Sometimes, clicking through a shopping site, you may see a piece of merchandise for a film and think to yourself “who would buy that?” Rest assured, however, superfans have their credit cards at the ready, happy to buy just about anything that connects to their favorite film or TV show.
A better question for some of these offerings might be: who came up with that? These 13 items are some that prove that if there is a fan who could conceivably spend money, there are people who will make just about anything to try and get it. The bounds of public decency have no place here (although, for the sake of this list, we stayed away from anything truly R-rated), as we round up some of the most appalling lapses in marketing taste we could find.
Here is Screen Rant's 13 Most Offensive Pieces of Movie & TV Merchandise.
14 Pop-Culture Coffins
A funeral is one of the few events in a human life that remains an entirely somber, formal affair. If decorum has any place in the world, it’s when mourning the loss of a loved one.
Unless, of course, you are a hard-core Trekkie who has planned ahead and decided that even in death, you just can’t leave your friends and family in any doubt as to which TV series you loved the most during your time on this earth. In which case, simple wooden caskets aren’t going to cut it.
Luckily, Brand Memorials (previously Eternal Image) is here to make sure that everyone in the cemetery knows which movie you liked most. They sell both caskets and urns in a range of pop-culture themes, but are best known for their Star Trek line (although it doesn't appear as if they're selling them at the moment). Because why stop at trying to sell to fans while they are alive?
13 Edward Cullen Wall Decal
As fans of the tween “romance” series Twilight know, Edward Cullen is a moody-yet-attractive immortal vampire, and he shows his love for women in some truly, deeply, creepy ways. This has inspired many a young woman to dreamily sigh over thoughts of being stalked. But what if that just isn’t enough for you?
Well, then you are in luck! This Edward Cullen wall decal lets you attach a life-size silhouette of the vamp to your bedroom wall. Now, if you wake in the middle of the night, you can drift back off to sleep feeling spied on by a hundred year old teenager. How… peaceful?
12 Human Centipede Family Car Decal
I’ll admit, it’s hard to find tasteful merchandise for The Human Centipede. Movies about people attached via their intestines doesn’t exactly scream “classy.” However, this Etsy seller has set a new low with the creation of the Human Familypede car window decal.
Based on those cutesy little stick figures designed to let the world know just how many children you have smilingly brought into the world, this disturbing creation tells other drivers that you are either a horror fan, or a truly messed-up individual. (Or both. Who knows with this one?!) Here, Dad, Mom, teenage son, toddler, and even the family cat have been human-centipeded together, because what better way to celebrate your family than by imagining them sewn together by a disturbed ex-doctor? And then forcing the poor motorist stuck behind you to stare at it for the duration of your next journey? Ahhh, family.
11 Celebrity Underwear
Not to get too vulgar here, but it seems that you can get pretty much anyone's face on your crotch these days! That is, you can get them printed on your undies. Let’s not think about this one too deeply, and assume that fans just want a way to wear their fandom every day, even at work where it’s not appropriate to go to meetings with a Game of Thrones t-shirt on.
That said, there’s more than enough subtle fandom jewelry and accessories that having actors’ faces printed on your gusset isn’t entirely necessary. And, of course, we have to wonder what exactly the actors themselves think of it all! I’m not sure that Robert Pattinson or Jason Momoa would be keen on these Edward Cullen and Khal Drogo – especially as the Twilight offering also has an image on the inside of the undies.
10 Harry Potter and the Vibrating Broomstick
Back in 2003, the ridiculously naïve minds at Mattel product development decided that a really interactive Nimbus 2000 (that’s Harry’s first racing broom, btw) would be a fantastic new toy! They came out with a plastic, battery-powered broom that includes sound effects… and that vibrates when the child puts it between their legs.
Almost immediately, reviews started flooding into Amazon- most of them overwhelmingly positive. A little too positive. It seems that all the women in the household just loved the new Nimbus! If these (joke) reviews didn’t clue in the manufacturers, the fact that the toys started appearing for sale in sex shops would have. The Nimbus was quickly recalled, leaving us wondering how on earth that was approved in the first place?
9 Watchmen Condoms
It’s wonderful to wear your fandom on your sleeve, but this might be taking it just a little far!
Watchmen created a promotional collectible condom (that’ll look lovely next to your action figures and rare comics) that featured a blood-splattered smiley face on the front, the film logo and premiere date on the back, and a blue condom inside along with the tagline “We’re society’s only protection.” Subtle.
Twilight was also rumored to have official condoms for sale, but less flashy ones (plain black, with the Twilight logo in silver on the wrapper). However, while there are mentioned on many sites, there’s little evidence that they were ever actually for sale, and this may be a hoax.
