Ok folks, we’re approaching the “hit the panic button” stage when it comes to holiday shopping. With less than two weeks before Baby Jesus rips himself from Mary’s womb, it’s easy to toss ones hands up in the air and grab the first gift idea piled up in the Walgreens bargain bin when buying your breath mints. We know firsthand how trying to brave mall crowds right now can cause even the mildest mannered librarian to go all “Hulk Smash” and before you know it, you’re in jail for bludgeoning someone’s grandmother with a lead filled inflatable candy cane. Plus some people are notoriously impossible to shop for (every year I ask my mom, the world’s sweetest lady, what she’d like and every year she tells me “nothing”. This led me to have full blown two hour panic attacks in the middle of Crate & Barrel on Xmas Eve two years ago where my wife thought I’d just gone to empty the trash before I decided on putting together a framed collage of our wedding photos. Big hit by the way.) While a package of defrosted chimichungas and a mini plush Rudolph that warbles his theme when you squeeze his nose might seem like a fantastic stocking stuffer, craptacular gift giving moments like this have led to holiday fueled rage-see the embedded clip for evidence.
Luckily, All Things Horror is here to help you out. I’ve compiled the most comprehensive list of gifts for your horror loving recipient one can throw together while eating Elio’s toaster oven pizza and killing time between commercials in an It’s Always Sunny DVR marathon. I’ve enclosed links where you can order the items and used the Google shopping tab to compare prices so you won’t get ripped off (I excluded some of the sketchier places with no user ratings or domain names like “www.buymymomsstuffineedmeth.com).
And remember kiddos, significant others, family members, and Jehovah witnesses definitely judge you based on the quality of gift you give them.
Here’s where you have to be a little careful. While we all want to wean little horror heads, start them to strongly to soon, you’ll scare them off to the point where AT BEST twenty years from now they’re telepathically tweeting how excited they are for the 6-D remake of New Moon. Look, can we all agree that yes, Suspira is amazing, but your three year old nephew will just shit his pants if you pop it into the DVD player after Christmas turkey? Here’s some age appropriate scary stuff for the young ones.
|Cuthulu Plush Doll–Because the Elder Ones descended from the vast array of never ending stars for one reason only-to be snuggled by your four year old niece.|
|Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein-The humorous way to introduce kids to the classic Universal Big Three. Lou Costello doing his monster impression and breathlessly trying to describe being chased by the baddies will never cease to be funny.|
|Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark This book has been around for ages and it’s a terrific start for getting kids into horror stories. Comprised of a great collection filled with folklore, vengeful ghosts and urban legends, its perfect companion for sleepovers and campfire stories.|
|Left 4 Dead 2-I wasn’t a huge fan of the first game, but the sequel has fixed many of the issues I had with it. A great party or online game that’s as close to acting in a B action/zombie movie as most of us will get. Melee weapons have been added, more types of zombies and more enemies can hit the screen all at once. For frantic splatterhouse action, this is tough to beat. (Xbox 360)|
|Silent Hill: Shattered Memories Unlike the above title, the Silent Hill series has always relied on tension and atmosphere rather than infinite hordes of enemies to deliver its chills. Enemies scurry in the distance, just outside the beam of your failing flashlight before attacking. This game is essentially a remake of the first Silent Hill that takes advantage of the Wii’s unique controls in order to put the player in the middle of the action. (Wii)|
|Ju On: The Grudge I actually liked The Grudge a lot, but not enough to understand how a whole series of movies sprung around it. Also, I have the nerves of a four year old girl, so the second the tangled haired she demon comes crawling at the screen all gangly limbed; I’m probably dropping my remote and heading for the hills. That little dead kid is disturbing as hell though, so hopefully you get to take advantage of the controller to whack him upside his head. Billed as a “haunted house simulator”, thee’s multiple locations to explore, but if you linger in one area too long, expect to have the bojangles scared out of you.(Wii)|
I’m sticking with Blu-Ray this year since the players have come way down in price and the picture is just filthy good. Anyone that tries to tell you that there isn’t a massive and easily discerned difference between DVD & Blu-Ray needs to be pantsed in front of their friends, loved ones and coworkers.
