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How to build grim grinning ground breaker corpses!
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It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ... it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness ... we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way . . .    ~ Charles Dickens

Ghouls take many forms in the depths of our fondest nightmares.  Certainly one of the most gruesome figures you're likely to encounter in any haunted graveyard is a rotting corpse clawing its way out of the ground, its wormy slumber disturbed, and nothing better to do than join the casting call for a George Romero movie.

Spooky Blue is a huge fan of just about every movie that ends in "of The Dead", with a particular fondness for the original black and white "Night of The Living Dead".  Aside from rampaging alien tripods ala "War of The Worlds", I can't think of anything more terrifying and fascinating than hordes of the undead pouring out of the ground to walk among and feed upon the living.

Sounds like another great project to build out of newspaper and carpet glue.

Inspiration - Rot

People have throughout history found inspiration in great works of art, symphonies, true love, and really good hamburgers. Call it some special influence of a divinity on the mind, but I think of it more as catching a glimpse of some heretofore intangible and saying, "Wow!  I never thought of that!"

In the case of our ground breakers, we bow once again to our artfully twisted friend, John at PumpkinRot.com.  If you have read our Scarecrow how-to, then you know who I'm talking about.  I have tremendous respect and admiration for John's work.  He consistently and unpretentiously creates wonderful Things that no one has ever seen before.  Having seen what's possible using mundane materials, I couldn't help but borrow some of his concepts and run ... like a raving lunatic ... eating a really good hamburger.

I've said this before.  The inspiration to create is such a cool gift.  Thanks, John!      ~ Spooky

Materials List
We'll be looking at two different construction methods.

Method 1 utilizes poultry screen (chicken wire), duct tape, and newspaper for the torso.
Method 2 employs rolled up newspaper and duct tape almost exclusively for the torso.
Newspaper, paper towel, duct tape, chicken wire, wire coat hangers
Believe it or not, cheap black duct tape from Big Lots works really well.  If you decide on chicken wire for your torso, it comes in rolls at any home improvement store.
Latex carpet adhesive or
Elmer's Glue
As much as S. Blue owes to gold old carpet glue, he's moved on.  We're now big believers in Elmer's Glue.  It's great for paper mache, it dries hard, it's fairly rugged, and best of all you don't have that tacky latex feel.

A foam wig stand or a plastic skull or a cheap foam skull (or paper mache)

If you want to get right to the fun stuff and don't really feel like sculpting a face out of a foam wig stand, get a plastic or foam skull (or two or three).  The cheap foam skulls I found at Walgreens during Halloween, but plastic skulls can be found year-round at Anatomical Chart Company.  Big Lots is a good source for foam skulls during the Halloween season.

Or why not make your own paper mache skulls?
Flat latex paint Visit your local specialty paint store (Porter Paints, Sherwin Williams), or home improvement center and ask them for mismatched paint.  Tans, browns, and greens are good, and you can usually score them for less than $5.00/gallon.  Ask nicely and they may even add some tint for you to get the color closer to something really icky.
Scrap plywood, 1x2 or 1x4 scraps, a bit of plywood, and wood screws If you don't have any scrap wood, then go to the closest lumber yard and ask for "ferring strips".  These are usually 8' 1x2 - 1x4 boards of really poor quality (cheap!).  We used 1' x 1' squares of plywood for our base, but you can substitute a few pieces of scrap nailed together to save on cost.
Hot glue & glue gun (for making teeth and fingernails), clothing Recycle that button-down shirt with the yellow collar that's been hanging in the closet since 1989.  You can also try an old sport coat and a tie.  Who doesn't have a tie that'd look better on a corpse than on you?  Alternatively, Good Will or Salvation Army is always a treasure trove of corpse clothes.
Acryllic floor sealer or cheap deck sealer Any home improvement store. 
Short cuts
Just want the highlights?  Here ya go ...
Chicken wire torso Quick and dirty method of building a sort-of interesting torso
More in-depth method of building a very disgusting torso
Need a hand?
Make your own fingernails & teeth using hot glue
Turn a foam wig stand into a corpsey head
A lightweight alternative to monster mud
Some pointers for applying protectant
Adding fine details to your corpse by sculpting with newspaper & glue