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Indiana Jones

Best & Worst Indiana Jones Costumes

by Dave on October 30, 2010

in Movies,Nerdery

imageI’m dusting off the fedora tonight for a Halloween costume which has evolved and improved considerably since the first time I decided to dress up as Indiana Jones 3 years ago. Granted, I took last year off in favor of a Predator costume – which just so happened to win first prize – but you can’t be Dr. Jones all the time. That would be exhausting. In addition to incredibly sad.

My 2010 additions include: Replicas of the Staff of Ra headpiece, the Hovitos fertility idol and a Sankara Stone all tucked neatly, and extremely heavily, away in a MK2 WW2 gas mask bag just like the one Jr. wears in the classic films. It should be noted that nowhere in said bag does there exist a female date for tonight’s party. Perhaps that didn’t need notation.

I think that if you up the ante considerably with improvements to a “timeless” costume the way I like to with my Indy ensemble it’s OK to wear it every other year or so. If you’re a Halloweenie who likes to stay trendy and in-the-moment, you can go join the undoubtedly enormous group of folks who’ll be dressing up as Snooki and Pauly D. this year. And then fist-pump yourself betwixt the buttocks.

My costume is pretty tight – I mean that in both senses of the word – but I’m not the first, best or worst to have ever donned this adventurer’s gay apparel. I was able to find a few individuals who could, however, rank well at both ends of the spectrum. See if you can tell which is which.


Doing Indiana Proud
Indiana John” founded a great website for the true enthusiast which not only discusses the actual movie props/costumes in great historical detail, but also helps everyday movie-nerds such as myself get their hands on said sacred stuff. His personal costume has the whole look nailed, from the dark brown color of the jacket right on down to the slightly too-high pant legs. I wanna Halloween party with this guy. Just not on one of the years I’m wearing my own walking tribute.



Pleats Release Me
There’s more than a few things glaringly wrong here – the least of which might be the Medic Alert bracelet. Trying to picture a Nazi standing over anyone announcing, “Give him some air – he’s an epileptic!” … just takes me right out of the mood. And the pleats in the wrinkly pants make me think that one of the red dot stops on this guy’s iconic Indy movie map must have been a T.J. Maxx “irregular” bin. Know your history, Mr. George Clooney look-alike, or you’re doomed to repeat it.



Something, Something… we Have a Problem
Were this meant to be a Matt Houston costume he’d have my vote for first prize. If Indy had ever been scripted as nipple-tortured by a nymphomaniac member of the Guardian Angels – again I’d be a huge proponent of this guy. As it stands, do your fucking shirt up.



A Royal Raider
It looks like Prince Charles decided to complement son Harry’s recent Nazi costume with a little Jones of his own. And look – he finally found a use for that plastic belt he hadn’t worn since 8th grade graduation. I don’t know if that’s makeup on his face or if he was brutally battered on his way in from the parking lot. What I do know is that part of a good Indy costume should be the ability to fight off Girl Guides. Not my favorite example but at least he’s standing next to a sexy Thundercat which is more than I’ll be able to claim.

Play safe this evening, folks, unlike I did a year ago tonight when I totalled my car on the way home from the aforementioned costume-contest victory. Somehow that $25 gift certificate ceased to seem quite as cool when I woke up and saw my mangled whip in the cold light of day. It’s a lot easier to navigate when you’re wearing a fedora as opposed to a giant rubber Predator mask, so I’ve got that going for me in 2010. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Somewhere the ghost of Steve McQueen was surely thinking, “A little late on the brakes, kid.” And also very likely, “You’re going to die alone, nerd”. Happy Halloween!


“Vhy yes, Dr. Jones. My tramp stamp IZ a profile of Lenin. You have problem vith this?”


I read about this recent Indiana Jones Marathon in Santa Monica (Appropriate since Harrison Ford has his own private hangar at the Santa Monica airport,) and was pleasantly surprised when, unbeknownst to me, my friend Sean not only attended but took the time to send me a photo he snuck of one of the sacred movie prop relics on display. He also wrote to describe the event and although Harry didn’t how up and start whipping the front row screaming “Get a life, would you people? It’s just a movie!”, I thought I’d share this pentultimate popular culture experience here on PITF.

