#6. Romatron Personal Protection Keychain
Grab your keys and hit yourself in the face with them. Hurts, doesn't it? That is the awesome might of The Romatron. But wait, The Romatron comes with a Polymer Ball on a Steel Cable! Doesn't seem like much? Here's an excerpt from the FAQ:
"Won't using this against an attacker just make him mad?"
"No, hitting someone with a romatron will disable him, just as if you hit them with a baseball bat."
They also boast that, "Romatron is taught as part of Kuden Jutsu, a martial art recognized by the World Karate Organization," and we believe them. Jackie Chan could probably take out a whole bar full of guys armed with nothing but this thing. But let's face it, once you've grown bad-ass enough that you can take out a guy with your car keys and a rubber chew toy, you can pretty much use whatever happens to be laying around and don't need to make a special purchase.
#5. Ninja Key Chain
So, the keychain self defense industry seems to have a lot of products that only work if you're already Steven Segal. Otherwise you'd better hope your enemy is only 12-inches tall, or that this thing comes covered with poison.
Actually, if you're a guy, you're not hoping that at all. If you keep your keys in your front pocket, you've got several punctured scrotums in your future.
#4. Blast Knuckles
The ad says the Blast Knuckles are "perfect for joggers." So, you'll be running by the lake when some mugger makes their move. You raise your fist and ...
Oh, hell yes! That picture is actual, unmodified promotional material from a catalog. Holy shit! When you start shooting lightning bolts from your hands, you're taking it to a whole new level. Just $120 and you're in the same realm as mutants, elementals and Jedi masters!
It totally does that, right? And it's not just a shitty stun gun that you punch people with?
#3. The Sap Cap
The cap is, shall we say, rear heavy. Meaning, it has a lead weight stitched into the back, so you can grab the bill and then smack the shit out of your vict--uh, attacker.
Hats, traditionally, are meant to protect your head, not punch a hole in your Hypothalamus if you're too enthusiastic about putting it on. Note the distinct lack of human volunteers when it came time to photograph the thing up there.
#2. Screecher Alarm
We had assumed these personal alarms were meant to make the townspeople come running to your defense, but they seem to be selling this one as a Black Canary-style shriek that will actually incapacitate the attacker.
Note how neatly the wave of sonic doom moves in the bad guy's direction on the package. That kind of comic book science goes nicely with comic book psychology of hardcore criminals succumbing to a loud noise. Unless you happen to be fighting Daredevil, you'll be the one suffering from excruciating pain, as you're the one holding the screecher in your hand.
#1. Pulse Wave Myotron
The Pulse Wave Myotron, a little cheap-looking device that the manufacturers loudly insist is not a stun gun, allegedly "neutralized brain waves," particularly those in the "hypothalamic region" that "trigger hostility."
The Myotron made the infomercials circuit in the late '90s (it was apparently one of the few infomercials that featured a gang rape) and their website has gone dormant. But you can still get one apparently.
Neutralizing brainwaves sounds like a blast, until you realize the thing actually NEUTRALIZES YOUR BRAINWAVES. Does a brainwave neutralizer seem like something you want around the house? Granted, certain career choices make this prospect more enticing, but unless you write dick jokes at an abandoned warehouse for a living, you will probably want to steer way clear of this particular instrument of doom.
Rodion Medvedev has a column at RottenTomatoes.com, which you can generally expect to be updated soon after an especially shitty movie comes out in Israel.
If you liked that, you'll probably enjoy reading about more irresponsible behavior in our article on The Drunkest Generation: 10 Reasons Your Grandpa Could Drink You Under the Table. Or, enjoy an ad for a product that would give that tampon taser a run for its money. And be sure to check out our reasoned and entirely too detailed evaluation of the most pressing question of our time: should teachers bang their students?