Vault Master’s Top Ten “Killer” Cinematic Gifts for Your Arch-Nemesis!

Back in 2013, I was invited to take part in the 25 Days of Shit-Mas blog-a-thon! (Hosted by Shit Movie Fest!) I was eager to jump right in, but there was one thing standing in my way: A complete lack of ideas. Most of the films I considered reviewing (or discussing) were already spoken for, and I really wanted to try and bring something fresh to the table.

And then it happened: While listening to Christmas music on a hellish loop at work, a random idea popped into my head, and produced a grinchy smile on my face. “What would I give someone I truly hated for Christmas?” By the end of my shift, the idea had evolved further into “What item, that only exists in the cinematic universe, would I gift to my arch nemesis?” After some brainstorming and note making, I had a pretty sizable list of deadly toys, pets, snacks, puzzles, and books that I had to narrow down.

In the end, I hacked the mighty list down to ten things representing nearly every category of Christmas gift you can imagine. And here they are in no particular order:

As Seen in: Last Action Hero (1993)

Sure it can allow you to hop into movies, but can it help you get out of a straight jacket while underwater?

As far as the gifts on this top ten list go, this magical movie ticket is easily one of the most diabolical! When handed off to your stalwart nemesis, he/she will at first be in complete disbelief that it is anything extraordinary. Use this to your advantage. Treat them to a film of your choice and then shove them through the screen and into the path of a blade-wielding maniac, the middle of a raging battle, or into the jaws of some man-eating monstrosity. It’s all up to you – the possibilities are endless!

What’s that? You’re not a fan of contemporary cinema? No worries! There are plenty of 35mm festivals and screenings across the country. Just find a show full of grindhouse flicks and your revenge is complete! And for those of you who are mad geniuses that simply loves irony, find a screening of LAST ACTION HERO and let the good times roll!

How it could backfire:
* The downside of the magical movie ticket is that it not only allows one to travel into a film, but it can also let the characters out. If your intended target manages to retain their wits and get a grasp on the situation, they may hop back into reality with some backup! Luckily movie logic does not prevail in the real world, so you may have a fighting chance. (Unless they bring out Chuck Norris.)

* The odds of letting some imaginary monstrosity lose in the real world is also a definite possibility. So don’t be that person: Plan ahead and use this dangerous MacGuffin responsibly.

Similar items you may consider gifting:


As seen in: The Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

“Percy the Puny Poinsetta ain’t got sh*t on me!”

Few gifts in this world are as dull and harmless as a houseplant. Aside from Christmas poinsettias, one should never really give a leafy-green present to anyone for the holidays. But what if the person you despise the most has a green thumb and considers themselves a horticultural genius? Well my friend, have I got the perfect idea for you!

This holiday season, why not deliver some laughs, musical accompaniment, and murder in the form of the talented Audrey II. This mysterious Venus(ian?) flytrap hails from the outermost reaches of the universe, and has a hankering for human flesh! Even if Audrey II doesn’t chow down on your mortal enemy, there is a good chance that they will go to prison for chopping up people to keep the fiendish plant fed!

How it could backfire:
* Though the Audrey II will undoubtedly grow faster than normal, it’ll still take a while before it reveals its intelligence to your target. When he/she discovers that it craves people, don’t be too shocked if you end up as fertilizer.

* Unless you step in and commit planticide, Audrey II will grow unchecked, sprout minions, and take over the world! This is one dangerous gift that you should definitely keep tabs on.

* The person you gave Audrey II to fails to feed or water the plant, thus killing the would-be “mean green motha from outer space.”

Similar items you may want to consider gifting:


As seen in: Thinner (1996)

Warrant’s “Cherry Pie” ignites this poor bastard’s PTSD now.

Here is yet another seemingly harmless gift that will visit a horrifying revenge upon the person who has wronged you. But these things don’t grow on trees, so you’ll have to hire a gypsy to put a “wasting-whammy” on a delicious baked good. If that option is not available, accidentally run over a gypsy’s relative, get cursed, hire a hitman to force them to remove the curse, then have said curse transplanted into a delicious pie. If you follow these easy steps, you will finally be able to feed the cursed pie to your adversary. It’s that easy!

How it could backfire:
* The person that the pie is intended for either throws it out, or worse yet, gives it to someone you actually care about.

* You may run the risk of getting cursed after eating the re-gifted pie. Hopefully you realize your folly before you are reduced to a seventy pound sack of bones.

Similar items you may want to consider gifting:


As seen in: The Video Dead (1987)

Don’t touch that dial… or this zombie will bite your fingers off!