|District 9 May not be horror, but this sci-fi film done for a short budget managed to be visual crack for your eyeballs while still providing an emotionally moving story about displaced aliens and a pencil pushing desk worker that befalls a tragic fate. This film is like a game of Halo come to life.|
|American Werewolf in London (Full Moon Edition) Best werewolf movie hands down, with nothing near it as a close second. Pick this up for the new documentary Beware the Moon, which reunites cast and crew for in depth look at the making of this film and its impact.|
|Trick ‘R Treat The Halloween equal of It’s a Wonderful Life. This anthology movie deserves to be on every horror fans shelf and broken out every October for multiple viewings.|
|The Monster Squad Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but this is a fun tribute to the monster films of our youth that could never be duplicated today. Though I have to admit, it’s weird watching a film where “homo” is thrown around as an insult pretty carelessly.|
|Night of the Creeps Double dip on Fred Dekker with the above and this great tongue in cheek zombie comedy. Worth it for Tom Atkins’ moustache alone. Nothing ruins prom like your dates coming back ffrom the dead as mindless zombies. At least they love you for your Brains.|
|Near Dark A great gift for Twilight fans. Show them that just because a vampire flick has romance in it, it doesn’t mean it can’t be a balls out horror flick as well. any people will argue tihs is the definitive vampire movie of the past 25 years.|
|Under the Dome Stephen King Another MASSIVE novel by King. Seriously, if nothing else you could club an out of control wombat to death with this thing. While he may have hit his peak with IT king still churns out some great stories, and this one about a quarantined town looks to be no exception.|
|Drood Dan Simmons Historical fiction at its best. Simmons reimagines the train crash that affected the great Charles Dickens physically and mentally as the author seeks out the living embodiment of death, known simply as Drood. The Victorian setting adds to the moody atmosphere of this story. Explore Whitechapel with one of the world’s greatest authors as he becomes obsessed with crypts, human sacrifice and other aspects of the macarbe.|
|Dracula the Un-Dead Darce Stoker & Ian Holt. Penned by a descendent of Bram himself, this continues the story of the original characters of Dracula and finds Bram directing a stage play based on his novel while Harker has slipped into heroin addiction. It sounds just oddly terrible enough to check out, and has the approval of Stoker’s estate.|
|The Walking Dead Compendium vol. 1 Soon to be an AMC series, the Walking Dead puts you in the middle of a roving gang of survivors after a zombie outbreak. No one is safe as characters you’ve grown attached to are killed off in shocking fashion, and new ones are brought in. Think 28 Days Later, but you get a new story every month, with no end in sight, as opposed to a self contained film. The storytelling is amazing, and is at its best in the quieter moments, in between the zombie attacks, as writer Robert Kirkman explores the psychological effects the dread and isolation has taken on the survivors. This MASSIVE tome (1088 pages) collects the first 48 issues in one place and is a must have for any zombie fan.|
Honestly, I know nothing about the collectables market other than you can waste a lot of time looking for that one ultra rare niche action figure, movie prop or framed theatrical poster. Rather than run through hundreds of items, I thought of a “one of a kind item” sure to dazzle even the most jaded hardcore fan:
|The Severed Head of Betty White Why anyone would want to decapitate everyone’s favorite #0 Rock guest star and sexiest Golden Girl defies explanation. However, you have to admit, it’d be pretty boss to have your friends over and when they notice her noggin enclosed in an enclosed airtight display case, you get to be all casual “Oh that. No big thing, it’s just the severed head of Betty White. Yeah, I tracked for weeks before conering her at an IHOP in Des Moines. She put up quite the fight, but I tagged and bagged her .”|