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Friday, October 28, 2011

Halloween Costumes Inspired by Martial Arts Films

Posted By on Fri, Oct 28, 2011 at 10:30 AM

For original Halloween costume ideas this year, look to the far East -- Hong Kong especially, for inspiration. Movies over there are always replete with a cornucopia of ragtag characters drawn from Wuxia mythology and Chinese folklore, and they all wear fantastic outfits. It really is surprising that some of Martial Arts cinema's most iconic personalities have not become a part of standard Halloween wardrobe. To get you started on newfound movie-geek/Halloween-party respect, here are some characters to model after:

Bride with White Hair: In this ultraviolent, fantasy Romeo and Juliet-esque love story, Bridget Lin is a deadly assassin who in a fit of romantic rage morphs into a white-haired fiend with supernatural attacking prowess. Supplies needed: a wig with four-foot-long white hair, plenty of face powder, and an optional pyrotechnics team to make your entry as grand as possible.

Be sure to walk up to the boring Darth Vader impersonator and strangle him with your hair.

Running on Karma: The main character in this movie is a monk with the ability to visualize Karma, who becomes a bodybuilding stripper but returns to being a monk again after he has dealt with his Karma-related troubles. For this costume, one would need a muscle suit that Andy Lau wore for the movie (but can be omitted if you are super buff), and two sets of monk garb, one inside the muscle suit, one outside, so at any time during the night you are rigged with two transformations to wow the crowd.

Hero: Perhaps the most well known Martial Arts film in recent times (despite its queasy nationalist political undertones), Hero features awe-inspiring, primary-color-based cinematography and equally spectacular costume design (designed by Oscar winning designer Emi Wada). Particularly striking is the green robe Tony Leung wore when he attacked Emperor Qin's palace.

To make this outfit happen you'll need a few long sheets of silk fabric and a crafty tailor -- although the expenses will be worth it as this is something you can also wear on St. Patrick's Day.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF, send your homemade costume ideas to Kate Conger at @kateconger, and like us on Facebook.

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Ian Wang

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