Grow an awesome moustache.
Time to complete: 6 months
To make my moustache curl I use a product called "Gorilla Snot"
If you've never used this stuff before, be careful! Only a little bit is needed. It's very slimy until it dries. A small pea-sized amount is all that is needed per side. I usually plaster the curls against my face while they dry. After a couple minutes (use a hair dryer if your nefarious deeds can't wait) the snot has dried, and I gently pick it off my face and the curl stays.
If you don't want to use Gorilla Snot, then use "Elmer's Clear School Glue".
It washes out very easily and holds wonderfully well. It's one drawback (which led me to seek other solutions) is if you get a drop of glue on your lip, then when it dries it tends to tug on your hairs when you smile. Contrary to popular belief, Villains do smile. The thought of blowing up a train is very smile-inducing to a villain! (see pics). This method requires a hair dryer, since I don't want the glue on my face.
If you simply cannot wait the requisite time to grow an authentic Silent Movie Villain moustache, then a substitute will be acceptable. These can be purchased at your local costume store for a few bucks. Bear in mind, you will have a hard time convincing your damsel and her hero to take you seriously with an inauthentic moustache.
Make Villain costume.
Time to complete: 20 minutes
-- sheet = $3 on sale
-- hat = $6 on sale
-- cheap spray paint = $2
-- glasses = $1 (optional)
If you're thinking of a career as a Silent Movie Villain, then you probably have part of the costume already... Black pants, white shirt, and black tie. What you're missing to complete the ensemble is a black twin flat sheet.
If you're as tall as I am, then no cutting is required. I just let a few inches drag the floor. This also served to capture the air as I walked, thus giving me quite a sinister entrance when I enter a room! Very ominous!
Use a square knot to tie your cape then tuck the edges under the cape. Don't use a thief knot! Incidentally, the square knot is the same knot you should use to tie up damsels in distress. If your damsels are getting away then you're probably using the wrong knot. A successful Villain knows his knots!
Of course, no Villain is a Silent Movie Villain without a proper hat. As you can see, I prefer the Bowler or Derby, but several of my contemporaries prefer a top hat. I found mine at a costume store for $6.
Make your implement of evil!
Time to complete: 20 minutes to one hour
Every Silent Movie Villain needs a unique implement of evil. I chose Dynamite. As you can see, though, I labeled my implement of evil both TNT and Dynamite. But hey, I'm not an evil genius -- just a Silent Movie Villain!
I got lucky and found a large cardboard tube I could cut into pieces and use for my dynamite, but I think paper towel tubes, or even rolling red construction paper into tubes would work too. I spray painted (cost: $2 -- only needed one can of the cheap spray paint) the tubes red, then twisted a white paper towel into a wick and glued one end of the wick inside the tube. After the paint dried, I used a sharpie with a chisel tip to write on the tubes. (Those usually cost about $2, but I think I had one, so it's not listed in the price). I did not cap the ends of the tubes because this was my costume for work, and they have very strict rules about props, so I didn't want anyone to get nervous.
After the dynamite was completely dry I used black tape to tape the three sticks together.
Time to Complete: Ongoing
Cost: One Prison Sentence (If caught! BWAH HA HA HA HA!)
*note: Be sure to vote for me in the easy costume contest! Thanks!