August 2, 2014

i'm okay- but i shouldn't be

I have been on this kick recently of rewatching movies from my childhood, not movies like "The Little Mermaid" or "Land Before Time," but the weird, dark movies that I'm super surprised I was actually allowed to watch.  My sister and I were pretty sheltered growing up, I don't include the twins in that because I think having older siblings exposed them to more and because I'm convinced that my parents have gone soft. I used to get grounded all the time growing up. Guess who has never been grounded in their life? Yeah, that's right- the twins. That's not the moral of this story, but it sometimes pays to be the baby of the family because you get things like motorized Barbie Cars, playhouses, new iPhones, and you're never grounded. IS THERE NO JUSTICE IN THE WORLD?

As I've been watching these movies again, I've realized that I'm pretty lucky that I didn't grow up to be a real weirdo. These movies are so dark and odd, but we watched them all the time. Thank God for things like Netflix and people who put full movies on Youtube because they are allowing me to reintroduce myself to these seriously twisted movies. I've created a list for you of the weirdest movies  from my childhood with some of the most peculiar moments, because really, what's better than examining the innocent movies from your childhood and realizing that it's a miracle you didn't turn out to be a serial killer?

Hugga Bunch 

This made for TV movie is filled with an aging grandma being shoved out of her home, terrible acting from her granddaughter, truly terrifying puppets, and a witch! I'm not sure if the movie spurred the creation of the dolls or the dolls led to the creation of the movie, but regardless, they are so scary. See for yourself. They even have weird voices and say weird things like, "You don't need shoes here, everything is soft and fuzzy." Creepy, murderous puppets!

The scariest part in this movie, aside from the Dad being terrible to the aging Grandmother who just wanted to help by answering the phone, is the way that the evil queen loses her power in the end. Throughout the movie, she's absolutely beautiful. At the end of the movie, when Bridget (the young girl) finally finds the young berries (which will save her grandmother), the queen won't share so Bridget, being the little beezy that she is, steals them. The queens morphs really slowly into a scary old lady and I remember being terrified of that when I was younger. There's a line in this movie, that has become so ingrained in my families vernacular, and as I was watching it, I realized we've had it wrong. The line is "Napkins on the left, spoons on the right. You guys don't get old but Grandmothers do, and according to Andrew, that's the problem." I use that line regularly to ensure that I set a table appropriately as does my family, but we always say, "Forks on the left, spoons on the right. Grandmothers get old but we don't, and according to Andrew, that's the problem."

Bridget, and her terrible acting, are definitely redeemed with quite possibly the best line in all of movie history. The queen demands that Bridget bow to her and she responds, "I'm Bridget Severson and I'm an American citizen, and I don't have to kneel to any 'ol body. It's written in our constitution." From here on out, if anyone ever tells me to do something I don't want to do, that's going to be my response. God bless you Bridget, you are a true patriot.

If you're interested in watching this movie, and really, why wouldn't you be, click HERE and watch it in six installments on Youtube.

The Polar Bear King

This movie is your classic prince falls in love with common girl fairy tale, except for the fact that the prince happens to be a polar bear when the girl falls in love with him. MOM AND DAD, DID YOU NOT REALIZE THAT THIS MOVIE IS PROPAGATING BEASTEALITY? This movie is based off of a Norwegian folk tale so I'm pretty sure Norwegians are super weird people. I'm a little bit Norwegian so it's okay for me to say that. I get that this movie is similar to the plot of "Beauty and the Beast" but it feels different because this one is live action. You watch the girl, a real human being, fall in love with the polar bear and that's just weird. I also realize that there's a live action version of "Beauty and the Beast" but we aren't talking about that because this one just feels weirder.

Oh yeah, no big deal, here she is just sharing a tender moment with her beloved, who also happens to be a polar bear. It's not like she fell in love with him pre-polar bear, she fell in love with him at the height of his polar bear ordeal. They couldn't communicate because obviously polar bears don't speak English so that's why the Beast and Belle falling in love isn't as weird. They talked. They got to know each other. This sick freak just fell in love with a polar bear because she's a weirdo. Oh yeah, did I mentioned that he had to spend seven years as a polar bear? This girl was in it for the long run with a majestic, arctic beast. She's weird. This movie is weird and I'm pretty sure the only reason we were allowed to watch it is because my mom is Norwegian and she feels like we only celebrate our Italian heritage. Sorry Mom, but the Italian movies we watched were Rocky and the Godfather trilogy, none of those included weird girls falling in love with animals.

Interested in a sneak peak into the every day life of people who live in Norway and fall in love with polar bears? Click HERE.

