The Top 10 Films that Destroyed my Childhood
I love movies. Hey, who the fuck doesn’t!? Seriously, tell me who they are and I’ll beat them with a sack of doorknobs. Anyway, I got to thinking about all the movies I used to love as a kid. And I couldn’t help but notice that with every great classic movie from my childhood comes one or more scenes in said movie that would rip my poor little heart out and show it to me as I cried and bled to death. I’ve given this some thought, and after watching dozens of movies (and sobbing my way through 6 tissue boxes) I bring you my list of the Top 10 Movie Moments That Fucked With My Childhood.
10. All Dogs Go to Heaven
Okay, the whole concept of this movie is fucked up. Our protagonist is a money hungry, gambling, women beating (I could be wrong about that last one) German Shepard named Charlie. He is the co-owner of a Casino for dogs. Yeah… a casino for dogs. Charlie’s partner, Carface, happens to be more greedy than Charlie, so he does what any dog would do to his business partner; He runs him over with a fucking car.
This movie follows the formula that “Psycho” made famous; you shock the hell out of the audience by killing the main character in the first act. The only problem is that THIS IS A CHILDREN’S CARTOON! Do you not understand that no matter how cute you try to make it… Death is still DEATH! Of course we discover that Charlie escapes from Heaven and we get to see more of his shenanigans, however you can’t help but remember that he is a fucking ghost dog and that his time is slowly running out. Oh and if he doesn’t do a good deed before said time runs out, he goes to Hell.
9. An American Tail
This heart warming tale (or tail… get it? Because they’re mice! Oh shut up, it’s not my joke! It’s in the fucking title!) is about a young Jewish-Russian mouse named Fievel Mouskewitz and his family immigrating to America to escape the anti-Jewish riots that are taking place all across Russia. Sound happy and cheery so far? On their way to America, Fievel gets lost at sea during a horrible storm and is separated from his family. The whole rest of the film consists of heart wrenching moments; Fievel getting thrown into a child labor sweat shop, Papa Mousekewitz mourning the death of his son while trying to convince his daughter to lose all hope in the fact that her brother may of survived, Fievel mistaking the sound of his father’s violin for a record player which results in him having to escape a near-death encounter with a scared shitless bitch with a lust for throwing corsets… the list goes on. And all the time everybody is crying, including the viewers. The movie reaches a fever pitch of sadness with this scene:
After all of the sadness and mourning and near misses (there’s at least 5 times where Fievel is RIGHT next to his family but just misses them. Way to fuck with the audience even more, you cock tease!), the Mousekewitz’s are finally reunited in yet another tear jerking moment. When everything is said and done, we get our happy ending. But by that time we are too emotionally scarred to care.
Here we follow the story of Daniel “Rudy” Ruteger, a young Hobbit hoping to one day become a Notre Dame football player. The only obstacle he has to overcome is the fact that the whole fucking world hates him and wants to see him fail. He is told that that he is too small to play football, he lacks any sort of talent in any capacity, and he’s apparently too stupid to even attend Notre Dame in the first place (He is told this by a priest! Even more proof that he is God’s little doormat). After having his dreams shat on by his friends and family, he accepts his fate of being a loser. That is until his BEST FRIEND IS KILLED IN AN ACCIDENT THAT RUDY CANNOT PREVENT! Seriously, God has it out for this kid. His friend’s death re-ignites Rudy’s dream of football glory. After years of working his ass off and struggling through a myriad of hardships, he finally makes the team… as a punching bag. But after even more time being the Little Engine Who Just isn’t Good Enough To Be A Starter, he gets his chance to play in a real game. It’s at this point where the tears start building and our lips start quivering:
That’s right, the kid who was told he can never see his dreams fulfilled by everybody who crossed his path, sacks the quarterback in the final seconds of the game and is carried off the field by his teammates! If you can’t tell, I’m yelling and crying at the same time.
This 1989 film tells the true story of the 54th Massachusetts, the first African American regiment, led by Ferris Bueller and Westly from “The Princess Bride” in the height of the Civil War. If it wasn’t bad enough that these men escaped the horrors of slavery and rednecks, they are choosing to fight and die for a country who doesn’t exactly treat them like equals. It’s like “Rudy” times a million. They are pissed on at every step of the way, when all they want to do is fight on the front lines! I’m sorry, but if somebody wishes to take my place in battle, by all means be my fucking guest! They finally get to prove their worth and earn the respect of “The Man”. So as a reward for their courage and devotion to the Union, they get to lead the charge on Fort Wagner, a mission that promises that the regiment leading the charge is basically going to get fucking PWNED.
