Meet ‘DeathCandy,’ The Cosplay Duo Who Dress Up For Every Midnight Screening in Cleveland

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Mark "Death Punk" Mackaye and Calavera Candy love going to the movies. More importantly, the two love going to the movies in full-blown cosplay, no matter what is playing on the screen. Known for their #MakeEveryMovieRockyHorror way of celebrating cinema, the duo (and sometimes trio, featuring Mackaye's wife Jen) has dressed up for nearly 50 films, including secret "mystery" screenings. Sometimes it's characters from the films, but the two have also been known to dress as iconic filmmakers like Tommy Wiseau, Michael Moore and Stan Lee.

We took a quick moment to interview the duo about their commitment to dressing up for the movies, and hopefully they'll inspire more people to celebrate cinema with costumes.

Scene: I understand the appeal of midnight movies and the dress-up culture associated with films like Rocky Horror, but why dress up for every movie?
Mark Mackaye: We like to celebrate the film. Going to the movies is an event, a party, and why not go all out and party hard?
Calavera Candy: Plus if we don't, who will? It's one of those great power/great responsibilities situations.

Scene: At almost fifty movies, that's a lot of outfits. Where do you get your costume pieces?
MM: Usually within an hour of show time we rummage through our attics, thrift stores or garbage to find the right outfit for the film.
CC: Sometimes I shake trees and see what falls out.

Scene: Have you ever spent a lot of money on an outfit?
MM: Our budget for every costume has been no more than $1.
CC: Frankly if we spend any money at all we've gone over our budget. Can you really put a price on it though?

Scene: How did this start? How do you decide what movies you'll dress up for?
CC: It started when we were going to see the Ninja Turtles at The Capital Theatre and I randomly decided to make ninja masks for us. Then it became a tradition.
MM: If we want to see it we always dress up for it.

Scene: Do you have a favorite outfit after all this time?
MM: We’re mostly known for the many variations of Doc and Marty from Back to the Future (original, zombie and sweet transvestites), but my personal favorite has been South Park Bigger, Longer and Uncut because during the musical number “Uncle Fucker” we ran up to the front of the theater and performed it move for move just like the Rocky Horror floor cast “Simply His Servants.” We want to start our own South Park Floor show called “the Uncle Fuckers!”
CC: I think our dual Stan Lees were pretty popular too. We gave comics to other movie goers and called them all true believers. But, yeah, Doc and Marty we my favorites...heavy.

Scene: Final question: Dream movie you hope to cosplay for?
CC: Garfield
MM: Captain EO
Both: Double feature! Garfield and Captain EO!

Photos by All Photos Courtesy of DeathCandy