Halloween is on the way, and one of the best approaches to take with your costume this year is to pick a recognizable icon from one of everyone’s favorite TV shows. For a really scary twist, you can try dressing up like one of the zombies from The Walking Dead. Not only will people be startled out of their wits when you come shuffling around, but you’ll be bringing back the undead atmosphere that Halloween is supposed to be about anyway.
Now, there have been lots of movies, TV shows, comics, and other media that feature some kind of zombie creature over the years, but the zombies in The Walking Dead are a little bit different aesthetically. For one, they tend to be a bit more gruesome and “real.” A good general feature you can go for if you’re trying to embody one of these kinds of zombies is to focus on missing flesh.
On the show, unlike classics such as Night of the Living Dead, most of the zombies are missing body parts and their skin is falling off. Because of this, prosthetic wounds are a must; the more disfigured and half-decomposed you can look, the better. After all, you’re basically going to be a walking corpse for Halloween. Here are some tips on how to pull this look together:
Clothes – Needless to say, you’re going to need ripped and tattered clothes, so you might want to go to a thrift store and grab some threads that aren’t too expensive. When you make the rips and tears, have them look realistic. Try to give the appearance that you’ve been in a few fights with fellow zombies and that you’ve been dragged through the mud a few times. Add some blood stains with maroon makeup or some other kind of ink.
Face – Your face is what is going to be the most immediately disturbing part of you, so you want it to be good. Get some makeup and make your skin take on a gray tint like that of a corpse. Make your eyes look sunken in, or even make it look like one of your eyes is missing. For those 3D types of effects, like for example a gash on your cheek or skin that is melting off your face and revealing the rotting muscle underneath, you’re going to probably want to use a latex prosthetic.
Just a simple latex scar kit probably isn’t going to be enough, though; zombies are usually quite a bit more disfigured than that, so you’ll have to spring for something fancier to look “realistic.” If you can’t afford it, there are some home-brew ways of achieving similar effects using gelatin and other compounds. Take a look at some tutorials on YouTube if you’re in doubt.
Body – Ideally, your ribs are showing. If you’re not skinny enough to pull this off naturally, you might be able to find a zombie chest plate that makes you look quite a bit more bony and undead. Otherwise, you can imply the decomposing parts of you underneath by soaking parts of your shirt in fake blood.
These are the main elements to use when you’re putting together a good zombie costume that’s inspired by The Walking Dead. Just make sure that you that you keep your zombie instincts in check; you don’t want to end up getting chased around by survivors of the apocalypse.