter ‘gun for hire’ seen in the Clone Wars series. Wears a distinctive wide brimmed hat. Child costumes only available.

Chewbacca – The Wookiee warrior and co-pilot on Han Solo’s Millennium Falcon starship. The trailer for the new film confirms the return of this popular character.

Commander Cody – (Clone Trooper) A character derived from the Clone Wars series, and currently one of the few adult outfits on the market from that series. (Must be the Stormtrooper thing).

Darth Maul – The villainous Sith of the Phantom Menace prequel film. Most notable for his red/black facial tattoos and small head horns – masks are available.

Darth Vader - Supreme leader of any best film villain poll ever conducted, and menacing even down to his breathing technique. The costume comes in a range of complexities, but the helmet is iconic and usually essential, except in the somewhat lightweight skirt-based female version available!

Emperor Palpatine - A pivotal character in the prequel films yet no dedicated outfit was mass-produced. There is/was, however, a character mask. Specialist contact lenses, plus a black hooded robe can create the Palpatine look.

Han Solo – Pilot of the Millennium Falcon and mercenary fighter. Was a leading character in the original films and is set to return (along with Chewbacca) in the new films. Costumes in various formats are available.

Imperial Guard – With their distinctive crimson robes and helmets (which have been available as masks in the past), an undoubtedly striking visual addition at any Star Wars event, but probably not the most practical outfit for a party.

Jabba the Hutt - An intergalactic gangster and racketeer who resembles a giant slug. For the enthusiast there is actually an inflatable outfit available for those wanting to portray this character.

Jango Fett – A bounty hunter seen in Attack of the Clones, and actually the template for the clones in question, one of which was his ‘son’ Boba Fett. His costume is a blue/silver variation on the trooper outfit with a more distinctive helmet.

Jar Jar Binks – A love/hate alien character from the prequel films. At the time of the movies’ releases, masks were available but despite the divided opinion about Mr Binks, there is rumour he may return in some form in the new film.

Jedi Knights - The Goodies of the Star Wars saga (unless they turn to the Dark Side) come in all shapes, sizes and alien species. Some characters such as Anakin, Luke and Obi-Wan have their own outfits available, others such as Mace Windu have part-costumes (tunic, belt) on the market, but for the custom cosplayers you can buy your own Jedi Robes in Light Brown, Dark Brown or Black and create your own character.

Kylo Rent - One of the new characters, and an apparent villain at that. Seen in the teaser trailer wielding a cross-guarded light sabre (expect those to be a popular accessory), he is one to watch, but may be fronting for a more evil as yet unrevealed master.

Luke Skywalker – The original Star Wars hero, with a range of outfits virtually continuously available since that film. The new movie is set 35 years after the events of Return of the Jedi, so he returns, although one might expect the focus to be on the newer characters.

Obi-Wan Kenobi – He is, of course, the iconic Jedi master of the original Star Wars films. For all his status, he wears the simple dark brown robes of the Jedi and is, of course, armed with a light sabre.

Padme Amidala  – Once Queen Amidala gave up the trappings of royalty, she became a Padme and Ambassador and pivotal to the whole Star Wars saga. It says much for her that her feisty padme fighter outfit is still on the market, whilst her royal persona has been written out of the catalogues apparently.

Pio Koon – An alien Jedi master from the Clone Wars series and a mentor to Ashoka Tano. As with most of the Clone Wars series costumes, outfits are only available in child sizes.

Princess Leia – Was about the only female in the original Star Wars films, so lucky she cut such an iconic figure with her long white robe and ‘danish pastry buns’ hairstyle. The look is still popular and the traditional costume remains available, along with a slightly sexier slit-skirted version. Leia is set to return, possibly with a more varied wardrobe now that she’s a ‘Disney Princess,’ in the new film.

Princess Leia as Slave to Jabba the Hutt in Empire Strikes Back created an iconic costume counterpoint with a metal bikini look. This costume is not as widely available as the traditional Leia outfits, but it’s a staple of many a Star Wars and Costume Convention.

