Dark is the Mind and the Flickering Screen

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April 16, 2016 by heligena



Hello again from the aether, friends.

Hope you’re all well and that your collective mental state remains clifftop at the edge of the giant precipice.

Anyways since Spring is Upon us and the dark nights are starting to recede, we thought this might be the perfect time to delve into the darkness of the mind instead.  To shine some light on the movie scenes that have freaked us out since way-back when.  And just to be clear, we don’t mean a few shivers down the spine.  We’re talking full on leg-kicking nightmares-sleeping in your parent’s bed- did a baby pellet in your dungarees moments here.

Of course, it should be noted that everyone has their own fears when it comes to the movies they saw when they were younger, after all, that’s what makes cinema so fun.  It’s a unique experience between you and the images burned on a flashing screen.  But we pretty much have no shame so we’ve decided to share with you a guys, a few of the scenes over the last few decades that unintentionally scarred our psyche to the limit.

So enjoy!  And please comment with your own poop-makers at the bottom.

We need to know that we’re not on our own on this.

Seriously, the doctors said it would be  good for us…

Moving on…


  1. Movie: Invaders from Mars(1953)

Scene: Daddy’s Home

So we’ll start with an easy one.  And Yes, it’s a classic alien invasion story.  Yes it’s in black and white, and the threat of communism is a little more overt than it may have needed to be but Invaders from Mars is a fantastic sci-fi thriller nonetheless.  Eerie, well paced and bubbling with tension, the whole getting sucked under the sand thing and marks on the back of the necks of the pod-peopled townsfolk should already have been enough to give you a case of the old heebie-jeebies.  But when Jimmy Hunt’s father, a previously warm and loving man comes home and instead of greeting his family like he usually does, goes full on cold-hearted abusive Madman on them, terrifying  his son and beating his wife, the result is so shocking that as a tiny person, it gave us terrible nightmares for weeks.   If you’re looking for explanations, they do say that the scariest monster of all is the human monster and this scene sure makes that point if nothing else.  But leaving psychology aside, it simply scared the crapola out of us so on the list it goes.



  1. Movie: War of the Worlds (1953)

Scene: Son of a…Preacher Man

And no, we’re not talking the Cruisenator here.  We’re heading way back again to another Fifties sci-fi classic and another movie we probably shouldn’t have seen at such a young age.  But here we are, messed up and ready to go.  Now, most of us have probably seen at least one version of HG Well’s seminal invasion story and shuddered at the thought of giant tripods lurching overhead, intent on stealing our world.  But the scene that really got to us in Byron Haskin’s take?  The one where Pastor Matthew Collins screws his courage to the sticking place and goes out alone to pit God’s will against the aliens; crucifix in hand and faith up the wazoo.  And what was the extraterrestrial reaction to this awe-inspiring demonstration of faith? They vaporised him on the spot with a laser beam.  No mess.  No fuss.  We’re not sure truth be told if it’s the fact that he’s a man of God  (not that we were ever religious) or that this show of human bravery was rewarded with nothing but an instantaneous death but this scene still lingers in our noggin even now.   So when the invasion comes, all you heroes might want to rethink your stance.  Just saying.



  1. Movie: Ghostbusters (1984)

Scene: Sssshhhh

Alright, you sniggering at the back, we all know that Ghostbusters is a comedy. But we were a baby blogger when we saw it and you know what, StayPuft Marshmallow Man aside, Zuul is a creepy ass dude/dudette (never quite sure on that one.)  However it ain’t the frying eggs or the fridge of doom that we’re concerned with right now.  Much to our parent’s amusement, the one scene that effectively broke our box came in the opening when we’re introduced to Venkman, Stantz and Spengler- the haphazard heroes of the tale in.  The location- an unnamed NYC library.  The antagonist-a sweet old librarian.  The plan? Short and succinct- Grab her!  Now, looking back on this scene as a whole, it’s really not that frightening but if you want some justifications, at the time it was the first jump scare we’d ever witnessed and that plus a supernatural reveal so early on wasn’t something that we could have ever seen coming; the result being (and not necessarily in this order) some high pitched screaming, some jumping off the cushion and a week of sleeping with Mum and Dad (sorry, both). We may or may not have issues because of this.  That would be none of your business.



