Cherry Darling Halloween Costume Contest.

Cash $ prize will be awarded for best costume with narrative.

Photo by erikochan

"It was such an absolutely amazing, unbelievable experience.

The real
 "Cherry Darling"
Lacey Henderson
Comic Con 2007
San Diego

The movie production company contacted me about Cherry Darling at Comic Con for the release of Planter Terror on DVD and I asked Lacey if she could do it.

Actress Rose McGowan said in an interview "And I hope to see people with a machine gun leg for Halloween outfits next year."

As Cherry Darlings started  appearing at Halloween this contest started.

Al Pike, CP(E)
CEO Amputees In Hollywood LLC

[Playing] Cherry [Darling] was amazing and I think, probably till I die; she will always be one of my favourite characters I've ever played. And I feel quite protective towards her, so hopefully nobody will put her down. And if they do, she can just shoot them in the face with her machine gun. [Laughing] I think the whole thing in expecting to see this movie, I think you should expect to laugh and dry-heave at the same time and just go in knowing… just sit in that roller coaster seat, you know, buckle up and go along for the ride. And have fun… gosh. And I hope to see people with a machine gun leg for Halloween outfits next year." - Rose McGowan.    

Photos and/or video submissions must be of a quality for presentation on this page, and for consideration of a cash prize they must be accompanied with a written narrative.

submit contest entry photos and/or video here:


The process starts with hiding the part of the leg to be replaced by the gun leg using 6 inch Ace bandages, and support pantyhose as our past winners have done to hold the leg flexed and the foot tucked in. Success will be limited to lightweight individuals with slender legs and good flexibility. The gun leg device should not be worn for any extended period of time nor while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Next a plastic bag is pulled over the “stump” as a separator from the casting tape. The casting tape is worked using rubber gloves and is not dipped in water to give more working time for forming to the “stump”. Starting around the knee the casting tape is applied to about 4 - 5 layers deep working up the thigh. This may take 2-3 three rolls of 4 inch casting tape. Once the casting tape has set and becomes rigid it is slid off the “stump” along with the plastic separator bag. With a little trimming around the top  you will have a rigid knee bearing socket that can be donned, and to which the gun leg part can be affixed. Using additional casting tape the gun leg part is attached to the socket.

The gun leg part can be purchased used on E-Bay using the search words - M-16 Carbine. I have found AirSoft makes a sturty metal one that I used for the one in the photo to the right.

You will need to cut to length at the barrel and/or stock for you own height.

Once it has been cut to length the barrel is set into the crutch tip and fixed into place.

The crutch tip gives a safe base for walking on the gun leg prosthesis.

The socket and gun leg part are joined together using more casting tape with proper alignment for walking.

The comfort level will vary depending upon how flexible and how slender the individual is. The more flexible and slender the more comfort. One should not wear the prop for any extended period of time.

Regretfully no entries and no contest winner in 2016 what about 2017?

Halloween 2016

Halloween 2015
I had already been cosplaying for two years, and Anime St. Louis, the biggest convention in my area, was coming up.  I decided I wanted to go all out, and hopefully draw some attention to my page on Facebook.  I wanted to be Cherry Darling, because not only was the costume badass, but she was so interesting as a character.  I knew she was gonna be one of my favorite movie characters when she referred to Go-Go dancing as “Useless talent #12.”  She was very real, she made mistakes, she had bad days, and I really related to that.

How I made the leg:  I bought a M16 off google, as well as a fiberglass casting kit.  I tucked my right leg behind me while wearing a pair of bike shorts, standing on my left one.  My mother helped me wrap my leg in ace bandages as well as the fiberglass material, since I was busy trying to keep my balance.  I left a hole in the bottom to shove the gun through, and once I got it secure, I filled the bottom around the gun with glue, just to make is a little more sturdy.  I also had to paint it, considering they sent me a pink camo material.  Making the actual costume was the easy part, just black and red pleather and red satin ribbon for the top.  On the day of the con, I repeated the same process in binding my leg and then tightened the skirt to mask my foot behind me.  I had to enlist some of my friends to carry me around the con, since I could barely walk, but all in all, it was worth it.  And till today, it’s one of my favorite cosplays I’ve ever done.    