Queen Amidala -The Queen of Naboo and central to the action (in various guises) in the three prequel films. The Phantom film had her in many elaborate gowns, with a symbolic face make-up, but only the ‘gown of lights’ was widely available on the market. Even this now seems deleted.

Rey - Scavenger of Jakku. A leading character of the new film but so far with little background info. Cosplayers have taken a photo from the Vanity Fair article, featuring her in a desert outfit, made mostly of cotton, hemp, and leather, (similar to Luke Skywalker’s Tatooine costume) as their lead.

Savage Opress – A warrior/fighter/assassin who was allied with the villainous Count Dooku. He is apparently the brother of the better known Darth Maul (seen in The Phantom Menace).

Stormtrooper – These outfits have had a long-lasting appeal to Star Wars fans (you can buy a ‘build your own’ kit for around £800, but not from us!). Aside from the standard stormtrooper outfits there are a couple of skirt-based ‘sexy’ variations on the stormtrooper available. The good news is that the new film brings some named Stormtrooper characters to the screen. The one causing the most speculation is Captain Phasma, a chrome-clad trooper played by the actress responsible for Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones.

TIE Fighter Pilot - For a militaristic option, and less restrictive than a Stormtrooper, the TIE Fighter Pilot flightsuit might be a good choice. You might have to explain your character a few times though.

X-Wing Pilot – Like the TIE pilot, the orange flightsuits can add a colourful dimension to a Star Wars party.

Yoda – An undoubtedly well-known Star Wars character and this is one where, due to the jedi master’s small stature, he can be well portrayed by a child or young adult.

Disney Marvel Characters

Once comic books characters were uncomplex – they were either from DC Comics (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman) or Marvel (Spiderman, the Hulk and the Fantastic Four basically), but things have moved on and after some initial TV shows, comic characters can now be found on the big screen: The Marvel Universe has certainly expanded, with an ambitious program of future films and ‘crossovers’ between individual movies. Big budget movies offer merchandise opportunities, and such is the enthusiasm to cash in that, in some cases, costumes are being made for children who, in theory, should not have been able to see the film to which they relate: The Guardians of Galaxy Film is rated 12, yet there are official costumes for children up to 11 (and often no adult versions of the same outfits).

Anyway, here are the highlights of current and future developments. Note: On occasion we mention that ‘several costume versions are available’. This is because, aside from Basic and Deluxe costumes (which may vary in build quality, and what accessories are included, or need to be purchased additionally), there are also versions which come in the skintight ‘morphsuit-style’.

Spiderman: The original (2002) movie caused a change in British film classifications because its original 15 rating meant children could not see the movie and merchandise opportunities were diminished. As we have seen, there are apparently no such problems nowadays, and Spiderman costume varieties (plus variations such as the Venom version from the  2007 film) are widely available.

The Hulk: A hero with a number of solo films under his belt, but more recently seen as part of the team of Avengers saving the Earth from various threats. The ultimate in muscle-chest outfits, some versions require you to provide the torn trousers and green skin!

Guardians of the Galaxy: A breakout hit film of 2014 (and hence due for a sequel), the Guardians are a bunch of intergalactic misfits who turn their hand to a little world-saving of their own. Given that two of the Guardians are Rocket, a gun-toting raccoon, and a talking humanoid tree (Groot), the costuming is unusual (but outfits are available, if only for children). We are on safer ground with the ‘hero/leader’ of the group, Star Lord (an outfit featuring a long coat, bandolier and face-mask) and the no-nonsense female mercenary fighter Gamora. The official outfit for Gamora, uses a green jumpsuit base, reflecting the fact that she is green skinned. Matching the green colour on your face and hands adds extra dimension to preparation for partytime and the ombre wig (black turning to dip-dyed/orange), which might also be useful, is available separately.

