DID YOU READ

12 Classic Pop Culture Moments That Gave ’80s Kids Nightmares

Large-Marge

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The ’80s were an awesome time to grow up. We had a doddering president who loved jellybeans. Charles was still in charge. Life was great. Or at least, it seemed to be. There was, of course, a dark side. Divorce was as trendy as Kajagoogoo, and with many parents working for the first time, the only thing left to raise us kids was the TV. And the things we were exposed to were often bizarrely dark.

We all remember the first time we saw a disturbing pop culture moment. One night your brother let you stay up late to watch cable, or your mom missed that one traumatizing scene in a cartoon about talking mice, and you’re looking at a lifetime of night terrors. Here are some of the most damaging moments from our childhood.

12. Large Marge in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure

Hey, remember that scene at the Alamo? Or what about the Tequila dance? Sure you do, but if you ask anyone growing up in the ’80s what Pee-wee’s Big Adventure scene they still get the sweats from, you will get two words in return. Large. Marge. On that very night, 30 years ago, Pee-wee needed a ride, and our childhoods would never be the same.


11. The Grady Twins from The Shining

There are two types of twins — beer ad twins and creepy kid twins. The prototype for the disturbing kind can be seen in this classic horror film, that too many of us watched at far too young an age. Somehow rivers of blood and naked old ladies can’t compare to these little girls in matching dresses. Turn around, Danny. Turn around for all of us.


10. Psycho Blair from The Facts of Life

I know what you’re thinking — the only thing scary about The Facts of Life was the hacky writing. But you would be forgetting the episode “Seven Little Indians,” when the girls are murdered one by one by a psychotic Blair, driven mad by a perm gone wrong. Seriously. That’s an episode. Sure it was all a dream, but a generation tuning in for their regular fix of sassy Tootie comebacks had no way of knowing that. George Clooney wasn’t the only one to die in this episode. So did our innocence.


9. It from It

Tim Curry’s performance as Pennywise the Clown has to be the scariest thing ever committed to film. If you told me right now Mr. Curry was possessed by the Devil while shooting this miniseries, I would believe you. They may all float down there, but up here we’re weighed down by the crippling anxiety he caused us later in life.


8. That Faceless episode of G.I. Joe

G.I. Joe was famously a show with zero stakes. Everyone had a laser rifle, but no one ever got shot. Planes blew up, but the pilot’s parachutes always worked. No matter what happened, everyone was going to be alright. That is, until the episode “Glamour Girls” aired, in which Cobra — working with a vain tycoon named Madame Veil — went about stealing womens’ faces, so they could remain forever young. This left the women alive, minus eyes, noses and mouths. A flap of skin covered where their faces used to be, their muffled screams clear from underneath. Go Joe?

Rusted Mecha

Rusted Mecha


7. Horror Movies Our Older Brother Watched

From Jason to Freddy to Chucky, the ’80s was a time when horror doubled down on gore, at the exact moment the VCR became popular. Now, your stoned older brother could force you to watch 15 minutes of Pumpkinhead at his leisure, and you could start figuring out ways to save up for a psychiatrist.


6. Decapitated Heads from Return to Oz

Boy, kids sure do love The Wizard of Oz. And the musical The Wiz was so much fun. Wait, there’s another movie coming out about the crazy hijinks in that land over the rainbow? Sign me up. Is the Tinman there? The Cowardly Lion? What’s that, there’s a hallway filled with dismembered heads, staring at you as you pass by? Dorothy isn’t in Kansas anymore. She’s in Hellraiser.

5. The Claymation Devil from The Adventures of Mark Twain

The 1985 classic The Adventures of Mark Twain tells the author’s collected works through Claymation. Charming fun for kids of all ages, that is until we stumble upon a fallen angel named Lucifer floating in the void. The filmmakers somehow manage to take the materials behind the California Raisins, and make us question the existence of God, the futility of life, and the causal indifference of nature. “Life itself is only a vision. A dream. Nothing exists, save empty space and you. And you… are but a thought.” Oooookay then.


4. That Scary Punky Brewster Episode

What in the what were they thinking? We weren’t prepared for this! Outside of the occasional episode where someone got stuck in a refrigerator, Punky Brewster was about rainbow bright clothes and wacky hijinks. And yet, in the “Perils of Punky” Halloween episode, an evil spirit tries to drive Punky insane with fear. That’s how Punky’s little buddy Alan found himself turned into a zombie wall of some sort. Dead eyes. Rotten teeth. Holy Macanoli, I need a drink!


3. Body Horror in The Last Starfighter

Only in the ’80s could a lighthearted Star Wars rip-off feature a scene of body horror right out of a David Cronenberg movie. It wasn’t enough to just have aliens leave a clone of our hero behind. No, they needed to grow it inside out, pulsing and pussing mere feet away from a sleeping little boy.

io9

io9


2. Artax’s Death in The Neverending Story

Here’s the moment when most of us realized life wasn’t fair. Atreyu’s trusty horse Artax dying of depression is like Chewbacca committing suicide after a tough divorce. It’s too brutal and real for our little minds to comprehend. Thankfully, they have medication for the Deadly Swamps of Sadness now.


