So I went with the only suggestion I got, which was to use a re-animated severed head. Funds were lacking, so I couldn't get the actual head from the movie The Re-Animator, but I was able to get a pretty good one from a friend. Strong jutting jaw, good skin, some hair.
Kids, it's always a good idea to have friends that can get you things that are either illegal or cheap. Like having a friend who can sneak you into a movie theater, or get you severed body parts.
So, I hooked the head up to some car batteries. Nothing happened. I then busted up the toaster and hooked it up to the head and plugged it into the wall socket. The head never came alive, but that's alright. He's got sort of a stoic look about him. Noble. Mysterious. Only a little charred from electricity.
I'm not really a science person.
So meet Mr. Happy Severed Head. He's the quiet type.