Thor: Well-known Norse God with a multi-talented war-hammer, and various costumes, plus hammer accessories, are available. Like Hulk, he has had a few solo film outings, but is now another of the mighty Avengers. As a side-note, nothing is certain in comic-land, and mid-2014 there was talk of the magazine version of Thor becoming female – not a gender-change, dream or ‘parallel universe’ story, just a change of incumbent. We always thought the Valkyries would break the glass ceiling!

Captain America: One of the earliest (and most patriotic) of Marvel Heroes, originally created for action in World War II, fighting the Nazi-orientated Red Skull. The stars & stripes inspired red white and blue outfit with matching shield has undergone a few makeovers over the years, and the Captain is now another of the stalwart Avengers band.

Iron Man: Iron Man is the creation of millionaire Tony Stark who dons the high-tech orange/red cyber-suit to become another of the Avengers. Power dressing at the highest level!

Black Widow: A female action hero of Russian origin and another of the Avengers, the Widow favours an uncompromising dressed-to-kill black jumpsuit outfit with appropriate weaponry.

Fantastic Four: Victims of a space radiation accident, the Fantastic Four have featured in two recent films and are apparently due for a ‘reboot’ (doubtless so they can get involved with other heroes). The foursome are Reed Richards (Mr Fantastic), Sue Storm (Invisible Girl), Johnny Storm (The Human Torch) and Ben Grimm (The Thing, a more craggy and orange version of the Hulk).

Antman: Showing size isn’t everything, Antman is a Marvel character due for an outing in mid-2015. Here’s one area where child-size only might work.

X-Men (Original & ‘First Class’): After a few ‘conventional’ movies featuring the ‘Goodie’ mutant X-Men (including Storm, Phoenix and Wolverine, for which costumes were available) versus the Baddies (including the all-blue shape-shifter Mystique, a favourite with the dedicated cosplayer), things have become complex, with a series of prequel stories (for which X-Men/Woman outfits were ‘reimagined’) and a time-travel film incorporating ‘old’ and ‘new’. Add to that some spin-off films featuring the blade-handed Wolverine and there’s plenty of potential choice here.

Looking to the future, as we have said, Marvel Studios has an ambitious plan to roll-out other heroes over the next year or so, including Black Panther, the first ‘superhero of colour’ and Captain Marvel. The latter is a female hero who might take over as major role-model from Black Widow, whose integrity and motives have been called into question recently (no, really). As always, female superheroes can be thin on the ground in the Marvel movieverse but with ‘strong’ females making an impact elsewhere (such as Game of Thrones), things may change.

New Year Parties Costume Ideas

New Year Parties Costume Ideas

Choosing a fancy dress theme for New Year can be an interesting challenge. Although Christmas itself is seen as very much family orientated, the New Year sees parties for friends and families, often crossing over many generations.

Over recent years, here at Props and Frocks we have found that people want to keep the theme fairly expansive, in order to include as many different options as possible. Aside from general fancy dress parties, where anything goes, the most popular themes for New Year tend to be:-

 

Christmas Costumes

Christmas Costumes

Do you belong to the “Tis the season to be jolly” brigade, who start planning their Christmas as early as possible?

Or, are you more like Scrooge with his “Bah! Humbug!” outlook on Christmas fun, where everything gets left until the last minute?

Whatever your viewpoint, here at Props & Frocks we can make your Christmas festivities exceptional.

If you want more than just the traditional Christmas costumes for nativity plays or local events (perhaps you are going to an ‘office’ party or need a novelty Christmas costume) take a look at the list on the left for other ideas & suggestions.

Traditional Christmas Costumes
We have a range of traditional costumes for the festive season, from a diverse selection of Mother Christmas Costumes and Miss Santa outfits to an assorted range of products for Santa’s other helpers. Needless to say, we also have Father Christmas suits for those wishing to emulate the Great Man himself.

Father Christmas – We both sell and hire Father Christmas outfits. Whatever your budget we have a costume for you. If you already have a purchased costume why not check out our range of Father Christmas accessories, such as wigs, beards, eyebrows, belts, white gloves, bell? The person chosen to represent Father Christmas may not necessarily have the required girth – in which case we have the answer – the Santa belly. There are even Father Christmas costumes for the small set.

