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Nightmare Fuel / Gorillaz

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For several decades, Western Animation has portrayed cartoon bands as wild and wacky, with names like The Banana Splits, Josie and the Pussycats and the Neptunes traveling around the world and solving mysteries, imprinting on popular culture the idea that an animated band would be a family-friendly affair. That all ended with Gorillaz. Instead of talking animal sidekicks and hilarious chase sequences, they gave us zombies, kidnappings, severe head injuries, demonic shenanigans, preteen superweapons, haunted landfills, undead apes, vehicular homicide, giant whales, Dickensian stepfathers, violent foodfights, DIY taxidermy and painkillers.


Album examples:

  • Gorillaz
    • The entire video for "Clint Eastwood" is spooky, what with the zombie gorillas and Del the rapping ghost, but the creepiest part is right at the beginning when Murdoc gives a really evil sounding laugh and fading to a close up of his face wearing a sinister expression.
      • The introduction text, lifted straight from Dawn of the Dead is a heads up that Gorillaz are not your average band, animated or otherwise:
        Every dead body that is not exterminated becomes one of them. It gets up and kills. The people it kills get up and kill.
    • "Double Bass", for all its jazzy sounds and vibes, has a rather disquieting vibe to it, like you're descending deeper and deeper into someplace unknown. Then the music stops for a brief moment for Damon Albarn to say what's probably on the mind of the people listening:
      All of which makes me anxious. At times, unbearably so.
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    • The last fifty or so seconds of "Rock the House" aren't particularly pleasant. Squick.
    • Try listening to the first part of "M1 A1" when driving alone late at night and without feeling a little bit frightened. "Hello? Is anyone there?" repeated as you travel down the dark, desolate road echoes the movie that sound bite is from...
  • G-Sides
    • "Hip Albatross". Just... "Hip Albatross". Trippy, dream-like acoustic guitars and flutey keyboard notes beneath grungy audio clips of dialogue and zombie sounds from Dawn and Day of the Dead, layered over with the spaced-out echoes of 2D singing. The final stretch of the song after the crescendo is just instrumental, as if humanity had finally been extinguished by the rampaging hordes of the undead.
      I was born a zombie
      From Mercury
      I just sleep...
    • "Faust". Creepy, hauntingly melodic synthesizers like someone descending deeper and deeper into an old castle. The icing on the creepy cake are the vocals of Noodle and 2D reciting a haiku in Japanese and English respectively.
  • Demon Days
    • "Feel Good Inc." is a rich, stylish song with a vivid nonconformist message, but its video creeps into Fridge Horror territory the more you think about it. How long have the people been trapped in the tower? Apparently long enough to facilitate military helicopters circling the building so no one will escape. And then there's 2D's helpless, troubled demeanor, which falls somewhere between eerie and heartbreaking. Not to mention Murdoc's persistent gyrating.
      • Also, the way 2D turns around, jerkily twisting his body around until his head is on completely backwards before he finally turns it too.
      • On the subject of that song, the laughter in the background occasionally sounds Laughing Mad.
    • "El Mañana", its music video consists entirely of two helicopters shooting at Noodle's floating island while she's on it! Then the video ends with the island falling down into a gorge with Noodle inside, screaming; and then one of the helicopters drop a bomb at it...
    • "DARE"'s music video can be kind of unsettling, what with Shawn Ryder's head being the only thing shown and the unfaded copies of Noodle. Also, that VOICE!
    • "Fire Coming Out of the Monkey's Head." The freakishly emotionless Vincent Price-esque narration, the ominously droning Background Music, The twisted storybook-style music video/animation... But without question, the crown jewel of everything spooky this song brings to the table is the last bit of narration.
      "And then came a sound. Distant at first, it grew into castrophany so immense it could be heard far away in space. There were no screams. There was no time. The mountain called Monkey had spoken. There was only fire. And then... nothing."
    • And one last thing. The intro for Demon Days. Oh god.
  • Plastic Beach
    • The inside of Cyborg Noodle. It's even scarier in her ident for Plastic Beach.
    • Seeing Robo!Noodle all hooked up by wires in Plastic Beach was unnerving as well, but it's less unnerving than the art on the CD sleeve depicting her in the same situation... hunched over with a dark grin.
    • Also in Plastic Beach, for your enjoyment, Sarcasmo.
