People who suffer from coulrophobia have a debilitating fear of clowns. For the majority of people, though, clowns represent fun, childhood innocence and laughter. Creating an evil clown costume can bring some fear into the clown concept. Certainly Hollywood has found fear in the clown vision over the years and Stephen King's novel, "IT," also played on that image. With some imagination and creativity, an evil clown costume can reap the same scream rewards.
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Several possibilities exist conceptually for an evil clown costume, and each brings a different approach in terms of design. There are basically three types of clowns, and any of them could be worked into an evil clown: standard clown, hobo style clown and rodeo clown. The other consideration is subtlety. One approach would be to play the clown essentially straight with certain minor twists recognised with great scrutiny. The other approach is to take the whole costume concept over the top into evil.
To create a traditional clown style in a subtle way, put together a standard clown costume. That means bright colours and funny accessories. Bring the terror in terms of small touches like a few blood spatters, a little Alice Cooper or Marilyn Manson touch on the make-up and a somewhat hidden weapon. The over-the-top approach would use darker colours for the costume; orange, black and purple work well for Halloween. Blood and gore should be applied liberally and the make-up should be psychotic looking.
Hobo clowns essentially wear hobo clothes and have sad-styled clown make-up. To do the evil hobo clown subtly, add a few bits of blood to the costume itself. A hobo's bag (basically a cloth wrapped up at the end of a stick) can have more conspicuous blood spatters for effect. To take the concept over the top, use fake blood liberally over the costume. Science stores and Halloween stores carry fake internal organs. A few hanging from the hobo bag would work nicely. Don't forget a bloody knife.
A rodeo clown trades out the traditional clown outfit for flannel shirts, cowboy hat, cowboy boots and a bandanna. To play the subtle approach for that one, use the typical gear, but just use hints of blood spatters. Don't forget a rope and make sure it's got some hints of blood and gore. For the extreme approach, use plenty of blood and gore all over the costume. A fake head or other body part bound in the rope would make a nice touch.
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