  1. Movie: Flight of the Navigator (1986)

Scene: You can’t ever go home…

Side note- We love this film.  Love everything about it and anyone who doesn’t like that can pretty much get out right now.  However as you may know, it’s not all cute finger puppets and child space-jockeys.  David Freeman’s fabulous trip into new-age technology (and to the planet Phaelon, nerdlings) eventually comes with a price and when he returns home to find that his parents and his younger brother have aged 8 years since he went away, the horror of his realisation and subsequent flight into the dark woods nearby is something that got our blood pumping way faster than it should have.  Whether that’s because we identified with the likeable kid played by Joey Cramer or finally understood on some level that anything cool that happens has to have a cost attached (an epiphany that should scare you, if you’re a normal human) we’re not sure.  But sure as eggs is eggs, this scene terrified the bejeezus out of us at the time and to be quite honest unsettles us to this day.



  1. Movie: Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey (1991)

Scene: Run, Rabbit, Run

Again, we’re well aware that B&T is a comedy franchise much like those busters of Ghosts.  But you had to admit that the pair’s descent into Hell in their sequel movie (the movie’s title amusingly changed from Bill and Ted Go to Hell due to objections at the phrase) and introduction to the horrors it contains is a new level of disturbing, comedy or not.  And if you want to get into specifics, even though Granny Preston is creepifying and Colonel Oates horrible, it’s the plastic faced basket-carrying Easter Bunny that caused us to indulge in a tiny poop inside our pants.  You can’t blame us, can you?  With the scene being set in a claustrophobic corridor with an unstoppable creature chasing you and something inexplicable  keep you from getting any further away no matter how hard you run?  It’s a guarantee that we’ve all had some kind of dream, like that right?  And when you take a universal fear and put it up there on the big screen in all its glory then it’s no wonder that it freaks people out good and proper.  Which it did.  And it should.  Every time.



  1. Movie: Watership Down ( 1978)

Scene: When I walk in Fields of Gold (actually turns out it’s not gold, it’s blood.  OMG.)

This whole animated film is a Freudian nightmare actually.  Wrongly assumed to be a kids movie, Martin Rosen’s anthropomorphic tale comes laced with horror at every turn and should be watched with extreme caution no matter what age you are (fun fact y’all: the British Board of Film Classification is still getting complaints about it, thirty plus years later).  Voiced by an all star British cast, it sings with talent to be fair and that is no bad thing.  However, it is hard to pick out one single moment in the 100 minute running time that fried our noodle.  Because let’s face it…General Woundwort is freaking horrifying.  The rebellion against him bloody and dreadful.  The history of Ra and the animals of the earth more than creepola.  On reflection though, the one thing that really haunted our dreams after watching this has to be the vision that Fiver experiences about what is going to happen to the rabbits lands.  We say vision.  Hallucinatory mind-f*ck might be a better description comprised as it is of a lurid mess of images, psychadelic patterns morphing into rural scenes, prophetic warnings about terrible things coming and sunlit fields turning from ochre to red as they fill with blood.  All lovingly set to the sounds of a sinister threatening score bursting with jagged strings.  I mean, what were they thinking?!  Who is that not going to disturb on a cellular level?  The thing is, if you haven’t seen this then we can’t really describe it in words, you’ll need to youtube this shit.  But if you have, then you know.  You know.  And you never forget.  Never.




  1. Movie: SuperMan III (1983)

Scene: Let me just fix your face, Ma’am

Weird entry-time again, we know but as we’ve said the mind is a terrible thing and logic has very little to do with its obsessions.  Anyways so The Man of Steel finally makes an appearance on the list, (two of him actually thanks to some tar laced kryptonite) and I guess we’re back to aliens again if you want to be picky, but a totally different kind to the invading marauders we’ve come across so far.  And to be fair it’s not actually the figure of Clark Kent that poked our frontal lobe to the max- that honour goes to a scene at the end of the movie when karma comes a-knocking and hench-lady/villainous sister Annie Ross tries to flee the massive supercomputer she’s helped create.  I think it’s safe to say at this point that things don’t go exactly according to plan.  And by not going to plan, we mean, she finds herself getting pulled back into the computer’s mainframe and quickly, painfully turned into a human automaton as she screams away her humanity.  That’s right, the film momentarily goes all Cyberman on us…and it’s horrific, all metal facial attachments and colourless eyes.  Before you say it, we know now that the film is more campy than not and got slammed for its cheesy humour instead of choosing a more serious path when it was released but we can’t lie, this scene made us poo a tiny brick at the time and stopped us from playing Nintendo for at least two weeks.  And that ain’t nothing.  That’s something to be reckoned with.   So you can leave your judgement at the door, thanks.