Mother Christmas – Not everyone wants to go short and sassy at Christmas. Our range of Mother Christmas and Miss Christmas outfits, offer a more modest length and also have long sleeves and capes to keep you warm on those chilly winter days and evenings.

Miss Santa – The short and sassy Miss Santa is a popular look for those with an inclination for festive fun, and needless to say, there are a wide range of styles and designs available, both for hire and retail.

Elves – We have got some great fun Elf costumes in stock, for males and females, adults and children. For a more impressive look, we have a Mascot-style Elf for sale (although be mindful of the limited vision and enclosure factors). If you want to improvise your own costume, we also have a range of elf accessories such as ears, hats, kits, shoes (some with bells on) and even half red/half green tights.

Fairies – Fairies and Fairy Godmothers are integral to both Christmas and to several major pantomimes (another popular Christmas theme). As a general rule, with godmothers being a little ‘older’, their outfits tend to be more like ballgowns, rather than the tutu-based outfits found with the younger, flightier fairies. Although white and silver may be the traditional look, the essential wings and wands sets are available in a variety of colours. Our selection of tiaras may prove useful.

Victorian Carol Singers – For a more historical/classic look to your festivities, the Carol Singer concept can be popular. Admittedly it works best for a group, but at least, if the weather is seasonably cold, if you are outdoors, you are warmer than those who have chosen the skimpier options.

Nativity
When it comes to Nativity costumes, these are usually required for children rather than adults, although we have found ourselves occasionally providing some adult costumes such as Angels and Shepherds for the benefit of an office Christmas party or seasonal fund-raising event.   See our main Nativity Section.

 

Pantomime Costume Ideas

Featured

Pantomime Fancy Dress Theme Costume Ideas

A great option if you need to think of something quintessentially British! (oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is!)

Though there are different fairy tales, most pantomimes have various essential characters which feature in many, if not all performances. From the Panto Dame, where males relish the chance to dress up as females, with over the top bright, colourful ‘loud’ dresses, wigs, make-up and appropriate accessories such as jumbo eyelashes, to the Principal Boy, which is often played by a girl.

At Props & Frocks we have costumes for most pantomimes, including Snow White, Cinderella, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Dick Whittington, Jack and the Beanstalk & Sleeping Beauty. Not only do we stock the major characters, but we also have costumes and accessories for the chorus, from fairies, to villagers and everything in between. Take a look at our large range of Fairytale costumes, our hire costume stock will fill in any gaps.

Here are some Pantomime costume suggestions, but there are so many more, and there is something to suit all sizes and budgets.

