Cosplay Feature: Left 4 Dead

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Minnesota is known for many things, one of them being the annual Zombie Pub Crawl. I don’t know of other such gatherings across the nation, so I’m going to go ahead and make a totally unverified/bias claim and say that ours is the best Zombie Pub Crawl in the world. Especially because they allow zombie hunters to join in on the fun.

Haven’t participated in such an event? The Zombie Pub Crawl is essentially like any other bar crawl, except it’s attended by legions of the undead. Over the past few years the event has grown exponentially. Three years ago there were five or six hundred zombies in attendance. This year 5000+ RSVPed. Only half showed up because of the weather, (snow flurries earlier that day) but it was still an impressive turnout.

So Minneapolis is taken over by zombies for one night of the year. Madness always ensues. There are inevitably those who don’t break from character – stopping traffic, harassing unsuspecting pedestrians and getting fake blood all over the bars and restaurants they frequent. The next morning there are hundreds of hung-over zombies, including a few undead in jail. We heard that this year a horde of zombies climbed all over a fire truck full of good-humored fire fighters. Good times.

My friends and I are never satisfied attending this particular event as your run-of-the-mill zombies, so this year we decided to put together a Left 4 Dead group and do our best to stop the spreading zombie infection. In 2007 a few friends and I went to the crawl as Resident Evil characters and Umbrella scientists. In 2008 we put together a huge Marvel Zombies group. I bloodied up my Elektra costume and was joined by Thor, She-Hulk, Tony Stark, Punisher, Ice Man, Nick Fury and Fin Fang Foom.

This year Left 4 Dead was an obvious choice. I have a large group of nerdy friends who were willing do join in and I scrounged up some of the guys from GI to fill out the group. My husband and I claimed Zoey and Francis. Our friends Tony and Cole took Louis and Bill, respectively. My brother opted to be a Boomer and my very brave friend Leah said yes to parading around in her underwear as a Witch. My co-worker Tim jumped into the role of a Hunter.

Costume prep started weeks prior to the crawl with prop making. I randomly came across red first aid kits on clearance at Target and picked up four to pin to our jackets. My brother helped me sew on the cross patches and I picked up zippers to make them look a bit more like the in-game models. From there we grabbed some bottles of Ibuprofen and I raided my sadly extensive collection of fake guns for the proper firearms. The costumes themselves took a bit more work.

Zoey: Zoey was easy enough. I already had the general hair style, so no work was done in that department. I modified a red hooded track jacket so that it had a collar instead. I also added the white patches up the side. I had a pair of dark jeans I didn’t mind ruining, and found the Converse sneakers at Target. I still need to figure out how to get the red blood off so that I can wear them again.

Francis: My husband and I found a “biker dude” costume at the Halloween store and started with that. I took in the vest so it fit better and added lapels and the belt on the side. The tattoo shirt was decently convincing, and I already had a pair of fingerless gloves. The day of the pub crawl he actually shaved his head for the costume…that’s dedication.

Bill and Louis: Cole and Tony came up with their own costumes. Cole had a solid beard which we combed with white hairspray. Tony also shaved his head to complete the look.

Boomer: My brother worked pretty hard on this costume over a period of a few weeks. The sweatpants and shirt were easy enough to find. He made a fat suit to go underneath the sweatshirt, cutting pillows in half and placing them on his chest, stomach and sides. I think it’s pretty convincing.

Witch: I felt bad for my friend Leah when I found out how cold it would be. We managed to sneak some long underwear underneath the white leggings to help take the edge off. I bought white cotton boy shorts and a tank top for the outfit and stained them with coffee and tea to make them look old and worn. From there, I made the claws out of Wonderflex and attached them to gloves. Once the costume and wig were on, I spent a good amount of time dirtying up her legs, knees, wig and hands. It turned out pretty awesome.

Hunter: Tim did the work by himself. Great job!

Despite all our prep work, the day of the actual crawl was when most of the work pulled together. An awesome friend/makeup artist (Ali Beuning, I use her often for my cosplay shoots) spent hours helping flesh out our Boomer, Witch and Hunter. Then to be sure we documented the occasion properly, I bribed a photographer with beer (Nate of Tonic Dog Studios) to run around the crawl with us and snap photos. The bulk of the gallery below is his handiwork.

The Zombie Pub Crawl was a ridiculous amount of fun, despite being 15 degrees outside. Lots of zombies recognized our characters and stopped for photos. I think the evening was a success.

From a cosplay standpoint, I don’t consider this one of my best costumes ever, or my best set of photos. Let’s face it – this was a Pub Crawl – meaning I had my share of adult beverages prior to when these photos were taken. That explains why I was running around attacking zombies with bottles of pills instead of my gun later on in the evening. Still, I don’t think that I could have found a better time to stage a shoot. You can’t fake a zombie apocalypse.

Enjoy the galleries!

Prep Work and Snapshots

Professional Shots

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12 thoughts on “Cosplay Feature: Left 4 Dead

  1. Thats absolutely amazing! Awesome job portraying the characters. It looks like so much fun!

  2. Wow, this is amazing! The props and costumes look great and it looks like all of you had a really wonderful time.

    You wouldn’t happen to have any tips for a novice cosplayer, would you? I haven’t made any costumes yet, but I was thinking about doing something for Halloween this year.

    Thank you for sharing your awesome pictures.

  3. I was actually thinking about being one of the Left 4 Dead cast, but I haven’t made up my mind on which one yet. I was thinking either Louis, Nick or Ellis. I’m leaning more towards either Ellis or Nick since I don’t really want to shave my head bald.

    As for pistols and other weaponry, I am at a loss on how to make those. I’m currently looking around the net for help on that. First aid kits I could make without much trouble. A defibrillator would be a different story though.

  4. Hey Drew!

    I think Louis, Nick, or Ellis would be easy enough. Just go to a thrift store or Goodwill for the clothing. As for weapons, I use Nerf guns or Airsoft pistols and paint them black. Nerf doesn’t have much that looks like a handgun (for obvious reasons) but they have shotguns and some rifles that work well enough. Airsoft is the way to go for pistols.

    Link to some photos when you finish!!

  5. Hi Meagan.

    Thank you for your help on everything. I just started pulling my costume together and I’m pretty excited about it! However it is going to end up being a different character from the ones I originally had selected. My friends already have several members of the Left 4 dead one and two crews, and when I told them about this they decided for me. It is bound to be interesting with the character my friends chose for me. I’ll make sure to post pictures when the next Zombie Walk in my area happens… or Halloween, whichever comes first.

    Thank you again for your help!

  6. Ролик просто потрясающий. Супер. Давайте продолжение. :)

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