The Last Unicorn

My sister, our friend Katie, and I still have a weird obsession with this movie. I found it for a couple bucks several years back and have tried to make my friends fall in love with it, but they just think it's weird. I think that I have a mental block with this one because it's sentimental. I realize that it's weird, but I don't care because all of these years later, I still love it.

I've realized though that this movie is terrifying. It really is. The movie is about a low grade magician named Schmendrick who connects with a unicorn that is turned into a woman. During their adventures, Schmendrick is almost smothered by a tree that has giant breasts and wants him to stay with her forever, an old lady is killed by a harpy, and a skeleton taunts them. None of this, I repeat, NONE of this is a match for how scary (aside from the tree boob scene) the red bull is. He chases unicorns into the sea. This poor unicorn realizes that she is the last of her kind, that she's the only one left, and then has to come to terms with the fact that a fiery red bull wants to chase her into the ocean so she can die like the rest of her kind.

For being such a strange movie, it really does have an all star cast. Jeff Bridges voices the prince, Alan Arkin voices Schmendrick, Mia Farrow voices the unicorn/Lady Amalthea, and Angela Lansbury voices the creepy circus lady that gets killed by the harpy. PLUS America sings the theme song for the movie which still gives me chills. While good does triumph over evil in this movie, it still has a lot of darkness in it which shocks me because it was on heavy rotation in the Novello household. If you've seen it, then you know just how weird the whole tree/Schmendrick scene is.

I couldn't find the whole movie for you, but I could find the trailer, which will just increase your desire to find this movie. Also, this movie contains a song called "Now That I'm a Woman" and you best bet your bottom dollar that this has become my theme song.

Return to Oz

I'm really surprised, nay, FLABBERGASTED at the amount of people who haven't seen this film. This movie was my childhood. It was my older sister's favorite movie and we would watch it every time my older siblings would come spend a weekend with us. I must have watched it hundreds of times growing up. Several years ago, my sister bought it for me for Christmas and I've taken it on as my mission in life to show it to everyone of my friends who had never seen it, which is surprisingly, all of them.

I still get the creepy chills when I watch this movie because it's chock full of terrifying moments and characters. Instead of flying monkeys, like the original movie, there's Wheelers. Doesn't sound too scary, does it? Wrong. They are horrible.

They have this laugh that they do while they are chasing you that makes you realize, you will surely die if they catch you. Plus, they are on rollerblades so their movements are all very fluid. If the Wheelers don't do it for you, how about a villain who removes the heads from her victims to wear on her own body whenever she pleases? I'm looking at you, Princess Mombi! At one point, Dorothy is trying to fetch the magic flying powder from Mombi's head closet and one of them wakes. She starts screaming and Mombi's headless body starts coming for Dorothy. No. Thank. You.

Let's not forget that this movie begins with Dorothy's aunt and uncle taking her to a mental hospital to receive shock therapy. They are literally going to zap her brain to make her stop talking about Oz and her original adventure. 

Don't worry- this creepy character, the Gnome King (who has a thing for ruby slippers) is defeated when Bellina (the chicken) drops an egg into his mouth. Didn't know eggs were the only way to defeat giant, evil rock formations? Now you do. Talking chickens, headless villains, wheelers, shock therapy, talking rocks, and creepy characters make this probably the weirdest movie that I watched growing up. Additionally, because of this movie, I can't walk past a small green object without touching it and shouting "Oz!" 

HERE is the trailer. If we lived close to one another, I'd invite you over to watch it. My rule is that you can't make fun of it though. None of this "What a dumb movie!" stuff, it's a cinematic masterpiece and I won't have you talking about it in any other way. 

Are there any movies from your childhood that are just so strange and dark that you can't believe your were allowed to watch them? Tell me all about them!


  1. I LOVED the Polar Bear King... and had nightmares after it that people turned into bears and ate me.

    Also, I basically refer to the laxity that comes with the younger children as "The Fall of the House of _________ (insert last name)" and it is a real thing. When I came home from college, my little brother had a permanent TV table in the living room. We had to eat in the kitchen and crane our necks to see half the screen.

    Let's find a way to meet and eat donuts and watch weird movies. (I sound like SUCH a creeper.)

    1. Oh, and my weird childhood movie, which I just thought of yesterday: Murder by Death. CLASSIC, and slightly disturbing.

    2. I've never heard of Murder by Death! Sounds terrifying though and entirely inappropriate for children! I can't believe you loved the Polar Bear King too! I remember watching it all the time and when I was rewatching it, I realized that it's pretty creepy and odd. The Polar Bear weirds me out now and so does that beast loving Princess!

  2. Is it sad that I don't think I've seen any of these movies?
    Maybe I should be thankful for that! hahaha


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