  • Snow White - Other characters include; Wicked Queen (use a witch costume), Prince Charming, woodcutter and who can forget the seven dwarfs?
  • Little Red Riding Hood plenty of red riding hood costumes available to purchase, and why not go as a couple with our Granny Wolf costume, or a peasant costume for the woodcutter?
  • Cinderella a whole host of costumes available here from Ugly Sister costumes, Fairy Godmother & Prince Charming outfits and don’t forget poor Cinders and Cinderella ballgowns.
  • Aladdin also called Ali Baba & the Forty Thieves another fantastic story with a large range of characters to help you to choose your costume. Traditionally set in China but Disneys version is set in the Middle East. A lot of Pantomimes will merge the two areas. Aladdin, Widow Twanky, Jafar, the baddie, Jasmine (wear a belly dancer costume) and of course, the genie. There are also roles for a parrot and monkey.
  • Peter Pan Yet another great story, full of terrific characters that you can dress up as. Firstly, we have Peter Pan, a green Elf costume will suffice as will some Robin Hood costumes. Captain Hook, Peter Pan’s arch enemy. You will need to wear a pirate captain costume and of course, you must wear a hook. Smee, Hooks second in command. You will need to wear a standard pirate costume for this character (as played by Bob Hoskins). Wendy wears an old fashioned white nightgown and the lost boys wear medieval peasant style clothing. Green fairy costumes work well for Tinker Bell. Other characters include: Indians and mermaids.
  • Alice in Wonderland, choose from Alice herself, The Queen of Hearts, The Mad Hatter or the white Rabbit.
  • Beauty & the Beast. You may need to wear a werewolf mask to get the beast effect. Beauty (or Belle) wears a yellow Victorian style dress. A lot of the characters (Wardrobe, light, tea pot) can be quite difficult to put together unless you are very talented and artistic.
  • Puss in Boots. We stock a large range of cat masks and accessories as well as over boots, hats and swords. Other characters include the Millers son, a poor boy, the King & his daughter, the Princess.
  • Jack & the Beanstalk Jack and his mother wear peasant costumes. You may need a very tall friend to go as the giant. This pantomime often includes characters from kids nursery rhymes such as Jack & Jill.
  • Babes In The Wood often combined with Robin Hood. Tudor style costumes, although the Disney version includes Hansel & Gretel, and therefore more Bavarian style costumes.
  • Dick Whittington Main characters include:
    Dick Whittington starts off very poor, our brown Robin Hood costume would be brilliant for this character
    Cat kills the rats for The Sultan
    King Rat the baddie
    The Sultan
    Pantomime Fairy
    Fairy of The Bells
    Ship Captain, his mate and some incompetent pirates
  • Robinson Crusoe following a ship wreck Robinson Crusoe finds himself on a remote desert island. Friday, is rescued from Cannibals. Pantomime versions often have Hawaiian based characters wearing grass skirts and flower garlands.
  • Sleeping Beauty Main Characters include:
    The Princess Sleeping Beauty
    King & Queen
    3 good fairies
    Wicked Fairy
    Prince Charming
  • Treasure Island a chance to wear those Pirate costumes again
  • The Wizard of Oz
    Dorothy
    Tin Man
    Scarecrow
    Cowardly Lion
    Glinda
    Wicked Witch of The West

Baddies & Goodies

Featured

Baddies & Goodies Costume Ideas

When it comes to dressing up as Baddies & Goodies, or Heroes & Villains, there are so many costume choices out there that it can sometimes be a bit of a minefield. Here at Props & Frocks we try to guide you through the costume choices by dividing the areas into what we hope will be helpful categories. There is some crossover between book characters and film characters and it is always worth checking these sections as well for additional ideas.

Book Days and Weeks are a common occurrence for children, and there is a growing supply of suitable outfits coming to the market, baddie and goodie book character costumes for adults are a little harder to come by. (Unless, of course, the book has been made into a film). As a general rule, most films/series’ and their source novels share the same characters, so even if you have not read the book, you can usually ‘cheat’ with the screen version. Beware though – sometimes the movie-makers have made changes – in the MGM Wizard of Oz Dorothy’s slippers are famously red, but in the book they are actually silver!

Another factor to bear in mind is that people’s perceptions of a character can be influenced either by their own image of the character, the illustrations which accompany the text (such as Tenniel’s pictures for ‘Alice in Wonderland’), or by more recent and/or popular incarnations, especially where the book has been turned into a film and the characters’ looks may have changed or developed.

Baddies in Films

Baddies Character Costumes from Films

As we have said before, not everyone necessarily wants to be a goody-goody hero/heroine and sometimes they want  to be wicked. In this piece we look at a wide range of villains and baddies to be found in films (and not just the usual suspects!). For simplicity, although we could try to categorise this bad bunch, instead we are keeping it semi-alphabetical (taking liberties with given and first names in some cases). Because of film merchandise, a number of these characters have ‘official costumes’, but others may need some creative improvisation. You will also notice that in some cases an ostensibly male outfit (Riddler, Beetlejuice, Chucky) has a female equivalent costume available for the benefit of couples, pairs or femmes who think they cannot be fatale without imitating a male!

Alex Delarge (Clockwork Orange) – The antihero and master of the ultraviolent in a film that was banned on video for many years because of its content. The look involves a white boiler-style suit with braces, a bowler hat and walking cane. Another feature is the false eyelash worn on one eye. A commercial costume is available.

