Sunday, January 20, 2008

The Perfect Gift (For the Budding Serial Killer in Your Life)

Do you know somebody who likes dolls, but also likes gruesome images of death? And are you always wondering what to get them for their birthday, since there's a conspicuous shortage of necro-Barbies on the market? Well, your problems are all solved, thanks to (what else?) the Internets. Psycho: meet Headless Historicals, a custom doll-maker who, as if that's not creepy enough in itself, specializes in recreating historical figures in whatever horrible manner they died. So you can decorate your kid's room with Isadora Duncan and a sky blue scarf around her skewed neck ("the longer end is stained with grease and tire marks"), or charred Joan of Arc, or Charlotte Corday holding her own severed head, so the children have something to dream about, snuggled real, real tight in bed. Nothing to fear: it's not like the dolls are possessed by the vengeful ghosts of their likenesses, coming alive when everybody's asleep for a midnight showing of Faces of Death. Still, I wouldn't want to meet the artisans, Shiva (really) and Garith (really), at the, uh... medieval festival, I guess. Or any of their 1,287 MySpace friends, either.

My favorite part of the site are the "Fun Pages," including the Violent History Bookstore and the indispensable Execution Device Dictionary. As your future World Emperor and El Presidente-For-Life, it's the first place I turn to when looking for ways to dispatch those who dare defy my iron-fisted rule. Roasting dissidents alive sounds like it could be "fun," but I have a feeling that spending a night alone with plastic Jayne Mansfield and her leaking doll-brains would make a worse punishment.