Picture if you will, a 6 year old boy screaming at the T.V, begging Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington to turn the fuck around and just go home! But no, they charged in like the heroic badasses that they were and died with honor. And they broke my little 6 year old heart! It was in this moment that I learned that not every hero lives happily ever after. And that just left me with the conclusion that everything ends bittersweet. Which is basically true, I just wish I coulda put off being cynical until I was at least 10 years old.
6. Top Gun
Who woulda ever thought that a movie containing a scene with half naked men playing volleyball could be so emotionally damaging!? The story of Maverick and Goose is a tale of love for the ages. Together, they overcome the odds and make it to Top Gun, a fighter pilot training academy exclusively for the best and brightest douchebags the Air Force has to offer. Goose is the quirky yin to Maverick’s handsome and smug yang. We love these characters, we want to be these characters… at least I did when I was growing up. They seemed to be an unstoppable force destined for shirtless volleyball glory. But Fate (in the form of a little something called “Jet Wash”) stepped in and tore them apart.
Goose… died. NOOOOOOOO!!!! Why would they take Goose away from Maverick!? Who’s going to flip off Communist MiG pilots with him!? Who’s going to help him serenade women in bars!?!? Who’s going to be there to complete his “I feel the need… The need for speed!” declarations!?!? I hate jet wash. I will avenge Goose’s death and strangle Jet Wash until there’s not a breath left in his body! Wait, Jet Wash isn’t a Top Gun pilot? Oh, I just thought it was somebody’s call sign. It still doesn’t mend my broken heart!
5. A Land Before Time
Here is yet another movie hell bent on throwing children into emotional hell. Little Foot is a “Long Neck” (Apatosaurus… yeah, I looked it up) that is traveling with his family to “The Great Valley”, one of the last places on the planet left with a fresh water and plant life. Along the way he meets Cera, a “Three Horn” (Triceratops. OH! That’s why her name is Cera! Very clever, movie!) with a bad attitude and a PMS-like rage that shouldn’t be happening to a girl her age. Little Foot learns what prejudice means after his mother tells him that he has to stay with his own kind because all them species just can’t get along (::cough cough:: Racial Subtext!!). However, Cera and Little Foot stick their middle fingers up at authority and decide to be friends (since when did this cartoon turn into “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner”?). Their midnight tryst is abruptly halted by a crazy ass “Sharptooth” (Tyrannosaurus) who wants to end their fun by eating their fucking faces off. Little Foot’s mother steps in to save the day, but falls victim to a classic kid’s movie formula:
That’s right, they killed his fucking mom. This is something that cartoons have been doing for years, but this was the one that reduced me to a withering pile of pussy. Honestly, what the hell is wrong with these people!? Why is it that the only way the main character can cross the threshold into manhood is to kill his parents!? I guess all of us who haven’t had to watch our parents tragically die right in front of us just aren’t real men!
And there’s something else going on here… something about these cartoons I’ve mentioned. Wait a minute, let me check out imdb.com real quick… Holy shit, they are all from the same guy! This makes perfect sense now! The same sick and twisted mind was responsible for the three saddest cartoons I have ever seen! Don Bluth, you have no idea the amount of damage you have caused!
4. La Bamba
I can’t help but notice that I’m a sucker for true stories. The Number 4 spot belongs to “La Bamba”, the tragic story of rock legend Ritchie Valens, portrayed by Lou Diamond Phillips. It’s an amazing Cinderella story of a kid rising from rags to riches with the power of rock n’ roll. However, his rise to fame is cut tragically short when he, along with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper, lost their lives in a plane crash. That day will forever be known as “The Day the Music Died”. And thanks to this movie, people my age can share in the sadness that was felt by millions on that horrible day. Thanks, Hollywood! Fuck… we all know what’s coming, so here it is:
Here’s when you know a movie has devastated an entire generation: I went to Knott’s Berry Farm a few years back, and the song that played during the end of “La Bamba” came on the loudspeakers. That goddamn song. So when it reached the moment in the song where it hits that high note at the end, 40 people all collectively screamed “RITCHIE!!!”. At least I’m not the only one.
3. My Girl
This movie is the equivalent of having a nuclear bomb dropped on your goddamn head. It’s like being told you’re adopted and finding out your dog got ran over… on the same day. This movie starts out normal enough. Vada Sultenfuss is a young girl living in a mortuary (okay, forget what I said about this being normal) with her father who runs the place. It’s a harmless movie about a girl struggling to find herself in a very unorthodox setting. She is forced to cope with normal everyday situations like her father dating, being in love with her English teacher, and her grandmother being a basket case. The one positive in her life is Thomas J., her best friend and the one who has to deal with her coming-of-age tirades. However, he doesn’t mind because he loves her. He loves her so much in fact that when she loses her mood ring in the woods, he goes back to find it for her. He finds it next to a beehive that they had knocked down earlier. No big deal, right? Ohhh that’s right, he’s allergic to bees. Christ… So let’s see here, when somebody dies, where do they go? And where does Vada live? I think you can figure out how this is going to turn out:
So let’s recap: Her mother died due to complications while giving birth to her (an issue that most children tend to think they are at fault for… they totally are), her father is getting engaged to a hippie, and her best friend is dead because he went to go find HER mood ring! Oh, and to add insult to injury, she runs into the arms of her English teacher looking for comfort but instead finds out that he is getting married to somebody NOT named Vada Sultenfuss! Somebody, please keep all sharp items away from this girl. Keep them away from me too.