Alex Forrest (Fatal Attraction) – The original femme fatale bunny-boiler. 1980s style power-dresser with a wild corkscrew-curl hairstyle. Because of the pivotal role of a rabbit (?), some sort of bunny prop might be useful to enhance your impersonation. If you do not get the reference, get the DVD – which has a choice of endings!

Baby Jane Hudson (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane) – The faded film star with a vindictive edge and love-hate relationship with her sister.

Beetlejuice – The bio-exorcist from the film of the same name. Supposedly helping a deceased couple to reclaim their homestead, he is working on his own agenda. The commercial outfit (of which there is also a female version) is based on a distinctive black/white stripe suit plus mask/wig. A red frilled wedding suit could also work.

Captain Bligh (Mutiny on the Bounty) – Does your hire outlet have one of those Napoleonic war naval uniforms (the sort of thing seen in Pirates of the Caribbean)?  An excuse to use it in a baddie context and recreate the Charles Laughton anti (Fletcher) Christian role.

Blofeld (James Bond films) – Although there have been twenty plus Bond films, the arch villain Blofeld has only appeared in about five (depends if you count ‘For Your Eyes Only’ where his role is a fleeting one). Different actors have taken the role, but the basis of the outfit is a grey Nehru-style suit (not dissimilar to the commercially available Dr Evil (Austin Powers) costume).

Bonnie & Clyde – Instant couple costume! In theory Bonnie wears a number of outfits not usually associated with a gangster’s moll (beret, long coat, etc.) but if you avoid the flapper-style and go for the female pinstripe counterpart to the male gangster outfit, you can probably crack the impression.

Carrie (Carrie) – An early Stephen King book character who has featured in at least two movies (there have been lesser-known sequels). The outfit is based on the climactic Prom scene where (spoiler alert) things get messy.

Catwoman (Batman films) – Whether she is a heroine or villainess is debatable, but this is a costume popular for all number of reasons. As Catwoman has had almost as many costumes as a cat has lives, there are a range of looks to go for, from the basic stretch-knit catsuit and winged mask (Lee Meriwether – Batman, 1966) to Anne Hathaway’s cat-burglar ensemble (Dark Knight Rises) through the Michelle Peiffer’s  PVC (Batman Returns, 1992) and the ‘nothing-to-do with Batman (but Razzie Award-winning)’ Halle Belle street-fighter Catwoman.

Child Catcher (Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang) – Things were so much simpler before DBS checks – a wheeled cage, some sweets as bait and a large net, you know where you stand with this ultra-meanie – nowhere near him if you are a child!

Chucky (Child’s Play & Chucky films) – The spirit of a psychopathic killer gets trapped in a doll through voodoo and this little chap then spends several films wreaking havoc, gaining a wife and offspring in the process. Going one better than the films, the costume trade has created a female version (Chuckee, Chuckette?) for that living doll with a homicidal edge.

Commodus (Gladiator) – The villainous Emperor featured in the film Gladiator (2000) who has his father strangled and forces General Maximus Decimus Meridius into exile. Any Roman Emperor-style outfit should command respect.

Darth Maul (Star Wars: The Phantom Menace) – The dark assassin sent to eliminate the young Anakin Skywalker. Although an imposing figure, the red/black facial tattoos and vestigial horns may involve more make-up time than people want to put in (and we have seen some female Mauls in our time). There is, of course, the mask alternative, but this brings its own problems, especially for those wanting to eat and drink.

Darth Vader (Star Wars films) – Undoubtedly one of the best recognised film villains of all time, but the problem is the outfit: Not only does being the Dark Lord of the Universe involve wearing an imposing suit, but the mask is Vader and it is difficult to be the character without it (it can be difficult to eat, drink talk and see with it). That said, there is a female Vader costume available on the market which is short, sexy and far, far away from the original Dark Lord concept.

