| |

Eight Media Memories that Have Stayed with Me Since Childhood



SkiFree was probably one of my first true experiences with PC gaming that didn’t involve me munching numbers or being taught typing by Mavis Beacon. It was one of those addictive flash games that existed before apps took their place and stole all their ideas.

So imagine my surprise when I finally managed to get down the hill further than I’d ever been, and a grey monster comes running out of the side of the screen TO EAT ME. I’m pretty sure I sat stunned in my chair for a solid five minutes. I battled him many, many times, but only figured out I could get away from him well over a decade later.

All Day Kombat (1996 – Age 9)

There was a distinct ban on violent video games in my youth, but that didn’t stop my sneakiness in a quest to find pixelated blood. At the time, Mortal Kombat was the worst of the worst (or the best of the best depending on how you looked at it), and was supposed to be the game that would turn our friends into serial killers.

My best friend managed to get a copy of the game for Sega Genesis, and we spent no less than ten solid hours playing Mortal Kombat that first Saturday. It was one of the most glorious experiences of my video gaming youth, even if we did drive ourselves nuts attempting to do fatalities with the horribly unresponsive controls.

First Decapitation (2000 – Age 13)

Gladiator was the first R-rated feature I watched all the way through, and it blew my mind at the time. Though most things you enjoyed in your youth end up not being as cool when you go to revisit them, that isn’t the case here as Gladiator stands as one of my favorite films of all time to this day.

There were many moments of brutality that stood out to me, as the most violence I’d actually seen in media to that point had been the aforementioned Mortal Kombat. But during that first solo Gladiator battle where Maximus decimates (hah) a troupe of rival fighters, decapitating the last one, that’s the kind of thing that stays with you at this age.

Lana Lang Gone Wild (2001- Age 14)


There were a million first crushes we all had growing up whether they were Topanga, Clarissa or the Pink Ranger. But there’s only one that stood out for me, as it happened in my early teenage years. Smallville was the absolute coolest show ever in its first season, and an early episode, Nicodemus, was the talk of the school the next day.

Nicodemus was a kryptonite infused flower that caused people to lose their inhibitions, and its effect on the normally reserved Lana Lang was most profound. Though fourteen year olds today are having sex in the locker rooms at middle school and such, this blew my mind as a sheltered teen, and I was hooked on the show, and Ms. Kristin Kreuk, for the long haul.

Similar Posts


  1. Oh, God, and the first decapitation for me was in Coneheads, when, on their homeworld, there’s some coneheads fighting some giant beast, and it shows a head fly across the screen onto some steps leading to the throne, and then it rolls down. Oh man was I messed up for like a week with that image. Not even Optimus Prime dying could do that to me.

  2. Oh yeah, almost all of those were the same for me.

    Particularly the raptors and Ski free.

    I spent years having nightmares after watching the kitchen scene. I was 7 as well…

  3. I remember a film where a super-strong (maybe possessed) young girl throws a basketball at an angry old lady, making her whole head explode. I was way too young to even remember anything else about the flick, but that part shocked me.

    Also, the scene in Robocop 2 where the baddies dismantle him. Or the one in the first Robocop where a dude melts in acid. Looking back, I should NOT have been allowed to watch Robocop movies when I was 7. Funny thing is, at some point Robocop was a wildly popular “kiddie” character; eventhough he stabs people in the eye with an icepick that comes out of his hand.

    Oh, and Lou Ferrigno turning into the Hulk, you know with the music and the zooming to the eyes and then the Lou Ferrignoness all over the place… It scared kindergarten me shitless, every damn time.

  4. Good topic for an articel, Paul. Off the top of my head definitely something from The Secret of N.I.H.M and The Dark Crystal. Probably Aerith’s death in FF. E.T.’s death. Rick and Minmai from Robotech. And, oddly, a George Carlin standup routine my parents let me watch, but not listen to.

  5. I remember my dad waking me up at 11:00 pm one Friday night at the age of 9 to sneak me upstairs and watch Terminator 2: Judgement Day without letting my mom know because he thought he needed to share his favourite movie with me. He covered my eyes at the scene where Sarah Connor has the nightmare of the nuclear explosion but I could still see through his fingers. That was messed up to see at 9. He would always let me watch the recorded tape of it whenever my mom wasn’t home. I had nightmares for years that the T-1000 was chasing me with his big needle finger and would jam it in my eye.

