I finally found it!
I spent my whole life having nightmares of being abducted by a gigantic floating beard, dead birds transforming into dead children, and an old man shattering into dust.
All from a movie I watched when I was six years old.
If you know which movie I’m talking about, screw off, because you weren’t any help in my 5-year internet search to find it 😡
I just came across this Yahoo answer after searching for “floating beard movie”.
The movie is called, Mio and the Land of Faraway (Mio, min Mio in Swedish). It was filmed in 1987 and is based on a Swedish novel from the 50’s.
Besides a floating beard, bird children, and pan-flute playing boys, it also features a super young Christian Bale as the hero’s friend and Christopher Lee as an evil knight (I guess he was practising for Saruman).
Here’s how the movie starts out.
“Now grab hold of my beard” -words that every mother should teach her children to run away from.
The floating beard then takes little Mio into a cross-dimensional portal where he’s actually a prince and has to free a bunch of children slaves from an evil knight named Kato. How did they become slaves? Oh, you know, their hearts were ripped out and replaced with stones.
Now that I think of it, what kind of knight enslaves children? They’d make terrible slaves.
“Attack my enemies, children!”
“We die easily.”
“Then till my land and grow wheat!”
“It takes twelve of us to push a plow.”
“Build me a castle then!”
“We can’t do math yet.”
Dumb knight gets stabbed by a kid in the end, so I guess they’re somewhat useful. He needed some dying anyway.
In celebration of putting my mind to rest by rewatching this horribly nostalgic movie, here are 6 other effed up movies that still haunt me to this day.
1 . The Dark Crystal (1982)
The Dark Crystal is one of those super rare fantasy worlds where no detail is overlooked, thanks Jim!
The creepiest scene that replays in my dreams is when the podling gets his life essence sucked from his face.
Et, voila! Insta-slave!
Gosh, I don’t know if I’d rather become a slave by having my heart replaced with a stone, or having all the fat sucked from my face.
Fantasy world peasants sure have it tough!
2. Return of Oz (1985)
If you haven’t seen this movie yet, stop reading this post and watch it right now.
Every moment of this film is effed up in some way that will haunt your dreams. The creep begins when Dorothy is sent to an electo-therapy house due to her Oz hallucinations. She manages to escape with a chicken and ends up back in Oz, where everything tries to kill her.
The most terrifying thing about Oz is the evil witch who hasn’t heard of make-up, so she switches up her head whenever she wants to change her look.
On the other hand, the best part of this film is that it’s completely independent from the original. All the characters are re-imagined to look how L. Frank Baum originally intended them.
3. Wizards of the Lost Kingdom (1985)
For such an epic looking movie poster, this movie is a huge bore. I don’t even know how I got through it when I was young.
Here’s why it’s super creepo.
Look at this white thing standing off to the side.
What is it?
Where’s it’s face?
Why is it there?
All it does is stand. It actually gets pretty good at standing. By the end of the movie, it stands in a doorway and blocks a bad guy from stealing a ring. Way to go, standy white guy!
Here’s the thing. This creepy Chewbacca rip-off gets dirtier as the film progresses. Take a look at this shot. Now he’s all yellow and gross 😦
I don’t know why my 7 year old self was ultra-creeped by this dude, but now I dream about a stained, clumpy monster just standing around, looking at me without a face.
4. The Great Land of Small (1987)
Ever wondered how butterflies are made?
Old people slide down into a pit where a gigantic floating turd spits them out into butterflies.
It’s called, “being slimeod”
And that’s if you’re good. If you’re bad and slide down into the turd, it just kinda keeps you inside itself till you’re good again… I think… the movie isn’t really clear about the good/bad turd rules.
When I have kids, I’m going to tell them, “Be good, or a big turd will eat you.” Then I’ll show them this terrifying clip..
The movie is about a leprechaun losing his gold and two children helping him to get it back (I’d keep the gold if I were them, especially since the gold has magic powers).
While it appears to have a lot going for it, including the undiscovered-at-the-time Cirque du Soleil, please, please, please, DO NOT WATCH THIS FILM. It’s downright gruelling to get through. Save yourself the nightmares and watch paint dry.
5. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
No creepy kid movie list would be complete without The NeverEnding Story.
Besides frequent nightmares about the wolf and the nothing, this might be my favourite movie of all time. It just comes with one disclaimer:
You must watch it when you are 10 years old or younger.
It is absolutely not watchable as an adult. If you haven’t watched it yet, you did life wrong. You can’t go back.
Here are my favourite characters (which also have the most greatcellent names ever):
Falcor: Who else wouldn’t want a creepy-ass looking luck dragon to scare away your bullies?
Rock Biter: I always felt sorry for the guy, all he wants to do is eat rocks and his home is being destroyed.
Moonchild: How could you not be allured by her soft voice and sad eyes?
Engywook & Urgl: The disgusting, worm eating gnome people, who build wonderfully alchemistic contraptions.
Sexy Sphinx Ladies: Two humongous, nude, lady statues that shoot lasers from their eyes to kill unsure souls? Put them in every film!
There are even a bunch of Easter Eggs in the film. If you weren’t aware of them, check out this shot:
6. The NeverEnding Story 2 (1990)
Because I wasn’t satisfied with enough nightmares from the first movie, I immediately watched the second (which lacks the story and charm of the first).
This is the scene that still haunts me, nearly 20 years later.
If you’re looking for nightmares, just dream about flying into a skeleton hand. It works wonders!
If you’re looking for improved home security, because a flying dog keeps landing on your roof, just add a bunch of lasers. They also work wonders!
Oh, and look at this piece of shit dude. He’s made of mud. Try dreaming about giving him a kiss.
And here’s a big, mean crab that has a chainsaw for a mouth. When I’m alone in bed and the house is silent, I swear I can hear the subtle ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch noise of its mouth.
This is a kid’s movie remember. So obviously it’s about something fun like an evil sorceress stealing Bastian’s memories of his dead mother. Ha ha ha, oh so jolly! Kids will love hearing a story about forgetting their dead mothers.
Good job, producers. You’ve effectively scarred me for life.
7. Watership Down (1978)
If watching bunny rabbits get ripped apart in a bloody mess is your thing, you’ll love Watership Down.
But all that blood and gore is just at the top layer. This movie’s themes cuts down deep, like nails scratching on the chalkboard of your soul deep.
After envisioning the entire land covered in rabbit blood, the main character forces his rabbitmunity (rabbit community) to safer grounds, at the expense of many of his rabbitfriends along the way. Finally the black rabbit of death asks him to die and his soul goes into the sun.
I just re-listened to the song “Bright Eyes“, which plays in the final scene, and excuse me while I go have insomnia for 3 weeks…
Oh, and here’s a wonderful collage of some of the beautiful scenes from the film. Feel free to print them off and hang them in your child’s bedroom.
Yes, that last image is a field being washed with blood.
8. Mio and the Land of Faraway (1987)
Mio and the Land of Faraway is about…