Dr Elsa Schneider (Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade) – The sharp dressed but devious archaeologist, who works with both Joneses to further her plans.

Dr Evil (Austin Powers) – Models himself on arch Bond Villain Blofeld in his plans for world domination and his grey Nehru-jacket-style outfit.

Faora (Superman/Man of Steel) – Also known as Ursa, this is a super-villainess from Superman’s home planet of Krypton who joins with General Zod (below) to try to defeat the Man of Steel.

Frank the Rabbit (Donnie Darko) – Cult film involving an air disaster, time travel, physics and this giant menacing rabbit, for which there is (or at least was) an official costume.

Frankenstein’s Monster (Frankenstein) – Classic horror monster, available in a wide range of costume options. For a couple, there is, of course, the Bride of Frankenstein, but despite a striking hairdo, her conversational skills were a little limited and she probably wasn’t bad – just made that way.

Freddy Krueger (Nightmare on Elm Street) – Wes Craven’s nightmare made flesh (sort of). With his burned flesh, tatty striped jumper and fedora he has become one of the most popular modern day Halloween baddies. Although masks can be found, use of some of our specialist make-up products such as the bloody face scar special effects kit can yield dividends.

General Zod (Superman films) – Arch-enemy of Superman who, with female accomplice Faora, seeks to destroy the Man of Steel. An official costume and accessories are available.

Ghostface (Scream) – A popular and simple Halloween baddie whose look derives from Edward Munch’s famous Scream Painting.

Gollum (Lord of the Rings) – Although a victim of circumstance, portraying this devious creature may prove a challenge, as it is generally agreed that a mask is essential and little else.

Gordon Gekko (Wall Street) – The ‘greed is good’ yuppie of 1987, who preceded the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ by many years.

Gru (Despicable Me) – Looking like a cross between Uncle Fester of the Addams Family and Dara O’Briain, the Irish writer/comedian, Gru is a criminal mastermind much helped (or hindered) by his multitude of Minions (for which costumes are available even if they are not ‘baddies’).

Hannibal Lector (Silence of the Lambs and others) – Infamous cannibal made famous by Anthony Hopkins, although films of the other books with other Hannibals have also been made. Commercial outfit usually involves a prison strait-jacket and mouth-guard, but a suit plus a bottle of Chianti may be more subtle.

Jason Voorhees (Friday 13th) – Along with Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger, one of the three classic modern horror fiends who have appeared in multiple sequels, although Jason has also made it into the 25th century future in Jason X. The commercial outfit, is however based on the original outfit worn for the Camp Crystal Lake homicides.

Jigsaw (The Saw movies) – Although Jigsaw is ostensibly a killer, taking his name from cutting a jigsaw piece of flesh from victims, his later argument is that many of his victims harm/kill themselves when forced to take chances in perilous situations. He works through two intermediaries (for which costumes are available) – Billy the Ventriloquist Puppet (who also rides a trike!) and the cloaked Saw Pig.

Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) – A horror fiend with a chainsaw, and a film which has been remade/recut. There is also a female version, featuring a chainsaw handbag as an accessory.

Lex Luther  (Superman films) – Although some of Superman’s foes from the Krypton Phantom Zone have been already mentioned, this is the Man of Steel’s main earth-bound nemesis and leading criminal mastermind.

Loki (Avengers Assemble) – Thor’s wicked brother in Norse mythology and the Marvel Avengers series. An official costume, involving a muscle chest, cape and interestingly horned helmet could certainly create an impression, but for licensing reasons, it seems to have been withdrawn from the market.

Medusa (Clash of the Titans) – Medusa was the snake-haired gorgon from Greek mythology, whose glare could turn you to stone. For such a supposedly ugly character, there are a surprising number of Medusa costumes commercially available. One to look at (carefully) for Halloween!

Michael Myers (Halloween) – From the successful series of horror movies started by John Carpenter (although Halloween III Season of the Witch, involving evil masks, was not part of the Myers series).  In best slasher movie style, the costume involves a mask and large knife!