    Wouldn’t trade those moments with my dad for anything.

  6. I remember the Clayface Batman scene exactly as you described it. I only saw it one time and as I got older I couldn’t remember if it was a messed up nightmare or reality, being that that was the only part of the episode I could remember. Messed up.

  7. I remember being totally terrified by the Raiden-esque guys in Big Trouble, Little China.

    Playing (just one time) some Power Ranger fighting game that was entirely awesome and I never played again. The kid who owned it was a total tool.

    The puck burning a imprint in the goalies hand in Mighty Ducks.

    The first time I saw a totally CGI show (Reboot)

    My parents used to ground me by not letting me watch TGI Friday.

    Oh, and fast forwarding through movies my older brothers rented to see if there were and naked girls… or like, a lot of leg or something… or just a girl.

  8. @Hallam, whoa, I totally remember that. If I recall, the girl was possessed by a robot or something. Which I… guess is a thing? I was watching it late at night and it seemed like some kid friendly flick, and then suddenly an old woman’s head explodes. You are literally the only person besides myself I have ever heard mention that.

    And I remember that Lana Lang scene, and I remember it being awesome, but I also remember thinking even then that it looked like a body double. Looking back, it’s stupidly obvious. Her head is never in the same shot as the rest of her.

  9. @LawlessVictory – Damn you! I had never seen that Lana Lang scene before and was pretty psyched to see it even now (knowing that she was in that piece of shit Street Fighter movie) but now you’ve just ruined it by bringing up the idea of it being a body double.

    As for that Clayface scene, that was the moment that cemented the fact that if I could have super powers, I would want to be Clayface. Other than that stupid part where rain could kill him… of course he came back eventually.

  10. I don’t think many will know this program but it scared me straight as a kid, the show is Jonathan Creek. It’s essentially a quirky detective who lives in a windmill who solves murders that have been carried out in very puzzling and seemingly impossible ways.

    Here is a link for the episode in question:


    I was 7 years old when I first watched this. The moment at 7.15 scared me like nothing ever had and nothing ever would. I’ve watched countless horror films since then, which are much more visceral and perverted but nothing compares to back being 7 years old again and being scared shitless at this seemingly very real situation. In other films and tv baddies just cease to be, the goodies triumph, but this was my first horrifying look at a true dead body.

  11. Mine would.have to be the scene in Star Wars when Luke is about to.freeze to death and Han Solo slices open an animal thing to shove him in it. Bleh
    Also Pizza the Hut in SpaceBalls, still grosses me out to the point of dry heaves.

  12. My earliest memory has got to be from the terrible dubbed movie The Wiz Kid. It was about a nerd who cloned himself as a badass. And the clone would only eat spinach with ketchup. The movie was ridiculous, but the girl that was in it was just incredible. A few weeks ago I finally found my favorite scene.


    My first crush…

  13. I saw Superman III in the theatre when I was five years old. The scene near the end when the super computer turns Roscoe’s sister into a cyborg freaked me out. It was a classic fear moment. I could hear my heart beating and everything. I remember, a few months later, my family was watching a making-of feature on TV, and I ran out of the room when they got to the climax and stayed there until it was safe.

  14. When i was a child about ’85 or so they used to show the animated film of Watership Down all the time on British TV as a kiddy friendly film in the middle of the afternoon. It’s about talking rabbits so it must be for kids, right? I don’t think a programme scheduler ever saw this film. It’s really dark. I mean really, really dark. and bloody and depressing and spooky as all hell. The bit where the warren is gassed and all the rabbits are crushing each other trying to escape from the blocked burrows gives me shivers even now.

    I’ve you don’t believe me how messed up this film is, i found a youtube clip of perhaps 10% of the rabbit themed crazyness.


  15. Kakurenbo. Watching giant mechanical demons looking for children in an abandoned city by yourself in a dark room on a big screen at 1 in the morning really engraved that film in my head and gave me nightmares and a fear of really loud mechanical noises. Not only that, for about 3 years I couldnt find anything about it (I never saw the title of it cus I couldnt even move while watching it) and I started to feel like I was crazy because noone else in my school had seen it and kept telling me that I just had a bad dream, so i looked for it for a month straight to prove them wrong but didnt find anything. I ended up finding it on accident one day a few years later and couldnt believe it and watched it again. It is now one of my favorite short films and recommend it to my friends all the time hahaha

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.