Wednesday, October 10, 2012

List: 10 Childhood Nightmares

Around this time last year, when my blog was still in its infancy, I decided to write this post: Happy Halloween: A Tribute To Horror Movies. In that post I wrote that I wanted to make a list of my favourite horror movies for Halloween. However I wasn't able to do so as I haven't seen much films from that particular genre. Now, it has been almost a year later and I still haven't seen an ample number of  horror movies. What can I say? The genre just doesn't appeal to me a lot.

I think it gets worse with my current age as I don't get scared as much as I used to. I actually do believe in ghosts in real life, but watching most horror movies just doesn't give me enough thrills. It doesn't help that I find most of them predictable. Every now and then, there will be a movie that creeps me out, but those are very rare indeed. Instead I've dug deep into my memory to find movie characters that used to give the child version of me nightmares. Because of the particular age, some of these aren't even horror, and in fact are family-friendly films. I didn't get to see classic horrors like The Exorcist [1973] until my teens, so I'm leaving them out. This list is also in no particular order of preference.

p/s: until this very day I haven't seen a single film from the Scream franchise.

# "The Resident Quote Of My Childhood Nightmares" ~ Jerry Dandrige


Movie: Fright Night [1985]
Played By: Chris Sarandon

The original Fright Night [1985] is the first full horror movie that I can recall seeing. I might have seen a few scenes from other horror films before but never in its entirely. There's a scene in this movie where the vampire Jerry Dandrige is confronted by "Vampire Hunter" Peter Vincent (played by Roddy McDowell). Vincent shows the cross, but Jerry nonchalantly takes the cross while proclaiming: "You have to have faith for that to work on me!".

Since then every horrible creature in my childhood nightmares would repeat that same line instead of dying. I try to save a pretty girl by chopping off a zombie's head, "You have to have faith for that to work on me". I shoot a werewolf with a silver bullet, "You have to have faith for that to work on me". I run over a lion chasing another pretty girl with a huge truck, "You have to have faith...". I push a serial killer off a cliff. "You have to have faith...". I cut Darth Vader's hand off with my lightsaber. "You have to have faith...". I finish a 100m sprint in first place. "You have to have faith...(while taking away the gold medal)". What the f**k man!! Some doesn't make sense at all except for the purpose of annoying me. I don't remember ever waking-up to a happy ending. Darn you, Fright Night!!

Selected Quote: "Welcome to Fright Night!..... for real!!"

# "She Has An Army Of Flying Monkeys" ~ Wicked Witch Of The West

Movie: The Wizard Of Oz [1939]
Played By: Margaret Hamilton

While Fright Night was the first horror movie I remember seeing, Jerry Dandrige wasn't the first movie character to frighten me. That honour belongs to The Wicked Witch Of The West. That green face, voice, and army of flying monkeys basically traumatised me. It was the only downside to an otherwise extremely enjoyable movie. Of course she had one of the most stupid weakness ever. But even when dying she creeped me out with her squealing voice (see quote below). That stupid weakness didn't work in my nightmares however. You know the drill: "You have to have faith for that to work on me!".

Selected Quote: "You cursed brat! Look what you've done! I'm melting! Melting! Oh, what a world! what a world!".

# "The Tribute To Roger Moore" ~ Jaws & Baron Samedi

Movies: The Spy Who Loved Me [1977], Moonraker [1979]
Played by: Richard Kiel

Movie: Live And Let Die [1973]
Played by: Geoffrey Holder

As we now enter the month of October, Bond fever goes into hyperdrive stage. Sadly for me, Roger Moore is often placed at the bottom of favourite Bond actors. I actually quite like him. A major factor for that is because of the two villains above.

First of all, Jaws is utterly daunting. Not only does he have metal teeth, he is unequivocally gigantic. I swear he looks to be 13 feet tall!! The scary thing is I'm only half-exaggerating. Time-travel out of the way, he could easily be cast in a Jack And The Beanstalk movie during the pre-CGI era (before 1940s). Baron Samedi on the other hand is the guy who introduced me to vodoo. I might be wrong, but I think he is the only Bond villain who didn't die during the movies. Oops... spoiler alert!

Quote ~ Jaws: "Well, here's to us" (his only ever dialogue)

Selected Quote: ~ Baron Samedi: (At the end of the movie while sitting infront of moving train): "Hahahahahahaha....."

# "We All Need To Stay Awake Now" ~ Freddy Krueger

Movies: A Nightmare On Elm Street films [1984-1994]
Played by: Robert Englund

There's not much I remember about the Nightmare On Elm Street films. But I do remember it being darn scary, in particular this guy with the stripy red shirt and long razor claws.

Selected Quote: "This, is God!"

# "The Legend Of South-East Asia" ~ Pontianak

Movie: Misteri Rumah Tua [1987]
Played by: Noor Kumalasari

This is the ghost that I can relate to the most, as it comes from my culture. As I live in a part of the world that still heavily believes in the supernatural, the "Pontianak" is probably the most popular one. Its basically a female vampire, dressed in white with long hair and fangs. According to legend/myth, if men manages to put a nail to its neck, it would turn into a beautiful woman, and the men would then marry her. I know, creepy. But you do have to have faith for that to happen.... or maybe that's just me.

