There is no shortage of horror movies about cold-blooded killers, whether they’re masked serial killers, demented family men, or nurses who are NOT there to help their patients. There is also no shortage of cool collectibles to go along with them, so from snowmen to snow globes to even ice cream scoops, this month we’re taking a look at some of the most bone-chilling finds in the Collector’s Crypt!
DO YOU WANT TO BUILD THE SNOWMAN?
The Snowman was released in 2017, based on the 7th book in the popular crime series about detective Harry Hole by Norwegian author Jo Nesbø, although it was the first film adaptation of any of the books. Michael Fassbender stars as the troubled investigator who is looking into a series of brutal murders, each linked by a snowman left at the scene of the crime. Directed by Tomas Alfredson, the film suffered from a rushed production schedule and was critically panned as a result.
Nevertheless, a cool promotional item was created to promote the theatrical release: a plush snowman, about 8 inches tall and complete with twigs for arms. He bears the same flat expression as the snowman drawn by the movie’s killer, and for an extra twist, the head actually comes off and re-attaches with velcro. Quite disturbing when you consider the killer beheaded one of his victims in the film.
THESE SNOW GLOBES ARE A SCREAM
Featuring a pair of truly cold-blooded killers (after all, “It’s scarier when there’s no motive…”), Scream was a surprise hit upon it’s release in 1996, reigniting the dormant slasher genre. Directed by horror legend Wes Craven, it featured a masked killer stalking a group of high school friends, first taunting them over the phone before coming in for the kill with a hunter’s knife. The difference is that the characters were aware of horror movies and their cliches, creating a new kind of meta-slasher that audiences loved.
Although it primarily relied on word-of-mouth to become the giant hit that it did, the studio did release several awesome promotional items to advertise the slasher satire. Snow globes are a tried-and-true method advertising, since no one can resist the urge to pick one up, shake it around, and check out what’s inside.
Hence the Scream promotional snow globe, a fairly rare item today, but one that’s still available if you look around and are willing to pay. Inside, Ghostface creeps forward with a knife, and “blood” flies around when the globe is shaken. Scream 2 also received a promotional snow globe when it was released in 1997. This one featured a bust of Ghostface, along with more fake blood in place of fake snow – truly cold-blooded!
CHEAP CHILLS WITH THE STEPFATHER
What’s more bone-chilling than a person willing and able to slaughter their own family? Perhaps one who’s willing to do it over and over again. Such is the premise of 1987’s The Stepfather, starring Terry O’Quinn in the titular villainous role. He plays Jerry Blake, the seemingly perfect new stepfather to teenager Stephanie (Jill Schoelen), who begins to suspect that he is not who he says he is. Released in January of 1987, the film has gained a cult following, as well as having spawned two sequels and a remake.
Embassy Home Entertainment released The Stepfather on VHS, and also included it in their “Cheap Chills” promotional campaign. Several of their horror titles available on VHS were reduced in price, and to promote them even further, Embassy sent an awesome package to video stores: a small black coffin containing a retractable trick knife, with The Stepfather‘s logo printed on the blade! Presumably The Stepfather specifically received a promo item because it was one of the most recent releases when the promotion took place later in 1987.
Today, these knives are incredibly rare to come across; this is one of the items in my personal collection, and although I had seen one before, I had zero luck even finding a photo until another appeared on eBay after a VERY long search.
WE ALL SCREAM FOR THE ICE CREAM MAN
1995 saw the release of Ice Cream Man, a lesser-known horror-comedy about a murderous, well, ice cream man, who goes so far as to mix the flesh of his victims into his ice cream to serve to the next unsuspecting customers! Starring Clint Howard as the titular villain and featuring Olivia Hussey (known, among other things, for her scream queen role in another chilly horror movie, 1974’s Black Christmas), the kooky but still disturbing Ice Cream Man has developed a cult following over the years.
Promoting independent horror movies such as Ice Cream Man is even more of a challenge than larger studio movies because of lower budgets and less general awareness from the public. To drum up interest in the chilly chiller when it was released direct-to-video, promotional ice cream scoops were created and sent to video stores. The rare promo item that can actually be useful, as well as being perfectly relevant to he movie’s subject matter, these scoops are very hard to come by today.
BONUS: GET THE SCOOP ON CASTLE ROCK
This will be a fairly short one, as I’m ashamed to admit I have not caught up on the latest season of Hulu’s Castle Rock. As such this will be kept spoiler-free, as I can only speculate as to what happens when Misery Arrives. Starring Lizzy Caplan as Annie Wilkes, famously played by Kathy Bates in the 1990 film adaptation, the season is an original story exploring the years before Annie takes author Paul Sheldon captive in her home.
As part of the series’ promotional campaign, another ice cream scoop was sent to journalists and critics. If I had to guess, I would say an ice cream scoop plays a major part in someone’s demise this season! Either way, it’s a very cool promotional item and one that I thought was quite appropriate for this theme!