Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Scarred For Life

I'm working on a story/essay for this week's show about kids and scary movies. I'm coming to believe that it's not the scary movie that really does the damage to the kids since most adults have sense enough not to show truly scary movies to kids under, say, ten years old. And some of those very suspenseful films wouldn't make much sense to younger kids anyway.

But everyone I talk to has memories of movies they saw as kids that maybe weren't MEANT to be scary but freaked the crap out of them regardless. I have yet to meet someone who doesn't point to something along these lines. The clubhouse leader is the winged monkeys from The Wizard of Oz. Other candidates include some bad guys on wheels from Return to Oz, anyone from The Dark Crystal, and the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

For me? Bigfoot. For years I've told people about this one documentary w/reenactments I saw when I was very young. Never knew it's name, I just knew there was one scene where a woman is home, it's nighttime, there's a Bigfoot outside but she doesn't know it, Bigfoot starts smashing up her house for no real demonstrable reason, and she runs to the door, opens it, AND THERE HE IS!!!


Here's the world we live in today: I found the clip on YouTube. It's one minute and forty-four seconds that changed my life forever.

I am STILL SCARED. Laughing about it a little, sure, but STILL SCARED!

What movie scene do you remember from childhood that still freaks you out?



la Ketch said...

i saw the excorsist way way too young and i was convinced my room was being possesed by the devil for like 2 years. i think i was 11 or 12. you could not pay me to watch that movie again.

The Subtle Rudder said...

I used to go all frozen with fear when the commercial for the movie Magic would come on while I was babysitting. Inevitably, the kids would already be in bed, and I'd be rooting in the kitchen for snax, then I'd hear that creepy marionette laughing. I'd YouTube it, but then I'd have to do what I used to do when I was babysitting: call my dad and make him come over so I wouldn't be alone in the house with the scary, scary puppet. I so owe my dad half my babysitting $$$, +
30 years interest.

Lindsay Evelyn said...

The purple "smooze" in this scared the shit out of me. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091584/

I had night terrors about it. I would run around the house, screaming, my mother unable to wake me.

emily said...

i had screaming nightmares after seeing ghostbusters, but no lasting emotional trauma.

Scott Chicken said...

Hands down, "The Blob". Some freaking genius in my elementary school decided this was a good Halloween movie to show the school. I was in 2nd grade, I think.

That scene where it jumps up the stick and on to the guy's hand (don't remember the actor and am not willing to look it up) gave me nightmares for, well, years. Still gives me willies.

jane said...

The Abominable Snowman scared me to death. Always had to leave the room. I watched "Rudolph" with my kids last Christmas season, and realized I had had no idea that he turns nice in the end. I'll admit that I no longer find him terrifying.

Jeff said...

I don't think this is the same movie, but "Sasquatch, the Legend of Bigfoot" gave me nightmares for years. My sister and I thought it was a documentary. When the sasquatches start throwing rocks at the cabin then pop up in the windows, I lost it.


Jennifer said...

This one's easy. It's Alive! It is a B horror movie with a baby that kills people. I was seven when it came out and my mom thought I was asleep while we were at the drive in theatre. I wasn't. Scared the crap out of me and I can still see the images from the movie in my head. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071675/

Paige said...

Me too, Jennifer. Only I never saw the movie-- just the image of those creepy fingers hanging over the edge of the bassinette in the tv ads were enough to ruin me for a decade... oh, no wait-- I guess it's been three decades now. I'm glad I forgot about all of this during the time my kids were babies. Hooooo yeah.

Gina H said...

I saw Pet Semetary when I was 12 and it scared the crap out of me.

However, I'm one of those who could barely handle the Wizard of Oz.

kbow said...

Not a movie but what totally freaked me out even at the ripe age of 12 were those Sleastacks on Land of the lost. Shiver! I still can't stand them.

They must have been on the screen a total of 3 of the 22 minutes but when they appeared on any episode I had to leave the room...so yeah, like Jane, maybe they ended up being friendly and kind??? I wouldn't know.

Also, not a movie again, but I was the only one out of a family of 9 who despised Star Treck--remember how it came on after the Brady Bunch on Friday nights? THE night to watch television? No? I'm so old. Anyhoo, that trouble with tribbles episode where the rubbery blogs land on William Shatners horrible brown mustard, synthetic shirt freaked me out completely - or may be it was just his shirt that scared me.

Elisabeth Fredrickson said...

Remember "Beyond the Door" John? ("Whooooo Are You?" )

It was just the trailer on tv, but it terrified me. It's still a little scary. But also funny now that I look at it.

But your request was for unintentionally scary, so I offer this: Heffalumps. One of my kids (don't remember which) wouldn't watch Pooh videos for awhile because of those Heffalumps and Woozles.

jane said...

