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Screaming Kevin: a horrific piece of cultural ephemera

May 31, 2010

I have a guilty pleasure that some would call “antiquing.” Unlike the college prank of dumping flour on a sleeping victim’s face, this is the real deal, browsing those ubiquitous retailers of second-hand furniture, memorabilia, and forgettable pop culture.

In a recent trip to the Strathcona Antique Mall, I discovered this horrific gem of the early 90s — a Screaming Kevin doll from the Home Alone merchandising campaign. Coincidentally, a year earlier, I found (and purchased) this doll’s larger counterpart. Unlike that doll, however, which repeats half a dozen phrases from the film, all this lilliputian doppelganger can do is scream. And it’s not Macaulay Culkin’s trademark cry from the movie, either. Instead, it’s just an unholy, unnatural wail that’s halfway between  an autotuned Wilhelm scream and the sound a cat in heat makes when rubbing its nether regions against a rickety radiator.

The reason I didn’t also buy this doll was for preventative means. The only thing I want to do with this doll is give it to a child who has never even heard of Home Alone as his first and only toy. What a warped future that child would have after spending years with a tiny human, who, despite all best attempts, cannot be saved from its eternal plastic torment.

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