By Whitney from dear jesus
My memories of Ernest Scared Stupid are highly anecdotal. I remember the experience much more than the film itself, which seems only natural seeing as I was 7 and it was the first movie I ever saw in theaters.
First and foremost, there was my cousin’s bangs. Utah is known – in some, probably jealous, circles – for its very distinctive, early 90s hairstyles. My cousin sported what was called the “Utah Claw.” You curl the top half up, the bottom half down, and ratt ratt ratt. Beautiful. Anyway, she couldn’t get it quite right and my entire family was late to the movie because of it. I remember a lot of crying, a lot of screaming, and a lot of hairspray.
My mom didn’t go with us, so my dad – being the less frugal of my parents – went ahead and bought us popcorn, which I thought was just the shit. As a seriously poor, dumpster-diving young family, this was one of maybe four times I remember getting popcorn in a movie theatre. On later dates we ate microwave popcorn and Tootsie Rolls out of my mom’s purse. But in the case of Ernest, we gorged!
And as far as the movie was concerned? Terrifying. Absolutely terrifying. Let’s just forget the fact that the whole plot is centered on trolls that steal children and turn them into wooden dolls, it also features the seriously scary faces of Ernest and Eartha Kitt interacting as though they were human. I wish my cousin’s bangs had made us later, because if I remember correctly the beginning of the film takes place under a tree stump full of little children dolls. Being a child, and not wanting to be a doll, this was not a pleasant experience.
I spent the middle section of the film on the floor, eating popcorn and hiding from the trolls. I remember the ending lightening up a bit and a mention of “Miak,” but that about sums up my memories of what I’m sure is a film classic called Ernest Scared Stupid.