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Barbie and Ken Have Got Nothing on These Inanimate Killer Creations

Efficient horror is particularly effective when the images on the screen portray everyday objects everyone can find in their own home. As a result, cult films like Poltergeist, The Evil Dead and many other ’70s and ’80s horror movies followed the trend of effectively bring a plethora of inanimate objects to life, creeping the hell out of audiences. Despite the sheer terror they managed to create, other objects, which lead to more laughs than dread, were just as well, if not more, accepted.

To celebrate Warner Bros. bringing Barbie and Ken to life in theaters this weekend, we thought now was a better time than any to take a look at some of our favourite inanimate objects brought to life on the big screen to killer effect.


Trilogy of Terror (1975)

Killer dolls are as omnipresent in movies as horsemeat in Tesco burgers. There’s everyone’s favourite doll, Chucky, and all the sinister puppets in The Puppetmaster, but, topping the list of horror dolls were those found in the final segment of the made-for-TV film, Dan Curtis’ Trilogy of Terror.

Karen Black plays Amelia finds a bargain in a Zuni fetish doll and can’t resist buying it, despite a scroll attached to it warning of how the doll is in fact a vessel containing the spirit of a Zuni hunter named ‘He Who Kills.’ No sooner does she get home with her new toy ‘He Who Kills’ comes to life to do exactly what it says on the tin, chasing Amelia with a knife, topping at nothing to kill her and surpassing all of her attempts to smash, drown and even cook him.


Christine (1983)

Opening the film with great track that is “Bad to the Bone” you know you’re in for quite the ride. This Stephen King based film, directed by John Carpenter, follows the geeky underdog Arnie (Keith Gordon) who purchases, not a doll in this case, but rather a car that is possessed. The film puts across the message as to how much we tend to put stock in our possessions as the new purchase helps convert Arnie into man he secretly yearned to be, or so he thought.

While the narrative employed does seem to clumsily skip over how the car transforms Arnie into this reformed, maniacal character, it must be said that Christine certainly showcases just how adept Carpenter was at setting just the right moods in his films, particularly in his method of taking a story less or more seriously, as required. You’ll leave this film with a big smile on your face and, if you haven’t already seen it, you’re sure to find yourself feeling possessed by Christine.

Don’t take my word for it. Watch it and tell me if you didn’t want Christine to win as she did battle with the bulldozer.


Rubber (2010)

Ever since it screened at Cannes, Quentin Dupieux‘s tongue -fimly-in-cheek horror/comedy Rubber garnered positive buzz on the film festival circuit for its more than innovative approach to the genre leaving more than the odd critic delighted yet dumbfounded.

As long as you are prepared to go into this film accepting it for what it is – pure, offbeat, tongue-in cheek, often slapstick comedy – then you’re in for some serious fun. Don’t be put off by the storyline: Rubber follows a car tyre named Robert who is out for revenge and about to embark on a serious killing spree thanks to his psychic mind exploding powers.

If you’ve seen it you’ve probably seen it various times to try and get your head around the whole bizarre story. If you haven’t, we can’t recommend it enough, and you’re in for a serious surprise.


The Refrigerator (1991)

If you think about it, most of us don’t tend to treat our fridges too well. The smells they have to put up is more than 99% of all humans would be prepared to stand for. Tt’s no surprise then that Nicholas Jacobs came up with the idea for a killer refrigerator.

Said film relates the tale of a fridge from hell, where, let’s face it, the people down there will be in need of a cool drink from time to time. Funnily enough, it’s a local plumber who diagnoses the fridges roots and no sooner has the fridge’s secret been revealed, he goes off his rocker, bringing all other manner of kitchen appliance pilgrims to join him on his bloody crusade.

Go root this out if you can: No survivors. Only Leftovers.


The Mangler (1995)

Stephen King is exactly that – a king when it comes to inanimate killing machines.

Directed by Tobe Hooper, who provided more than impressive inanimate horror goodness with Poltergeist, the story follows Laundromat owner Bill Gartley (Robert Englund) who must scavenge for as many victims as he can find to quench a laundry-folding machine’s thirst for human blood.

Although Hooper’s adaptation lost a lot of the terror King’ve novel created, the film certainly does provide some well needed campy goodness if it’s more of a laugh that you are craving for.


Poltergeist II: The Other Side (1986)

Writing this list helped me understand exactly why I never wanted to have to wear braces when I was a kid. It wasn’t because they made me speak with a lisp, got all clogged up with bits of food and made it almost impossible to brush my teeth. No, no and no! The real reason was that they have a habit of killing little boys. Poltergeist II more than proved this point when the deadly spirits decided to posses little Robbie’s braces.

As you can see in the video below, the braces managed to creep out of his mouth and pull him all the way up to the ceiling before plugging themselves into the plug socket. This was the highlight of all the inanimate objects putting in an appearance in this movie but I’m sure fans of the film will have fond memories of flying chainsaw, a demonic mop, and a bizarre one-eyed tequila worm.


The Stuff (1985)

I never thought I’d hear myself saying this and you probably never expected to read it but, frozen yoghurt is the deadliest of killers.

Sure it’s low in calories, refreshing to your taste buds, especially during this UK heat wave but, if you won’t take my word for it then you need to watch The Stuff. The film relates how a strange yet delicious gooey substance starts bubbling up from the earth. It’s mouthwatering taste means that it’s not long before someone has the bright idea of marketing it as an all new frozen dessert which hits stores only to become a national sensation, possessing the minds of everyone who eats it.

Get ready for a joy as innocent families become converted into ‘Stuffies’ as the fad food threatens to destroy anyone who tries to save humanity from a sweet tooth.


Also worthy of mention:

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes (1978), The Shaft (2001), The Fear (1995), The Gingerdead Man (2005), Mirrors (2008), The Ruins (2008), Street Trash (1987), The Happening (2008).

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