Aliens on Sesame Street
With their spaced out googly eyes and billowing velour bodies, these wide-mouthed creatures stained my Sesame Street watching days with intense disgust and fear. I remember bracing myself every time a new sketch came on, worried that I might see the aliens next. They made random excursions to earth to explore human/muppet life. They would blabber on incoherently with their signature "yup yup yup yup yup." Just talking about it gives me the shivers.
Brooms from Fantasia
Okay, so the idea that inanimate objects can become animate is creepy enough in the first place. But the idea that once animate, they can develop a mind of their own is just plain unnerving. I love Mickey Mouse. So when I was little and my Disney fanatic grandmother sat me in from of the TV and told me to watch Mickey, and the little broom fiasco came on, I was quite scarred. To this day, I still haven't watched Fantasia in its entirety.
All of Alice in Wonderland
Okay. This movie sufficiently freaked me out. The characters behaved in bizarre and illogical manners and were created to look even more bizarre. I think what bothered me the most was the complacent smiles on many of the characters' faces. They honestly smiled all the time, no matter what they were saying, no matter what was going on. That's disturbing. The two major characters in the movie that made my skin crawl were the Cheshire Cat and Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. The Cheshire Cat? He spoke in meaningless, creepy riddles. He could also disappear, piece by piece. The worst part was when he was simply a glowing white smile sitting in a tree. Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum? Creepy ass twins. They dressed the same. Their bodies were oddly disproportionate. They moved like mirror images of each other. When they danced, their bodies honked and beeped. Ew.
The Oompa Loompas in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Oompa Loompa. ?Nuff said. They were short, orange with green hair and white eyebrows, and danced and sang in unison. They always seemed to know something you didn't and that made them that much creepier. I think the only thing that could top the original Gene Wilder Oompa Loompas is the ones in the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version of the film. They used the same guy for all of the Oompa Loompas. That whole movie made me feel like I was on a trip.
E.T. from E.T.
E.T. This movie was creepy and bizarre in many ways. He was a poop colored alien from who knows where. He wobbled like a gimp when he walked. His finger glowed. He could make things fly around. I was okay for most of this movie, until E.T. and Drew Barrymore encountered each other for the first time. E.T.'s odd scream and his neck that grew and shrunk was kind of a spook for me. But the worst part was when E.T. got sick, not the men in Hazmat suits, the part where they find him all white and wrinkly in the creek. His limp, translucent, skeletal body was enough to make me never watch that movie again. Even in the late 90s, when E.T. was digitally re-mastered and re-released, my mom had to turn the TV off every time those commercials came on.
The Skeksis from The Dark Crystal
I can attribute this childhood haunting, once again, to my grandmother. She also showed me this film for the first time. I was probably 7 or 8. This is not a film for a 7 or 8 year old girl. The Skeksis were the evil half of this fantasy battle between the good Mystics and the evil Skeksis. The Skeksis pretty much lived in anarchy, each of them competing, ruthlessly, to be emperor. The Skeksis closely resembled turkey vultures that had been hit by a car but still managed to survive. They were horrendously ugly when alive. When they died, they crumbled to pieces and turned to dust. One of them also had this odd condition where he sighed, loudly, all the time. That was creepy. As much as this movie freaked me out as a child, I have grown to love it and it is one of my favorite movies of all time.
He scared me more than Sloth Fratelli from The Goonies ever could. I honestly don't know what movie he was in when I was younger that scared me, but I do know that whenever I saw a picture of him I ran away and hid under the coffee table (I did that a lot when I was little, no worries). But I do remember his role in Sleepy Hollow confirming my fear of him. Now, of course, I fear him not, instead, I laugh hysterically when he dances to Fat Boy Slim and puts googly eyes on plants.