No, Kbow, the sleestacks never turned nice at the end. But wasn't the scariest part about them that noise that they made so you could hear them coming? You'd get creeped out before they were even on the screen!

Kimm said...

I always used to run out of the room at the bad parts in Disney movies - still do.

But what really got me was that whenever I'd babysit, there seemed to only be scary movies on television late at night when I just wanted some noise so I didn't feel all alone in a strange house. Let me just say, such movies are NOT an antidote for such situations!

Most memorable from that period of time - The Eyes of Laura Mars.

Agen said...

Swiss Family Robinson.

When the pirates came to the island at the end of the movie, I started freaking out and begged my father to take me out of the movie theater. I think I started crying and he finally relented, noting with exasperation that everyone would be fine in the end. And deep down I knew that, but there was just something horribly terrifying in that horde of pirates that I just couldn't take.

Suz @ Alive in Wonderland said...

Kolchak: The Night Stalker...shudder...it was TV! Any hapless kid could come across it when searching the three or four channels available and wham! have to sleep on their brothers' floor for the next year and a half!

quakerflygirlde said...

Trilogy of Terror, 1975(?)- Karen Black with the little statue chasing her all over the apartment. She finally throws it in the oven, but then it somehow takes possession of her. That ending shot with her crouched just like the statue... Why the heck did I watch that?!

Paige said...

Oh yeah-- Elisabeth is right. Unintentionally scary stuff. Okay-- I was completely freaked out by the Rankin Bass (I think... or was it Screen Gems?) animated credit logo thingy at the end of many tv shows in the 70's. It wasn't the visual so much as the "music" they used. Very minor key and reeeeeeeally creepy. Our tv used to be in my parents' unfinished basement, which added to the scary atmosphere. I had to gauge when it was time to quickly lunge for the tv on/off knob and then run upstairs before the first note hit my ears.

nancymcjensen said...

This is more from my brother Peter, and it is Wizard of Oz related. We read the WOZ books and he was super scared of the Winkies (they are the soldiers that work for the Wicked Witch of the West, for those of you who forget the lore.)

In the movie, whenever they sang the Oreos song, Peter would FREAK and my mother would make him go to bed, reasoning quite rightly that "this movie is a little too much for you."

My other brother Paul or I would then hide under Peter's bed. Once Pete would settle in for the night, we would kick the springs from underneath the bed and sing the song. Peter would scream his head off and race out of the room. Paul and I would scoot out from under the bed and Pete wouldn't sleep for a week. This happened every year until he was about 10.

I'm not sure how scarred he was by this experience but he now works as an intelligence analyst for the Treasury Dept covering Pakistan, where he tells me is an incredibly scary place to live. I'd like to think we toughened him up for his career.

Grumpy Crumpet said...

Scariest childhood movie moment for me was in Sleeping Beauty when the evil witch comes out of the fireplace in a cloud of black smoke. Somehow that became linked with the commercials for blue toilet sanitizer. Maybe the way the color billowed out? I got the idea that there were witches in certain toilets and they would suck you down the toilet hole.

I became paralyzed with fear when facing toilets with blue water. I used to make my mother check for me, but then she grew tired of this, so I had to steel my nerves and back into turnpike rest stop stalls. I had a weaker bladder than most little kids, so this was really trying for my mom.

I wasn't too keen on the later commercials for Mr. Tidy Bowl in his boat on the blue water. How did he get in there and where did he go when they flushed?

kbow said...

Jane, YES! It was that Sleastack breathing noise that really did me in. Why couldn't Marshal, Will and Holly ever hear them before it was too late?!

girard31 said...

I was more disturbed by the fact that she appeared to be watching men drinking in an Irish pub on her television. There was no dialogue, just bar noise.

What the hell kind of television programming was available in the Pacific Northwest in the 60's?

Andy Joe said...

You are thinking of "The Legend of Boggy Creek", or possibly "The Return of the Boggy Creek Monster."

My best friend in 5th & 6th grade Derek Hannah & I would Trick or Treat, bring the stash to his house and watch scary movies on KTLA Channel 5. "The Sentinel" always started at 11:30pm. It was the last movie before I fell asleep.

It's about a woman who sees an old nun in the attic window across her street. The woman finds her way in and discovers the nun guards us all from the gates of hell. Spooky stuff happens like demons wanting to take over the world, but the movie ends with the woman becoming The Sentinel.

The final shot zooms up into the sky from the beautiful, smart woman who forced DEMONS back to HELL stuck in an attic so we can all live our lives in peace, never knowing what she sacrificed for us.

Then I'd wake up depressed, wondering if I had the moral strength to guard the gates of hell for the rest of my life.

I'm Catholic.