In the lead-up to the ooky, kooky season I’m going to be waffling on about some of the scariest movie moments I’ve ever seen. Don’t panic, I won’t be highlighting any torture porn here, from the likes of Saw or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, because this is a family friendly blog, I’m not a sadist (or a masochist for that matter) and frankly those films make me puke. I’m just planning to give you a way to spook up the Halloween season with some great scary movie moments that feed into your worse nightmares with a certain degree of subtlety (ie, no blood and guts). And to give you an idea of what I’m getting at I’m going to kick off with the movie shock moment that gave me the worse nightmares I ever had as a child, and it’s in….. Wait for it…. Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang (which happens to be playing on some ITV regions this afternoon).
Yeah, okay, some of you are probably thinking. Hang on a momento here, isn’t that the lovely, jubbly kiddies musical with the flying car, the cute children and Dick Van Dyke. When has Dick Van Dyke ever been in a horror movie (and we won’t count his horrendous cockney accent in Mary Poppins) you’re saying? But anyone whose parents were sadistic enough to take them to see this movie when they were a kid will know exactly what nightmare-inducing sequence I’m referring to.
And no, I’m not referring to Benny Hill in lederhosen with a dodgy German accent or good ole Dick pretending to be a wind-up doll, although both those sights could classify as nightmare-inducing in their own uniquely disturbing way. And I’m also not referring to the tooth-rottingly cute song Truly Scumptious, because I already promised I wasn’t going to make you puke. No, I am of course alluding to the scene when Robert Helpmann’s child-catcher lures our two scrumptious little tots into what they think is a wagon full of sweets and toys, only to have it transform into a cage as soon as they step inside. Now if that doesn’t effectively turn every child’s favourite dream (you know, the one where you’re let loose in a sweet shop/toy shop and told you can have whatever you want) into their worse nightmare (snatched away from their parents by a guy with greasy hair and an unfeasibly long nose), I don’t know what does. And frankly, I think it’s a lot scarier than having to watch someone saw off their own ankle. But why don’t you decide.
Watch it again below, at your peril: