Terrifying '80s Pop Culture

Terrifying '80s Pop Culture

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Let's face it, pop culture was just so much more raw and creepy in the 1980s. Here are some of the scariest moments from the movies and TV shows of our childhood.


The Large Marge Scene in Pee-Wee's Big Adventure

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure was a staple for any '80s kid. Who doesn't remember the Alamo scene and the tequila scene? But we especially remember the ultra-tense and spooky Large Marge scene. Just like Pee-Wee, we all screamed for the big scare at the end!

The Sandworms Scene from Beetlejuice

OH MY GOD, the sandworms. Absolutely terrifying in Beetlejuice! Funny though, we didn't mind when they showed up in the Saturday morning cartoon.

The Halloween Episode of Tales From The Darkside

Tales From The Darkside wasn't as well-written as Amazing Stories or The Twilight Zone, but it still had some epic creepy moments. The intro music and scenery of the TV show alone haunted children of the '80s for years.

Who can forget the Halloween-themed pilot episode with the scary old miser and his scavenger hunt mansion? Oh, and that plot twist at the end. AHHHHH!!!

H/T- IFC, DECIDER

The Grady Twins Scene from The Shining

This one needs no explanation. Just say the words "Come play with us, Danny" to any '80s kid, and you are sure to conjure up frightening memories of this Stanley Kubrick classic film.

The Clown Puppet Scene from Poltergeist

One of the most iconic thriller/scary movie of the '80s! We still get the heebie-jeebies when we see a clown doll.

"They're here..."

H/T- IFC

The Balloon Scene from Stephen King's It

Speaking of scary clowns, who could forget Tim Curry's absolutely horrifying performance as Pennywise in this miniseries based off the popular Stephen King novel. Everything about this movie gave children of the '80s nightmares.

Killer clowns and blood-filled balloons. Yep. No thanks.


 Zelda's Death Scene from Pet Sematary

Stephen King played a prominent role in '80s terror. The Shining and It have already made this list of creepy moments. But who could forget Pet Sematary? The scene when Zelda dies from spinal meningitis is still incredibly haunting.

The Devil's Scenes from Legend

Tim Curry shows up again on our list because he is just that amazing at being terrifying. Here he is in the movie Legend playing Satan in all his malevolent glory.

H/T- IFC

The Psycho Blair Episode from The Facts of Life

You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have... a really friggin' scary episode of this iconic '80s sitcom. Kids of this decade tuned in for the cheesy storywriting and sassy zingers on The Facts of Life. But they weren't prepared for the "Seven Little Indians" episode where Psycho Blair ends up killing everyone on the show over a bad perm. The episode scarred teenagers for life. Do NOT mess with an '80s girl's hair!

The Librarian Ghoul Scene from Ghostbusters

Sure, this '80s classic was technically more of a comedy thanks to the brilliant acting from Bill Murray and Dan Akroyd. However, let's not forget all the scary ghost stuff that was going on. Most people remember the scene where Dana becomes Zuul as being really creepy. But remember also the scene in the library with the nice old librarian who turns into a terrifying ghoul?! We would have ran out of there as fast as we could too!

The Jabberwocky Scene from Alice Through The Looking Glass

Oh, the Jabberwocky...

Who would think that the '80s miniseries adaptation of Lewis Carroll's beloved Alice in Wonderland could be so frightening? Reading about the Jabberwocky in the book didn't seem so bad. But that thing on screen! Absolutely horrifying to see as a child!

H/T- IFC

Gmork from The Neverending Story

What made '80s movies so frighteningly memorable was filmmakers' usage of puppetry. Nothing today with our special effects and CGI comes close to scaring us as old-school puppetry did. Case in point: The Neverending Story. The demonic and realistic looking wolf creature, Gmork, scared the heck out of us as children when it tried to kill our beloved hero, Atreyu.

The Skeksis Scene from The Dark Crystal

And since we are talking about how gritty and scary puppetry can be, let's not forget about the epic movie from our childhood, The Dark Crystal. Jim Henson created an incredibly realistic and raw world for us growing up. We can still remember how freakish this bird creature was. Actually, almost all of The Dark Crystal still haunts our nightmares.

H/T- IFC, DECIDER


If you enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane with this 1980s flashback, then you should definitely check out: After 30 Years, 'Return To Oz' Still Terrorizes Audiences.

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