Two lidless, unblinking eyes stare out from the TV screen. You change the channel, but the same hideous, hairless creature appears again and again above words of warning. A chill runs up your spine. Instinctively, you look around to make sure your child, girlfriend, or golden retriever is safe. But wait — this isn't a horror flick. It's a campaign ad.
Halloween arrived early this year, with Florida politicians doing their damnedest to scare us shitless ahead of the November 2 election. We've pulled the top five most terrifying videos from the 2010 campaign crypt. Voters beware:
• Amendment 4, 28 days later: All Annie Fleeting wanted was to turn a rundown "bongo bar" into a luxury resort replete with jobs for dozens on St. Pete Beach. Instead, a local version of Amendment 4 has ravaged the town like a zombie virus, according to this ad by the Citizens for Lower Taxes and a Stronger Economy. Florida could be next. Don't go into the church, Annie. It's full of undead bongo hippies!
• Kill Grandpa: Proponents of Amendment 4 are employing scare tactics of their own. One ad by Florida Hometown Democracy shows "out-of-control developers" bulldozing a voting booth with a senior citizen inside. Take-home message: Stay the hell away from the polling center!
• Road Rage: In another threat of vehicular homicide, Democrat Joe Garcia is running an ad portraying his Republican opponent for Congress, David Rivera, as a maniac who "rammed his car into a delivery truck in rush-hour traffic" on the Palmetto Expressway in order to stop the driver from posting campaign flyers. Here's a frightening thought: If Rivera loses, he'll be even angrier.
• Shrinking Sink: Like a Lewis Carroll LSD trip, this animated ad shows state CFO Alex Sink literally shrinking as duties pile up around her. But the video, which runs late at night on local programming, is nowhere to be found on the web. Is our TV set haunted?
• Rick Scott the Terminator: Behind in the polls, Sink dug deep to produce a two-minute "Fraud File" on Scott's shady days as a hospital exec. But unlike other imaginative campaign ads, this one gets out of the way and lets Scott himself horrify the crap out of us. Clips of grainy video show the Republican glaring like the Terminator, which is fitting given the 6,300 jobs he cut as CEO of Columbia/HCA.