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Nightmare Fuel: Mighty Max
Max fought some really creepy monsters for a children's show...
Special mention has to go to Spike. An Implacable Man with a face full of twigs (which we later learn he SHOVED INTO HIS OWN FACE to prove how tough he was) whose voice is a constant taunting cackle and who cheerfully threatens to eat the heart of a child.
The bone-chilling music that plays when he's chasing Norman just makes things even worse.
The finale can be considered one. Special mention goes to Norman's death. Imagine as a kid you grew attached to the badass guardian throughout the series but you see him not only lose to a Giant Spider but also you get to see him slowly get eaten by the spider while Norman desperately tries to escape. Also there is the Fridge Horror that Max will experience all the dangers he went through every time till he successfully defeats Skullmaster.
In addition, who all remembers the previous loop? Virgil does, but he has some magic. Max does, but he was at the cause and the Mighty One. Since Virgil remembers, we can rule it out being just the Mighty One. Skullmaster has magic and was at the center of the spell that reversed time (i.e., even the Skullmaster might remember the past attempt).
There's just something about the line "The Sun nourishes all things, even evil" that is far more scary and badass than the vampire who said it had any right to be.
One of the few highlights of the tie-in videogame was the soul-chilling portrait of Skullmaster that appears on the Game Over screen.
The episode where the denizens and soulless people chase down after Max. By and far one of the most intense episodes in the series, especially when Virgil recounts what happened to the last Mighty One. Max can't run, Max can't hide. We learn the previous Mighty One jumped off a cliff and fell to his death. Max is about to repeat the same stunt but then it turns out that Max grabbed a branch, opened a portal and dumped them at the bottom of the Marianas Trench, where it will take years for them to return.
What happens to Dr. Stanley Kirby in "Along Came Arachnoid." We can actually see him become more and more spider-like over the course of the episode.
Dr. MacTaggart in "The Werewolves of Dunneglen." It's hard to tell what's scarier, the werewolves being shackled while Dr. MacTaggart's machines drain the blood out of them, the nightmarish wolf-like thing that Dr. MacTaggart transforms into, which has three heads and four arms or the speech she gives right before transforming, where she alludes to Max and Cameron as "lunch."
During one episode, Skullmaster gives a tribe of island natives a potion that contains dragon blood. Said potion causes the natives to shift agonizinglyinto horrific lizard-monsters that pretty much lose all sense of themselves. To make matters worse, one of the natives only drinks some of the potion, leaving him completely aware of who he is but trapped halfway between normal and lizard-man.
One episode had Max and Virgil about to undergo a proper, Ancient Egyptian mummification process. Virgil casually mentions that the Egyptians used hooks to pull one's brain from out of the nostrils as two hooks on chains descend from the ceiling.
Essentially every episode opens with somebody being killed, and sometimes in very unsettling ways.
The episode involving the evil mummy Venom and his snake minions opens with a depiction of one of Venom's sacrifices; we see a boy chained to an altar, misshapen figures hissing and bowing all around (we'll later learn they're giant snakes in robes) and, then, as the moonlight touches the amulet, we hear this horrific sizzling sound that almost, but not quite, drowns out his anguished screams...
The episode involving the zombies has a surprisingly creepy opening as blank-eyed, shuffling figures start loping through a village, grabbing every last person they can.
One episode deals with people's hands dragging them across the city so it can be chopped off (Isis is desperately looking for a replacement part for Osiris). We get to see a victim struggle against his own hand as he is dragged across town.
Talon, the giant skull who sucks people's souls out of their bodies and eats them.
Freako the Clown, a deranged freak who turns children into deformed monsters.
Lockjar the spirit of violence, commits a murder so horrendous that we don't see anything. We just have Norman's word that we don't see what he did. Considering that this series rarely backed away from showing mutations or violence, this really leaves an imprint.
The episode "Clown Without Pity" was terrifying enough with Freako and his mutants, but there's one part that may be overlooked: after Max leaves Norman and Virgil, he encounters this creepy fat lady who is then never seen again or given any backstory. She just exists.