As some of you may have read earlier, the Jolly Green Giant is a freak who scared the crap out of me as a child. I'll admit, I have had irrational fears in my life. This is my way of conquering them. So, to continue with the list of things that scared the crap out of me as a child (now on TTSTCOOMAAC...i'll figure out a handy way to refer to it later)...
the movie Babes in Toyland, made in 1934, starring Laurel and Hardy.
Yes, you read it right. The movie Babes in Toyland. Made in 1934. Starring comic classics Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy.
This might be foreign to many of you on here, but in case you know it by its other name, it was also called the March of the Wooden Soldiers. Ring any bells? Hope so. Anyway.
Without TV and trying desperately to fall asleep before the sun came up, I stumbled across a site that has a ton of classic black and white movies the other night. One of the most played was Babes in Toyland. As a kid, I both loved and hated this movie. Loved it for some of the climactic action sequences near the end but it also, as mentioned, instilled a fear in me few things have matched to this day.
The movie itself isn't so bad. It portrays Toyland, a catch-all for fairy tale people. Like Far Far Away in Shrek! sans Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy and, oh yeah, color. It isn't the plotline or anything that scares me. It's the costumes. Now, I realize this was 1934 and costumes were primitive, but these things still send chills down my spine. They're downright creepy.
When I was a kid, my parents would drop me off at my grandmother's apartment whenever they needed to go out and my sister couldn't babysit. This happened a lot in summer when she was off at dance camp and my parents worked. Sitting on the fuzzy blue carpet in front of the big Zenith that eventually became mine, I would pop open the cabinet doors under the television and begin to look through her movies. There were stacks and stacks of the black plastic VHS cases in there. Some had carbboard covers, but most were recorded off the television. I wasn't allowed to watch a few--like Night of the Living Dead (again circa the 1930s)--and I just didn't want to watch some--who cares about Miracle on 34th street. I'm pretty sure my grandmother didn't own a movie that was made post WW-II, except for stuff by Elvis. She liked Elvis.
My choice in movies was limited. Almost everytime I landed on Babes in Toyland. I was attracted to the scene at the end where the wooden soldiers--played by real people--basically go apeshit on the bad guys. They tear it up. It's pretty awesome. Anyway.
In order to get to this scene, though, I needed to get through the other hour and change of the movie. This involved having to be exposed to some really fucking creepy costume. First off, the pigs.
The three little pigs are in this movie. It looks like they're played by kids or midgets. Either way, they are wearing latex pig face masks. I'd be okay with this if, when they moved around, the masks stayed on the eyes. But no, it appears that the masks move and there are no eyes behind the masks. This gives the three little pigs a slightly satanic feel. They look like children of the underlord. They need eyes, damnit. Next object of my hatred, the monkey.
Now, I like monkeys. I even thought about studying monkeys in college and grad school. I didn't, but I still like monkeys. This monkey is not like any other monkey though. This monkey is dressed up in some bastard Mickey Mouse costume. Yes, they use a monkey to play a mouse. Meanwhile, they have a person in a cat costume to play a cat. The monkey is also of Satan. Are you sensing a pattern here? These creatures are evil.
The final creatures were the bad guys. They were hairy bipeds with some sort of mask. They were supposed to be bogeymen, and to me, they were. If the movie wasn't made in 1934, these maniacs would definitely have raped Little Bo Peep and done some unnecessary things to her sheep to boot. In the film though, they just wreak general, non-penetrative havoc. In such numbers they provoked me to cover my eyes many times, until the unearthly wooden soldiers showed their faces, that is.
These three creatures--pigs, monkey mouse thing, and bogeymen--scared the crap out of me. I don't know if its the black and white...or the primitive costumes, but something in them made me cover my eyes. Reviewing the movie, there's still something about them that causes me to shiver. Now, I know every actor in the movie is long dead, and I have nothing to fear, but still. That monkey, those pigs, they're just wrong.