But that's not exactly what they were looking for. Man Crates is a company that puts together manly gift crates that must be opened with a crowbar. The themed crates range from customized bar sets to zombie apocalypse survival kits. They challenged me to concoct a crate specifically designed to help you survive a horror movie. They didn't offer me any kind of compensation in return, but I decided to go for it because A) They're a really cool company and I'd be super stoked to receive any one of their crates as a gift, and B) Because it sounded like fun.
The topic was really wide open, so to focus this post, I've given myself a few ground rules:
1) The crate will be specific to surviving a SLASHER flick--there are way too many horror subgenres to create an all-purpose kit, and I wouldn't have the first idea of what to put in a violent haunting kit.
2) No weapons--Sure, that would be the first thing you'd want, but it's too easy. Sure, I'll take a flamethrower, a Desert Eagle for each hand, and a box of grenades. Sorry, but the real horror movie survivor needs to improvise their own weapons.
3) I tried to make it plausible that Man Crates could actually put all these items in a crate. Therefore, no jetpacks, no crotch rockets, and no magic wands.
4) I wish to stress that because most slasher film survivors are female (final girls, if you will) please consider this a (Wo)Man Crate as well.
Without further ado, I Present the Montana Mancave Massacre Mancrate:
Item #1: LED Flashlight
So, this is a slasher movie--obviously it's going to be dark, most likely you'll be in the woods or at least an unfamiliar place. Sure, the dude coming at you with a branch saw is dangerous, but do you realize the amount of damage you can do to yourself bumbling around in the dark? A light source is a must.
But wait, there's more! If you've been keeping up with flashlight technology, you're probably aware that modern LED flashlights can pack a whole lot of blindness into a tiny, energy-efficient frame. Go with a flashlight of 2000 lumens or more and you'll blind that maniac, giving you a much-needed advantage. Seriously, shine this puppy directly in their eyes and they'll be seeing spots for a good 15 minutes.
Let's not stop there. The Cree flashlight pictured above also has a waterproof casing of aircraft-grade aluminum, 5 brightness modes, 4 metal spikes for self-defense, and an alarm to alert people to your location. Or if you want to get hardcore and go hands-free, you could always go with the 5000-lumen headlamp.
Item #2: Make sure to bring your CAT
You'll want to select a brand that goes on the same way for both arms and legs, because seriously, when you're bleeding to death, you're not going to remember two separate application techniques.
Also, in the spirit of improvised weapons, you could probably strangle someone with it.
That's all well and good for your extremities, but what if you get stabbed in the gut? That leads us to:
Item #3: Quick Clot
There's a good reason cops and soldiers carry this stuff on them at all times. It will save your freakin' life--simple as that. A roll of QuikClot gauze contains an inert mineral called kaolin that initiates blood clotting and can achieve hemostasis in as little as 3 minutes.
Do be aware that this is a temporary measure and you won't have all night to get to the hospital. It will save your life if you suffered your grievous wound while luring your pursuer into an industrial meat grinder. But if he's still giving chase after you've found time to apply QuikClot, you may not have much fight left in you.
Item #4: Cell phone signal booster
We all know the killing won't start until you're safely within a cell phone dead zone. Here's where you turn the tables on your own personal Leslie Vernon. Sure he's planned your slaughter oh so carefully, mapping out the exact limits of the cellular reception in his killing grounds. But did he consider every angle? This might just give you the advantage you need to survive.
Call a tow truck and GTFO before he can even unsheath his elk-gutter.
Item #5: Survival Knife
What, are you going up against a machete-weilding ex-wrestler with this tiny pick-stick? Hells no. But might you use it to cut through your duct tape bonds? Certainly. Could you possibly sharpen a stick into a lethal spear with it? Why yes! There are literally millions of uses for a blade beyond driving it through your would-be killer's pig mask.
And as a bonus, you could also drive it through your would-be killer's pig mask.
This particular survival knife comes wrapped with a length of all-purpose paracord (another must) and a fire-starter tool.
Item #6: A good pair of gloves
Never underestimate the importance of your fingers. When all else fails, you may find yourself pummeling your assailant with only your fists. Your fingers will get bloodied, bruised, and possibly broken. And have you ever seen a horror movie survivor defeat the villain with punches? Never. You'll have plenty more escaping to do after the fisticuffs, and if your hands are through, so are you. I recommend finding yourself a good pair of tactical gloves with hard polymer knuckle plating and cushioned insides to keep your hand in one piece.
But seriously, why mess around? Go whole hog and get yourself a nice pair of slash-proof sleeves. Remember, unprotected skin is a slasher's playground.
Item #7: Knee/Elbow pads
Item #8: Tactical goggles
The one piece of gear that is absolutely essential if you find yourself in a Lucio Fulci movie. Eye trauma was the man's bread and butter. They also protect your eyes from arterial spray should the person next to you have his throat slashed. Add a steel mesh face mask if you want to look super-intimidating (although I'm not sure Jason's going to be deterred).
Item #9: (Optional) Foldable Grappling Hook
Let's be honest, you've always wanted one of these daddies.
Batman's got one, you're gonna want one.
While this might not be the most useful item in your personal bug-out bag, it will be just the ticket when you are trapped in a pit and told to put the lotion in the basket. And as survivalists everywhere will tell you, it's better to have a grappling hook and not need it, than need one and not have it.
Item #10: (Extremely Optional) Autograph book
If you can survive a night with Michael Meyers AND manage to escape with his autograph, there's a horde of horror fans who would pay top dollar for it on Ebay. If you've got to go through Hell, you might as well make some scratch off it.
And there you have it. Now let's all sit back and pray that the good folks at Man Crates actually make this an official crate. And send me one.