Into the laboratory

With the holidays and the bulk of the winter behind me, I’ve decided that it’s time to head down into the laboratory and start working on my monsters.

Zombie Walk Columbus 2012 is just over 2 months away and there will likely be other zombie walks or “halfway to Halloween” parties which pop-up as well.

My challenge this year is to make a new “friend” for my Frankenstein’s monster costume.  Ideally, I’m looking to design something which will blend more easily with non-Halloween events.

At the moment, I have two particular ideas which are striking my fancy.  I’m hoping that some of you folks will lend me your input as to what you think would be best.

Before starting this process, I determined certain criteria which would guide me in my creations.  First, being a stilt-walker and thoroughly enjoying interacting with folks while wearing stilts, I knew that I would have to incorporate the stilts into the costume.

Despite wearing the stilts and being roughly 9′ tall in them, I also have to make certain that whatever I come up with will allow me to have all of the mobility and functionality of a normal person.  I’ve seen many stilt suits over the years which were more like “constructs” than costumes.  That won’t work for me.

If I encounter stairs, I need to be able to climb them.  If I want a beer, I need to be able to drink it.  Lastly, if I want to dance, I need to be able to dance.  All of this has to be accomplished without having to remove any of the suit.

I also need to focus on looking good in the broad daylight.  My Frankenstein’s monster suit looks fantastic in a dark bar or sauntering down the street at 10pm.  However, it loses some of its mystique on a sunny afternoon.

With these thoughts in mind, I’ll get on to my ideas.

***

Zombie Uncle Sam

I’ve been toying with this idea for some time.  I’ve not been able to find any precedent for a stilt-walking zombie.  However, there is a fairly common theme of zombies retaining certain abilities and human traits even after they’ve been turned.

At the same time, Uncle Sam on stilts is arguably the most iconic stilt-walking costume.  As a matter of fact, it’s rare for me to tell someone I’m a stilt-walker without them immediately asking, “do you dress up as Uncle Sam?”

Therefore, I suppose it’s not too far of a stretch to say that his poor fellow was out doing his  Uncle Sam routine, just as the zombie outbreak occurred.  He’s infected and when he turns, he just ends up shambling along on his stilts, much like “regular” zombies retain the ability to walk on their feet.

While not a stilt-walking Uncle Sam, there is also the fact that in 1996, there was an Uncle Sam zombie movie.  While B-grade (even by zombie movie standards), I suspect that there are some diehards out there who will appreciate the connection.

The only minor drawback to this idea is the fact that Uncle Sam’s hat is traditionally rather tall.  Extra height will only make it a bit more challenging to get in and out of buildings.

***

Robot/Mechanized Suit

I’ve noticed that it’s quite common for folks at zombie walks to not only dress up as the living dead but also as police & military members who have come to fight off the waves of zombies.

An acquaintance of mine and fellow stilter portrays Iron Techtron.  This fantastic costume is part robot and part Hokie-bird (the mascot for Virginia Tech).  I’ve been following him for years and he really puts on quite a show.

This got me thinking.  If there were to be a zombie outbreak and the infection spread slowly enough, wouldn’t it be feasible to create a robot or mechanized suit to help fight off the zombie menace?

Zombies wouldn’t have any natural attraction to a hunk of moving metal so a mechanized unit could walk among them unmolested.  This would facilitate recon and assault.

 ***

Well, that’s what I’m looking at.  What do you folks think?  In your opinion, which direction do you think I should take?  Please leave a comment below.  I’d appreciate any input that you care to give.  Thank you for reading.

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4 thoughts on “Into the laboratory

    • Thanks Eva. I’m really new to the whole “zombie-walk scene” but I’m thinking that the Uncle Sam character might be a good fit.

      He just seems like he would lend himself well to photo-ops with spectators and such.

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