Things that Go “Yaaasss” in the Night: Serial Killer Kouture

It’s hard out there for a horror villain. Between crafting nefarious plots, finding your final girls and inventing creative ways to dispatch of careless teenagers, there is hardly anytime to devote to one of the most important aspects of your serial killer career: the perfect outfit.

When it comes to memorable horror couture, you can’t do much better than the big three. Freddy Krueger’s iconic Christmas sweater, m’lady fedora and finger knives combo is a look that will never go out of style. Jason Voorhees stalks the campgrounds like a model stomps the runway in his Tommy-Used-To-Work-On-The-Docks button down shirt, tattered jacket and hockey gear. And Michael Myers makes for an imposing figure in his 100% cotton coveralls and signature shiver-inducing mask.

These are looks that simply scream prêt à assassiner. Combining utility with pops of color (usually blood of the innocent), these outfits allow for a full range of motion that is perfect for murder, torture or light beheading. Each ensemble goes from day to nightmare without the slightest bit of effort. And let’s not forget their ability to accessorize.

Jason’s well worn machete is the perfect complement to his broad frame. The long, sharp blade emphasizes his towering height and adds a hint of sparkle that only comes from durable stainless steel.

Michael Myers opts for a more simple and sleek butcher knife that enhances his natural pale and ungodly pasty glow.

And when it comes to accoutrement, no one takes more chances than Mr. Krueger.

That’s not to say that these dashing monsters don’t have the occasional misstep. Jason Voorhees, in particular, is always trying new looks that don’t quite pay off.

Like this early backwoods farmer meets clinically depressed scarecrow get up that just doesn’t have the same panache as we are accustomed to seeing exuded by the Crystal Lake killer.

And who can forget Jason’s foray into the avant garde? This futuristic mess shows that even the most evil of us can make a fashion faux pas. But, with all the havoc these three wreak, it’s easy to overlook the occasional misstep.

Unfortunately, with all of the attention on these titans of gore, many other dazzling savages are constantly overlooked. These dastardly psychos perfectly illustrate the importance of dressing for the job. So, for the sake of fashion education, let’s delve into some of the more outre sartorial choices in horror shall we?

For the Love of Normcore

When one pictures some of the greatest murderers in horror cinema history, they immediately conjure images of the most ghastly, ornate visages possible. Sometimes, though, simpler is best. Norman Bates’ casual blazer and Annie Wilke’s monochromatic romper may seem minimalistic, but they really capture the essence of a psychologically damaged obsessive with a penchant for the macabre. Whether spying on a showering blonde or relieving your stress with just a lil’ hobbling these clothes perfectly transition from a casual Friday to a gory weekend.

The Power of a Statement Piece

The Candyman has no need for subtlety. This macabre myth come to life drips with opulence in his fur lined trench coat. When it comes to trouble spots, the inclination is to minimize them. But Candyman made the bold choice of turning his pain into a striking hook-handed statement piece. The streamlined curves of his weapon of choice draws, leaving him free to slice and dice by surprise. Smart thinking.

Own Your Sexuality

Many people might not be familiar with Angela from the 1988 cult classic Night of the Demons, but once they see her in this sexy, gothic inspired lace and fishnet masterpiece, they’ll have no choice but to gaze in awe at her sultry energy. The movement of the fabrics and peak of skin lets Angela own her body and seduce the most steadfast of men. The mesh and pearls are the cherry on the sundae that really help to make the whole look come together.

A Little Whimsy Goes a Loooong Way

In the self serious world of fashion, sometimes a sense of whimsy can help turn the runway season on it’s head. This notion is captured perfectly by the Leprechaun’s emerald coat,striped stockings and buckled hat. He might not make your wishes come true, but at least you’ll have some shocking colors to ogle on your way to meet your maker.

The Little Black Dress

We all know that black is slimming and can help hide our problem areas. But just because we choose a darker palette doesn’t mean we have to be boring. Ghostface’s use of flowing fabric and Munch mask adds some much needed depth and dimension to what would otherwise be a really boring outfit. Remember, a lot of the time it’s not WHAT you wear, but HOW you wear it.

Think Outside the Box

Using alternate fabrics can really change the whole dynamic of a tried and true classic. By using locally sourced human skin, Leatherface takes a risk that pays off in spades. As an added bonus, he leaves no scraps behind, using every ounce of his...resources.

Break the Rules, Don't Bend Them

The late, great Coco Chanel once said, “Once you've dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” It’s a lovely sentiment that, like white after Labor Day, needs to be ignored every now and then. The Cenobites from Hellraiser are serving some Hot Topic meets Suburb-of-Detroit-Leather-Bar realness in these impeccably tailored, body-hugging ensembles. Each flesh hook, each spackle of blood or skin piercing is meticulously placed to invoke a nightmare that can only be found in the depths of the underworld. Sure, they could simplify these looks, but when you go through hell for your style, you deserve to show it all off.

The Best Fashion Starts With the Planning

Achieving the perfect Day-To-Evening look is often terrifying. When you’re a devil on the go, you don’t always have time to schedule a costume change mid massacre. Sometimes you don’t even know what the day will bring you. Examine your schedule and pick a garment with the versatility to work for any occasion. Carrie White had no clue that she would go from Prom Queen to Revenge Incarnate in the course of a single night, but she had the foresight to plan. Her silky bias cut gown sparkles under the spotlight and positively shimmers in a pig’s blood wash. That’s the kind of forward thinking that any fashionista, demonic or not, needs to practice!

Whew! I know it’s a lot to take in. Remember though, if all of this seems like too much, sometimes the best option is already hanging in your closet.

chance47's picture
on October 24, 2016

Benji is a horror loving, comic reading, sci-fi watching queer geek. His love for nostalgia knows no limits. He is typically found drinking diet Dr. Pepper.