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80s villains

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!

Top 5 1980s Movie Villains

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Behind every good hero, there’s some little prick who has made their life fairly miserable. Good and evil require a balance. The victory lap of our triumphant hero would be slightly embarrassing if they didn’t first outwit/kill their maniacal archenemy. The films of the 1980s birthed many a glorious baddie. Some we love to hate. Some we just straight up hate. And others are so random and farcical that we genuinely have no idea what the hell is going on!

Now look into the camera and be all scary and stuff... (Bennett from Commando 1985)

Now look into the camera and be all scary and stuff... (Bennett from Commando 1985)

Here are my top 5 80s villains from some most excellent movies!

Ivan Drago – Rocky IV 1986

This guy was seeeeerious! All buff and ting with his perfectly chiselled jaw and giant steroid enhanced muscles. He did not come to play. First of all, he rocks up and kills Rocky’s best pal Apollo in the ring, and second of all… HE JUST DOESN’T CARE! 

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This is one film that I can watch a thousand times over. Mainly because the training montage is epic and makes me feel like I too could traverse a snow peaked mountain… if I wanted to. Watching Rocky finally overcome a hostile Soviet Union crowd and beat the shit out of Ivan Drago makes me smile with my whole face!

Biff Tannen – Back to the Future 1985

This guy is the epitome of the word asshat. He’s an irritant to the highest degree but he’s also hilariously stupid/brutal. (Remember that one time he sexually assaults Marty’s mum and hits her. Awkward.) He’s your classic high school bully who finds twisted delight in making others seem weak. Even though he’s a complete tosser, the Back to the Future Trilogy would be lost without this angry man child.

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The Fratellis – The Goonies 1985

The fact that grown-ups are persistent in the demise of children makes me nervous laugh! These marauding bandits fronted by Mama Fratelli are terrifying but also add a class touch of hilarity to such a fantastic movie. I feel like the comedy capers of The Fratellis should end with them waving their fist in the air and shouting, “I’ll get you next time you pesky kids!”

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General Zod – Superman II 1980

This film is probably my favourite in the Christopher Reeve Superman trilogy. (I’m pretending that Superman IV with Nuclear Man didn’t happen because it was pants!) I mean, this guy... *eye roll*

I just got my nails did!

I just got my nails did!

General Zod is played superbly by legendary actor Terence Stamp. But don’t let his lovely face of manly beardy-ness and slicked back hair fool you. This guy is evil. Along with his backup dancers/Kryptonian criminals they wreck Metropolis because Superman decided he wanted to be human. Fool! The reason I love to hate this classic 80s villain is because General Zod created one of the most iconic scenes from the complete Superman franchise, and for this General, I will kneel!

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Johnny Lawrence – The Karate Kid 1984

Another classic bad boy bully from another great 80s movie, The Karate Kid. Now let’s be honest. In a real fight Daniel-san would get his ass handed to him by Johnny. The (illegal) crane kick was a complete fluke but I’m willing to go with it because I’m such a huge fan of this film. The thing with Johnny is that yes, he’s a mean asshole but at the end of the film you can see he is having an internal conflict of character mainly because he finally realises his karate teacher’s demands of breaking bones is kinda unreasonable! We love you Johnny! And your floppy blonde fringe!

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It's going to be a no from me scary sensei man....