Electronics are always a popular present during the holidays, and nothing says “I love you” like a new television! And nothing says “I despise you and everything you stand for” like a junky old boob tube from the early 80s! That is unless the person you gift it to is a nostalgia-junky with a fondness for outdated electronics.

All you have to do is let him/her plug this bad boy in, and the TV will do the rest as it unexpectedly vomits out a pack of murderous zombies! Once bored, the zombies head back into the TV, leaving behind absolutely no zombie residue! They do however leave behind violent, unexplained deaths that will shake up the community…

How it could backfire:
*The person you gave the TV to stashes it in the attic or garage, next to an old mirror. Because the “video dead” don’t like to look at themselves in a reflective surface, they will never exit the TV.

* The TV is tossed out on the curb and the zombies make their exit. The odds are good that they will find your intended victim, but they’ll also wander around the neighborhood and may pay you a visit as well. If you’re going to utilize this cursed artifact, make sure you have a way of trapping the zombies in a small, enclosed space so that they go crazy and devour themselves.

Similar items you may want to consider gifting:


As seen in: Hardware (1990)

Few things are as patriotic as an American-made murder-bot!

Finding the right gift can be difficult, especially for people who are hard to buy for. That’s when you take a good look around for something that is truly unique, that you can’t find in just any store. And that’s when you find it, buried in the post-apocalyptic sands of “The Cursed Earth:” A bad-ass robot skull!

After a bit of research, you discover that it’s part of a suspended line of MARK 13 robots, which have the ability to self-repair, recharge from any nearby electrical sources, and kill the everliving shit out of anything! With this in mind, you gladly present it to your non-friend, with hopes that the robot quietly recharges and rebuilds itself, before violently eliminating the giftee. Little do they know that the awesome paper weight you supplied them is a nearly unstoppable killing machine!

How it could backfire:
* The robot head could manage to build itself a body out of nearby objects before you give it away as a Christmas present. (Probably while you’ve got images of sugar plums dancing in your head.) If it manages to do this, odds are you won’t live to see tomorrow.

* Also, once it gets mobilized the MARK 13 is pretty unpredictable and it might just come looking for you! Perhaps you should have just left it in the desert…

Similar items you may want to consider gifting:


As seen in: The Puppet Master series (1989 – 2018)

Fun Fact: Metallica’s song “Master of Puppets” was inspired by the Puppet Master films. Fun Fact #2: I just made that up.

If there’s one thing that most people love getting on Christmas, it’s toys! Even as we get older, we still desire to obtain some sort of plaything, usually under the guise of it being a “collectible” that we will merely put on display. If you’re looking for some sort of plaything for the toy collector you love to hate, why not gift them the ultra-rare line of Andre Toulon puppets?

Created in the 1940s, and imbued with sentient life via Egyptian magic, these lethal puppets all pack a punch: Pinhead is the muscle, Blade stabs with style, Ms. Leech has the kiss of death, Torch is a hothead, Tunneler is the ultimate driller killer, and Six-Shooter has thirty-six reasons not to mess with him! These small soldiers are the ultimate assassins, and that very special someone’s eyes will open wide (in terror!) when they see Toulon’s toys in action!

How it could backfire:
* The problem with dealing with sentient playthings like this, is that they can think for themselves. If you happen to slight them in any way, they could very well retaliate. Dealing with one at a time isn’t a problem, but the Toulon puppets prefer to act as a team. Treat them with respect!

* There’s always that small chance that the person you gifted the puppets to manages to win them over somehow. That means you’ll have to be nice to them to avoid a puppet reprisal!

Similar items you may want to consider gifting:


As seen in: The Hellraiser series (1987 – 2018)

The Lament Configuration, or as I like to call it, “Satan’s Rubik’s Cube.”

So the person you want to buy for is picky as hell. They don’t like plants, don’t want pets, aren’t big into reading, don’t watch many movies, and are on a gluten free diet. What’s a vengeful holiday shopper to do?! Well it turns out that they are big into puzzles, so you head out to a local antique store and discover a strange, ornate puzzle box. You snap it up, try to figure it out yourself (then later realize that you’re luckily too dumb to solve it), and do a quick Google search.

As it turns out, your newly purchased present is just what you were looking for! The Lament Configuration is a puzzle box that, when solved, will unleash a gang of S&M demons into your living room! And whosoever is holding the puzzle box when Pinhead and his Cenobite friends stroll into our world, will have their soul torn apart! Wrap that thing up and hand it off quick!

