Friday, November 13, 2009

Scary Movie Villains - Zoltar from "Big"

OK, so maybe Zoltar isn't too scary now but when the movie Big came out in 1988 my 11year old self was expecting a typical PG rated comedy. After all, Tom Hanks was well known to me at the time in my young life. He was very funny in the movie "The Money Pit" with the blonde lady from the TV show "Cheers" that was on WPIX almost every month. "Splash" was my first exposure to grainy nudity. He also was in that goofy show "Bosom Buddies" which at the time I had no idea what the premise of the show was about other than the fact that two guys seemed to want to dress up as women. Tom Hanks also had some coolness about him because he played raging alcoholic Uncle Ned in the show "Family Ties". Lastly, he was in a movie I wasn't allowed to see at the time..."Bachelor Party". That video rental box of that movie always caught my pre-teen eye...after all, there was nudity to be found in that movie....but I digress.

So anyway, Big starts and it seems like a good movie. Poor Josh can't go on the roller coaster to impress to the girl he likes because he's not "big" enough. Enter stage left, a mysterious machine that appears to grant Josh a wish to be "Big"...I give you Zoltar.

Zoltar didn't seem too scary at first...until Josh put the quarter in the machine and Zoltar's mouth started moving and its eyes lit up red. I tried to find a video clip of this scene but came up empty so I can only throw a few pictures of that scene up there. I think you get the gist of it.

Good lord look at that face! I used to scare easily as a kid (see an earlier post I did of movies that used to make me cry)so this broke me down pretty good within seconds. The music was pretty scary here too if I remember right. Zoltar only appears twice in the movie and is onscreen for less than 5 minutes but my nightmares lasted for months.

I guess in hindsight, Zoltar wasn't a bad guy. He granted wishes and Josh was all set to live to a happy and successful life if not for his best friend continuing to guilt him as he was turning his back on his old life.

Anyway, if I see a Zoltar machine today, I will definitely wish for a few extra zeroes added to my income but I'll also be a slightly afraid to look into his cold red eyes. I'd also make sure to see if he's plugged in or not.

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