    • A giant heap of trash in the middle of the ocean? Yeah, the writers weren't making that up. And the real one is the size of Texas.
    • "Pirate Jet", the closing track on (most editions of) Plastic Beach, with its creepy-yet-catchy chord progression played on jangly synthesizers while 2D sings about how we're wasting so much water.
    It's all good news now, because we left the taps running for a hundred years...
    • Or it could even be about using up so much oil and how the Earth is doomed because of it.
    • The "Superfast Jellyfish" video is terrifying. The jellyfish are way too happy for things that have just been microwaved and are in the process of being eaten. Their movements are creepy as well; somehow the flopping is reminiscent of hanging victims.
      • The expressions and dancing of the only human to star in the clip grow steadily more bizarre and creepy as the video goes on. It looks like he's enjoying his breakfast a little too much...
      • There's the upbeat, prideful tone of the lyrics... Which also happens to be about disastrous overfishing and polluting the sea until nothing's left alive.
      The sea is radioactive...
      The sea.. has gone silent.
    • Several moments in the "On Melancholy Hill" video fall under this Robo!Noodle puking up a (still alive) octopus frightens even those in canon (namely 2D) and, while the manatee-napping bit is more of a Tear Jerker than anything else, the way that Boogieman is sort of... massaging the poor thing can definitely give you the jibblies.
      • The song itself is not at all scary — except for the ending. By the end of the song, you've been fully immersed in the ambiance of the song's feel-good nature, then an ominous bell appears out of nowhere and completely shatters that immersion in the most eerie and chilling way imaginable.
      • When we first see Noodle in the video, she immediately grabs a gun and starts firing on the planes attacking the ship she's on. The look on what we can see of her face tells is that clearly either El Manana, or whatever happened since, have utterly broken her childish innocence.
    • This ad for the album. What the hell is 2D looking at?note 
  • The Fall
    • The album cover can be this, even if only a little. It shows a dark room filled with silhouettes of equipment and a very anxious-looking 2D with huge, white eyes, like something bad just happened. It's difficult to look at it for long without feeling at least slightly unnerved.
    • The closing track "Seattle Yodel" is a Last Note Nightmare for the entire album. It's a simple 40-second track of nothing but the sample of a yodeling pickle toy being repeated over and over, each time more echoed than the last. All on a silent background.
  • Humanz
    • The haunting intro to the album.
      I switched my robot off
      And I know more
      But retain less
      Retain less
      -Tain less
      -Tain less
    • "Hallelujah Money", has a really creepy video featuring all manner of bizarre imagery behind Benjamin Clementine. Makes sense, as it was released to coincide with the inauguration of Donald Trump.
    • The video for "Saturn Barz" starts tame, even if it's clear from the beginning that the house the band visits is haunted. Then it suddenly goes into Deranged Animation territory. Highlights include a naked Murdoc flying along a comet belt, Noodle and Russel getting constricted by snake monsters, and 2D being subject to Force Feeding by living food.
      • At the beginning, as the camera pans past the old house, there's a face in the window. It's just... there.
      • It's probably worth mentioning that the snake monster that attacks Russell has 6 arms that behave as hair, including one growing out of where its left eye should be.
      • A singing pizza slice doesn't sound scary, but the one in this video has disturbingly realistic, sunken eyes and occasionally takes up the whole screen...
      • Don't look behind you on the bus in the 360 version of the video. Speaking of which, said version may also subject you to pleasant views such as this.
    • The sudden scream near at the end of Ascension. It just happens so suddenly...
    • "Out of Body", while undeniably awesome, has a very eerie vibe running throughout it, which slowly escalates as the track progresses. With the ambiguous yet hauntingly-delivered vocals and an increasingly driving instrumental, it's unclear if the scenario presented is just a really trippy dance party or something far more haunting.
      It's just like that
      you promise all your life, then you turn your back
      You glide across the space, and diagonal past
      Then you kick, and you jump, and you arch your back
      You move your hips and your arms like a cat
      Spin three times, and you're back where you're at
      Does anybody catch what any of this is about?
      No? Well, work it out...