Halloween 2014

Michelle did not have it all together last year when she entered the contest so for 2014 she went all out.  First she sent me an e-mail asking if the Cherry Darling costume from the photo-shoot I had planned was available for sale. Regretfully the model Krista Holler who has the total costume has deleted her Facebook account and is not responding to any of my e-mails to return the costume. Therefore Michelle asked a seamstress friend to custom make a Cherry Darling costume for her from materials she purchased. For this year she purchased a new expensive AirSoft gun, and her boyfriend rigged a square peg to the stock of the gun that would fit into the socket post of the socket for her prosthesis. Physically she is in the best shape she has been since her accident and was able to walk on her gun leg with the aid of a crutch. She was able to put full weight on the leg if needed.     

Halloween 2013

I was booking my shows in calendar openings, hoping to take the stage with my favorite - Hubba Hubba Revue- whose focus that month was on Super Action Films. Although my forte is Classic Burlesque, I saw this both as a chance to strengthen my limited "themed" work, and a fantastic costuming challenge that I would otherwise not explore. When Kingfish, Hubba Hubba Revue's producer extraordinaire informed me there was an opening in the Super Action Burlesque show- I jumped! I had about one month to be show ready. I had my heart set on a piece that told the story of Cherry Darling from Quentin Tarantino's Planet Terror. I was thrilled that Jim Sweeney (Kingfish) was onboard and I started my research.........Feeling exhilarated I poured over notes and websites......then the panic set in. If I was going to actually make this real, and convincing, and not just another costume gimmick, I was going to have to enlist talented, reliable, ambitious help. The challenge was making my leg appear to be gone under a small miniskirt.


I asked Szandora LaVey to play the part of Cherry Darling before she lost her leg. This would require her to dance for more than half the piece, until she was taken offstage and replaced by me, playing the part of Cherry Darling after her leg removal, and with a machine gun prosthetic. We would dress as 'twins' to create a seamless effect for the audience. With the help of my talented seamstress, we created the tops for both roles, and I worked with Olga of Decadent Designs to create the same skirt for both of us, but with very specific instructions and alterations to the skirt that would be worn with my prosthetic. Sight unseen, with a few measurements, Olga made this happen without a hitch, and had it shipped to me extremely fast. I can't say enough good things about working with Decadent Designs.


Next I needed dancers portraying Zombies- hot, beautifully disturbing Zombies. I was very fortunate to have Candy Pie, Roxanne RedMeat, and Trixie Fou Laurant play these roles. Candy Pie did the most gorgeous, gruesome Zombie makeup with wounds of shimmery shades of glitter- horrifying and  stunning. She is also a wonderful costume engineer and Producer.


We all worked to choreograph a background portrait for Szandora to dance in front of.....until the point where we had her lifted off the stage and the Zombies displayed the leg they ripped off her body.

.......enter me, to shoot down the Zombies with my machine gun leg. did I do it?


1- Order casting tape. 

 I used about 5 rolls of 4" x 4 yrds Techform Premium Casting Tape


2- I decided to cast my left leg, so I bent my leg back, and secured it with the following, in order:

            -Support hose

            -Black fishnet stockings

            -Ace bandage

            -Compression booty shorts, cut to hide under miniskirt

            -Heavy Duty Black Gorilla Duct Tape


3- Once in place, I found a semi comfortable spot at the edge of a soft couch, wrapped a soft cotton fabric 'sock' that fit over my knee and thigh, and had a friend help cast- Sporting latex gloves, and a large mixing bowl of warm water, he dipped the tape and began rolling the outside of my leg, 4- 5 layers, until I could pull my leg out and wait for the cast to set.

4- While the cast set.....I found an M16 toy machine gun that had lights and sound in the barrel- this is key. I split the gun in half lengthwise to remove the insides, or 'guts' of the gun, and replaced it with an adjustable crutch for Juveniles, that I sawed off to fit the height of my other leg (including the cast) 

5- Now to attach the gun/crutch to the cast...... I used metal strips from Home Depot and snapped them through the cast.....

6- I added one more roll of casting tape over the top of the metal strips

7-  High Gloss Harley Davidson Spray paint in black coated the gun, and was highlighted by silver paint and shards of glitter for stage presence. 

8- Basking in the glory of the first dress rehearsal, post-leg, with my dog playing the part of the audience! You can see the craftsmanship of Decadent Designs....even better in the video below

And with my amazing Cast and the machine gun leg......


