You call this “family entertainment”?!
Over the summer, I unabashedly opened up my humble soul for Screw You, Childhood! 5 Scar-Inducing Moments in Horror, scenes from horror movies that my young eyes were perhaps not ready for, yet they fell witness to certain cinematic terrors anyway for one reason or another. Since then, I felt I’d turn it around. Focus on non-horror movie moments that absolutely rattled me as a kid. No surprise, the following five sprung to mind rather easily. They’re a peculiar and diverse crop, but hey, this is the type of stuff I was watching as a very young lad.
5.) Dot and the Kangaroo: The Bunyip Tune
HBO used to play this Yoram Gross’ 1977 animated film from Australia regularly. It was a break from the normal cartoon fare my sister and I would watch because the flick relied on natural backgrounds against which the animated characters would move about. The first time I saw Dot, it was a rainy afternoon. I was grooving to the story – a young girl named Dot strays from her family and hangs with the talking marsupials of Australia – until it takes an alarming turn to introduce us to the creepy Bunyip. The somber song is definitively “1970s,” and while that offered a decent creep-out factor, I was terrified of the Bunyip’s teeth. I braved the whole sequence, but a sense of relief washed over me when it was over.
Special note: These scene ties with pretty much all of The Last Unicorn, an animated film that, to this day, still disturbs me.
4.) Silent Rage: Yes, That Chuck Norris Movie
I really have no friggin’ clue how I saw Michael Miller’s contribution to Chuck Norris’ oeuvre (my father was probably watching it), but all I remember is a sweaty dude with an axe killing his wife – as seen in the clip below. Looking back now, it’s weak sauce. My imagination made this out to be nastier than it is.
3.) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory: Is the Grisly Reaper Mowing?!
Chicken getting its head cut off. End of story. Positively horrifying.
2.) Red Dawn: Attack on the School
This movie is all kinds of messed up. And growing up in the ’80s, it hit pretty close to home. My school layout was a bit like the one that gets shot up and the dead kid hanging out of the window 10 seconds in (see below) gave me chills. Especially since I knew I was too young to fight back like the Wolverines, so I felt I was completely doomed if such a scenario happened. Thanks, John Milius, for keeping’ it real, you bastard.
1.) E.T.: The Little White Turd
Yes, I considered Steven Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial to be a scary movie for one scene and one scene only: When the little critter from another world is found in a ditch, sickly and pale. Then he’s hauled off by the government. But the sight of E.T., well, it messed me up a little bit. For one, he looked like a dried up white turd. Second, I couldn’t fathom why we’d be shown such a ghastly vision of an alien I had grown to love to that point. Hell, he loved candy and dressed in drag and it was hilarious! Sick E.T.? I never looked at him the same way again.
Unfortunately, I can’t find any images or clips from this.
So…there you have it. I’ve fessed up to the bizarre entertainment in my life that warped my upbringing. Now I want to hear your favorite scar-inducing non-horror movie moments.
Source: Ryan Turek, Managing Editor