  • The Now Now
    • Though the album itself is much more sad than scary, the music video for "Tranz" is downright eerie. The high-beams shining from 2D's eyes in the chorus and his uncharacteristically angry expression at times are unsettling enough, but around two minutes in the video takes a sudden left turn into Deranged Animation, first distorting the images of the band and then with claymation versions of 2D appearing in the background. In contrast to the version that's singing, the claymation 2Ds look like they're going through hell, with green bubbling from one's nose, Gumby-like flailing, and one emerging from another's mouth and flying right into another. The video ends with him collapsing bonelessly to the floor.
  • Song Machine
    • The music video for Désolé, which features the band (sans Murdoc) having a lovely boat trip around a scenic lake... while titanic Eldritch Abominations loom motionless over the horizon, a strange figure in a robe watches them from afar, and Murdoc convulses in the fetal position while alone in the studio. Nobody in the boat notices any of this.
    • 2-D's eyes turning into the Pac-Man characters in "Pac-Man".
      • Noodle briefly sporting anime eyes in the same video also looks weird.
    • "Strange Timez" is an immensely haunting track as aside from the off-kilter and quietly frantic instrumental, the lyrics detail the world at large during the year of 2020 as it was written, alluding to all sorts of current-day turmoil from the COVID-19 Pandemic, to political corruption in Belarus, to climate change. What makes it worse is the delivery; rather than hyperbolizing these as sensationalized terrors, 2D merely drones these assessments as matter-of-factly as possible, establishing that in the grand scheme of the world, these are "merely" "strange times" that we must live through before things can get better, a concept that's interpretable as either reassuring or even more terrifying.
    • The music video for "Aries," which ends with, after various shots of 2-D and Murdoc enjoying a motorcycle ride, Murdoc taking out a syringe filled with an unknown liquid clearly intending to use it on 2-D, while 2-D drives on, unaware.
    • The video for "The Lost Chord" has the band unexpectedly return to the abandoned Plastic Beach, and right from the beginning, it's a surreal experience. Murdoc finds himself wearing the Boogeyman's mask, Russel briefly turns back to giant size (with Noodle emerging from his mouth), and 2D barfs up a small sperm whale. A quick glance around the island reveals features such as the skeletons of Daley (the singer from "Doncamatic") and one of the airplane pilots from the cancelled "Rhinestone Eyes" video, Noodle's old cat mask, the abandoned pirate ship, Big Rick Black's Record Shack, and the submarine Murdoc used to escape the island, with none other than a dormant Cyborg Noodle inside. And then a giant sea monster (portrayed by featured artist Leee John) emerges from the ocean and blows the whole island up with Eye Beams, causing the submarine with Cyborg Noodle to sink to the bottom of the ocean. The four band members barely escape the sinking lighthouse through the portal that brought them there in the first place, and Murdoc nearly gets left behind, only managing to escape because 2-D opens a portal back there to come and grab him.

Kong Studios:

  • A massive studio building with a long-running history of death, hauntings, occult meddling and other disturbing shenanigans built atop a gigantic landfill in a cemetery is guaranteed to be full of nightmare fuel. And Murdoc bought it for free. The owners were looking for an off-season caretaker to look after the building during the winter, but when Murdoc arrived, the owners threw the keys at him and ran away screaming, never to be seen again.
    • Hell, the location itself has a dark history. It was once a burial ground for Black Plague victims, and the mansion that would become the studio building was a place of demonic worship. But none of that compared to what happened to a biker gang who used the building to host a party. Bad wiring started a fire and somebody locked the door before they could escape.
    Murdoc: They were all burned to a crisp.
  • In the Phase 2 version, clicking on the wrong wardrobe in Murdoc's Winnebago will have a giant, bloody shark's mouth leap out at you with a demonic giggle while spitting up severed hands. Not okay, guys.
    • Murdoc's Winnebago also has a creepy, Terry Gilliam-esque woman washing a Cabbage Patch Doll in the sink and a potted Triffid that hisses when you move your cursor over it.
  • On "Level zero" is a giant, gaping portal to Hell that spits out skulls with comical screams...and fart noises. On the wall above is "fire coming out of the monkey's head" written in blood.
    • And it had a countdown, but to what you may ask? Murdoc rising from the hole and saying "I want your souls" until distortion.
  • The black body-bag looking thing in the lobby that moves when you click it. What's in there, anyway? Anyone brave enough to click it enough times to find out?
  • The pipes in the boiler room clank and rattle in a very unsettling way.
