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17 More Terrifying Pop Culture Moments from the ’80s (Chosen By You!)

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Last week, we put together a list of terrifying moments from the ’80s we’ve never been able to get over. Well, our fans over on the IFC Facebook page doubled down, and reminded us of a whole lot more. Here are a few spooky scenes, from our favorite 80s shows and movies that still give us nightmares.

17. The Librarian Ghoul from Ghostbusters

Movies don’t get much better than this ’80s classic, but when you dig beneath the Bill Murray quips and confusing feelings about Dana becoming Zuul, you’re left with a freaky ghost story every bit as terrifying as Poltergeist. We still get chills thinking about the nice old librarian lady suddenly turning into a demon from hell after Ray yells “Get her!”


16. The Clown Puppet from Poltergeist

Speaking of which, Poltergeist itself made us leave the nightlight on a few years later than was socially acceptable.


15. Zelda from Pet Sematary

In a movie about rabid animals rising from the grave, somehow a sick woman with spinal meningitis is the thing that still haunts us to this day.


14. Dan Aykroyd in Twilight Zone: The Movie ?

While the Twilight Zone movie had a checkered history behind the scenes (it literally killed cast member Vic Morrow and two children), the scariest thing to make it into the film was this short scene, starring two of the biggest comedy stars of the ’80s. You want to see something scary? Surprisingly, it isn’t Albert Brooks and Dan Aykroyd singing along to Creedence Clearwater Revival.


13. The Puppets from the “Land of Confusion” Music Video

Holy hell, what was happening here? This Genesis music video somehow manages to be the most ’80s thing ever made — with grotesque puppet versions of Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Collins himself — and a conduit straight to our nightmares. (Fun fact: the puppets came from a UK sketch show called Spitting Image that aired briefly in the U.S.)


12. The Troll in the Wall from Cat’s Eye

Drew Barrymore had enough to worry about during the ’80s, what with a drinking problem when most of us still had bedtimes. Now she has trolls sneaking out of her wall, and stealing her breath? That just seems unfair.


11. Darkness from Legend

Tim Curry made an appearance on our last list, for his terrifying performance in the miniseries IT. But before he ever put on the clown makeup, he played the Devil himself, in this cult hit that helped launch Tom Cruise’s career. Who would have guessed Tom’s personal life would be the creepiest thing to come out of a movie with Frankfurter basically playing Lucifer?


10. E.T. Dying

This is the moment when most kids in the ’80s learned that death comes for us all. E.T. phone home? More like trust issues phone therapist.

Universal Pictures

Universal Pictures


9. The Demons from The Gate

Stephen Dorf realizes a hole in his backyard is a gateway to demons, confirming everything we suspected about that pile of dirt we found by the driveway. It’s also the best acting Dorf has ever done outside of trying to make e-cigarettes seem cool.

8. Clowns Steal Pee-wee’s Bike in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

We talked about Large Marge scarring our childhood, but how could we forget the freakish clowns that haunt Pee-wee’s own nightmares?


7. Christopher Lloyd Murders a Toon in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

We all went to see this, hoping Daffy and Donald Duck would finally meet. We had no way of knowing that Doc Brown himself, Christopher Lloyd, would go full-on, bug-eyed serial killer, melting an adorable cartoon shoe in “The Dip.” We sometimes still hear the shoe’s screams when we close our eyes at night…


6. The Sandworms from Beetlejuice

To an adult, the early work of Tim Burton is full of dark whimsy and inventiveness. To a kid, it’s straight out panic-inducing. Strangely, these terrifying sandworms became central to the early ’90s Saturday morning cartoon version of Beetlejuice where Lydia and The Ghost with the Most were suddenly friends for some reason. What were they trying to do to us back then?


5. The My Little Pony Song “Nothing Can Stop The Smooze”

Nothing can stop The Smooze, kids. Nothing! Not your parents. Not the police. You’re all alone. This terrifying song, in the middle of a My Little Pony cartoon of all places, confirms that adults were just trolling us for most of our childhoods.


4. Gmork, The Neverending Story

On the one hand, this ’80s fantasy classic gave kids a cuddly flying dog pal in the form of Falkor. On the other, it gave them nightmares thanks to Gmork, the creepily realistic wolf creature who tried to kill our hero Atreyu. Kids today with their CGI will never understand the horrors of puppetry we were exposed to back in the day.


3. The Jabberwocky from Alice Through the Looking Glass

’80s parents were too busy adjusting their shoulder pads to vet this miniseries version of Alice in Wonderland which starred John Stamos, Pat Morita and a million other childhood favorites and turned the Jabberwocky into a living, breathing manifestation of our fears just in time for bed. Runner-up creepy moment: Carol Channing as The White Queen just straight up turning into a goat for some reason.


2. The Tree Monster from The Ewok Adventure

Ewoks were the pivot point between the perfection of the original Star Wars trilogy and the nightmare the prequels would become. A series of TV movies were made about our loveable little friends, and apparently this happened in one. At this point, you have to wonder if maybe we were just a bit too easily scarred by things back then.


1. The Skeksis from The Dark Crystal

The Gelfling heroes of The Dark Crystal were freaky enough, but Jim Henson created living nightmares with the Skeksis. These rotting bird monsters were about as far from Big Bird and Kermit as you can get.

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.

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IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines

Shopping

The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.

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Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.

Booger

A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.

Ogre

Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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