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The Art of Horror Cosplay: A Severed Cinema Interview with Steven Evans Print E-mail
Written by Jay Creepy   
Thursday, 01 June 2017
The Art of Horror Cosplay: A Severed Cinema Interview with Steven Evans

 The Art of Horror Cosplay: A Severed Cinema Interview with Steven Evans

Science Fiction, Gaming and Fantasy Cosplay seem to get a lot of time in magazines and websites, but I seldom chance upon anything to do with the art of Horror Cosplay. There's a thousand Klingons, Harlequins, Tom Baker Doctor Whos (not enough Colin Baker ones!!) and Assassin's Creeds. Yet there's thousands of Horror movie characters worldwide, and more who invent their own special look and have membership in societies chilled out with large circles of friends who live and breathe it. It takes skill, patience and acting ability to stay in character so long. From the basic to the all out construction which can take weeks, Horror Cosplay is a worldwide phenomenon which needs a lot more recognition.

So, how good could it be to bag an interview with a bloke who casually takes it all in his huge strides? A man who has never been interviewed about this, a man who meets loads of fans for pictures, meets Horror Film stars, and even appears in professional photo shoots dressed to kill -- literally.

I first came across Steven Evans whilst at Horror Con 16, a huge lumbering man who tried to stick his axe in my chest. He, like many others, wander conventions far and wide in the UK. Time, effort and money goes into building a costume which merits so many people asking for photos and selfies with the performer.

From zombies to Babadooks, this is serious business and, above all, absolutely fun. Time to chat with a man on ground zero.

Now then Steve, you've recently done Horror Con 17. How did that one go?

Yeah Horror Con UK 2017 went great, I met new friends along the way before this event happened, so I went with the people I made friends with, and I am part of a growing horror costume group Horror Icons and Villains UK. I brought my Halloween (2007) Michael Myers, and my Friday the 13th (2009) Jason Voorhees. I had so much reaction from fans, and won the Scareplay competition Sunday as Jason. The category winner of film or TV character. Definitely returning next year.

 Gutted I didn't catch up with you for another pic. There were so many Jasons. As I said before, I spoke to a Jason thinking it was you and it wasn't. Rather embarrassing and funny at the same time. Do you ever turn up at a convention with your bag of Jason or Mike Myers, etcetera, then see there's a whole gaggle of Jason's, and think “Should I stick something else on his head to make him unique?”

Nah it's fine, understandable. Shame we did not. My 2009 Jason does have that uniqueness, since not many go as 2009 Jason, VS Jason is a very popular look. I have used bagmask Jason, but it does not get that reaction of the hockey mask Jason, just because of the details of the under mask Jason and the dead eye slash face mask surprises and freaks them out, plus the hockey mask is a pop culture icon. I have not really brought Myers to many conventions, since it has been Halloween I have used him, but I have been taking that costume to more events since I have the whole RZ Myers line-up.

This Cosplay has taken you a long way, buddy. You've done so many conventions and professional photography shoots over the years. Where did it all begin? What made you decide to do this? What was the genesis and the very first costume you wore? To a convention, I don't mean in your private life.

 I have only started doing the con scene since may 2014, MCM London was my first as 2009 Jason. The costume is on another level today compared to back then, and I am returning to the MCM comic con on May 27th 2017. I decided when I was going out for Halloween, it was never enough and wanted more out of this and I wanted to meet a new kind of people, so I built a new Facebook account back in 2014 to expand this art and reach out to a new community. While Halloween is fun I cannot use many costumes, and Jason is impossible to use on Halloween because of how hot the head mask is. I thought conventions only happened in America back in 2013 when I was looking and I found out, damn, it's a whole community of people and artists and decided let's see what the whole convention scene is like. The rest is history.

When I first spotted you at Horror Con 2016, at the Magna Centre, Sheffield, you were dressed as something very different, very chilling considering your height. Please tell us everything about The Wicked One.

 I know the cast of the Wicked One movie through Facebook. I saw this amazing looking character, and decided “yeah lets build this costume.” Colin Miller, who is nicknamed The Wicked One -- one of the most violent and dangerous psychopaths of modern times escapes from a institution and returns to his home town, and returns at the most convenient times, a Halloween festival. So it does have a Halloween premise about it.

A lot of people are members of clubs or Mason like societies for the art of Cosplay? Or do you keep in touch with a few people and hang out at the places? You mentioned Horror Icons?

Yeah, I am part of a costume group which has exploded onto the scene, Horror Icons and Villains UK, you can find them on Facebook.

So what's the greatest costume you've witnessed anywhere, aside from your own?