1. Mr. Boogedy in Mr. Boogedy

This 1986 “Disney Sunday Movie” took a simple haunted house story and turned it into the stuff of nightmares. With his pockmarked face and glowing green aura, the Mouse House continued its proud tradition of messing with kids’ heads with their horrifying creation Mr. Boogedy. We wouldn’t realize he was glowing green because they couldn’t fix the green screen effect for another 20 years.


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Car Notes

Portlandia Keeps Road Rage In Park

Get a lesson in parking etiquette on a new Portlandia.

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It’s the most American form of cause and effect: Park like a monster, receive a passive-aggressive note.

car notes note

This unofficial rule of the road is critical to keeping the great big wheel of car-related Karma in balance. And naturally, Portlandia’s Kath and Dave have elevated it to an awkward, awkward art form in Car Notes, the Portlandia web series presented by Subaru.

If you’ve somehow missed the memo about Car Notes until now, you can catch up on every installment online, on the IFC app, and on demand. You can even have a little taste right here:

If your interest is piqued – great news for you! A special Car Notes sketch makes an appearance in the latest episode of Portlandia, and you can catch up on it now right here.

Watch all-new Portlandia Thursdays at 10P on IFC.

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Naked and Hungry

Two New Ways to Threeway

IFC's Comedy Crib gets sensual in time for Valentine's Day.

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This week, two scandalous new digital series debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib.
Ménage à Trois invites people to participate in a real-life couple’s fantasy boudoir. And The Filling is Mutual follows two saucy chefs who invite comedians to make food inspired by their routines. Each show crosses some major boundaries in sexy and/or delicious ways, and each are impossible to describe in detail without arousing some awkward physical cravings. Which is why it’s best to hear it directly from the minds behind the madness…

Ménage à Trois

According to Diana Kolsky and Murf Meyer, the two extremely versatile constants in the ever-shifting à trois, “MàT is a sensually psychedelic late night variety show exploring matters of hearts, parts and every goddamn thing in between…PS, any nudes will be 100% tasteful.”

This sexy brainchild includes sketches, music, and props that would put Pee-wee’s Playhouse to shame. But how could this fantastical new twist on the vanilla-sex variety show format have come to be?

“We met in a UCB improv class taught by Chris Gethard. It was clear that we both humped to the beat of our own drum; our souls and tongues intermingled at the bar after class, so we dove in head first.”

Sign me up, but promise to go slow. This tricycle is going to need training wheels.

The Filling is Mutual

Comedians Jen Saunderson and Jenny Zigrino became best friends after meeting in the restroom at the Gotham Comedy Club, which explains their super-comfortable dynamic when cooking with their favorite comedians. “We talk about comedy, sex, menses, the obnoxiousness of Christina Aguilera all while eating food that most would push off their New Year’s resolution.”

The hook of cooking food based off of comedy routines is so perfect and so personal. It made us wonder about what dishes Jen & Jenny would pair with some big name comedy staples, like…

Bill Murray?
“Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to… Oh, that’s easy Meatballs with Lingonberry Space Jam it’d be great, but then we’d have to avoid doing any kind of silly Groundhog Day reference.” 

Bridget Everett?
“Cream Balls… Sea Salt encrusted Chocolate Ganache Covered Ice Cream Ball that melt cream when you bite into them.” 

Nick Kroll & John Mulaney? 
“I’d make George and Gil black and white cookies from scratch and just as we open the oven to put the cookie in we’d prank ’em with an obnoxious amount of tuna!!!”

Carrie Brownstein & Fred Armisen? 
“Definitely a raw cacao “safe word” brownie. Cacao!”

Just perfect.

See both new series in their entirety on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Dark Arts

Foot Fetish Jesus And Other Nightmares

Meet the minds behind Comedy Crib's latest series, Quirks and The Mirror.

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The Mirror and Quirks are really, really strange. Deeply disturbing yet hauntingly beautiful. But you really don’t need to read a synopsis of either of the aforementioned shows to understand the exact variety of nightmare-bonkers comedy these shows deliver — that’s why the good lord made links. Instead, take a peek behind the curtain and meet the creators.

Quirks

Let’s start with Kevin Tosi. Kevin does the whole show by himself. That doesn’t mean he’s a loner — Kevin has a day job with actual humans. But that day job is copywriting. So it’s only natural that his suppressed demons would manifest themselves in biting cartoon form, including “Foot Fetish Jesus”, in ways that somehow speak to all of us. If only all copywriters channeled their inner f*ckedupness into such…expressive art.

The Mirror

Onward to the folks at Wham City Comedy.

These guys aren’t your typical comedy collective in that their work is way more left-field and even elevated than your standard digital short. More funny weird than funny ha-ha. They’ve done collaborations with musicians like Beach House, Dan Deacon & Wye Oak, television networks (obviously), and others. Yeah they get paid, but their motivation feels deeper. Darker. Most of them are video artists, and that explains a lot.

See more of The Mirror and Quirks on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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