Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Vault Master’s Top Ten “Killer” cinematic gifts for your arch-nemesis! (A Shitmas Post from The B-Movie Film Vault)

It’s been ages since I’ve taken part in a blog-a-thon, roundtable, or team-up event online, so I was pretty excited when I was invited to take part in this year’s 25 Days of Shit-Mas celebration! (Hosted by Shit Movie Fest!) I wanted in, but the one thing that almost stopped me from joining in on the festivities was a complete lack of ideas. Most of the films I considered reviewing were already spoken for, so I wanted to try and bring something fresh to the table.
Shitmas banner 2012
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And then it happened: Whilst listening to Christmas music on a hellish loop at work, a random idea popped into my head, and produced a grinchy smile on my face. “What would I give someone I truly hated for Christmas?” By the end of my shift, the idea had evolved further into “What item, that only exists in the cinematic universe, would I gift to my arch nemesis?” After some brainstorming and note making, I had a pretty sizable list of deadly toys, pets, snacks, puzzles, and books that I had to narrow down to a solid ten items.
In the end, I hacked the mighty list down to ten items representing nearly every category of Christmas gift you can imagine. And here they are in no particular order:

10. Houdini’s Magic Ticket
As Seen in: Last Action Hero (1993)
Sure it can allow you to hop into movies, but can it help you get out of a straight jacket while underwater?
Sure it can allow you to hop into movies, but can it help you get out of a straight jacket while underwater?
As far as the gifts on this top ten list go, this magical movie ticket is easily one of the most diabolical! When handed off to your stalwart nemesis, he/she will at first be in complete disbelief that it is anything extraordinary. Use this to your advantage. Treat them to a film of your choice and then knock them through the screen and into the jaws of Smaug the dragon, or into the middle of the ring as Stallone and DeNiro pummel each other, or even send them to feudal Japan to fight alongside “half-Asian” Keanu Reeves, against dragons, monsters, and demonic CGI samurai! It’s all up to you; the possibilities are endless!
What’s that? You’re not a fan of contemporary cinema? No worries! There are plenty of 35mm revival houses across the country. (The chain of Alamo Drafthouse theaters have been known to screen cult classics, and obscurities, from time to time.) Just find a screening or film festival full of grindhouse flicks and your revenge is complete!
For those of you who are mad geniuses and enjoy self-referential humor and/or irony, find a screening of LAST ACTION HERO and let the good times roll!
How it could backfire:
* The downside of the magical movie ticket is that it not only allows one to travel into a film, but it can also let the characters out. If your intended target manages to retain their wits and get a grasp on the situation, they may hop back into reality with some backup! Luckily movie logic does not prevail in the real world, so you may have a fighting chance. (Unless they bring out Chuck Norris.)
* The odds of letting some imaginary monstrosity lose in the real world is a definite possibility. Don’t be that person; plan ahead and use this dangerous MacGuffin responsibly.
Similar items you may consider gifting:
* A ticket to a special film screening at The Metropol.
* A golden ticket to Wonka’s Chocolate Factory. (Industrial accidents do happen…)
* An all expenses paid trip to the island paradise of Isla Nublar, near Costa Rica.

9. Audrey II
As seen in: The Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
"Percy the Puny Poinsetta ain't got sh*t on me!"
“Percy the Puny Poinsetta ain’t got sh*t on me!”
Few gifts in this world are as dull and harmless as a houseplant. Aside from Christmas poinsettias, one should never really give a leafy-green present to anyone for the holidays. But what if the person you despise the most has a green thumb and considers themselves a horticultural genius? Well my friend, have I got the perfect idea for you! This holiday season, why not deliver some laughs, musical accompaniment, and murder in the form of the talented Audrey II. This mysterious Venus(ian?) flytrap hails from the outermost reaches of the universe, and has a hankering for human flesh! Even if Audrey II doesn’t chow down on your mortal enemy, they’ll probably end up in prison for chopping up people to keep the fiendish plant fed!
How it could backfire:
* Though the Audrey II will undoubtedly grow faster than normal, it’ll still take a while before it reveals its intelligence to your target. When he/she discovers that it craves people, don’t be too shocked if you end up as fertilizer.
* Unless you step in and commit planticide, Audrey II will grow unchecked, sprout minions, and take over the world! This is one dangerous gift that you should definitely keep tabs on.
* The person you gave Audrey II to fails to feed or water the plant, thus killing the would-be “mean green motha from outer space.”
Similar items you may want to consider gifting:
* A triffid.
* A bit of fast-growing space moss/grass you found in a meteorite.
* Flesh-eating seaweed.

