One of the best things about Halloween each year is seeing all the latest 'n greatest items that the seasonal stores have in stock. While you can always expect some impressive stuff from name brand manufacturers, there are some true gems to be found if you look closely for the imported stuff. I know this sounds like I'm talking about fine wine here or something, but I assure you I'm not. Quite the opposite, in fact. No, I'm talking about those ultra-shitty Halloween items from another country, or even more entertaining, the ones that apparently have no origin whatsoever. They just appeared in the stores somehow. If you ask the store owners, even they don't know how they got these items or where they came from.
Well, I found one of these very items the other day in a local novelty shop that converts itself into a Halloween shop this time o' year. So what is this magical item of uncanny spookiness and a complete lack of origin? My friends, I present you with...
Death's Head Terror!
While the name sounds like an act of fellatio gone horribly awry, it's fairly clear that this is just a case of bad English (or Engrish). I don't see any country listed on the box, so I'll just assume it came from Taiwan for now... everything else does. From the front of the box only a few things are obvious about this thing: 1) it's battery operated, 2) it's poorly packaged as you can see with his twisted arm and the random cardboard pieces and 3) as you can see behind the name, it may or may not have something to do with a spider.
I looked up the term "Death's Head Terror" and didn't find much at all about it. According to Wikipedia, "Death's Head is a fictional character, a cyborg bounty hunter appearing in the comic books published by Marvel Comics." I think it's pretty safe to say that Death's Head Terror has nothing to do with the Marvel character.
There's also the Death's-head Hawkmoth, which anybody who saw The Silence of the Lambs is already familiar with. Again, I'm fairly certain that this isn't a moth.
If you think the mystery ends there, you're wrong...
The side of the box features some more completely random Halloween artwork such as purple bats and a glowing red skull with vampire fangs and a large hole in its head. But what's most important about the side of the package is the message: "Can seesaw the booy & screams eyes light spooky sound." What the hell does that mean!? Even if I assume that "booy" is just their misspelling of "buoy", it still makes no sense at all. There's nothing nautical about about this thing, and he sure as hell doesn't come with any kind of seesaw. If you ask me, "Can seesaw the booy" is to Halloween what "all your base" was to video games, and I fully intend to use the hell out of it.
Future job interview scenario:
Employer: "Well, your resume looks fine 'n dandy, Roger, but tell me something that's not on paper. Tell me, exactly what do you think you can do for this company that nobody else can?
Me: "What can I do? Well, at the very least, I can seesaw the booy!"
Employer: "I don't know what that means, but by god we're clearly lacking it at this company. You're hired!"
I'm telling you people, this phrase is more precious than gold. And hey the rest of the phrase, "screams eyes light spooky sound" isn't too shabby either, but at least it makes sense since they're trying to describe some of the things the Death's Head Terror does.
The back of the box does actually offer some insight as to just what the hell this thing does. It doesn't say much, but you can tell from the illustration that Death's Head Terror dangles from a string and shakes around as it rises upwards while the eyes flash. I do like how, in the illustration, the head no longer has a jaw but instead resembles Hello Cthulhu.
Upon removing Death's Head Terror from the box, you instantly notice the wires that are practically hanging out of his mouth. Now I know it's not an expensive toy, but would it really be that much trouble for them to hide the wires up in the skull? It just loses some of the horror you would normally associate with it when you can see the wires in it. Then again, perhaps that's what the terror is all about. It's terrified because it has a mouth full o' wires!
After putting in the two AA batteries and flipping the switch, our friend Death's Head Terror came to life in an instant. He drops all the way down from the string attached to his head and slowly climbs back up while he makes some typical "oooooeeeeeooooo" Halloween toy sounds, his body shakes, and his eye flashes. I say "eye" instead of "eyes" because that's just the case here, one of his eyes simply doesn't flash.
Now some people would return this thing upon discovering that one of the eyes wasn't flashing, but not me. No, I consider that nonfunctional eye to be a testament to the absolutely shoddy craftsmanship that I knew I was getting when purchasing this thing. That's what makes Death's Head Terror so special... the lack of care that was put into the creation of it.
Click above to watch the video of Death's Head Terror in action!
I did search the entire toy for some source of origin, but there's nothing. No manufacturer, no country, not even a year. It's obvious that whoever created Death's Head Terror knew that they were dealing with a new level of cheapness in Halloween novelties and didn't want their name associated with it. I can understand that coming from their point of view, but to somebody like me, who loves finding cheesy things like this, Death's Head Terror is one of the greatest finds of the 2007.
I can seesaw the booy!
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Bette Davis was nominated for an Oscar for her performance as the aged 'Baby' Jane Hudson, a former child star who'd grown up to be the caretaker of her wheelchair bound sister. Bitter, ugly, and stark raving mad, Davis made all the shit Danny Bonaduce's gotten up to look like so much Sunday School malarkey.
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