How it could backfire:
* When dealing with anything involving pure evil, demons, and Hell, there’s always a catch. Odds are that somehow, maybe not today, and maybe not tomorrow, you’ll end up dancing amidst fire and brimstone for all eternity.

* There’s a slight chance that your grudge could, you know, bring about HELL ON EARTH.

* There’s also the risk of someone returning from Hell to repay your generosity, either as a flesh-absorbing skeleton or a Cenobite.

Similar items you may want to consider gifting:


As seen in: The Phantasm series (1979 – 2016)

The sphere’s menace is undercut by the fact that it looks like a Christmas ornament with two forks glued to it.

Ok, it’s time to get a little tricky. Few things are as memorable, and terrifying, as the Tall Man’s patented spheres o’ fear. These little doodads fly around and indiscriminately attack any living thing they detect. Their favorite method of murder is to embed themselves in the forehead of a victim and drill into the brain!

But how do you package such a violent and unpredictable interdimensional doohickey? Wrap it up in an empty Fushigi ball box of course! While the person you give it to might be underwhelmed by their gift, curiosity will get the best of them in the end. They’ll open up the box and suffer the worst headache they’ve had in their entire lives!

How it could backfire:

*The Phantasm sphere is a mindless drone that will attack anything. If you’re not careful you’ll have one drilling through your skull before you even start gift-wrapping.

Safety Tip: If a silver ball is involved, a sturdy helmet and some quick ducking should be more than adequate to survive if it takes flight prematurely. However if it’s a golden sphere… you’re pretty much screwed.

Also, the ball will stop flying around and trying to kill you if it is embedded in flesh! Try holding a large rib roast, rack of lamb, whole fryer chicken, or a stray cat in front of you when the sphere makes its charge!

Similar items you may want to consider gifting:


As seen in: Gremlins (1984) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990)


Usually pets are a bad Christmas gift idea, especially for children, because they lose interest quickly and don’t really care about feeding their goldfish until after it’s too late. But how can you possibly go wrong with a Mogwai?! It’s adorable, super low maintenance (it only comes with three rules!), cute, loving, peaceful, and [insert another synonym for cute here].

Even the most jaded person can’t help but fawn over the delightful cuteness of the mystical creature, and though you take “great pains” to stress those three important rules, the person you gave it to is still totally set up to fail. As history has shown us, unless you are a half-blind Chinese shopkeeper that deals in dusty antiques, you are totally ill-equipped to handle a Mogwai.

How it could backfire:
* The moron you just gave the joyous ball of fur to, kills the Mogwai by taking it outside in broad daylight.

* They end up trying to give the Mogwai a bath, resulting in dozens of new ones. After quickly losing track of the numerous little critters, a massive wave of calamities (caused by vicious green monsters) befalls everyone living in a twenty mile radius. Congrats, you’ve just helped introduce an invasive species that’s worse than the Cane Toad: The Grem-pocalypse has begun.

Similar items you may want to consider gifting:


As seen in: The Evil Dead series (1981 – 2018), Necronomicon (1994).

The Necronomicon is actually an ancient guide to dealing with cataracts.

Well, I’ve covered every type of gift you could give someone for the holidays, so I suppose that leaves us with only one more option: Books! If you’re looking to utterly ruin the Christmas (and life) of a history buff/bookworm, there’s nothing that’ll get the job done better than the infamous Necronomicon Ex Mortus.

Inked in blood, bound in human flesh, and filled with all sorts of demonic incantations (and possibly recipes), this ancient tome is guaranteed to give your frenemy one Hell of a holiday surprise. The only problem? It’s written in a long dead language. To make up for this, you’ll have to be really thoughtful and have someone translate it for you. (Preferably in print as reciting the passages from the book could be hazardous to one’s health.)

Hand over the book and translations with a huge red bow and then quickly take a leave of absence to handle some “urgent family business” before things get crazy. Also, be sure to snag those pesky lost pages of the book with spells that can send the evil back in time to be dealt with by The Chosen One. You can never be too careful.

How it could backfire:

* You decide to include an audio translation of the book and stupidly listen to it on the drive over, resulting in your own demonic possession.

* With the translations, the giftee (who as it turns out, is a huge D&D nerd) may utilize the book to raise an army of the dead in order to conquer the world as a self-made Necromancer.

Similar items you may want to consider gifting:

Merry Christmas Vault Dwellers, and thanks for reading! I truly hope you enjoyed this list, and wish you all a wonderful holiday season! And by all means, feel free to share what fictional gifts of doom you would bestow upon people you don’t particularly care for! Also, be sure to click on the banner below to see all of the other articles contributed to 2013’s 25 Days of Shit-Mas collaboration!

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