8. A Gypsy-Cursed Pie
As seen in: Thinner (1996)
Warrant's "Cherry Pie" ignites this poor bastard's PTSD now.
Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” ignites this poor bastard’s PTSD now.
Here is yet another seemingly harmless gift that will hide a horrifying, sugary death for the person who has wronged you. But these things don’t grown on trees; you’ll have to Either hire a gypsy to put a “wasting-whammy” on a delicious baked good. If that doesn’t work, “accidentally” run over a gypsy’s relative, get cursed, hire a hitman to force them to reverse the curse, have said curse transplanted into a delicious pie, and then feed the cursed pie to your adversary. It’s that easy!
How it could backfire:
* The d-bag that the pie is intended for either throws it out, or worse yet, gives it to someone you actually do like.
* For those of you that are a bit on the slow side, you may run the risk of getting cursed after eating the re-gifted pie. Hopefully you realize your folly before you are reduced to a seventy pound skeleton veiled in a thin layer of skin.
Similar items you may want to consider gifting:
* The Stuff. (One taste is never enough.)
* A gingerbread man that is possessed by a violent criminal.
* Trioxin-laced candy.

7. A Cursed T.V. Full of Zombies
As seen in: The Video Dead (1987)
Don't touch that dial... or this zombie will bite your fingers off!
Don’t touch that dial… or this zombie will bite your fingers off!
Electronics are always a popular present during the holidays, and nothing says “I love you” like a new television! And nothing says “I despise you and everything you stand for” like a junky old boob tube from the early 80′s! That is unless the person you gift it to is a nostalgia-junky with a fondness for outdated electronics. All you have to do is let him/her plug this bad boy in, and the TV will do the rest as it unexpectedly vomits out a pack of murderous zombies! Once bored, the zombies head back into the TV, leaving behind absolutely no zombie residue! They do however leave behind violent, unexplained deaths that will shake up the community…
How it could backfire:
* The person you gave the TV to stashes it in the attic or garage, next to an old mirror. Because the “video dead” don’t like to look at themselves in a reflective surface, they never exit the TV.
* The TV is tossed out on the curb and the zombies make their exit. The odds are good that they will find your intended victim, but they’ll also wander around the neighborhood and may pay you a visit as well. If you’re going to utilize this cursed artifact, make sure you have a way of trapping the zombies in a small, enclosed space so that they go crazy and devour themselves.
Similar items you may want to consider gifting:
* A “mislabeled” copy of a certain haunted video tape. (Note: You may need to include a VCR.)
* An interactive video game that will steal your soul and/or your sanity.
* Clint Howard’s evil computer.

6. A Self-Repairing Robot Head
As seen in: Hardware (1990)
Genocidal robots = The American Dream!
Genocidal robots = The American Dream!
Finding the right gift can be difficult, especially for people who are hard to buy for. That’s when you take a good look around for something that is truly unique, that you can’t find in just any store. And that’s when you find it, buried in the post-apocalyptic sands of “The Cursed Earth:” A bad-ass robot skull! After a bit of research, you discover that it’s part of a suspended line of MARK 13 robots, which have the ability to self-repair, recharge from any nearby electrical sources, and kill the everliving shit out of anything.
With this in mind, you gladly present it to your non-friend, with hopes that the robot quietly recharges and rebuilds itself, before violently eliminating the giftee. Little do they know that the hellaciously cool paper weight you supplied them, is a sneaky, and nearly unstoppable killing machine!
How it could backfire:
* The robot head could manage to build itself a body out of nearby objects before you give it away as a Christmas present. (Probably while you enjoy a deep sleep.) If it manages to do this, odds are you won’t live to see tomorrow.
* Also, once it gets mobilized the MARK 13 is pretty unpredictable and it might remember you and come looking! Perhaps you should have just left it in the desert…
Similar items you may want to consider gifting:
* A cute “girl next door” bot that can explode heads with a basketball.
* Yul Brenner cowboy robot.
* A refurbished Park Plaza Mall security robot.