  • The second floor lobby has a massive blood stain and trail leading into one of the hallways. Entering the door from there will be the eyes of some creepy demon laughing at you from the drop ceiling.
    • Clicking on one of the drop ceiling panels in the second floor lobby will have a weird imp hanging from a noose drop down. And it's anatomically-correct.
  • The kitchen fridge is full of moldy food, human eyeballs and an entire brain.
  • The recording booth has the dead, naked body of a crouching man with his head bitten off.
  • Just before escaping to Plastic Beach, Murdoc found that Kong Studios was clogged with zombies and demons beyond salvage, so he did what any sane and rational human being would do: burn the whole place down, collect the insurance money and pin it on a group of random teenagers. IT WORKED.
  • The fact that even with that, the group found a second Kong Studios around the time the Song Machine series started off. From what has been seen, it's been mercifully a normal the moment.

Rise of the Ogre:

  • Murdoc's father, Sebastian Jacob Niccals (or Jacob Sebastian Nicclas depending on who's asking), was an absolute bastard "whose collection of dubious vices would put Bill Sikes to shame" that based his life around avoiding work, using poor Murdoc as his weapon of choice in his unending quest for a cheap buck. The worst way in which he did this, which incidentally inspired Murdoc to found Gorillaz in the first place, was when he forced the poor kid into a Pinocchio costume and make him sing "I've Got No Strings" in front of his drinking buddies at the pub for a talent contest. The prize? Two pounds fifty and the chance for further humiliation in the bi-annual county finals and on national television. Looking back, Murdoc remarks that if eBay existed back then, his father would have sold him there more than once.
    • Worst of all, Murdoc mentions that when he was 9, he was raped by a lunch lady. A grown woman had sex with an underage Murdoc. Murdoc's childhood was pretty terrible in general, but this has to be the most horrifying and disgusting part of it.
  • The explanation of how Russel got those milky white eyes and became the host of Del, the ghost who appears in the videos of "Clint Eastwood" and "Rock the House". His friends, including Del, were all shot by gangsters and their spirits got sucked into his body. Perhaps worst of all was him noticing that one of the gangbangers wore a black hood with no visible face. Russel also mentions that he had a paranormal experience prior to the shooting. He was possessed by a very large demon and went on a rampage in school. He was then exorcised but was put into a coma and didn't come out of it until four years later. He didn't believe any of it until he saw the picture of the "Russel wuz here!" graffiti written in blood on the school walls in his handwriting.
  • The utter disaster that was the concert in Mexico. Some of the highlights included a kid getting crushed by one of the inflatable gorillas from the "Rock the House" video, someone throwing a horse lung onto the stage and an exchange of insults between a biker and one of Siegfried and Roy's tigers.
  • One particular gem is a photograph of Russel posing with a fan on the streets of Hollywood with the faint, translucent image of Death hovering over the entire image. Not helping matters is the blank, traumatized stare in Russel's eyes. Even Murdoc is unnerved.
    • Not long after, Russel is faced with the Grim Reaper himself, describing the feeling of the encounter as like "a blowtorch inches away from [his] face." He also notices that Death's cloak is just a shroud of countless fluttering crows. After hearing the deafening sound of what he described as a mix between thousands of screaming babies and a tree being uprooted, he is forced to say goodbye to Del - whom Death was looking for this whole time. Without the spirits in his head, Russell becomes a shell of his former self until he is taken into care by Ike Turner (of all people.)
  • During his stint in Hollywood, Russel tries to get his mojo back by trying to make an album titled "The Seventh Heaven Hip Hop and Harmony Album." It didn't work.
    Russel Hobbs: It all went bad. Evil. It just ended up with a life of its own. And there was a sickly gloop coming out of the speakers. I could tell the album had gone sour. You could hear people laughing in the background. It sounded like some wonky David Koresh tape. All panpipes and meditation chants, but it was like the sound was trying to...lull you into a dream-like state, so it could eat your soul. Really spooky. Like a children's nursery rhyme from some horror movie.
  • The incident that ended the cancelled Gorillaz movie and almost ended the band itself. During a particularly hellish period of script-writing and brainstorming in a hotel, 2D takes the term "elevator pitch" too literally and uses it to create a particularly stupid movie plot that proves to be the final straw for Murdoc's psyche, prompting him to actually strangle the poor singer. If it wasn't for Russell dropping his fist straight on his head, Murdoc would have successfully MURDERED 2D.
