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10 Spooky Commercials Starring Horror Legend Vincent Price

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captainbijou.com, Youtube

From the 1930s through the 1980s, Vincent Price was an incredibly prolific actor, best known for his distinctively spooky voice, and his performances in a range of classic (and not-so-classic) horror movies.

Price appeared in everything from the original versions of House on Haunted Hill (1959), The Fly (1958), and House of Wax (1953) to 1959’s campy The Tingler, a novelty 3D movie in which theatergoers’ seats vibrated at scary moments throughout the film. His final on-film performance was in Tim Burton’s Edward Scissorhands (1990).

But the horror legend didn’t just appear in movies—Price was also a prolific commercial actor. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, Price lent his image or voice to ads for wine coolers, board games, candy bars, and even the American Dairy Association. Full of haunted mansions, spooky music, and terrifying wordplay (“prices that won’t scare you!”), most of the commercials put Price’s horror pedigree front and center. Check out 10 of our favorites.

1. TILEX

“It’s alive!” The mildew, that is. Fortunately, Vincent Price has the solution: Tilex instant mildew remover! It’ll rid your haunted mansion of even the most resilient mildews. 

2. THE ANTIQUE GUILD

This 1979 ad for antique furniture packs an impressive number of spooky jokes into just 30 seconds of airtime.

3. STAY ALIVE

Price plays up the creepiness for this 1978 spot for a Milton Bradley board game called Stay Alive. Sitting in a spooky castle on a dark and stormy night, Price warns viewers that the game can be “quite deadly.”

4. POLAROID VIDEOCASSETTES

Another haunted house commercial from 1984—this time for a hauntingly old-school product: videocassettes that clean your VCR as they play. 

5. PETER PAUL'S PEANUT BUTTER WITH NO JELLY

The all peanut butter “Peanut Butter With No Jelly” candy bar improved upon the classic PB&J by removing extraneous ingredients like bread and jelly.

6. SUN COUNTRY WINE COOLERS

In 1985, a company called Sun Country inexplicably decided to put Vincent Price in a polar bear costume and then play some old fashioned haunted house music to sell their wine coolers. 

7. THE ENCHANTED WORLD

Once again appearing in a spooky mansion, with spooky music in the background, Price advertises a not-particularly-spooky series of myths and legends for Time Life Books in this 1985 commercial. 

8. EASTER SEALS HALLOWEEN COUPONS

The “safe,” “fun” alternative to giving out actual candy on Halloween, the coupons are a worried parent’s dream.

9. CHIPS AHOY

Price lent his voice to this mysterious cookie commercial. 

10. THE AMERICAN DAIRY ASSOCIATION

Price appeared in this dairy commercial in 1982, warning consumers against “false” dairy products, and reminding them to look for the official “American Dairy Association” seal.

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Samsung’s Star Wars Vacuums Offer Everything You Want in a Droid
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Samsung

Hate housecleaning but love Star Wars? Samsung’s got the solution. In anticipation of December’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the newest film in the Star Wars saga, Samsung has transformed a limited number of its VR7000 POWERbot robot vacuum cleaners into two familiar faces from George Lucas’s legendary space opera: a Stormtrooper and Darth Vader (which comes with Wi-Fi connectivity and a remote control).

In order to create a unique device that would truly thrill Star Wars aficionados, Samsung consulted with fans of the film throughout each stage of the process. The result is a pair of custom-crafted robo-vacuums that fill your home with the sounds of a galaxy far, far away as they clean (when you turn Darth Vader on, for example, you'll hear his iconic breathing).

“We are very pleased to be part of the excitement leading up to the release of The Last Jedi and to be launching our limited edition POWERbot in partnership with Star Wars fans,” B.S. Suh, Samsung’s executive vice president, said in a press statement. “From its industry-leading suction power, slim design, and smart features, to the wonderful character-themed voice feedback and sound effects, we are confident the Star Wars limited edition of the VR7000 will be a big hit.”

Be warned that this kind of power suction doesn’t come cheap: while the Stormtrooper POWERbot will set you back $696, the Darth Vader vacuum retails for $798. Who knew the Dark Side was so sparkling clean?


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Tales from the Butterball Hotline
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It’s 8 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day and you just realized you forgot to thaw your turkey. What do you do?

Don’t panic. You just need to call 1-800-BUTTERBALL. Yes, the Turkey Talk-Line is real. And yes, they really do have poultry experts standing by to help you with your last-minute snafus, flubs, and foul-ups. If you wake up in a cold sweat at 2 a.m. thinking about salmonella or whether you can bathe your turkey with your toddler (see below), never fear—Butterball is there for you. And it's not just about Thanksgiving. The line is open in December, too, to help you with those holiday feasts as well.

When the hotline first opened up to panicked chefs in the early 1980s, a mere six “home economists” responded to 11,000 phone calls during November and December. These days, their staff has expanded to more than 50 and they answer more than 100,000 questions. 

Those staff members have heard it all, too. They get the typical questions you’d expect turkey experts to get, of course: How long will it take to thaw the turkey? How do I stuff a turkey? Are there any allergens in Butterball products? But there’s also the, um, unexpected.

Among the more questionable calls the turkey experts have received: “Can I brine my turkey in the washing machine?” and “The family dog is inside the turkey and can’t get out.” (It was a Chihuahua, in case you’re wondering, and the Butterball expert did manage to help the owners get the dog out safely.)

Another inexperienced caller worried that her turkey wouldn’t come out of the oven because she figured it was going to rise like bread does.

One Butterball employee actually stayed on the line while her caller walked through a grocery store and painstakingly picked out ingredients for his Thanksgiving dinner.

More recently, a hotline employee was surprised to hear from a wife who came home to find the turkey floating in the tub while her husband gave the kids a bath. Believe it or not, because the turkey hadn't been removed from the package, it was salvaged—though the kids complained about the chilly water.

Don’t feel bad if you have to call the Butterball hotline for assistance, though. Even President Bartlet knows when to call in the experts:

By the way, there’s also an option for those of you who prefer assistance in the form of written word: you can text your questions to 1-844-877-3456 through December 24. The company is also answering questions via its social media channels, including Facebook and Twitter. And they've recently added Spanish-speaking experts plus their first male turkey-talker.

This post originally appeared in 2011.

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