5. Andre Toulon’s Puppets
As seen in: The Puppet Master series (1989, 1991, 1993, 1993, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2004, 2004, 2010, 2012)
Fun Fact: Metallica's song "Master of Puppets" was inspired by the Puppet Master films. Fun Fact #2: I just made up Fact #1.
Fun Fact: Metallica’s song “Master of Puppets” was inspired by the Puppet Master films. Fun Fact #2: I just made up Fact #1.
If there’s one thing that most people love getting on Christmas, it’s toys! Even as we get older, we still desire to obtain some sort of plaything, usually under the guise of it being a “collectible” that we will merely “put on display.” If you’re looking for some sort of plaything for the toy collector you love to hate, why not gift them the ultra-rare line of Andre Toulon puppets?
Created in the 1940′s, and imbued with sentient life, courtesy of Egyptian magic, these lethal puppets all pack a punch. Pinhead enjoys beatings and strangulation, Blade uses his hook and knife appendages to deal out damage, Ms. Leech vomits out giant killer bloodsuckers, Torch can fry anything to a crisp, Tunneler enjoys drilling through skulls and appendages, and Six-Shooter has thirty-six miniature bullets in store for his victims! It’s a delightful little cornucopia of death!
That very special someone’s eyes will open wide (in terror!) when they see Toulon’s toys in action!
How it could backfire:
* The problem with dealing with sentient playthings like this, is that they can think for themselves. If you happen to slight them in any way, they could very well retaliate. Dealing with one at a time isn’t a problem, but the Toulon puppets prefer to act as a team. Treat them with respect!
* There’s always that small chance that the person you gifted the puppets to manages to win them over somehow. That means you’ll have to be nice to them for fear of puppet reprisal!
Similar items you may want to consider gifting:
* A Good Guy Doll that’s possessed by a serial killer.
* A Zuni fetish doll.
* A possessed ventriloquist puppet.
* Carnivorous space dolls.

4. The Lament Configuration
As seen in: The Hellraiser series (1987, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2005, 2011)
The Lament Configuration, or as I like to call it, "Satan's Rubik's Cube."
The Lament Configuration, or as I like to call it, “Satan’s Rubik’s Cube.”
So the person you want to buy for is picky as hell. They don’t like plants, don’t want pets, aren’t big into reading, don’t watch many movies, and are on a gluten free diet. What’s a vengeful holiday shopper to do?! Well it turns out that they are big into puzzles, so you head out to a local antique store and discover a strange, ornate puzzle box. You snap it up, try to figure it out yourself (then realize that you’re luckily too stupid to solve it), and do a quick Google search.
As it turns out, your newly purchased present is just what you were looking for! The Lament Configuration is a puzzle box that, when solved, will unleash a gang of S&M demons into your living room! And whosoever is holding the Lament Config when Pinhead and his Cenobite friends stroll into our world, will have their soul torn apart! Wrap that thing up and hand it off quick!
How it could backfire:
* When dealing with anything involving pure evil, demons, and Hell, there’s always a catch. Odds are that somehow, maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, you’ll end up dancing amidst fire and brimstone for all eternity.
* There’s a teeny chance that your grudge could, you know, bring about HELL ON EARTH.
* There’s also that even teenier chance that the person you gifted the puzzle box to could return as a Cenobite, intent on paying you back for generosity.
Similar items you may want to consider gifting:
* A possessed Ouija board.
* Jigsaw’s patented bear-trap facemask.
* A giant multi-roomed cube filled with booby traps.

3. Phantasm Sphere
As seen in: The Phantasm series (1979, 1988, 1994, 1998)
The fear factor of this item is greatly reduced when you realize it's a Fushigi ball with two forks soldered to it.
The fear factor of this thing is greatly reduced when you realize it’s a Fushigi ball with two forks soldered to it.
Ok, it’s time to get a little tricky. Few things are as memorable, and terrifying, as the Tall Man’s patented spheres o’ fear. These little doodads fly around and indiscriminately attack any living thing they detect. Their favorite method of murder is to embed themselves in the forehead of a victim and drill into the brain! But how do you package such a violent and unpredictable interdimensional doohickey?
Wrap it up in an empty Fushigi ball box! While the person you give it to might be underwhelmed by their supposed gift, curiosity will get the best of them in the end. They’ll open up the box and suffer the worst headache they’ve had in their entire lives!
How it could backfire:
* The Phantasm sphere is a mindless drone that will attack anything. If you’re not careful you’ll have one drilling through your skull before you can start gift-wrapping.
Safety Tip:
If a silver ball is involved, a sturdy helmet and some quick ducking should be more than adequate to survive if it takes flight prematurely. (i.e. When you’re still in the same building with it.) If it’s a golden sphere… you’re pretty much screwed. This is one gift that is best sent via UPS. Also, the ball will stop flying around and trying to kill you if it is embedded in flesh! Try holding up a large rib roast (or another person) in front of you when the sphere makes its charge!
Similar items you may want to consider gifting:
* An Autonomous Mobile Sword. (a.k.a. A “screamer”)
* The hellish offspring of a demon and a flying squirrel.
* A “Dragon Bat.”
* A jewelry box containing a “Tall Man finger fly.”

