SPECIAL: Great bad ideas for Halloween costumes

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#1 - GUARDIAN ILLUSTRATION BY DANNY HELLMAN

Strapped for a costume on the most unhallowed of unholy days? Envious of those oh-so-topical and on-point costumes of yesteryear — remember that post-9/11 walking bag of anthrax and those Royal Tenenbaums? — but eager to put the Governator drag to bed? Here are some quick, easy, bad-taste costumes that will make you the hit of the Halloween street parade — or have ghosts and goblins racing away from you in utter fear. (Cheryl Eddy and Kimberly Chun)
#1
Crikey! It doesn't get much tackier than this Steve Irwin ’n' stingray combo. Kids and grown-ups alike will stare you down with white-hot horror when you strut around in your khaki ensemble with a pissed-off sea creature piercing your chest. Too soon? Hell, no. If Irwin's eight-year-old can get her own Discovery Kids television show, you can certainly make sport of her nature-loving pop's freaky demise. Group costume idea: bring along Roy Horn and Montecore, and Timothy Treadwell and the Big Red Machine, and you've got your very own When Animals Attack all-star team!

#2
Frankly, we think those Vanity Fair photos were as faked as the moon landing. With Americans still unsure about whether Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes are an actual couple (despite Us Weekly's breathless anticipation of the most E-metered wedding ceremony since John Travolta and Kelly Preston got hitched), the whole baby Suri thing just feels a bit suspect. Kick the formerly untouchable box office champ while he's down by donning Cruise garb (maybe you have a leather jacket and Wayfarers left over from last year's couch-vaulting costume?) and bringing li’l Suri out for her first trick-or-treating experience. It's clear that it'll be out of this world!

#3
Nothing says "I want candy!" like a Kim Jong Il costume, especially if you're packing a nuke for added encouragement. So little is known about North Korea's boss that you can insert your own cult of personality into Kim's mystique (suggested background research: Team America: World Police). Pass the Hennessy and make sure you insist everyone refer to you as "Dear Leader," and by all means get that pompadour as high as gravity will allow. Nobody knows how to party like the Axis of Evil, after all.