There were cinematic experiences growing up that simply terrified me like “Salem’s Lot,” or traumatized me via ghouls and angry houses, like “The Amityville Horror” and that one film with the moving-eye George Washington portrait. Brrr. There were movies that scared me, but/so I fell in love with them, like “Poltergeist.” There were movies that I liked, but didn’t appreciate how scary they were until I was an adult, like “The Secret of N.I.M.H.,” as my brother Robb suggested when I mentioned this blog.
But then there were other things that didn’t scare me, so much as leave me feeling deeply unsettled. Movies that linger in my memory like the faint slime that stayed in my mouth after my friends and I did shots of breast milk. I’ve only revisited one of them in my adult years, probably because of the fear that my mind will be blown when I realize that these movies weren’t just nightmares from my childhood. Here are five of them:
The Dark Crystal
This is the one I watched as an adult. And I must say, things certainly took their sweet-ass time back in the day. Between “Romper Room” and “The Electric Company,” not to mention “Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.” It’s no wonder we Gen Xers have gone crazy living in such a fast-paced world. During our youth, we spent hours watching kids slowly move across balance beams that were two inches from the floor.
And “The Dark Crystal” is no exception. That movie is slowwwww. But, I am happy to report, still creepy.
Haha, “Robot Chicken” is so awesome 😀
Return to Oz
I remember being very excited this one day when I was 11. I went to Vacation Bible School in the morning, distressing me to no end because while I loved God, I did not love waking up in the summer to go make napkin holders. Afterwards, my grandparents took me to a hatchery, and the hatchery wasn’t my thing, But I was excited the whole time because I knew that when we got back, we were going to watch the premiere of “Return to Oz” on IIRC the Disney Channel. “The Wizard of Oz” was my hands-down favorite movie when I was a kid, and the idea of continuing the magic was awesome. And what a fascinating-looking girl Fairuza Balk was!
Unfortunately, “Return to Oz” upset me in a way that I can’t really explain and I didn’t enjoy it. But at least I can still enjoy Fairuza in “The Craft.”
The Electric Grandmother
Awhile back, I was being my usual model-employee self and spent a day at a desk job reading Wikipedia articles, including one about “The Electric Grandmother.” And the description actually sounds kind of touching. But all I remember is the plethora of nightmares it gave me, not to mention a deep fear of going into dark basements. I just remember the grandmother rocking back and forth in her chair, eyes staring blankly.
The Peanut Butter Solution
Dude. What was UP with this movie!!! My brother Robb’s offered to acquire it for me, and I’m both delighted and terrified. My boyfriend says one reason he loves me is that I am (besides my brother) the only other person he’s ever met who remembers “The Peanut Butter Solution.” It was about this kid who loses his hair for some reason, and then rubs like, magic peanut butter on his head? And his hair starts growing. As someone who always coveted luxurious hair, I was a bit jealous of this kid. Until his hair WON’T STOP GROWING and starts to destroy his life! That’s about all I remember, though I watched this movie multiple times back in the day when HBO would play the same movies on an endless loop.
Okay, this is the one movie on my list that actually did scare-scare me, in its entirety. And best of all, this was totally sanctioned by my parents! Murder was no biggie as long as there were no boobs in something. This one is I think based on a true story, about a teacher who gets kidnapped by this band of men in the CREEPIEST masks. The leader is “Father Christmas,” and one is a scary duck! Anyway, the kidnappees turn the tables, and NO SPOILERS BUT YOU NEED TO WATCH TILL THE END! It’s all very terrifying, and of course most importantly, creepy.