It’s amazing the things you learn when you’re married.
As a single guy, I would never have set food inside Michael’s, the arts/crafts/home decor mega-store chain that always looked like a way to fleece domestic spouses out of disposable decorations. And then I discovered Spooky Town, and became just as willingly fleeced. Spooky Town is a Halloween/horror-themed collection of figurines and accessories that can work with either model train sets, or as miniature villages like the Christmas ones your mom might collect. What’s most impressive, though, is that for items exclusively sold at such a family friendly store, they are in many cases about as appropriate for young ‘uns as old-school McFarlane Toys. In other words…NOT.
Let’s take a look at some of the weirdest ones available…
1. Pervy Cannibal Clown’s Food Truck.
There is so much wrong with this one that of course I bought it immediately. “Gurgle’s Roach Coach,” as this item is technically named, is a food truck driven by a corpse and operated by a clown handing you a giant cockroach on a plate. Advertised menu items include “Rotton Candy” and “Finger Bites,” as well as today’s special, “Meat Shake.” Though the body parts hanging out the back door imply that this is a cannibalism reference, the obvious double entendre cannot be ignored.
2. Lazy Grim Reaper.
Dude can’t be bothered to come reap you himself – hey, it’s hard work – so he figures tricking trains into running red lights might work. Slacker.
3. Zombie Eatery.
Zombie cooks are obviously as mindless as every other variety, being apparently oblivious to the fact that zombies would rather dumpster-dive or beg outside rather than eat the food inside.
On the plus side, the chef’s special is on the house.
4. Rape Ghost.
The kid looks like he could be a teenage boy – is this ironic punishment for him staining the sheets?
5. Evil TARDIS.
The dead are old, so you have to figure they’re not up on the latest cell phones. Yet I prefer to believe that this is no mere telephone booth, but the semi-camouflaged conveyance of a zombie Time Lord. Des-ic-cate!
6. I Think They Used to Call These “Newspapers.”
Yep, the dead like old, obsolete things. Now we just need Zombie Harry Knowles to ask the question, “Ain’t it Ghoul News?”
7. Broke Jason.
It’s always sad when you have to sell your prized possessions to make ends meat, er, meet. Poor Jason Voorhees looks bored as hell waiting for people to buy his tools of the trade, but in fairness, he doesn’t have a reputation for being very customer-friendly.
You might even say, “Voorhees? Not a jolly good fellow. Which nobody can deny.”
8. A Kid Dressed as Batman.
One of these things is really, REALLY not like the others.
9. Evil Clown Trailer Park.
That beckoning finger from within. The promises of candy. The totally dirty air of perversity and desperation. Look, I like sick and twisted monster toys, and this one is hilarious to me, but even I would feel terrible putting this and the Bat-Kid above anywhere close to each other, let alone in the same display. You know there are people out there who collect all of these, however, and that must happen at some stage.
10. Chuckle’s Funhouse.
While this diorama also trades on scary clowns, the effect here is for fun rather than for creeps, as kids in Halloween costumes can be seen going through this house of madness. What puts this set over the top is not its creep factor, but its action features that so many toys nowadays might envy:
Balcony shakes simulating falling down
Mirrors inside the entrance rotate
Lights flash on and off on explosives simulating explosion
Rotating tunnel attracts the attention of the clown figure standing in front
“Attracts the attention”…yep. Anything that can attract the attention of a static figurine deserves a second look, don’t you think?
11. Last House on the Left.
Okay. Up until this point, you may have guessed that I’ve been giving some of these items my own names, and not their official titles. I’ve been doing that because I think it’s funny, and sometimes highlights the disturbing content for what it really is.
This one is actually called “Last House on the Left.” And that may make sense to you if all you know about that title is that it’s a Wes Craven horror movie. If you’ve seen the movie, or its remake, not so much.
See, the original film is about a teenage girl being raped and murdered, with the killers unknowingly ending up at her parents’ house, where they are promptly tortured and killed in return. It’s not a happy fun movie – despite weird moments of oddball humor and social satire – based on an Ingmar Bergman film called The Virgin Spring about how God exists but lets awful things happen.
And you made it a cartoon ghost house?
12. Scary Pinball and Skee-ball.
Aside from a sign which implies that the pinball games use real eyeballs, this place actually looks pretty cool, and our host for the evening of games even looks like a live human! Sure, his clothes are torn to shreds and he was probably molested by evil spirits, but the dude is handing you a coin. Grab it and have some fun.
The games are a nickel? Here’s where you get to take advantage of the dead being old-fashioned. Carpe noctem.
13. The Worst Air Show Ever.
You’d think that the land of the dead would contain more than a few souls who were alive at the dawn of stunt aviation, and who might know what a good air show is.
Yet, apparently, with all the supernatural powers at their disposal, this crowd is satisfied by a witch on a broom, a helicopter made of bones, and an otherwise normal small plane flying around in circles. I can only assume the corpses from the pre-flight era of history overrule the more recent dead on a regular basis.
14. Dogs in Halloween Costumes.
I have a wife who screams “LEEEEEEEETLE HATS!” every time she sees a pet in costume. Please don’t tell her this exists, or I’ll have to buy it.
15. Blood Fountain.
I hear this was constructed over a long period.
16. Vampire Condos.
What’s this? A little bit of social commentary? Vampires don’t need a whole lot of space to rent every night, but I’m betting there are some New Yorkers looking at this and going, “I would kill for a place that roomy.”
17. Wicked Fast Broomsticks.
Because the only thing scarier than evil witches is evil witches who speak in Boston slang.
18. Monty Python Guy.
Yes, this one is actually called “Bring out your dead.” We have to wonder if some watery tart gave him the authority.
19. Voldemort’s Tomb With Zombies.
This takes balls of golden snitch – rip off a major franchise and make it even better! The grave is unmistakably Tom Riddle’s, but not content to bring back the unnosed one, this resting place can raise the other dead as well.
Harry Potter could use an assist from Daryl Dixon this time around.
20. Dog Who Refuses to Dress up as a Bee.
It’s your worst nightmare, if you’ve never had a serious nightmare in your life – the stupid dog won’t humor you by donning an unnatural outfit! I’d suggest they do an aftermath figurine where the pissed-off dog in costume has torn up the furniture and taken a shit on the table, but given everything we’ve seen so far in this list, I’m sure the folks at Lemax are already working on that.