Fresh Retro Juice

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6 Weird Characters From 80s Films That Were Scary AF!

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Ah the 1980s! No childproofing or adult supervision because we learned from near death experiences like the well adjusted feral children we were AND still managed to survive! What didn’t kill us made us stronger and the fact that my older brother and I were constantly in and out of A&E with broken bones due to ‘playing’ was an education in itself. What a time to be alive!

As a kid I spent a lot of time in the school summer holidays watching VHS tapes of all kinds of ‘child appropriate’ films. However, with the wisdom of hindsight, there were many MANY films that were just not ok to be watching!

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This made me think… from the classic to the crazy, which characters from 80s movies definitely gave me unnecessary nightmares?! So, here’s my top 6 strange movie characters from the 1980s that left me with PTSD!

One – The Wheelers (Return to Oz 1985)

Remember that one time when Disney decided to lull us into a false sense of a security and then BAAAM hit us with these…

So scary we made it into a t-shirt!

Along with the headless witch screaming “DOROTHY GAAAALE!!” and all the heads in the cabinets…

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(That scene also ruined me!) The much-anticipated sequel to The Wizard of OZ, riddled my tiny impressionable mind with nightmares. Good times.

Two – Medusa (Clash of The Titans 1981)

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This film always seemed to be showing on a causal Sunday afternoon in my house. And of course, with only one TV, I would have to watch whatever my parents wanted. I was hugely sucked into this story and the stop motion visual effects, and then found myself all of sudden being a fan of Greek mythology. Well… that was until Medusa! Because I apparently didn’t need to sleep that night.  

Three – Jareth The Goblin King (Labyrinth 1986)

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Labyrinth is definitely up there as one of my fave and most memorable films from my childhood. I mean… Bowie! The movie is iconic and is surely stamped into every kid of the 80s heart! BUT let’s remove those rose-tinted specs. Jareth was super weird and fairly terrifying. And not just his distracting man bulge! I’m also not entirely sure why a grown ass man was trying to woo a 15-year-old!

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Four – Judge Doom (Who Framed Roger Rabbit 1988)

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Another classic 80s movie that hits me in the childhood feels! A mashup of live action and animation from the dude (Robert Zemeckis) who brought us Back to the Future. Winner! Amongst the clever hilarity and engaging plot… it was the terrifying antagonist Judge Doom that took things too far… especially with THAT scene which successfully disturbed many small children!

I can’t cope!!!

I can’t cope!!!

Five – Antarean (Cocoon 1985)

A fantasy film about a bunch of old people who discover the fountain of youth… with an added storyline of aliens of course! Now if it wasn’t traumatising enough to see these friendly aliens shed their human skin…

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…We then had to see the shrivelled up half dead alien too! ANY NEED!!

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Six – Cyborg (Superman III 1983)

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Granted this film isn’t hailed as the best in the Christopher Reeve Superman franchise, but it beats Superman IV which I like to pretend never really happened! What makes this film iconic are three things: Richard Pryor pretending to be Superman with a tablecloth around his neck, the fight between drunk evil Superman and Clark Kent… and the horrendous scene when villain sidekick Vera gets dragged into a giant computer and turned into a robot! (Sounds legit right?!) This scene had me SHOOK as a kid. The gurgled screams when she gets attacked by the super computer will forever haunt my dreams!