We are getting into very sad territory now. Selena is a movie that has never failed in bumming me out every time I see it. There isn’t one person I know who doesn’t get all choked up over this one. And if they say they don’t then they are fucking lying! It’s another story about a rising star falling to Earth way before their time. It was my generation’s version of Ritchie Valens, but a little more upsetting due to the fact that Selena was murdered (by the president of her fan club no less). This earns my number 2 spot thanks in part to the story about how I saw this movie for the first time. Back in the day, my dad was a drinker. Some nights we would stay up late and he would drunkenly ramble on about bullshit, and I would sit back and enjoy his nonsense. On one particular night, however, we saw this movie about to come on that was about some chick with a huge ass, so naturally we sat down and watched. Over the course of the film, we became invested in the story of this young Tejano singer and her rise to stardom. We were not just staring at her ass anymore, we were connecting with her. We wanted Selena to have everything she had ever hoped for. But then… well, just watch:
We were stunned. We couldn’t believe it. Selena was shot dead. And then… the music faded in. The doctor in slow motion walking up to her family. Her family wrecked by the fact that she was gone. And with the music still playing we see video of the real Selena. It’s at this point tears are flowing down my face and there’s nothing I can do about it. I was afraid that my dad would see me crying and make fun of me, but when I looked over at him… he was crying just as hard as I was. Granted he was completely shit tossed, but that movie got to us. It’s a moment I’ll never forget. Por Que!? WHY YOU SELENA!?
1. The Neverending Story
You knew this was coming. It was only a matter of time. This scene haunts me to this very day.You don’t even KNOW! This movie was MY childhood movie. It was everything a kid could ask for. It was unlike any kid’s movie I had seen at that time. Shit, I haven’t seen a movie like that since. But no matter how amazing this movie is, no matter how much of my heart it owns, I still cannot forgive “The NeverEnding Story” for this scene. I don’t think that I can even talk about it. Here it is:
This is just beyond sad. I don’t think anything else can even compare to watching this fucking horse drown in that goddamn swamp. Sometimes I’ll be driving down the road and suddenly in my head I’ll hear “Artax! You’re sinking! Turn around! You have to now!” and then I’ll have to convince myself not to drive into oncoming traffic. I’ll be eating dinner and I’ll hear “You’re my friend… I love you” and I’ll want to jam the salad fork into my throat. And in case you were wondering, yes, I can recite this scene word for word. It’s that ingrained into my subconscious. I can’t escape it. It will continue to haunt me until my dying day. With any luck, my death will be turned into a movie so that way I can make somebody else sob like a bitch. Although, I can’t help but wonder… What in the hell was that damn horse so sad about?
~ by Brandon Gnuschke on August 31, 2012.
Posted in Brunden, Film, Movies, Uncategorized
Tags: 54th Massachusetts, A Land Before Time, All Dogs Go to Heaven, An American Tail, Anna Chlumsky, Anthony Edwards, Artax the horse, Atreyu, biopics, buddy holly, Burt Reynolds, Cartoons, Cary Elwes, Crying, Dan Akroyd, Dawson Crying, Dawson's Creek, death scenes, Dinosaurs, Don Bluth, Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales, fantasy films, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Fievel, Fighting Irish, Fucked up, Glory movie, Goose Death scene, James Van Der Beek, Jamie Lee Curtis, Jennifer Lopez, kid's films, Kids crying, La Bamba, Littlefoot, Lou Diamond Phillips, Macaulay Culkin, Maculay Culkin, Matthew Broderick, Maverick and Goose, Movies that make you sad, My Girl, Notre Dame, Ritchie Valens, Rock n' roll biopics, Rudy, Rudy movie, Sad, Sad movie endings, Sad Movies, sad scenes, Salena film, Salena Perez, science fiction fantasy, Sean Astin, Somewhere out there, Swamps of Sadness, Tejano music, The Big Bopper, The Civil War, The Neverending Story, The Princess Bride, Thomas J funeral, Tom Cruise, Tony Scott, Top 10 movies, Top Gun, True stories, Vada Sultenfuss, Val Kilmer, Volleyball, war movies