Special thanks:

Jack Dagger for video

Douglas Cave for music file

Electric Lotus Music for music editing

Decadent Designs

Hubba Hubba Revue


In Special Memoriam to Sparkly Devil. We will all cherish this, our last night together.

Halloween 2012
This is as far as our 2012 project went before the model was unable to continue with the photo shoot
and no entries from the outside.

Halloween 2011


When Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's "Grindhouse" hit movie theaters in 2007, I walked out of that theater knowing one day I would figure out how to dress like Cherry Darling for Halloween, machine gun leg and all.  Clearly the issue with this costume is not so much in the fabrication of a machine gun as it is in the the faked disappearance of a limb from the knee down.  How the hell do you vanish a leg from knee to toe? 

Easy!  Just follow these simple steps:

For five years, think about how much you want to dress up as Cherry Darling with the machine gun leg, each year deciding it's absolutely impossible.

On the fifth year, tell a bunch of friends who really believe in your craftiness about your machine gun leg idea.  Make sure to assert the level of awesomocity and impossibility so they will get super pumped up about it, refusing to let you off the hook.  These folks must be able to regularly remind you that no costume will ever be as cool as a half naked, machine-gun-legged zombie killer; especially when you call two weeks before Halloween, begging them to just let you drop the leg thing and dress like Katy Perry.

Sit and stare into space for hours, trying to figure out how you're going to make your massive right calf disappear, before you do what you clearly should have done in the first place.  Consult the internet. 

Google "Cherry Darling Machine Gun Leg," and see that - WHOA.  Someone has done this before.  And ohmigod it looks amazing!  But how did she do it? 

Oh, right.  SHE'S AN ACTUAL AMPUTEE.  You are going straight to hell. 

Notice that said amputee, Lacey Henderson, a gorgeous, totally inspiring woman who posed as Cherry Darling at the '07 San Diego Comic Con, has actually created a site specifically devoted to faking the amputee machine gun leg. Scour the site, stealing the tricks of all those who have come before you.

Runner up

Halloween 2010

For the first time we have two first place winners!!

  I stumbled upon your site while googling "Cherry Darling costume" and I wanted to thank you for the help. I didn't follow your directions due to the fact I could not find some of the supplies but with that I am very proud to say I lasted the entire night one legged. I was pretty comfortable as well. I used duct tape to secure my bent leg and used a belt wrapped around my bum to keep my foot as close to my body as possible. I then duct taped the gun to my knee and wrapped the bandage around that. It was not sturdy enough to actually walk on so I had crutches for the night but it worked really well. 

I had Dr. Dakota Block as a sidekick and we ended up winning the costume contest we entered! 

Thanks again! 

My friend was a little concerned about showing me “Planet Terror” on DVD since I’m not a big fan of zombie movies, but I fell head-over-boot in love with Cherry Darling. This was just a few weeks before Halloween 2009 and I didn’t have enough time to put together the costume, so I saved the idea for 2010. I wanted to get the outfit as accurate as possible. For months I scoured eBay and found a tiny dove pendant, a leather miniskirt with a side seam that could be easily opened, and a leather bustier bra which arrived from the UK in a dank state and had to be cleaned over and over again. The top originally had a hook-and-eye closure in front which was removed and the edges sewn together, and an elastic band across the back which was cut in two and modified with a zipper. Luckily the red piping and other details were available at a local fabric store, and I even found the Icon motorcycle jacket on Craigslist, but the skull buttons proved to be a real challenge. I hunted everywhere until I finally found the exact skull buttons at a warehouse in downtown L.A. and persuaded them to sell me the last of their stock. Then I added the red crystal eyes and went to work on the skirt.

Sadly I cannot sew to save my life, even if I were confronted by a horde of zombies, so it is a minor miracle that the skirt came together. I was having an anxiety attack over the red stripes so I enlisted the help of a seamstress, and—three or four attempts notwithstanding—she did a beautiful job. I ordered a pair of brown contact lenses online, and added a personal touch with a “Two Against the World” temporary tattoo. It seems fitting that Cherry Darling would have gotten this after losing El Wray.

Since I live in West Hollywood, where Halloween involves a 4-mile trek among the costumed throngs on Santa Monica Blvd., it seemed like the impossible dream to secure my foot in back and try to support my weight on the tip of the gun. Instead I put on a black stocking and attached an Airsoft gun to my leg with a self-adhesive ace bandage. Tragically, in a Halloween party mishap, the gun snapped in two before we had a chance to take these photos with my neighbor’s bike. I thought, WWCDD (what would Cherry Darling do?) and made the best of it, but I wish the action poses had come out with the gun at a more solid angle.

