It seems like we could all use some fun and sun these days, so it seemed like the perfect time to dig deep into the Collector’s Crypt for some vacation-themed novelties. With plenty of options to choose from – you will never have trouble finding a horror movie about young people running into trouble on vacation – there’s no telling what may pop up. Let’s dive right in!
TURISTAS TAKES A SHOT
Turistas may have hit theaters in December of 2006, but it follows a group of tourists on a tropical vacation gone to hell, as they wake up on the beach after a night of partying, missing all of their belongings and soon find themselves running afoul of a black market human organ harvesting ring. Part of the so-called “torture porn” subgenre that filled theaters in the second half of the 2000s, ushered in by movies like Saw, Wolf Creek, and Hostel, it starred Josh Duhamel, Melissa George, and Olivia Wilde as three of the ill-fated vacationers.
Turistas was a minor box office success and received mixed reviews from critics, with many feeling it didn’t bring anything particularly new to a subgenre that had also seen Wolf Creek and Hostel released in the last twelve months. Nevertheless, it received a heavy marketing campaign that relied heavily on the vacationers-in-danger theme.
In addition to the typical shirts and hats found in promotional packages, Turistas also received a couple of promotional items that tied in perfectly to it’s vacationers-being-tortured theme. Postcards featuring the poster art were featured in prize packs, along with Turistas-branded party cups and, coolest of all, a syringe printed with the logo and release date.
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IT’S TIME FOR APRIL FOOL’S DAY
Released to theaters in March of 1986, slasher classic April Fool’s Day features a group of college kids taking a vacation to their friend Muffy St. John’s secluded island mansion on the titular weekend. As tended to happen in the 80s, they would soon find themselves being offed one-by-one by a mysterious killer. Joke’s on them!
April Fool’s Day received some positive reviews a clever spin on the slasher genre, which had been in full swing for a number of years by the time of its release. It even stars the final girl of fellow 80s slasher, Amy Steel of Friday the 13th: Part 2! It was considered a box office success, although director Fred Walton has lamented the fact that it was advertised as a straight slasher when it actually features a significant twist, and that audiences may not have gotten what they expected. Nevertheless, April Fool’s Day has gone on to become a long-staying cult classic, even receiving the remake treatment in 2008.
When it was originally released to home video in the late 1980s, video stores received a very appropriate promotional item in the form of an April Fool’s Day clock to count down to the release date! Today, these are super rare and don’t appear on eBay or other sites too often, so be sure to keep an eye out if you need one in your collection!
THE BREED IS SO FETCH
Cujo took a vacation in The Breed, released in 2006, directed by Nicholas Mastandrea and produced by horror master Wes Craven. Starring the likes of Michelle Rodriguez, Oliver Hudson, and Taryn Manning as members of a vacationing party of young friends who have chosen a remote and mostly abandoned island as their destination. Unfortunately, a pack of vicious wild dogs has made a home on the island as well, and are ready to tear apart anyone who steps foot on the shore.
The Breed held its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival in May of 2006, and was screened at various other festivals before ultimately receiving a wide release on DVD. As part of the promotional package to advertise the movie, video stores and press outlets received The Breed-branded flying discs, a perfect promo item for a killer canine movie. These occasionally pop up for sale online, but they weren’t mass produced or available for general sale to the public, so numbers are very limited!
TAKE A TRIP TO FANTASY ISLAND
In February of 2020, horror heavyweight Blumhouse released it’s newest creation, a dark reimagining of the classic television show Fantasy Island, which originally premiered in 1977. In the new version, a group of strangers who actually share a connection are brought to the titular locale, where they are promised everything they desire in their wildest dreams by the mysterious Mr. Roarke (Michael Pena). Soon, they will discover that their is something much more sinister behind the island, and behind the elaborate and almost magical fantasies they are able to live out.
Released on Valentine’s Day, the marketing campaign for Fantasy Island had some fun with its promo items. A box of candy hearts was included in giveaways on social media, along with some merch more appropriate for an island getaway, like a suitcase adorned with the movie’s logo, a luggage tag, and a travel set of toiletries. As these were only available to contest winners, these items are all quite rare.
That concludes this edition of the Collector’s Crypt! Do you have any of the collectibles above in your collection, or any other rare horror promotional items? Be sure to share them with us on Reddit, Facebook, and Twitter, and check in next month for another edition of the Crypt!