8 Suicide Berry Jewelry
The overwhelming popularity of the Hunger Games franchise makes it easy to forget that this is actually an incredibly brutal story about a group of teens trying to murder each other on live TV. The violence seemed to get a lot less attention than Katniss’ outfits (which actually mirrors the attitudes of the Capitol in the books), and fans scrambled to braid their hair and pick up Mockingjay pins.
However, if you really wanted to buy something that focuses on the death, rather than the rebellion, why not pick up one of the many variations on this Nightlock Berry Necklace? These berries appeared in the first arena, and after they were used to kill a contestant (ok, ok, accidentally), they formed the basis of the final scene; where Katniss and Peeta agree to commit suicide together rather than kill each other.
Who wouldn’t want a symbol of murder, desperation and suicide hanging around their neck?
7 Crucifix Nail Necklace
If there is one way to guarantee offensive merchandise, it’s to make it based on an offensive movie. The Passion of the Christ managed to upset pretty much everyone who watched it, so it’s actually a little surprising that anyone would think to make jewelry based on it. But, here we are.
Apparently, wearing crosses just isn’t enough for the hardcore fan, so you can purchase a necklace made to look like one of the nails that drove Jesus’ hands into the cross. Unlike the berry necklace above, this isn’t just a little tacky, it’s also downright ugly. And if that weren’t enough, it comes as part of a set, along with another “nail” bent into a ring, and one turned into a lapel pin.
6 Wall-Mounted Zombie Head
If some of these are just a tad too subtle for you (after all, not many people will be seeing those Watchmen condoms), there’s always a life-size rotting corpse head (and hand!) that you can mount on your wall to terrify houseguests.
Created for fans of The Walking Dead, these foam and resin zombie parts are all the more disturbing because they are impressively realistic- just look at that glistening blood! They’re also designed to look like the zombie in question is bursting through the wall to attack you, just in case a wall-mounted-corpse-head wasn’t quite creepy enough. A+ for craftsmanship, failing grade for thinking this one through (imagine coming home a bit tipsy and bumping into that in the gloom of the front hall!).
5 Ice Truck Killer Keychain
Serial killer-centric TV shows don’t exactly make it easy to create tasteful products, but there are plenty of Dexter products that manage it. Like these classic blood-slide coasters, or this adorable (and funny) “cereal killer” spoon.
This keychain was not one of them.
Based on the character of the Ice Truck Killer, Dexter’s psychopathic, prostitute-murdering brother from the first season, the keychain features a teeny tiny prosthetic arm wrapped in a bow with different colors painted on each nail. It seems cute, until you think about the fact that it’s actually a reference to women who were butchered and drained of blood to taunt Dexter.
4 Weeping Angel My Little Pony
It’s no secret that the My Little Pony fandom can go to some dark and scary places, and we aren’t going to get into most of that.
These little guys are worth a special mention though, as they combine MLP with (quite possibly) the most terrifying creatures ever faced by the Doctor in the entire run of Doctor Who: weeping angels. If you are one of those who doesn’t watch the show, and therefor harbors no irrational fears about statues, let’s explain why a trio of stone ponies is quite so disturbing.
The Weeping Angels look like statues, and can only move when you aren’t looking at them (which includes blinking). Rather than kill you, they send you into the past, so that if you reach “your” time again, it is as an old, dying person. It may not sound like the stuff of nightmares, but if you watch the episode Blink, you’ll understand. You’ll also understand why combining these horrifying (and toothy) monsters with adorable symbols of all that is cute and pink and happy in the world is just a horrible, horrible idea.
3 Edward Cullen Body Pillow
Apparently there is just something about Twilight that inspires its fans to create vaguely creepy merchandise. This time, it’s not undies, condoms, or wall decals, but “manllows” – described as “half man, half pillow”. This variation on the body pillow (which adds a shoulder to lean on and an arm to cuddle under), looks like the top half of a human torso (if that torso had no joints and a disturbingly long neck).
That’s not all though! These manllows come with faces printed on them, so that you can feel like you are cuddling up to Edward Cullen or Jacob Black. Both of whom look a little like they are glaring at you, just to complete the overall terrifying feel.
2 Death of Spock Christmas Ornament
Nothing says Christmas like a man watching his friend die a horrible, painful death through a pane of glass.
At least, that’s what the makers of this charming ornament thought. Or perhaps they just thought that Trekkies would buy anything with Spock’s face on it. Either way, you can now hang Kirk’s grief from your twinkling tree this year. The piece captures the moment in The Wrath of Khan when Spock sacrifices himself in order to save the Enterprise and her crew – a wonderful, classic moment, true. But not one that you really want to be dangling next to a candy cane during the holiday season.
Of course, there are plenty more tasteless and ill-conceived products out there, and we would love to hear about them! Have you seen anything mind-blowingly offensive on Etsy recently? Noticed something while you were shopping that made you do a double take? Comment and let us know!