“Dave – The picture below I took for you for you because you couldn’t be there to join in. I spent 7 hours in a seat watching Indy 1 through 3 last night at the Aero Theater here in Santa Monica. Just out of camera range below this was the broken stone tablet prop and matching shield from Indy 3 that tells Indy how to get to Alexandretta.

staff-of-ra-propIn this picture is the actual Staff of Ra headpiece prop used in the shot in the “Well of Souls” when Indy puts the staff into the correct slot and the beam of light hits the resting place of the ark. The gem in the middle of this piece is actually amber in color but was colored red in the editing because a red gem didn’t show well in the original shot. (if you watch the original film cut, the jewel is red at first, then as it seats, is amber for a spit second as the light hits it and then is red again) The larger version that Marion wears as a medallion in Nepal and then is later examined by the wise man in the “bad dates” scene is about a third larger than this one and is now on display at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

This is the piece they also shot a green laser through to define the SFX beam on the floor model of Tanis . Then they enhanced the laser to an amber color as the glowing sun beam that blinds the audience when Indy locates the spot where the ark is buried. It is owned by Richard Edlund , the VFX supervisor for Indy 1. Edlund was one of the guests at the showing.

Rumor has it that this same headpiece once resided on Lucas’ mantelpiece along with the Mercedes Benz truck ornament that Indy snapped off the truck in the famous “out-the-windshield” scene at the Skywalker Ranch until he gave it to Edlund as a birthday present years later when he retired from the day to day business at ILM .

Fortune & glory, kid. Fortune & glory. – Sean”

Coincidently I recently forced several uninitiated folk to watch Raiders of the Lost Ark for the first time a few weeks ago (young ‘uns. Go figure). Unless I was being completely messed with – they were blown away and could not believe they’d wasted their lives so far watching summer movie tripe like Transformers. It felt good. My ridiculously large DVD collection and I will always be here for the youth of Ontario.


Last week’s user-submitted quizzlet was a lot of fun, no? Shall we do it again? I’m about to send out Facebook and Twitter requests for questions and I will add to this post as they come in. Please leave your questions in the blog comments. Update: Sweet Jesus. Stop before I end up on a government list.

Appetizer: If you could berate a pro sports athlete at a match, etc. who would it be? – Gary P.

I’ve never been a fan of his, but after last Saturday’s Bruins vs. Islanders match – “The Pest”, Sean Avery. Click the link if you’ve yet to see him thwap the back of Bruins’ goalie Tim Thomas’ head with his stick starting a donnybrook which hardly helped New York’s situation. There is hockey goonery, which I fully encourage, and then there’s hockey douchebaggery. I’d like to take a Gatorade bucket and dump it over his head. In the middle of a rink after a game that would be awfully chilly! Not to mention it would be filled with carbolic acid.

Soup: How are you and Spud getting along now that you’ve inherited him? – Anneliese R.

Surprisingly well, thank you. You were here the day he bit my face and scarred the frig out of it two summers ago. Whether I deserved it or not, there are two types of cats: ones that bite to wound and ones that bite to warn. Spud is of a third type which bites to maim. Anyhew, not only are we getting along but he sleeps in my bed, follows me around the house, sits with me, purrs constantly – it’s amazing. I guess he knows where his mouse is buttered now.

Salad: How many dogs can one man own? – Kent H.

Three. I didn’t even have to think about it. There are several factors to consider in regards to how many canines one household can sustain, but only one of them is worth discussing – it’s what I like to call the “creature to lawn landmine threshold ratio”. It looks something like this:

Number of dogs x 2 poops each a day / lawn acreage = C.L.L.R.

Currently I’m maxxed out. I have my stainless steel dustpan on a pole, my little doo-doo rake and I’m constantly hovering over the grass looking for dead soldiers as it is. If another dog were to be added to the mix I’d be buried in a mountain of recycled Eukanuba by Labor Day.


