Hopefully it's no secret to you all now that Netflix has recently spewed out an amazing collection of DVDs that are all available to watch instantly. Not only horror movies have been part of this swing (hooray for Instant Watch Suspiria!), but a barrage of classic TV shows as well. If you grew up in the golden era of Nickelodeon, then you know about a little program called SNICK. And before you get too excited, no, Roundhouse has not been added to Instant Watch.
Side note: What the fuck was The Roundhouse about anyways? Someone tell me. Ahem. You should also then know about some amazing television programs, most of which happened to be cartoons. Rugrats, Doug, Hey Arnold, Rocko's Modern Life---they were cartoons with an agenda that didn't necessarily consist of teaching kids about morals. They held within them points that only adults would understand--and as I realized the other day, things that only a horror fan would understand.
I've mentioned this before when I took my horror hiatus and only watched comedies for a weekend, but horror is seriously everywhere. While sitting down to watch an episode of Rugrats, thanks to Instant Watch, I realized that the horror movie references were quite abundant. So for today's Quickie post, I give you some truly awesome horror references that were surely under my radar as a young kid and now dance wildly in front of my horror obsessed brain. Sure I was more of a Doug fan in my day, but until Netflix adds those, we'll have to settle for Rugrats.
We'll start with the most obvious, Reptar was the babies hero. An obvious physical modeling after Godzilla, but also a not so obvious hero complex--Reptar had the unique trait of being the babies ultimate superhero. He destroyed buildings and ate people in all the movies about him, but then he would save the baby's in a different episode,(save them against a King Kong hybrid of all things)
star in Reptar on Ice,
and be the poster child for cereal,
lunch boxes and candy bars.
His resume is quite fascinating and what I love most is how the babies connect so tenderly to him, despite his obvious horror connotations and history with violence and destruction. Which is of course true for many horror villains. An interesting phenomena if you ask me.
Certainly I wouldn't have caught such a horror reference back in the old days--and the concept of giant insects being in OLD movies was sort of over my head. But I couldn't help but smile when I saw this snippet of a giant ant terrorizing the little people. What makes it better is that Tommy and Chuckie associate Tommy's great Aunt with this giant Ant--and draw the conclusion that she too is an alien/giant bug. Pretty genius.
SCI-FI AND ALIENS
This isn't a reference really to the movie Alien, rather, Rugrats had several episodes that dealt with Sci-Fi themes and especially those dealing with aliens. In one memorable episode, Tommy imagines the house next door changing into a Close Encounters type space ship,
sending down a periscope that peers into Tommy's window,
beaming him up--and bringing him into the spaceship in which the aliens are versions of his family.
Kind of scary!
DRACULA AND FRANKENSTEIN
Any Halloween episode will most likely feature a handful of horror references, but I found something charming in the way that Tommy's parents dress as the two most notable classic horror icons. Dee Dee dons fangs, a cape, and what looks like more Bride of Frankenstein-ish hair to become a vampire.
While Stu puts on his "Frankenstein flat top" to become the monster and does his best Frankenstein's monster walk out of the house.
In a different episode, the intro has Tommy's dad downstairs in the "lab" dealing with some kind of electric current and a doll on the table.
Once the currents go through the doll wiggles it's hand
and Tommy's dad shout "IT'S ALIVE! IT'S ALIVE!"
Another of Stu's failed inventions comes to life and once again homages Frankenstein!
A MONSTER UNDER THE BED
While not a direct reference, you can't deny the horrific power of a child that is afraid of what might be under the bed. In this episode, when Chuckie gets a new bed, Angelica shows him a scary comic book detailing a monster under the bed incident. Chuckie is of course, naturally petrified. During a sleepover with Tommy, the two decide to investigate once and for all to disprove the theory. What they find however is a startling discovery---
Turns out the "monster" was just Chuckie's dad's sweater!
Other Horror Aspects....
Ghosts/Scary Things in the Attic
Scary Doctor's AND Needle Trauma