All this effort thanks to the indomitable spirit of Cherry Darling! Not only is she funny, tough, feminine, and resourceful, but she embodies a quality of resilience that I deeply admire. I love how, through the loss of her leg, she actually becomes more rather than less. And I have truly enjoyed learning about Amputees in Hollywood, which has added a layer of significance to portraying this action figure that I never could have anticipated.

Thank you for keeping the contest going and for showcasing all the creative, daring, and inspiring Cherry Darlings out there!


 An amputee friend provided some of her Cherry Darling costume photos for the website.


A special award for artistic creativity go to
 professional model  Deanna Marie for the idea
and Photographer/Digital Artist Jeffery Scott for producing their photo of
Cherry Darling.

Deanna Marie -

Jeffery Scott -



Halloween 2009

   When I saw Grindhouse in the theater, I immediately KNEW I just HAD to be Cherry Darling for Halloween.   Although, I realized that it just wouldn't work to paint a gun on my stockings, so I had given up that dream.  This year I struggled and struggled with costume ideas, and was overjoyed to find your site!  I immediately started shopping for costume supplies. 
The local businesses that sell the Juzo AK Stump shrinker aren't really retailers and don't sell to the general public, so I used last years winners tip, using ace bandages.  I wrapped them around my foot and waist, rather than around my leg.  I then used a capri length body shaper and support hose over that.  Luckily, my boots were tall enough to cover the capri.  The "casting tape" I was able to find at the craft store, and the "crutch tip" was actually for a chair, from the hardware department.
I wasn't sure how to secure the knee bearing socket as, with the pantyhose on, it wanted to slide off.  I had some tacky gauze, left over from the last time I had given blood, so I used that to wrap around my knee and give the cast something to cling to.
I went to a concert that night and wore the "prosthetic" for about three hours.  I did more hopping than walking.  This loosened the grip of the gun to cast after a while.   
My machine gun was a plastic toy, therefore, not as sturdy as I would have liked, and unfortunately, I actually had to pull the trigger to fire, unlike the real Cherry.
I am excited to wear the costume again to Dragon*Con!  I will reinforce the gun stock, possibly with a metal pipe (or get a sturdier gun) and attach it to the socket with fiberglass.  And I will potentially use a toupee bonding adhesive to attach the socket to my knee!
When I took the costume off I had people coming up to me shocked that I had both limbs!  IT WORKED!

Halloween 2008



I went completely off your instructions, except I used 3 ACE bandages to hold my leg up against my butt instead of one of the stump shrinkers that you recommended (just because I couldn't find one for sale around here). But it was definitely your website that made the entire project possible!!!

Then I put on a pair of pantyhose with the bottoms cut off.  The panty hose smoothed out the bump from my foot against my butt.  Also, it helped as a way of being somewhat modest as the pantyhose cut just right works as "hot pants" under the skirt (I went to work in the outfit....and won the costume contest too).  One side of the pantyhose was cut right up to my hips so that side could be like a pair of shorts.  The other side of the pantyhose was cut just below the knee, so it was acting as an extra "bandage" around my leg that I had held up. 

I worked at an ISP all day and am at a desk all day, so I didn't really stand too long.  Most of the time my leg was propped up on a chair next to me.  During the periods I had to stand, though, I was actually very comfortable - my balance wasn't that great, but I was definitely comfortable. 

I wrapped the ACE bandage around my foot up to my butt completely with the pantyhose on top of that.  The skirt I made was slightly loose just in case.  FYI, I'm about 5' 3" tall, and weigh about 100 pounds.  The gun I used was actually a working Airsoft brand gun with the tip sawed off and held in place using 3 minute JB Weld glue :)

Thanks for including me on your website!!  I'm going to blog about it so everyone can see :)

Dalyn has given permission to publish some of her re-enactment poses as  "Cherry Darling".


I try my hardest to make every costume I wear as realistic as possible, and this is so awesome to be recognized for it, especially for an aspiring actress!

Thank you very much,
Dalyn Dougherty

Mercy Beaucoup's Cherry Darling costume.

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 Last update
October 16, 2017