  1. Movie: Tremors (1990)

Scene: Man on Wire (well, telegraph pole)

We can see your hand up at the back and yes, we know this is another comedy flick (or horromedy if you prefer), one filmed by the loving hand that made City Slickers and Mighty Joe Young.  But we defy you to tell us that it’s not creepifying and full of disturbment too and we’re not just referencing Kevin Bacon’s flirtation skills either (his belt buckle is moulded in the shape of a heart for goodness sake.)    Detailing the exploits of Val and Earl in Perfection, Nevada, two faintly talented handymen who find their town under attack from monstrous beasts (graboids) under the ground, the film is a cult classic for all the right reasons including a witty script, cast of out there characters and gleeful violence.  However, despite the low body count (8) and one single swear word in the whole movie, it still managed to kickstart our longstanding fear of the subterranean without even trying.  And the scene in particular that did this?  Well, it could have been one of many to be honest- a family trapped in their car as it gets sucked whole down into the ground.  The main characters being stalked as they wait helplessly on their rocks in the middle of the desert, no escape plan in mind.  But actually the scene that really unlatched our box was the one where a farmer outside the city limits finds his flock terrorised by something in the night and when Val and Earl go to check on him they find him clinging to the upper part of a telegraph pole, his body latched on to it in death- left where he died.  Apparently of fear itself.  It doesn’t appear that awful when we try and sound it out here and maybe it isn’t on later inspection but at the time, being exposed to something that could scare you so much it could actually kill you where you stand, was a horrifying concept to us.  And pricked our imagination a little too much.  Cue the bad dreams and legs neatly tucked under the duvet without even a patch of skin showing.  For months.  There’s also a small chance we still do that, but that would just be hearsay and should be completely ignored.



  1. Movie: Return to Oz (1985)

Scene: It’s Wheely Nice to Meet You

And speaking of cult classics… as we get towards the end of the list may we offer you the Great and Powerful Wizard’s backwater cousin, Return to Oz, a surprisingly dark sequel to the L. Frank Baum tale we all sang our hearts out to back in the day.  Interestingly, released 46 years after its predecessor the film made the Guinness Book of Records at the time for being a sequel made with the longest period of time between itself and the original film.  That’s not why it makes the inventory though.  That’s just cool.  The reason it’s ended up here is for the dark psychological vein that runs through this supposed children’s film even from it’s opening when Dorothy is saved from some good old-fashioned electro-shock therapy in Kansas and taken back to the even crazier world of Oz.    A world torn apart by the Nome King and populated by talking severed heads and friendly chickens.  So far so mental, right?  But the characters that really basted our noggin were the Wheelers, a race of human-vehicular hybrids sent to hunt Dorothy down aided by a savage amount of hatred and eye-liner.  Seriously, these things were not right.  Not right at all and at the time frightened us more than we’d like to admit.  There are probably comparisons to be made between these creatures and the flying monkeys from the original Wizard of Oz- unnatural cross breeds created only to serve the villain and keep the young girl from fulfilling her destiny.  Whereas the flying monkeys were unsettling though, these things full on creeped us out and with their unstoppable speed/feral behaviour added a little something extra to the usual chase em up nightmares we experienced from time to time.  And for that fact alone, up they go in the baby-poop hall of fame.  Kudos, Wheelies.  Kudos.  You all wrong.



  1. Movie: (Rupert and the Frogsong) The Oriental Nightfish (1978)

Scene: It was a Thursday Night…I was working Late

There is literally no way to describe this particular animated short that was attached to the Rupert video.  If you haven’t seen it, then youtube it right now because it has to be seen to be believed.  It’s the definition of WTF.

The colours, were swirling; the room was getting hotter

Some questions you might want to ask if you do, though are as follows- Why is there a naked lady playing a floating piano?  Who is she talking to?  What are those comets?  What happened to her clothes?  And why is she bouncing around in a room full of holes?

Emerald Blue, Purple Red.  Guitar solo.

All these things and more you’ll want to ask, guaranteed.

Whatever you do though, don’t show it to young children.  Because it will mess them up.  Forever.

That’s just a fact.

Seriously, WTF?!


And thus ends the lesson, boys and girls.  Those are actually just a few of the movie scenes that brought us here to this messed up place, and trust us, there are plenty more where those came from.  As we said though, please feel free to comment and tell us your own personal purgatorial scenes.  We’d love to know what else harmed the collective mindset.  It might even make us feel a little better tonight when we close the curtains and switch the light off…


Sweet dreams, everyone.


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