It's hard to say, because I have seen so many. Nothing has truly stood out that I can say that was the best. There has been so many costumes, but I have not seen anyone push the boundaries of something totally unique. Same with my costumes -- they're great but its got to be practical when I am travelling. The closest I have seen is Pyramid Head.

That must have been a cool thing to see. What's everybody like? I mean, pictures with visitors are common place throughout the day wherever you go. Does everyone behave? Or do any put you into embarrassing situations?

Never seen anyone behave out of line, everyone has been fantastic.

I've noticed on your Facebook you've had pictures with a lot of Horror stars. Who's been the greatest? Who's given you the fanboy buzz under your costume?

Hard to say. For guests I have met, probably a tie between Kane Hodder, Ken Kirzenger, Emily Booth, Robert Englund, Sid Haig and Heather Langenkamp. The reactions from those six were epic! But if I were to choose one it's Robert Englund since I met him in full make up! (Check the picture below...)

Whoa, that is frikkin awesome! What a pic! Speaking of pictures, Steve, you've been involved in some marvellous photo shoots wherein you understandably scare the hell out of a young girl and then look close to killing said girl. Do you get approached by people wanting you involved? Or do you put feelers out and about?

 People have reached out to me to do photo shoots. I have never really put it out there. They all came to me to do these shoots.

Away from the hulking brute you are at conventions, what are you like away from there? What do you do as a career?

I usually am caring for family since they need more help. And I help my uncle with property's he rents, since he lives in New York as a doctor. Me and my aunts sister keep in contact if anything needs repairing. So it's given me the chance to work on this art.

What are your hobbies away from this?

I like doing my workouts, not so much the gym, but jogging, light weights, always making sure I'm in good shape. I love travelling, etcetera etcetera.

I've stood and witnessed two Jason's have a chat which amused fans to no end, I've spoken to a Captain Spaulding Cosplay gent who came face to face with the real Sid Haig and totally geeked out when Sid grinned, “I'm sure I've seen you somewhere before.” Do you try to keep character as much as possible and take a few breaks away from the crowds and masses? Or do you talk to a few fans along the way?

I keep in character as much as I can, to really scare the hell out of randoms. If I know people enough I might character. I do take breaks -- got to. Food, drink, so I have the energy throughout the day, but I keep up as long as the body can do it before a break.

There's obviously many people who probably laugh at Cosplay and dismiss it all. From your point of view, and other people you know, how serious is it? Approximately how much planning goes into arranging a new costume to the hours of trudging for the entertainment of the fans?

 It does get that unfair tag. I don't like when the community make other costumers feel bad through body shaming. I stay away from the generic characters everyone goes as, as it's all very much the same. I choose characters that will stand out, who break away from what everyone goes as. It can take a long time. My Jason took five to six years to perfect. I prepare mostly a year for a new character.

Do you often change costume? What makes you change? Is it boredom? Or the challenge of keeping others on their toes perhaps?

I don't usually change costumes, as I keep to a limited few, but I have expanded my characters beyond Jason and Michael Myers. As with The Wicked One, my new American Horror Story Pighead, and 52 Joker which will be a cool costume to break away from horror which has that horror spin.

Is there much competition between everybody? I can't imagine it because it looks so much fun.

There can be. But from my point of view I don't do any of that, just the best I can do. 

 Which has been the best costume you've worn? From a comfort point of view, to reactions from others?

The best costume has been Jason by far! The most comfortable one has been Baghead Jason, and Michael Myers. Jason has got the best reactions especially when I remove the hockey mask!

Oh yeah, I've seen what's under it. Goes back to what we said about the thought and time which goes into this. What's next for Steven Evans? What's coming up on your calender this year?

Convention wise I have five coming up. Horror Con Swansea in July 2017, which is a local one for me -- Kane Hodder will be there. London Film and Comic Con in July 2017 -- some Friday the 13th guests will be there which I am meeting. Cardiff Comic Con in September, which is another local one for me. Then Birmingham Horror Con on Halloween 2017.

You've been a gent for answering these questions buddy. It's nice to hear what makes a chap like you tick and discover the thoughts and mind involved in such a huge scene.

No worries.

Lastly, what's your top 5 movies of all time? Horror and otherwise?

The Dark Knight, Terminator 1 and 2, Predator and The Empire Strikes Back.

Some years ago, I was going to be The (bearded) Punisher. I had the guns, coat, everything for some local Sci-Fi events. Then I had to shave my head and I'm not going to wear a wig. Saying that, I have an idea in my head for a demented Crowman from Worzel Gummidge who builds flesh eating scarecrows (copywrite owned by Creepy Productions :-). Hmm, might see you in the corridors next year, Steve.

Interview with Steven Evans was conducted by Severed Cinema writer Jay Creepy. You can find him on Facebook: fb.com/CampCrystalLakeDweller.

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