Childhood is great. Well, for the most part.
Recently, a short clip from the Mike Myers movie, The Cat In The Hat went viral. Tweeters generally felt a vast array of feelings towards this movie, mostly humour but it also induced a lot of other unanticipated feelings, chief among them disgust. All in all, most everyone agreed the movie was very f*cking weird with zany humour that verged on NSFW at points. Still, it was the highlight of many of our childhoods for some god forsaken reason.
everyday i think about how this movie is the reason why the seuss estate won’t allow anymore live-action adaptations of dr. seuess’ books pic.twitter.com/BdtdYVWZ3o
— gianna (@lonelyfilms) August 11, 2020
This got me thinking, what are some other movies and tv shows from my childhood that gave us those similar kind of inexplicable feelings. Shows that just bring something new to the table, a unique blend of comedy and horror that just go together so well. More often than not however, I’m sure unintentionally, left us feeling more parts horrified about what was unfolding on screen than entertained.
Here are my top 5 picks for the greatest of the weird and freakish in television and cinema (spoilers ahead):
1. CatDog (1998)
Ah, CatDog. This has got to be one of the strangest cartoons we 90’s kids have been subjected to. The show featured a pair of brothers named Cat and Dog. Cat is a no nonsense kitty who was against pretty much every scheme the show cooked up. And then, we had Dog that was more or less sweet, dopey and as unassuming as they come. Oh, and they’re conjoined by a a hot dog-shaped trunk. Together they live in a house shaped like a fish attached to a giant bone. Who comes up with this, honestly?
This show doesn’t so much fill me with dread or laughs so much as just the feeling of what the actual f*ck? But do I ever regret having watched this as a child? HELL NO.
2. Monster House (2006)
Monster House was pretty funny, thanks to co-writer Dan Harmon of Rick and Morty, Community fame but the gags were definitely not worth the terrifying horror that was the main villain of the film – a demonic, anthropomorphic mansion that eats kids for breakfast, lunch, dinner and probably as a nice little snack.
The movie revolved around three suburban kids who ventured into the House, in a world that did not believe the evil of the House. Sound familiar?
Did they really expect us to be ok with the protagonists and by extension, us entering a House that is literally trying to eat us? Like its one thing to be fighting an evil entity but to travel INTO that entity seems a bit over the top for a kids movie.
Personally I was checked out within the first act of the film when the floor was trying to consume children. I mean C’mon man.
3. Cat In The Hat (2003)
And we come to my personal favourite, The Cat In The Hat. How this movie was given the green light as a child friendly Dr. Seuss adaptation is beyond me.
The movie, which is an unfaithful but so awesome adaptation of the Dr Seuss poem, The Cat In The Hat features The Cat in the Hat (Mike Myers) arrive at the home of bored young children while their mother is out. It is here that they get into all sorts of adventures and just left field ideas that left me as a child not knowing exactly what a bad movie was but knowing this was it somehow.
Now as an adult, I see the value in it but as a child, damn, it was so wacky and all over the place. Petition to make Mike Myers make movies again pls. I need more Austin Powers movies.
4. The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
Baby Freddie Highmore! So cute! Also, if you think about it, baby Norman Bates from Bates Motel but just don’t, lol.
The Spiderwick Chronicles is a fantasy adventure flick based on a book series of the same name. The film, set in the Spiderwick Estate follow three children who discover a field guide to fairies while encountering magical creatures such as trolls, goblins and ogres. Arthur Spiderwick writes a field guide about many Faeries he has encountered but upon finishing, the evil villain Mulgarath, a shapeshifting ogre steals the book’s secrets for evil.
The scariest part for me by far was when the Dad came back after the family had defended a siege against Mulgarath’s army of minions. Our protagonist straight up stabs his own father before it is revealed that is in fact not his father and just Mulgarath who shape shifted. The battle then began as Mulgarath entered his real form and attacked the family. I was so freaked out like for real. The ogre turned into a snake y’all. WTF.
5. Corpse Bride (2005)
I never really watched this one but I was however, subjected to watching the trailer for it against my will and my god I tell you, it left me so traumatized. Tim Burton movies have that effect, I guess.
For the people who watched this as kids and actually enjoyed it, sorry to break it to you but you need to someone for what you have.
So those are my picks. Have I missed out on anything? Let me know down below.