2. A Mowgai
As seen in: Gremlins (1984) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)
Usually pets are a bad Christmas gift idea, especially for children because they lose interest quick, and don’t really care about feeding Petey the goldfish until after it’s too late. However, how can you possibly go wrong with a Mogwai?! It’s adorable, super low maintenance (it only comes with three rules!), cute, loving, peaceful, and [insert another synonym for cute here].
Even the most jaded person can’t help but fawn over the delightful cuteness of the mystical creature, and though you take “great pains” to stress those three important rules, the person you gave it to is still totally set up to fail. As history has shown us, unless you are a half-blind Chinese shopkeeper that deals in dusty antiques, you are totally ill equipped to handle a Mogwai.
How it could backfire:
* The moron you gave the joyous ball of fur to, ends up taking the Mogwai outside in broad daylight and kills it.
* They end up trying to give the Mogwai a bath, resulting in dozens of new ones. After quickly losing track of the numerous little critters, a massive wave of calamities (caused by vicious green monsters) befalls everyone living in a twenty mile radius. Congrats, you’ve just helped introduce an invasive species that’s worse than the Cane Toad. The Grem-pocalypse has begun.
Similar items you may want to consider gifting:
* A “crite” egg.
* A xenomorph egg.
* A fin-backed reptilian demon baby that hides in toilets.
* A small, junk food-loving Peruvian alien that multiplies when hacked to pieces.

1. The Necronomicon
As seen in: The Evil Dead trilogy (1981, 1987, 1992), Evil Dead (2013), Necronomicon(1994).
It's not actually The Book of the Dead, so much as its an ancient guide to cataract removal.
The Necronomicon Ex Mortus is actually an ancient guide to dealing with cataracts.
Well, I’ve covered every type of gift you could give someone for the holidays, so I suppose that leaves us with only one more option: Books! If you’re looking to utterly ruin the Christmas (and life) of a history buff/bookworm, there’s nothing that’ll get the job done better than the infamous Necronomicon Ex Mortus. Inked in blood, bound in human flesh, and filled with all sorts of demonic incantations (and possibly recipes), this ancient tome is guaranteed to give your “frenemy” one Hell of a holiday surprise.
The only problem? It’s written in a long dead language. To make up for this, you’ll have to be really “thoughtful” and have someone translate it for you. (Preferably in print as reciting the passages from the book could be hazardous to one’s health.) Hand over the book and translations with a huge red bow and then quickly take a leave of absence to handle some “urgent family business” before things get crazy. Also, be sure to snag those pesky lost pages of the book with spells that can send the evil back in time to be dealt with by a Chosen One. You can never be too careful.
How it could backfire:
* You decide to include an audio translation of the book and stupidly listen to it on the drive over, resulting in your own demonic possession.
* With the translations, the giftee (who as it turns out, is a huge D&D nerd) may utilize the book to raise an army of the dead in order to conquer the world as a self-made Necromancer.
Similar items you may want to consider gifting:
* The Book of Eibon. (Warning: Reading this may result in face-eating tarantulas and teleporting zombies.)
* A diary that resurrects a family of pain-worshipping hillbilly zombies.
* The Scroll of Thoth with the mummified corpse of an ancient Egyptian priest.
* Merlin’s book of magical spells, which can be acquired at Merlin’s Workshop of Mystical Wonders.
Well that’s it folks! Did you enjoy the list? Do you agree with my choices? Disagree with them? What cinematic items would you gift to the people you don’t particularly care for? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and have a very Merry Christmas!
- Jordan aka The Vault Master


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