There are plenty of incarnations of Pontianak in my local movies, but the state of my local film industry is in VERY poor condition. The very first Pontianak movie made 1957 for example is lost forever as the studio owners threw the only remaining footage in a river after an argument (read here). So I went for a movie which was made by a callobration between Malaysia and Indonesia called Misteri Rumah Tua [1987]. That terrible image above is the only photo I could find on the Internet.

Selected Quote: (Translated) "Mr., do you believe in ghosts?"

# "That Crazy Girl From Sam Raimi's Cult Classic" ~ Linda

Movie: The Evil Dead [1981]
Played by: Betsy Baker

Believe it or not, a teacher showed this during primary school after we had finished exams. I believe most of us back then had only seen very few horror movies during our infant lives. All the boys tried to act all macho and cool in front of the girls. We all failed miserably with each girlie scream we (me) made. The character I feared the most was Linda, just because of her sinister laugh, singing, and her resemblance to a Pontianak.

Selected Quote: (singing): "We're going to get you. We're going to get you. Not another peep. Time to go to sleep"

# "Now This Is Supposed To Be A Children's Film?" ~ Gmork

Movie: The NeverEnding Story [1984]
Voiced By: Alan Oppenheimer

There's plenty of scary things in this film such as the giant turtle known as Morla/The Aged One. There's also the whole concept of "The Nothing" which can also be scary. But Gmork takes the nod for being the scariest.

Selected Quote: "If you come closer I will rip you to shreds"

# "Another One That Is Supposed To Be A Child's Movie?" ~ The Goblin King

Movie: Labyrinth [1986]
Played by: David Bowie

Confession: I used to be a conspiracy theorist (more like wild imagination) because for a long time I thought David Bowie really was a Goblin in real life. His rock star persona was just a cover-up. He entered my nightmare once with the "You have to have faith...." line. I answered with: "If someone as wimpy-looking as you have come to scare me in my sleep, I've already lost all faith".

Selected Quote: "I ask for so little. Just fear me, love me, do as I say, and I'll be your slave."

# "If Someone Asks If You Are A God, You Say: YES!" ~ Gozer

Movie: Ghostbusters [1984]
Played by: Slavitza Jovan

Gozer The Gozerian was pretty scary, but she emerged at one of the funniest moments of a truly great movie. Yes, the genius of Bill Murray does it once again.

Selected Quote: "Are you a God?"

# "Coulrophobia" ~ It

Movie: Stephen King's It [1990]
Played By: Tim Curry

Caulrophobia. Fear of clowns. I'm now actually amazed to find out that there are a lot of people who are afraid of clowns. As young kid I couldn't even imagine anyone being scared of them. Until I saw this film that is.

Selected Quote: "I'm every nightmare you've ever had. I'm your worst dream come true. I'm everything you were afraid of".


  1. Great list, Asrap! I'm actually not that scared of Chris Sarandon's Dracula, plus I find him a bit sexy, ahah. Tim Curry's IT scares the living heck out of me though, I've always hated clowns anyway. The one horror character that still haunts me to this day is Regan in The Exorcist!

    1. I can see how Chris Sarandon can be sexy. In fact, that entire movie is kinda erotic. Regan in The Exorcist was very scary but I only got see that movie way into my teens.

    2. Yeah, I think the whole notion of dracula/vampire is definitely sensual. Well until Twilight as I think the sparkling vampire thing is ridiculous. But just look at True Blood, it's almost soft porn! I can't watch that stuff as it's too violent and has too much sex in it though.

    3. Twilight ruins everything...haha! I've never seen True Blood, but am very aware of the soft porn comments it gets.

  2. Great call on It as number 1 - this clown is seriously creepy!

    1. I hear "It" is being remade into a new movie. Let's see how that one goes...

  3. "we're gonna get you" ..gila seram tgk Linda kecik2 dulu..brrrrr

  4. This post is hysterical. The recurring quote is priceless.

    One thing, Gozer the Gozarien scared you? My young self felt something when I saw her, but it wasn't fear.

    Okay, I'm sorry. That was equal parts gross and creepy. My bad.

    1. I'd like to give the excuse that I was too young, but all my friends at that time said pretty much the same thing as you. So I guess it was because I was a huge chicken back then!

  5. Very cool list. "We All Float Down Here". Ahh Pennywise is great. TIm Curry owns that role

    1. He really did. He's almost unrecognizable in the role.

  6. Nice list, Asrap. I have to admit that I haven't seen a lot. Then again, I tried to stay away from horror films ;) But I was pretty scared with Freddy Krueger as a kid.

    1. The ones on the list probably cover... I don't know... around 80% of the horror movies I seen as a child. Didn't see much back then. Freddy Krueger was scary.


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