Mystique  (X Men) – For the girl who wants to make an impression, this blue-bodied shape-shifter should do the trick.

Poison Ivy (Batman and Robin) – A delinquent in the original comic, in the film Poison Ivy was a sultry seductress played by Uma Thurman. In recent years she has also taken on other incarnations as one of the Gotham Girls group of female heroes/villains. She is often teamed with the Joker’s sidekick, Harley Quinn, but as Harley has not appeared in a movie (yet) she does not qualify as a movie baddie.

Pris (Blade Runner)One of the four replicants who return to Earth from the mining colonies in search of their Maker. Pris’ combat gear whilst disguising herself as an automaton, involves a white unitard/catsuit, racoon-style eye-make-up and an orange/white frizz wig – very discrete.

Queen of Hearts (Alice in Wonderland) – There have been several film versions of Alice in Wonderland and, not counting the more recent Tim Burton variation (see Red Queen), possibly the most memorable is Disney’s 1950s cartoon creation. Although the playing card-inspired red/white/yellow outfit is pretty standard, there are also some interesting short and skimpy versions available – watch out for the one with the flamingo handbag.

Ravena, Queen  (Snow White & the Huntsman) – In a 2011 reimagining of the Snow White story, we have a wicked stepmother who is also a shape-shifting sorceress, turning into a flock of ravens occasionally (hence the name). There is an official costume for this character.

Red Queen  (Alice in Wonderland) – A variation on the Queen of Hearts noted above, this character from the Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland combined elements of both the Queen of Hearts of the Wonderland story and the Red Queen of the Looking Glass sequel. The heart motif is dominant in the commercial costume.

Regan (The Exorcist) – Good excuse to look bad and behave even worse. If you can create the look, it should turn a few heads.

Riddler (Batman films) – Frank Gorshin reprised his TV portrayal of the Riddler in the 1966 Batman movie and Jim Carrey undertook a suitably restrained interpretation in ‘Batman Forever (1995). Either way, the outfit involves a green suit (or jumpsuit) with a question-mark pattern. Accessories may include a green bowler (also decorated with question-marks) and a cane with a question-mark shaped handle. Carrey also had an orange buzz-cut wig. A ‘Miss Riddler’ outfit is also commercially available.

Saruman (Lord of the Rings) – The white wizard who went to the Darkside. Commercial costumes are available.

Sheriff of Nottingham (Robin Hood) – Classic film baddie (he is the one who cancelled Christmas in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves), the outfit is basically rich medieval.

Sweeney Todd  (Sweeney Todd – Demon Barber of Fleet Street) – Seeking revenge on a judge who has wronged him, Sweeney deals with the cut-throat competition head-on and, with his accomplice Mrs Lovett, goes into the catering business.

The Invisible Man (The Invisible Man, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) – There are those who cannot see this working, but aside from a complex commercial costume of a few years ago involving  ‘floating glasses and a hat’ and a trench coat, the usual approach is a bandaged head, glasses and gloves.

The Joker (Batman films) – Rather like the comic book character, the Joker has had a few different screen incarnations. Cesar Romero recreated his successful TV persona for the 1966 Batman movie, Jack Nicholson gave an impressively enigmatic performance for the Tim Burton Batman (1989) and most recently Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for his manic portrayal of the Joker in ‘The Dark Knight’ (2008).

The Shark  (Jaws films) – We have not had many animal baddies in our list, most probably for practicality reasons. We could have had King Kong, but many regard him as Victim not Villain, T. Rex (Jurassic Park) or Godzilla are no-nos, and although there are a few manimals such as Werewolves and Cat People, we thought a Shark was best, most famously seen in Jaws and also in an upgraded version in Deep Blue Sea (1999). It is also helpful that there are a few shark outfits on the market.

Tony Montana (Scarface) – An American gangster of Cuban origin who commands respect throughout the underworld with the help of his trusty ‘little friend’, a companion of lethal calibre. He has a trademark white suit worn with a 70s-style burgundy shirt. The outfit is available commercially.