Main Course: Thanks to a relatively new area of science called String Theory, physicists and cosmologists are on the cusp of unifying Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity (the theory of the very big) with quantum theory (the theory of the very small). If their calculations prove true, it will mean that our universe sits within a sea of parallel universes that existed long before The Big Bang. Could you give me your take on the implications of parallel universes and pre-Big Bang physics? What does this stuff mean for mankind? – Mark B.

My head just started throbbing. The answer to your questions, however, are obvious. The implications of a parallel universe were well documented in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, and I’m not going to jump through hoops for you and rehash it all here. What does it mean for mankind? Well – we’re fucked, basically. Especially after Nero warps in on May 8th.

Dessert: If you had to cut off one of your fingers from each hand, which ones would you pick? – Staci D.

You can’t live without your thumb. Watch the Pope of Greenwich Village for more detail on that point. Your index finger enables you to pick your nose, point and poke. The middle finger – enough said. And the pinkie is just way too adorable. Reminds me of my mother telling me nursery rhymes about pigs. The third finger, however, doesn’t even have a nickname. So lop those suckers off on both hands. If for no other reason than I can look like I’m throwing the goat, 24/7.


When men hit their mid-50s they usually buy a convertible sports car. When men hit their mid-30s (and are secretly huge movie nerds) they usually combine and display action figures on shelves. And then die alone for all of their troubles. I’ll be turning the big 3-5 this Pearl Harbor Day (that’s December 7th and yes I do have an Amazon Wish List, thank you for asking) so when I began getting urges to do the latter I simply accepted it. I went with it. It’s who I am. Dave Pye – the font of useless pop culture knowledge who will watch the same movie over and over until his eyes bleed – and it’s usually Blade Runner.


Shall I pull my pants down and show you the jewels… of my personal collection? Super then. Top shelf Indy, bottom shelf Star Wars. Let’s start with the Indiana Jones conglomerate, left to right. First we have a genuine leather satchel, designed to look like the one Indy wears, with the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull logo burned into the lower right corner. Spielberg had them made by the Canadian company Roots (more details) as gifts for all of the cast and crew. I found it on eBay last month when I was looking for additions to my Halloween costume and couldn’t help myself. In the background we have an electronic whip, a Spalko action figure and three lego sets – all from the newest movie. Next we have four prop replicas – a Sankara Stone from Temple of Doom, the Hovitos Fertility Idol and Staff of Ra Headpiece from Raiders of the Lost ark and a bullwhip.

IMG 0003
Ladies, all of this could be yours. Form a line to the left.

The Star Wars shelf contains a couple of items that are actually worth quite a bit of money on the open dork market. On the far left we have a modern little Chewbacca beanie baby. Behind that is a stuffed R2D2 doll with a little red button that squeaks that I got for Christmas in 1977. In front of that is a remote control R2, the controller long since lost, which I believe I got in 1981 when Empire Strikes Back came out. Next up is an original Han Solo Blaster, with no chips, the sticker intact and it still works.

Beside the blaster is a Canadian-version, bi-lingual copy Han Solo figure. The packaging is in pristine condition and I found the little guy whilst cleaning out one of my grandmother’s closets last summer. She must have bought it for me for Christmas in ’77 and hidden it from my 4-year-old self in said closet – where it became lost for three decades. As I was cleaning out her home due to the fact that she is now in a long term care facility out of her mind and near death, the discovery choked me up. It was like a last gift from her to my inner-child. Nerd or not – you have to admit that’s pretty gosh darn cool. Thanks for everything, Claire. You did an excellent job with Janet and I.

IMG 0006
“Pardon-et-moi? C’est la Guerre des E’toiles, cocksackeer!”

Next up is a rubber Yoda puppet in decent condition, still with all of his white yarny hair, which was given to me in 1981 and then finally bookended with another modern beanie baby version of the same little green Jedi master. All told and in retrospect a decent little collection of movie paraphernalia. Which begs the question – guys and gals: what are your most treasured trinkets from childhood? More Star Wars stuff? A little G.I. Joe or Rainbow Bright, perhaps? Maybe it’s just me, but I sincerely doubt it. Don’t leave me hanging here, folks.