It’s time we talk about the 1985 Disney film Return to Oz.
Nothing to be afraid of, right? Well, let me break it down for you.
Dorothy Undergoes Electroshock Therapy
Yep, Aunt Em leaves our protagonist at the hands of Dr. Worley in an asylum because she just won’t stop talking about the land of Oz. The girl’s imagination is clearly out of control and what she needs is a little “treatment.” The screams of other patients can be heard in the background and let’s not forget about the raging thunderstorm outside. Head Nurse Wilson also qualifies as one of the freakiest characters of all time.
Death By Wheelers
At first we only hear their creaking wheels, but soon they appear, start cackling like loons and then making weird velociraptor noises. The Wheelers work for the Gnome King and yell at Dorothy, “we’ll tear you into little pieces and throw you in the deadly desert.” They also want to kill her pet chicken, Bellina.
Fun Fact: The creaking of their wheels is the same sound effect used on the asylum’s gurney that hauled Dorothy to the electroshock therapy room.
The Hall of Heads
Although the Gnome King is the real man in charge, Queen Mombi is left with the day to day operations. In her spare time, she collects women’s heads! Since Dorothy’s skull isn’t quite the right size for “collection,” she plans to lock her up in a tower and wait for her to age a bit. No big deal.
In the movie’s big climax, the Gnome King grabs Jack Pumpkinhead – one of Dorothy’s companions – and plans to eat him. Just at that moment, an egg laid by Bellina drops down the King’s throat. All of the hellish claymation gnomes disappear into the walls moaning, “Poison, poison…” as they all, presumably, die.
This movie is probably the most horrific thing I saw as a child. The soundtrack is satisfyingly creepy in every way, only adding to the images more likely to be seen in a Hellraiser flick than a family movie.
Happy (Belated) Halloween, everybody!