Written by Jonathan Wojcik

Cardboard Creeps!

  Jointed, cardboard creatures are up there with all the most ubiquitous Halloween items. Anywhere you can purchase artificial cobwebs and spooky window clings, you'll probably find cardboard skeletons and monsters with jointed limbs. This year, I came across an exceptionally weird set at "Country Time Pottery."

   Last year, I found a cut-out from the same exact store of a pumpkin headed skeleton with a face plagiarized from film star Jack Skellington. This year, the previously nude not-Jack returns in full scarecrow garb, menacingly armed with a sickle. You just dare point out that he's a cheap, knockoff product. He'll carve your face into a crude facsimile of a Disney property! Full body shot here.

   Our second creep is this oddly violet tinted werewolf, who leers at passersby with more of a lecherous grin than a predatory snarl, which you know is fairly appropriate for wolves if you've ever watched old Tex Avery cartoons or been anywhere near a website with "fur" in its name. Full body shot.

   This "bat skeleton" is less humanoid than his pals, possessing a human skull despite accurate bat bones everywhere else. You would think the solid black was only meaningless, empty space for the bones to be printed on, but it also forms a set of pointed ears, which forces me to accept the blackness as an active part of this monster, a membranous skin of living shadow.

   Last but not least is what clearly represents the skeletonized carcass of the recently deceased Michael Jackson, resurrected for a reenactment of Thriller. Isn't it still a tad too soon for this? I guess dollar store Halloween decorations play by their own rules. Here's the full body shot. Unfortunately, none of these characters can bend their legs separately at the hips, so poses are sorely limited. To recreate any authentic MJ dance moves you would probably need to cut his crotch in half.

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