Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Bunyip

I guess mentioning Artex and The Swamp of Sadness yesterday got me thinking about kids' movies that I watched repeatedly throughout my childhood even though they creeped me out.  You know what sorta movies I'm talking about- Labyrinth, The Dark Crystal, Willow.  Oh man . . . Willow.  

Apparently I grew up during a time when it was perfectly acceptable to make rather horrifying movies for children.  When I see David Bowie I'm not thinking about putting on my red shoes and dancing because I'm still suffering from the residual effects of watching Jareth the Goblin King drag Sarah Williams into the labyrinth.  But at least we can all relate, right?  Not always . . .

Whenever my brother and I behaved at the grocery (which was fairly hit or miss) we were allowed to rent a video from the small VHS rental section of our grocery store.  I grew up in a small town, and the selection was very limited.  I don't know how on earth an Australian animated feature ended up in this little grocery store in Texas, but it did.  Lemme tell you, during the 80s the American film makers were trying their damnedest to scare the bajeezus out of us kids, but they don't have anything on the Australians, who resorted to Aboriginal folklore and excruciatingly erie music .  Check out this very frightening clip from Dot and The Kangaroo and tell me that The Bunyip wouldn't haunt you for life if you had seen this as a child:

Since I was never able to talk through this with any of my American friends (who by the grace of God were never exposed to The Bunyip) I was very comforted by the YouTube comments which were mostly written by Australians.  My favorite:

"Just went to put out the rubbish in the dark, and got hit by some post-bunyip-stress." 

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