As October 26th lurches closer, I would like to take the time to offer up an explanation of the Contest Categories and Criteria that will be used by the judges.
If you haven't decided on your zombie costume yet or aren't sure into which category your costume falls, here are all of the grossly tantalizing details!
Most Grotesque - This category is where contestants pull out all the stops. You're most wicked, gory, creepy, scary ideas for what a zombie should be will fall into this category. So if you're the type who is going for scare factor...this category is for you!
Celebrity - This category is where you'll find your favorite zombified celebrities. Famous musicians, actors, authors, and political and historical figures are all welcome here! Zombie Elvis, Zombie George Washington, Zombie Frank Sinatra, Zombie Olsen Twins, Zombie Johnny Cash, Zombie Stephen King... are all great examples of what falls into the Celebrity Category. Basically, if you plan to dress as your celebrity look alike in zombie fashion...this category is for you.
Character/Novelty - Zombies and zombie hunters that are Characters from books, TV, Film, etc.; for example Michonne from "The Walking Dead", Tallahassee from "Zombie Land", a zombified Austin Powers or James Bond, or even a Zombie Ninja Turtle. Novelty zombies consists of a variety of zombie types: Zombie Cheerleader, Zombie Nerd, Zombie Jock, Zombie Firefighter, Zombie Clown, Zombie Bride & Groom, Zombie Nurse, etc.
Group - This category applies to groups of three or more people. Get your friends together and come up with an overall theme for your group. Such as Umbrella Core from "Resident Evil", a few of your favorite characters from "The Walking Dead", or come up with your own theme!
Best Kid Zombie - This category is for kids 12 & under. Pretty much anything goes in the kid zombie category.
The Judges will score each contestant on a scale of one to ten (1-10), with one (1) being least favorable and ten (10) being the most favorable, on five (5) separate criteria for a possible score of fifty (50) points. Four (4) of the criteria are the same for each category, Common Criteria, with (1) Category Unique Criteria that is unique to its category. The judges will also determine whether the contestant's costume contains a fatal head wound, which will result in an automatic twenty (20) point deduction in the contestant's overall score.
For example, each of the above categories will be judged on 1) Authenticity, 2) Originality, 3) Presentation, and 4) Detail. With the unique criteria as follows:
Most Grotesque - Gore
Celebrity - Recognition
Novelty - Costume Identification
Group - Uniformity/Complimentary
Kid Zombie - Adorable/Scare Factor
What will the judges look for?
When scoring the 5 separate criteria, judges look for several things. Here's a handy cheat sheet to make sure your Zombie costume is contest ready:
1) Authenticity - Judges are looking for realism here. Is your costume believable and complete?
2) Originality - Idea, design, construction. What creativity is shown in how the costume is put together. What separates your costume from similar costumes.
3) Presentation - It's all about the walk...or stagger...or drag. Judges are looking at your movements and your ability to stay within the character defined by your costume.
4) Detail - Think accessories. Hats, gloves, jewelry, weapons, body parts...are all the little things there that make you costume totally believable?
Category Unique Criteria
Most Grotesque - Gore - This is where the judges look for shock factor. Wounds, amount of blood, unique deaths, and rotting skin are all helpful here!
Celebrity - Recognition - Is the celebrity you've chosen to portray easily recognized via your costume? Have you included that celebrity's trademark hair, sunglasses, shoes, accessories, etc.?
Character/Novelty - Costume Identification - Does your costume accurately portray the character you have chosen? Is the costume accurate according to the film, TV series, books, video game, etc.? If you've chosen to be a
Group - Uniformity/Complimentary - Does the group appear to belong together? Is there an overall theme to the group? If the group consists of a mix of zombies and humans, are the costumes complimentary of each other?
Kid Zombie - Adorable/Scare Factor - Let's face it...zombie kids are adorably frightening! And since this category encompasses such a wide age range, judges will determine first whether the costume is more cute or scary and then score accordingly.
FATAL HEAD WOUND
No matter the category, judges will be looking for true zombies. And since a head-shot takes down a zombie, any fatal head wounds will result in an automatic twenty (20) point deduction from the contestants overall score.
WINNERS & TIE BREAKER
The top scoring contest in each category will be determined as the Winner. In the event of a tie, the Winner of the contest will be determined by audience participation.
Prizes and Trophies
Prizes and Trophies will be awarded to the Winner in each category. Each winner will receive a Downtown Paragould Zombie Walk Trophy, a gift certificate from The Golden Grotto, and a pair of movie passes the Paragould Cinema 8.