Where Have You Gone, Darren McGavin and/or Andrew McCarthy? Our nation is being attacked by department store dummies


Sean Higgins sends in this report from the front lines in the battle against evil mannequins:

Diana Newton…said she was ambushed by a legless female mannequin at the [JC Penney's] Westminster Mall store, a skirmish that left her with a bloodied scalp, a cracked tooth, recurring shoulder pain and numbness in her fingers.

The alleged attack was the latest in a string of mannequin mayhem incidents nationwide.

"There are a slew of lawsuits like this," said mannequin manufacturer Barry Rosenberg, who joked that stores should run background checks on dummies before letting them mingle with shoppers.

Though most mannequin attacks involve customers getting injured by falling dummies that can weigh as much as 100 pounds, there's also one lawsuit from a woman who claims she contracted herpes from the lips of a promiscuous CPR-Annie doll.

Intriguingly, in French, the language of haute couture, mannequin means "fashion model." Have the whereabouts of the tempestuous beauty Naomi Campbell been accounted for?

Since this LA Times article on mannattacks features the phrases "patched her gash," "strange sensations in her hands," and "the blow also cracked a molar," among others, I suspect they're really referring euphemistically to some weird new sex act. Sure, mannequin attacks are good for a laugh, but I still remember the killer mannequins episode of Kolchak: The Night Stalker, so on this grave issue I remain as open to the evidence as Art Bell.

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  1. You could also add that Dr. Who has battled deadly mannequins: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auton

    Autons are essentially life sized plastic dummies, animated by the Nestene Consciousness, an extraterrestrial, disembodied gestalt intelligence which first arrived on Earth in hollow plastic meteorites. The name comes from “Auto Plastics”, the company that was infiltrated by the Nestenes and subsequently manufactured their Auton shells in Spearhead.

    Autons conceal deadly weapons within their hands, which can kill or vaporize their targets. The typical Auton does not look particularly realistic, resembling a mannequin, being robotic in its movements and mute. However, more sophisticated Autons can be created, which look and act human except for a slight sheen to the skin and a flat sounding voice.

  2. The Autons appeared in the first episode of the New Dr. Who. They could produce guns from their arms and such. The third act was pretty nightmarish.
    I think that Night Stalker episode is on SciFi today.
    There was a mannequin Twilight Zone episode, they didn’t attack, but you know it’s just a matter of time.

  3. Damn, Jeff P. beat me to the mention of the “Twilight Zone” episode, where the mannequin is taking her month as a human and doesn’t want to go back. There was also the Talkie Teena episode where the little girl’s doll murders Telly Savalas.

  4. Evil dolls are a seperate problem, one far worse than walking mannequins. Let’s face it, only some mannequins are evil, while ALL dolls are out to kill us, as Barbarella, Dangerous Toys, and Chucky have proven.
    Next comes ventriloguist dummies. Always trouble. Never trust them.
    And if you ever see a Zuni Warrior doll. Just burn it. Quickly.

    Some racist profilers may clump mannequins, dolls and dummies into one group. It helps to know your inanimate enemy.

  5. Are dummies more dangerous with, or without, a monocle?

  6. Sure Cavanuagh, but does Reason.com have Art Bell’s cool 70’s bumpers coming out of commericals like “Ebony Eyes” by Bob Welch and “Blown it all sky high” by jigsaw?

  7. Darren McGavin so rules. To place him in a paragraph that includes Andrew McCarthy is demeaning and an insult to the dead. That’s especially unwise with McGavin, who has better odds than usual of coming back as the undead to unleash justice on your disrespectful self.

    Fragil?–must be Italian!

  8. The dolls, dummies and mannequins will strike an alliance with with all the murderous cars, trucks and killdozers, while a cymbal playing monkey bangs away. The Axis of Horror Film Evil will be complete.

    Have there been any horror stories where plush toys come to life?

  9. “Have there been any horror stories where plush toys come to life?”

    Jeff, please don’t give ’em any ideas.

  10. “Here’s your problem. Someone set this thing to ‘evil’.”

  11. Have there been any horror stories where plush toys come to life?

    “The Girls Next Door” comes to mind.

  12. Don’t forget about the doll…er…action figure that Meatwad had.

    Happy Time Harry.

  13. There was also the Talkie Teena episode where the little girl’s doll murders Telly Savalas.

    Well, you can hardly issue a blanket condemnation of baby dolls for that. Who wouldn’t murder Telly Sevalas, given half a chance?

  14. Aw darn. I was going to mention the Dr Who episode.

    Someone beat me to it.

  15. Have there been any horror stories where plush toys come to life?

    Wasn’t that what happened in Gremlins? I haven’t seen it since I was 7 so I might be wrong.

  16. Darren McGavin so rules.

    Yeah, I know. I was psyched when I heard they were going to do a revised version of Night Stalker and hoped it would retain the wit and charm of the original. You can imagine my disappointment when I all I got was yet another X-Files rip-off with Kolchak being reduced to a Fox Mulder clone (i.e. emotionless, dry, boring) played by a lifeless Stuart Townsend.

    Thank goodness it didn’t last 10 episodes. It wasn’t a cancellation, it was a mercy killing.

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