Friday, August 27, 2010

Top 5 most disturbing movies from my childhood

I loved watching movies growing up. There was nothing I enjoyed more than putting a tape through the old turbo-rewinder (to make sure it was rewound all the way) and popping it into my VCR. When it came to fixing the tracking I was a child prodigy, knowing which knobs to twist in the exact way to make sure there were no lines on the screen. I have my mother to thank for introducing me to a lot of movies over the years and for illegally taping them off of cable. There were always those movies that made you wince though. The kind where you wonder what the creators were thinking. Why do these filmmakers hate kids so much to put these scenes in the movie? The following is a top five based on movies i saw during my own childhood. Three out of five of these films were made in the 80s so maybe that has something to do with it. People hated children in the 80's. Just because these movies are on the list doesn't mean I don't like them, because to be honest, these are some of my favorite movies to watch as a kid. Even now I enjoy watching them. I can't wait for the day I can finally pass these movies onto my kids and scare the living hell out of them. If you would like, dear reader, please feel free to include your own movies from your childhood.

5. Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory:
Two words: Tunnel Scene. It wasn't the Oompa Loompa slave labor, the kids meeting their doom storyline or even the creepiness that is Slugworth. No, the scene most fast-forwarded by children everywhere (aside from the "Cheer-up Charlie" song. God that one sucked) is the infamous tunnel scene. It's like the writers were saying "Hey this is a pretty cheerful movie so far; let's give people nightmares for no reason whatsoever."

I quote this movie daily.

4. Pee-Wee's Big Adventure:
Believe it or not this was the first full-length movie Tim Burton directed (one day I may explain to you why Tim Burton sucks). A story about a person (to this day I don't know what Pee-Wee's age is suppose to be) and his beloved bicycle. The movie is insanely quotable and a lot of fun. Yes, I know Paul Reubens would be arrested six years after making this movie but he was caught whacking-off in a porn theater. It's hardly unheard of and it doesn't make him a crazy pervert. Anyway, this movie was awesome except for a scene where Pee-Wee has a nightmare about his bike complete with horrifying clowns and Satan himself (Note: the actor who played the villain Francis/Satan would go on to play John Wayne Gacy in a crappy movie. Adds another level of disturbing).

Maybe not as scary now but as a kid this was torture.

Perhaps even more frightening than that was the Large Marge scene. Picked-up by an intimidating woman truck driver, the aforementioned lady tells Pee-Wee about an accident that occurred that very same night years ago. The punchline to this story is two frames of horror that never seemed to end.

"Tell em Large Marge sent ya."

3. Little Monsters:

I loved the last two movies mentioned and watched them every chance I could. This movie I haven't seen as much but it left enough of an impact on me to fear the very mention of it. The movie stars Fred Savage as a misunderstood boy and Howie Mandel as the monster under his bed. (back when his stand-up act involved him putting gloves on his head. This was back when he could actually shake hands). The film also has Marv from Home Alone as Fred's father and Ben Savage, Fred's real life younger brother and future Boy Meets World actor, as the annoying little brother. The film was about adventures in a monster-world underneath every boy's bed. The problem is that if you stayed in the monster-world for too long you became a monster, making all the fun of mischief and junk food not as worth it. The monsters' one weakness was light, which made their faces melt in a way that makes Raider's of the Lost Ark jealous. All of the ingredients of being trapped as a monster, the dark world of the monsters, and the face melting made the movie pretty scarring.

Did I mention face melting?

2. The Brave Little Toaster:

The poster should of been the first clue.

It's a cute animated-musical film about sentient appliances and their search for their master. Think like Toy Story only about junk (a toaster, a vacuum, a lamp, a radio and an electric blanket). To sum up how scary this movie is in one paragraph would not do it justice. I stress the fact that every scene and song involves something putting the appliance gang in danger and scaring any poor kid who expected a normal Disney movie. I recommend this movie only to see how messed-up it is. With danger of death, nightmares, scary clowns and antagonist everywhere it's amazing how anybody would think it's okay for kids. Fritz the Cat is more child friendly than Brave Little Toaster. So please watch it and see for yourself, words cannot describe.

I rest my case.

1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang:

Not as fun as it looks.

In all honesty, Brave Little Toaster should take the top spot. This is more a personal grudge towards Chitty Chitty Bang Bang than anything else. It was one of my mom's favorite movies growing up, she even had the lunchbox in elementary school. Imagine her excitement to finally share her childhood memories with her kids. It starts out innocently enough with Dick Van Dyke as the world's worst dad. Van Dyke plays a crackpot inventor who lives with his kids whose mother died a long time ago. Along comes a lady named Truly Scrumptious who finds his kids skipping school and steals their father's heart. The first half is innocent enough with wacky inventions, a plot involving candy and an old car. This is all fine and dandy until the second half of the story begins involving a German like country where children are outlawed (those wacky Germans). The two adults then spend the rest of the story trying to find the kids and rescue them from the evil aristocracy. Now a plot line involving kidnapping kids and putting them in dungeons is bad enough. The truly disturbing part is the introduction of the most vile character of all time: the Child Catcher.

That's the man's whole responsibility: to kidnap children.

He sniffs out children where ever they are hiding and lures them with promises of candy and ice cream. You'd think with the smallest amount of stranger-danger knowledge the children would know not to follow the creepy old man promising candy. I guess Dick was too busy inventing a flying car to teach them.

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