Aaaahh! Real Monsters!
The '80s and '90s brought us movies with monsters from every possible realm: clowns, hyenas, possessed dolls and dinosaurs, to name a few. Some of these movies our parents told us not to watch and we did it anyway, and then didn’t sleep for a month. Here are a few of our favorite monster movies from childhood. Note: 16 frightening GIFS ahead — you've been warned.
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Aliens: Sigourney Weaver’s alien baby
Aliens freaked our stuff out for a variety of reasons, but lo these 27 years later we can still remember that dreadful alien baby emerging from a screaming, tortured Sigourney Weaver. Then we experienced real child labor years later and realized it wasn’t that much different. Still, the slimy sound-effects associated with the demon alien birth scarred us for life.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi: Emperor Palpatine
Palpatine is the stuff nightmares are made of. Who among us has not had night terrors where a half-dead wrinkly guy wrapped in a cape with a decaying mouth is after us? Yuck. Double yuck. There are bad guys and villains and then there are monsters. With his sinister demon voice, Emperor Palpatine dominates the monster category.
The Mummy: the mummy
Even Brendan Fraser’s hotness wasn’t enough to distract us from the horrifying mummy in The Mummy. One minute you’re on an archaeological dig in an ancient city (and yes, we did like it better when it was called Raiders of the Lost Ark) and the next the desert sands turn into a big-mouthed mummy. Remind us never to go on an archaeological dig in an ancient city, unless we have Harrison Ford with us.
Rasputin was unnecessarily ugly and evil. Who kills a baby’s whole family and then tries to do her in later when it’s discovered that she didn't die? With his mystic powers and undeadness, Rasputin is a force to be reckoned with and scared the daylights out of us when we watched Anastasia. Being born a Russian princess isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.
The Lion King: the hyenas
The most bone-chilling thing about hyenas is that they'll eat anything — and laugh about it. That’s just rude. The Lion King made us hope that we never find ourselves at the mercy of a pack of heckling hyenas.
Jafar, the villain in Aladdin, can’t get into the Cave of Wonders because only those "pure of heart" are allowed to enter. That tells us everything we need to know about Jafar. He had a nasty disposition and temper, but more terrifying was his ability to turn into an overgrown snake. That is some freaky stuff right there — the stuff that wakes little kids up in the middle of the night.
The Little Mermaid: Ursula
Ursula, repulsive and evil as she was, taught us a valuable life lesson. We would all grow up and have Ursula as a boss someday. She would be big, with gray hair, and she would be mean and envy us for what she could not have: in Ariel’s case, a voice; in our case, a life. Where was that trident when we needed it?
Leprechaun: the leprechaun
As if little guys dressed in green and donning pointed shoes and weird hats weren’t enough to make us uncomfortable, a movie about a killer leprechaun (cleverly titled Leprechaun) was made and released in 1993. The leprechaun is greedy (forever hogging the gold to himself), kills anyone who gets in the way of his quest for gold, and he’s immortal. Not a good combination. In fact, it’s a downright creepy combination. Oh, and he has a craggly face and hideous teeth. Scare-ee.