"This movie has warped my fragile little mind!"

What movies did you watch as a young person that were maybe a little too mature for you, and warped your little mind a bit?

I think I saw RoboCop when I was six or seven years old, and I was blown away by the level of violence in that film. Incidentally, it wasn’t until I was well into my 20s that I realized I’d watched a censored-for-TV version. Kinney’s death at the hands of ED-209, Murphy getting his hand blown off, and the toxic-goop-drenched criminal exploding into gore on Boddicker’s van weren’t even in that version. But what I saw when I was a kid was bad enough.

Eraserhead.

  1. Bambi. As a child, the idea that my mother might die…? Disney wasn’t pulling any punches.

  2. Jaws. I didn’t live anywhere near the ocean etc. but it was so graphic that I was a little afraid to go in the local swimming pool. The “Apple Dumpling Gang” this wasn’t.

  3. The Deer Hunter. OK I wasn’t a child, but that movie blew me away.

The Thing scarred me for life. I was like 8 when I first saw it. The head that turns into a spider thing is a large contributing factor in my uneasiness with spiders and bugs.

“Warped”? I’m thinking the fucking word is “Shaped”!

Jaws. I was afraid to take a bath for a while.

The Deep. The fights, the eels.

Benchley fucked me up.

I still vividly remember a scene from a movie called “The Light at the Edge of the World”. I was eight or nine. The scene was aboard a pirate ship, and the pirates rammed two spears into a guy’s throat. This was before Disney made pirates adorable rascals.

I must’ve started fussing because my parents got up and got me out of there. We did not go back. Good thing too, from the Wikipedia plot description, it got way gorier from there.

For a movie with Kirk Douglas and Yul Brynner, it’s a pretty obscure film. Flop at the box office too.

It’s Disney. Parents always die in Disney.

Hell to Eternity. Bloodier than war movies tended to be in 1960, two stripteases (nothing showing, but it was pretty obvious what happened afterwards, though off camera), and most white kids living in Maine at the time knew nothing about America’s concentration camps.

Here to Eternity

The Great Waldo Pepper when I was about 8 or 9. We were with these childless friends of my parents who insisted we go even though my parents thought it was too old for us kids.

There’s a scene where there is a plane crash and the plane catches fire. Rather than see his best friend who is trapped in the wreckage burn to death slowly, the main protagonist (Robert Redford) bashes his friend’s brains in with a lump of wood. I found it very disturbing.

I remember when CBS aired The Exorcist for the first time in 1980. Sure, it was a censored version but at 10 years and going to a Catholic grade school it messed with my head pretty bad. I could never bring myself to even attempt to watch it again until I was well into my 20s.

The Beastmaster with Marc Singer and Tanya Roberts aired on cable repeatedly when I was a kid. There were two things that really freaked me out:

  1. The scene where a worm creature crawled into a man’s ear and drove him nuts.

  2. The bat creatures that wrapped their wings around people and dissolved them.

Alíen. I was a tween at the time.

I guess that is one of the reasons why I find the concept of parasitoids almost unbearable, emotionally speaking.

“Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” was utterly terrifying to me as a young boy. Kids getting sucked through tubes, turned into blueberries, and caught inside a television never to be seen again. Of course, they were hauled off by the sinister Oompa Loompas to be tortured or experimented upon in all the ways my prepubescent mind could imagine. Due to the nightmares, I couldn’t watch the film again until I was almost 30 years old, and the hairs still stood on my neck when the Oompa Loompas started to sing their stupid little song out of their stupid little orange faces.

My first non-child movie was Asylum. It was an anthology horror film. It had four different stories. For days (weeks?) I would relive the different stories. One day it was one story and the next day a different one.

Somewhere as a young kid I stumbled across the last chapter of The Trilogy of Terror on late night TV. It was the Zuni Fetish doll chapter. Needless to say I got zero sleep that night and couldn’t erase that final scene of Karen Black with the razor teeth from my mind.

I dunno about warped, my mind has always been pretty warped; but my first jump scare was when The Abominable Doctor Phibes pulled off his mask. Yikes!

The fly. The original one, not the Jeff goldblum one. I was doing well until the towel came off his head. Nightmares for years. I was in single digits at the time… I think 6 to 7.

Ran upstairs at that point and haven’t ever seen any more of the movie. No way was I going anywhere near the goldblum version. I do know the iconic “help me!” line, even quoted it at times, but I haven’t seen it.

I wouldn’t say this film warped my mind, but it certainly opened my eyes.

In 1964, when I was 12 years old, like I did every week I went to our little local movie theater to see whatever it was they were playing. The movie that week was The Pawnbroker, starring Rod Steiger as an embittered Jewish man, a concentration camp survivor, who had witnessed the murder of his wife and children and had suffered unspeakable degradation at the hands of the Nazis. He now was a pawnbroker in a seedy part of Harlem. It was quite graphic in its depiction of the Holocaust, which was shown in flashback. I was a suburban Presbyterian kid and knew nothing of this. It was jarring to say the least.