The first thing that we had to do was figure out exactly what we were doing. The year was 1980 and VCR’s and video tapes were just coming into their own. We rented the movie and got together to watch it. There were 7 of us guys that decided to do this together – we thought that would make a good “team” look.
We watched the movie and took extensive notes on their uniforms. I had never seen the movie before – it was a good flick – for the ’70s. After the movie we worked on sketching up the different parts we would need. It was going to take a lot of work to build these things from scratch and with not a lot of money, but we were all game.
My friend and his brother were the real brains behind the project, and they took on the lion’s share of the work. For each costume, we had to buy a set of football shoulder pads; football helmet; a football jersey (with the computer generated-type numbers on them); elbow pads; knee pads; shin and forearm leather wraps; gym shorts and black gloves. We also needed to install spikes in the gloves, and we also put them on the helmets. We added our own little twist to the costumes to help them better work for Halloween. More on that later.
The next couple of weeks were spent working on the costumes. We picked up the shoulder, knee and elbow pads at the local Goodwills and then spray painted and electrical taped them to make them all black. We all bought the same type of new gym short and gloves and helmets. We got some spikes and mounted them on the gloves, and we bought football jerseys and had the numbers silkscreened onto them. We also all sprung for new football helmets and painted them all just like the ones in the movie. My friends impressed me by going way beyond normal “guy” abilities and actually buying vinyl fabric, designing, cutting out and sewing all of the forearm and shin guards. We spent a bunch of late nights getting all this work done and then assembling everything.
But then we took it a step further. Our little twist was that we all bought white gallery-type plastic face masks to cover our faces. We then wired little red LED’s into them and taped them right above the slits for our eyes and mounted the battery packs in our helmets. We ended up with expressionless faces but our glowing eyes stared menacingly from behind. All said and done, we looked pretty darn scary. (I’m trying to find old photos as I write this and will hopefully include them as pics were before this little series is done.)
Look for Part 3 soon!