    • Murdoc even confesses to committing murder on the set of El Mañana without the slightest hint of remorse. The band had a particularly creepy stalker by the name of "Wee Jimmy Manson" that tried to hijack Gorillaz and turn it into a hippie cult centered around him and his wonky music. Murdoc nips this little issue in the bud once and for all by locking Manson in the windmill island prop as it crashes and burns. Murdoc's excuse for revealing this sordid deed is that he's a cartoon and can do whatever. He. Wants to.
      • The song he forces 2-D to write about it, titled rather appropriately "Murdoc Is God," is just as terrifying, being over two-and-a-half minutes of heavy metal with 2-D chanting "Murdoc is god," "Johnny is dead," and "Murdoc is king" on an eerie loop. Urgh.
  • After getting the book Pseudomonarchia Daemonum (a book that actually exists!), Murdoc has a few drinks too many while performing one of his many demon-summoning rituals and inadvertently summons a black-skinned demon child that has haunted the band ever since.
    Russel Hobbs: Nice going, Murdoc.


  • There's plenty of it, but the Cyborg is basically a nightmare fuel manufacturing plant. Her creepy, frigid demeanor, combined with the lovely incident where we see her without her face, make her wholly terrifying.
  • The fact that this is a world in which Murdoc Niccals not only has yet to be safely locked away from society, but was in fact forced to care for a coma patient, was allowed to keep joint custody of a small child, and is now "legally entitled to experiment on monkeys" should be Nightmare Fuel enough.
  • Murdoc drugging 2D during his radio show was exceptionally horrifying.
    • His general treatment of 2D, especially during Phase 3.
  • Not to mention the bit when Murdoc is screaming about "the fog."
  • Though probably Played for Laughs, 2D screaming "HE'S KEEPING ME PRISONER!" during Pirate Radio 4 (found on the Gorillaz website) is actually fairly unsettling once you look past the hamminess of it. He just sounded really, really desperate.
  • The entirety of the Rockit video gives of an extremely creepy vibe. It includes 2D staring directly into the camera with glowing white eyes and talking zombie heads popping out of every direction, to name a few.
    • And the statue of Pazuzu.
    • Not to mention the hidden frame of the zombie face that flashes 19 seconds in. If you can't see it, just look towards the end of the video...
  • 2-D's black eyes, the result of an 8-ball fracture. One who begins to listen/watch the Gorillaz may wonder why they look like that, and soon shudder at the reason for it — although despite his creepy appearance, in terms of personality he's harmless and kind of adorable in his own, stupid way. Murdoc, on the other hand...
    • How did 2-D get those eyes? Blame Murdoc. He ran over him, damaging his right eye and putting him in a coma. As part of his community service, Murdoc had to take care of him. Then one day, Murdoc was doing car tricks to impress some girls while the still catatonic 2-D was in the passenger seat. Murdoc crashed the car and 2-D flew out the wind screen, landing face first on to a curb, damaging his other eye and waking him up from his coma.
  • The video for "DoYaThing" has a segment in which 2D casually scoops human ears out of a jar to put on his toast. Where on earth did he get those from? Are those real human ears from flesh and blood?
    • It's possible that the point of the video was that we don't know what's real and what's in 2D's head, so hopefully we can write off those ears as bacon or something.
    • While on the subject of "DoYaThing", the part where we look into Murdoc's room is very spooky. All you see is darkness while you hear cries of animals and something that sounds like human sobbing. Does anyone even want to know what's going on in there?
    • Near the beginning of the video, 2D goes into the bathroom... why are there bloody hand-prints on the wall?
  • In the The Now Now era "Free Murdoc" campaign, based around the idea that Murdoc has been sent to jail for something he didn't do and is trying to escape/clear his name, fans used Facebook messenger or Skype to chat with a Murdoc chatbot, moving the plot along. Most of the chats end with silly tasks such as coaxing another inmate to reveal his tattoo of a map, etc... until the August 31, 2018 chat, which ends with Murdoc being trapped in the sewers as the sewage level rises, and apparently dying, all the while begging the fan to find a way out. Even for fans who don't particularly like the character, it's harrowing.