The 80’s, a time when filmmakers took it upon themselves to mentally scar a generation of children, quite the opposite of the brightly coloured, pop culture referencing kiddie flicks of today. Films back then could be violent, dystopian and set in eerie locations populated by strange creatures.
I present to you, the films that sent shivers up the spines of millions, the movies that gave us nightmares, the 10 Creepiest Kids Movies of the 80’s.
This underrated action adventure starts crazy and finishes just as crazy. During the late 18th century, a Turkish army lays siege to a European city and it’s up to Baron Munchhausen to save them. Speaking of creepy imagery, imagine a giant Robin Williams having headless sex, Ben Kingsley as a Sultan chopping people’s heads off, and Oliver Reed as the God Vulcan. But what puts this movie in this list is the Grim Reaper, this guy is just disturbing.
Known as the darkest Disney movie ever made, every frame in this movie is dark, it literally has nothing cheerful. The villain called the Horned King is terrifying, this guy doesn’t have one funny moment, he’s always serious. Not to mention his minions, who are creepy and murder his old men. (Disney had to edit clips out as they shows his men’s skin melt) His death scene is what puts this movie at number 9, where his skin gets torn off as he’s sucked into the Black Cauldron.
Goonies never say die! this movie is pure awesomeness, from booby traps to the truffle shuffle, the Goonies is pretty much the most iconic ’80s kid’s action movie. However, there are some scenes that would scare the pants off any child. The most terrifying moments include the swarms of bats, Chunk’s hand being so close to getting chopped up in the blender, the dead fed agent that falls on chunk, the first time you see Sloth, I could go on. There are so many skeletons, not forgetting the creepy skeleton organ and the noise it makes when Andy plays the wrong chord.
A great and adventurous kids film, with dwarf thieves and a boy jumping through time, stealing things from historical legends like Napoleon and Robin Hood, how could this possibly be creepy? Those horrific cow-head things that shoot fireballs from their heads making creepy noises, these guys are genuinely disturbing. Also when the Supreme Being’s glowing head starts chasing our protagonist with his boom voice, it’s pretty unsettling. The final scene with the boy’s parents blowing up still bothers me today, it ends on such a downer.
This classic children’s movie about friendship, family and magic, has some beautiful animation with great colourful visuals. But on the other hand it has a conspiracy to murder, and characters stabbing each other with swords. Let’s not forget the rat in the rose bush that tries to kill Mrs. Brisby or the farmers cat Dragon, with that freaky eye. I think one of the most memorable moments is that of the Great Owl, that whole scene is just terrifying with his giant glowing eyes and booming voice.
This beloved fantasy movie, with an incredible film score and creative set design, is filled with amazing creatures like the rock eater and the luckdragon. But it also has one of the most drawn out deaths in children’s cinema, the scene where, Artax the protagonist’s beloved horse, tragically drowns in Swamps of Sadness. Not only that, but the world is been torn into nothing, and let’s not forget the scary wolf G’mork and the big boobed sphinx statues with lazer eyes.
Ridley Scott’s attempt to do a children’s movie, Legend was supposed to be a epic big screen fairy tale, let just say it didn’t do well at the box office. Apart from a young Tom Cruise jumping around like a monkey, Legend is the stuff of recurring kids nightmares. Tim Curry as Darkness, the red-skinned, black-horned devil who takes a fancy to Toms girlfriend. Don’t get me wrong, he’s the best part of the movie, a great villain- but will scare the shit out of any child.
The Jim Henson classic, the man who created The Muppets and Frank Oz, the man who plays Yoda. It’s hard to pick a particular creepy scene from this movie, due to the entire thing looks creepy. From the old Skeksis leader falling to pieces when he dies, to Aughra the Oracle taking her eyes out or just the freaky design of all the monsters. Let’s not forget the scene where the Podlings are having their essence drained by the crystal, very creepy.
How could this live-action animated hybrid comedy which has classic cartoon characters like Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny in it, be on this list? Two words, Judge Doom. You get to see him murdering a cartoon just for a demonstration. Later on you see him being crushed by a steamroller, followed by having his eyes pop out. To finish things off he has one of the freakiest voices in movie history, nightmare material for children.
Many critics and fans alike agree that Return to Oz is one of if the most terrifying children’s movies ever made. Many of its scenes feel as if they were deliberately designed to give children nightmares.
While the scariest part of the Wizard of Oz had winged monkeys and a green woman, Return to Oz features Dorothy being taken to a mental hospital, a woman who collects heads, freaky men with wheels for hands and a cross dressing rock man.
Thanks for reading my 10 Creepy Kids Movies Of The 80’s You Should See, what did you think? Are there any movies I missed that you thought should have made the list? Let me know in the comments below. If you have a chance, please check out my New Youtube channel Hyperdrive.