This week we’re bringing you four times the fun by reviewing four different nostalgia bombs instead of our usual one. Get back to what the month of October meant to you as a child and check out our mini reviews below.
Reviewed by: Jack
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow (1949)
Holy shit this movie brings back the feelings. That said, there were a number of things that I didn’t remember about this particular pillar of my childhood. Chief amongst them: Bing Crosby narrorates the thing and also voices every character of consequence. It’s confusing. Also, if they didn’t have to re-take at least thirty scenes because you could hear the ice clinking around in Bing’s whiskey glass on the first take, I will eat my fucking hat. Thing 2: The overwhelming majority of this thing is not horror-related, but is instead the story of a nice, selfless hunk being overlooked by the ladies of the town in favor of an odd, lanky, antisocial pedagogue.
But straight-up. Most of this flick is petty drama, and the actual horror comes in the last five minutes, which is admittedly horrifying. That scary forest is proper scary. I will always love this thing, regrettable lines about native americans aside.
Scare-Factor: Now? 2 - It’s just mostly not horror and I’ve seen it so much that I know literally every beat of what’s coming in the five horror minutes. When I was four or five? 9 - This shit fucked me up. For real. Both Brom Bones’s song and the final sequence bored their way right into my psyche.
Nostalgia Score: 10 - This viscerally made me feel things from the very first fucking scene. Not much can invoke something like that in me.
Overall: 7 - This movie is Halloween. I will continue to watch it at least once every damn year. Probably more if I've been drinking, which I will have been.
Duck Pimples (1945)
What a bonkers thing this short is. Right off the goddamn bat, this thing is nuts. The salesman trying to ply his books on Donald is the scariest gruff mariner I’ve ever seen, wearing a dainty yellow rain ensemble, that he then opens in a clear attempt to evoke a flashing. What? And then the plot of the book that Donald dreams up is bananas too. And though I am not a historian, I am 100% confident that this is the origin of both Jessica Rabbit and Hello Nurse. Ultimately, I think this might just be an anti-reading PSA by Disney.
Scare-Factor: 3 - This thing is terrifying just in having absolutely no idea what in the shit is happening.
Nostalgia Score: 8 - All of these are going to by high for me. This was a very special VHS in my world.
Overall: 4 - Not one of Donald’s strongest shorts, and honestly one that, as a kid, I would just have to sit through to get to the others.
Donald’s Lucky Day (1939)
Now this is what I’m talking about! Donald inadvertently tries to deliver a bomb, has to avoid classic unlucky tropes, and then gets into a hardcore battle of wits with a stray black cat. This is fucking writing right here. I’m not even telling you any more about this one. Go watch it.
Scare-Factor: 2 - Inadvertently delivering bombs is scary. So are black cats. So is electricity that spits red and yellow dots. But really, it’s not that scary.
Nostalgia Score: 8 - Given that all three of theses Donald shorts were on the same VHS, they’re all getting the same score in this department.
Overall: 7 - This thing is fucking great. It’s a ton of fun and it’ll get a great song stuck all up in your head. My wife is still begging me to stop singing it.
Donald and the Gorilla (1944)
Here’s the situation: A gorilla escapes from the zoo. It’s a murderous gorilla. The radio tells you about it. You’re in charge of your nephews. If your first instinct isn’t to don your own previously purchased gorilla costume to terrify your nephews, you and Mr. Duck are living vastly different lives. But then surprise! The actual gorilla shows up in the dang house and menaces the whole Duck household. Don’t worry, Huey, Dewey, and Louie have it covered, and take on the gorilla with a tear gas fragmentation grenade that the radio helpfully told them the gorilla is weak to. Problem fucking solved. Also, Donald gets into a fight with his tail at one point. Because reasons.
Scare-Factor: 3 - Monstrous gorillas are scary enough. So is giving children unfettered access to military weaponry.
Nostalgia Score: 8 - Same tape, same deal.
Overall: Honestly, if you haven’t seen these Donald shorts, just go fucking watch them. For reals.