Allen (allengator86) wrote,

How the Movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Ruined My Childhood

At my church, I have been taught that I only should hate the things of sin or a byproduct of Satan himself. I have even gone as far as to remove that word from my vocabulary, aside from those extreme cases where Satan is involved.

I hate the movie "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". 1971 flavor.

Let me paint a portrait for you. Imagine a small child, about 5 or 6, who LOVES candy, and wanted to be a "big kid". Part of being a big kid was watching big kid movies, with real actors and actresses in them. One of the first was this abomination called "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory". I remember my mom saying "Do you want to watch a movie about kids going through a candy factory?" How could I possibly say no? These kids were living MY dream and I wanted to watch it, dang it. Little did I know that it was all a lie, that it was a movie about kids being MURDERED in a candy factory!

Ok, so I realize now that they weren't killed, but they probably ended up being screwed up the rest of their lives. At my age, I still didn't completely comprehend the meaning of "plot" in a movie, and was more concerned about here and now. Had I actually retained the ability to have a memory recall or actual listening skills, I might have not been so traumatized.

First off, the movie was from the 70's, which meant mullets and 'fros were still sort of in style at the time of the movie. It was OK for a boy to have girlish hair. When I say it, I thought Charlie was a GIRL. But no. He was, in fact, a raging male. There were also musical numbers which both bored and horrified me. I'll grudgingly admit that I now find the tune "The Candy Man Can" to be sort of catchy, but only when sung by Sammy Davis Jr.. Then we meet Mr. Wonka, played by the actor Gene Wilder who completely scared the tar our of me before his first line. To this day whenever I see him play someone on screen, I get a shiver in my spine.

Then we get into the factory which was like a candy theme park. "This is SO COOL!" I thought. "Look at the roly poly kid drinking out of the river. I would SO DO THAT." Then the roly poly kid gets drowned in the river and gets sucked up a death pipe to his doom. This is when I realized that this was no happy movie. Then the Oompa Loompas came out. I will say that most midgets entertain me very much so. These midgets are hellspawn. They are discolored, sing with creepy choreography, and always appear when a kid gets killed.

Then the infamous tunnel scene. When I grew up, I realized something. The people who directed this movie must have been on something. This scene was also on Bravos "Top 100 Scariest Scenes in a Movie". Seriously, it is a mind melter.

Then the girl gets mutated into a blue sphere that totally blows up when they close the door. The Oompa Loompas sing and carry her off to her doom. She liked gum. That was her only problem. I liked gum too. It was here I was getting visibly freaked out.

Next was the girl who licked wallpaper and was an overall annoying witch. She sings about being rich or something, then I swear that Wonka says something like "The bad eggs go to the furnace." So that made me think, "OH MY GOSH! A GIRL JUST GOT BURNED UP!!!!!". Her father fallows her to her incinerating doom. (See, he clearly IS Satan because he controls tons of heat).

Then some weird crap with bubbles happens, then a kid gets turned into a TV microwave or something. I don't remember too much because I was curled up into a fetal position by this point hoping that it would make the disturbing images and sounds stop. I repeated to myself "This is a big kid movie. This is a big kid movie." I wish my mother had enough sense to turn off the television at this point because her child was clearly becoming disturbed and traumatized. She laughed instead.

I sadly had to go to Wikipedia for this next part, but after I read it, I thought, "Oh, crap. Repressed memory." Charlie almost dies by drinking fizzy drink that makes him float to the ceiling with a bladed fan on top. He narrowly escapes death and burps his way down. I cringe during that scene. By this time in the movie, I was discovering why so many people look for their "happy place". I was searching for mine. This raises a good point. In a room where you make experimental juice that makes people fly (another side effect from the obvious drug use of the people in charge of the movie), why, WHY would you put a bladed death fan in there. This is when I discovered that Wonka WANTED to kill kids. This fact gave me nightmares for weeks and made my first major repressed memory. I'm shaking just thinking about it.

Then the movie thankfully ends with a UFO. By this time, I was hiding in my room, holding back tears filled with fear from the terror of the movie. As I mentioned, I had nightmares, and that was with my light ON. I was so afraid to sleep, that I hardly slept at all. I was afraid that Wonka would come in and offer me some candy, or build a fun-looking death trap in my room. I was also afraid that an Oompa Loompa would show up and sing about my timely death. I was scared stiff for weeks. My mother and especially my sister thought this was the best thing ever. I really could have used some therapy after this, and I got to the point where I wouldn't talk and had to go to a speech teacher.

The movie also caused me to not eat a bit of candy for months. After watching that I thought, "This chocolate may have bits of kid in it." I didn't want to be a cannibal or anything, so I started to get chips instead of candy. It wasn't until Christmas time when I decided it was alright for me to eat candy again. I never regained the love of candy like I did prior to watching that movie.

The worst part is that this movie was on ALL THE FREAKING TIME. About one Saturday night a month it seemed to be on. The next time it was on would always seem too soon to me. They also forced me to watch this at school. Evidently, teachers thought this movie, along with "The Adventures of the Wilderness Family" were both educational and entertaining for kids. When they showed these, I tried to fit my head inside my desk, or work on homework. Sometimes, I would just lay my head down on my desk, tried to discreetly cover my ears, and sing happy songs to myself.

This also caused me to swear off ALL big kid movies for at least a couple years. From then on it was "cartoon-only" for me. This forced me to watch a lot of Disney movies as well as The Flintstone shows. If I was forced to watch a big kid movie, I would draw on paper or something. This caused me to miss out on all the great films of the early 90's Alone? So my entire life was consumed with after school and Saturday (And the occasional Saturday or Sunday night) cartoons. I loved the Disney afternoon, especially Ducktales and Darkwing Duck as well as Animaniacs. It wasn't until the movie "Blank Check" came out that I slowly warmed up to live action movies again. Thankfully this allowed me to enjoy the final great years of TGIF on Friday nights.

You know, now that I think of it, this movie may be the cause of me being into anime. Think about it, a boy who prefers cartoons over live action grows up and still enjoys a good cartoon, only in anime form. I wouldn't be surprised if the movie shoved me in this direction. Hmm....

So yeah, that is why I squirm whenever anyone wants to talk about that movie. Its a really bad childhood memory that I highly HIGHLY dislike (see, no hate here) remembering. They recently had a commercial with Gene Wilder singing that one song from the movie about using your imagination or something. I mute the TV when it comes on. It's all I can do to keep from cracking.

And there you have it. Please tell me that I am not the only one permanently emotionally scarred by this abominable movie.

The Allengator
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