When I was a kid my family used to play games to pass the time during long car trips. Anything to keep Mom from playing the Les Miserables cassette for the fifteenth time. One of those games was “The Noun Game” and how you play is someone choses a person, place or thing that is relevant to the surroundings. The other players have twenty questions and only three guesses before the person with the secret noun wins that round. It passed the time, at least until All Things Considered came on the radio.
I was up late last night doing hours of video editing for this Hell Show and for some reason I started thinking about that game and what would the Noun Game be like if I had to go into the deepest caverns of my fears. I am not talking about Jason from Friday the 13th or even Linda Blair but far far more disturbing. The kind of uneasy scare that seems to put a gloom over the day and causes one to watch the Boomerang channel for a solid eight hours to wash the “ick” off your mind.
Here in my NOUN GAME FROM HELL!
Person: Shaye St. John
Traveling down the wormhole of YouTube, you are bound to run into many odd things but nothing compares to Eric Fournier’s creation of a tragic shell of a model/starlet who was hit by a train and then subjected to psychological experiments by the CIA. To call these series of videos weird who be an understatement like dropping a chainsaw on your lap and calling it a boo boo. This taps into some of my more primal fears: mannequins.
I know that the creator died a few years ago but I don’t want to research much more into that. When one searches too much into something it takes the sting out of it. I like to think of it as the movie Tourist Trap but for real. The bizarre nature of these videos and settings are played out as if I am actually watching my nightmares on the computer. Art can be scary and this is fucking scary art.
Places: Monster Plantation at Six Flags, Georgia
Nothing creeps me out more than when something is meant to be cute and charming but comes off as disturbing and grotesque. Like sweet creatures who lure you in and win you over with kindness then tear you limb from limb. The dark ride, Monster Plantation (now Monster Mansion) was one of those rides that had me wide-eyed as a kid and invaded my nightmares.
Just like many dark ride, you tour the animatronic maze in a boat with herky-jerky monsters who sing songs and talk indirectly to you. It is lighthearted but that was the scariest part for me. There was something unsettling in nature like these things could come off track and tear off someones head. I have irrational fears so if you want to stop reading now, I wouldn’t blame you. But do me a favor and at least watch this awesome video someone made from years ago. Am I crazy?
Thing: “It’s A Good Life” from The Twilight Zone: The Movie
The one thing about being a child in the early to mid-eighties is when it came to sic-fi and horror, that shit was real. I mean, not real in life but someone actually made the things that had us turn our head away in horror from the screen. It was a tangible effect that came from the mind of an artist and used to cause years of sleepless nights. I won’t say that today’s standards are less scary but I will say back then, the heart was in it.
Joe Dante directed this chapter of The Twilight Zone Movie and his adaptation made the skin crawl. The story is of an innocent teacher who by accident, becomes gets entangled with one brat of a kid. To make matters worse, he has telekinetic powers and can wish for anything we wants. When she drives him home she finds that his entire family is held hostage to his will and now she is too.
What tips the scale and qualifies for this noun game is close to the end when the Uncle Walt, played brilliantly by Kevin McCarthy, is asked to do a trick and what follows is a series of horrific monsters that are dreamed up by this sadistic little asshole. And what really shines it on is the Merry Melodies theme playing in the background! I mean, talk about mixing childhood love with doom!
The monsters kept evolving into some of the most hideous and insane animatronics imaginable. I have to say, whoever was on that set back then probably didn’t want to be the one to shut down at night.
So that is Part 1 of THE NOUN GAME FROM HELL. Part 2 is coming soon to a computer, tablet or phone near you but until then, what are some of your scariest nouns? I want to hear them. They have to be the ones that disturb you the most! Those are the rules.