So, I love Halloween. I’m not really into scary movies, or candy corn, but costumes? Yes, please. I look forward to putting together creative DIY costumes all year long. Best costume to date? THE WET BANDITS, baby! Yes, that is right. This year my fiance and I dressed up as Harry and Marv from Home Alone, and it was awesome.
This is not the first time Phil and I have gone as characters from some of our favorite childhood movies. Phil went as Marty McFly a few years back, and last year I was Winnifred Sanderson (Bette Midler’s character in fabulous Halloween flick Hocus Pocus). So, dressing up as a dynamic duo from a 90’s movie seemed like a pretty natural progression. It didn’t hurt that Home Alone is literally my favorite movie of all time. Alright, technically I like Home Alone 2: Lost in New York slightly better, but both feature the comedy tag team that is Harry and Marv. Both also include Harry and Marv getting their asses handed to them by Kevin McCallister (aka the coolest kid ever). KEVIN!!!!
I could go on and on about my love for Home Alone, but let’s get down to business…the costumes. Obviously Harry and Marv are both male, so this costume was going to require cross dressing- my first time dressing up as a guy for Halloween! Naturally I went as the short chubby one (let’s not pretend that wasn’t the obvious choice) but I needed to do several things to alter my appearance to become the Joe Pesci character we all know and love. First of all, the head. In the first Home Alone movie lil’ pyromaniac Kevin rigs up a blow torch that lights Harry’s head/hat on fire. Harry eventually puts it out in the snow outside, leaving him with a gross, scalded scalp. To get the look, I made a blistery looking bald cap using paint, glue, and two pieces of plastic wrap. Basically I painted one sheet of plastic wrap with flesh tones, then layered on some red/purple tones to make it look like it had been burned. I also put down a puddle of Elmers glue to look like it was seeping (gag). Then I added another sheet of plastic wrap, which gave it the wrinkly sheen of a real burn. It was surprisingly easy, and I just slipped that under a black knit cap that I cut a hole out of and BOOM instant Harry.
Another one of Harry’s Battle wounds is his burned hand. He burned it on The McCallister’s front door when he was trying to break in, and was left with a permanent scar in the shape of an M. That will teach him to mess with kids on Christmas! To copy the burn marks on my hand I just used a fine tip marker to draw out the shape, then I added a few layers of clear nail polish for texture and shine.
Finally I bought an old wool overcoat, vest, and dress shirt at the local thrift store. It is truly incredible how easy it is to find clothing that looks like Harry and Marv. I think the whole thing cost me about $17. I also finished it off by gluing some white feathers to my overcoat. “Why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?”
For Marv there are a few things that you must have. The first, and most important, is the iron shaped burn mark on the middle of your face. It really makes the costume. Now that I think about it burns pretty much dominate the Wet Bandits costume as a whole. To make the iron mark, I used a mauve-ish lip liner, plus some bronzer/blush that I applied with a small brush. It was really easy, but probably my favorite thing about either of our looks. So effective.
One of Marv’s most memorable scenes is where he is confronted with Buzz’s pet tarantula. Buzz is Kevin’s total a-hole of a brother, so of course he would have a creepy crawling pet. Marv almost manages to catch Kevin, but loses his grip when Kevin is able to put the giant, hairy tarantula RIGHT on his FACE! The result is one of the greatest screams in movie history (youtube it) so really the spider is a must for this costume. Luckily Halloween stores carry a million varieties, so this shouldn’t be too hard to track down.
To finish off Marv’s look you will need a long jacket, fingerless gloves, and curly hair. I used a small barrel curling iron to curl Phil’s hair, and he acted like it was the most dangerous act he had ever taken part in. That said, considering the number of fake burns we were sporting that day perhaps his fears were valid. You may also want to go shoe-less if you want to be super authentic.