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Nightmare Fuel / Popeye

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"It's Tuesday, where's our money?"
The series is pretty light on the scary stuff, but there's some bits that can catch you off guard.
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  • The first appearance of a Goon in the Segar comics is legitimately scary looking, standing tall in a doorway with a pale, almost ghost like appearance, much to the shock of Popeye and co.
    • Their only theatrical film appearance in Goonland manages to make them look both ghostlike and zombie-like at the same time. Almost like a remnant of the earliest Fleischer surreality.
  • Sinbad's "Boo, and my enemies run!" close up from Popeye Meets Sindbad. It's downright gruesome!
    • The opening scene is pretty unnerving itself. From the slithering snakes guarding the entryway to Sindbad’s island, to the gnashing, roaring beasts chained up to caves and rocks! Their roars sound absolutely blood curdling! Almost like an actual animal made them.
  • "Wotta Nitemare" has some unsettling imagery too, especially the part where giant, laughing heads of Bluto and Olive pop up really close on the screen!
  • Popeye's own eponymous eye becomes a mild bit of this when you realize it's not for show or a stylized squint—he really did lose his eye, and according to the Segar comics, he deliberately allowed his opponent to gouge his eye out! The cartoons and later installments tend to overlook that, but "I Wanna Be a Lifeguard" has Popeye use his empty eye socket as a whistle, and it's as disturbing looking as it sounds.
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  • In the wartime short "You're a Sap, Mr. Jap", one of the enemies Popeye fights, a japanese Naval Commander, commits suicide by downing gasoline and firecrackers in an attempt to take Popeye down with him. Popeye is visibly disturbed, and hightails it before the whole ship is blown to pieces.
  • "Lost And Foundry" is this for anyone familiar with how horribly a person can die in an industrial accident.
  • From "Shiver Me Timbers" the ghosts, freaky-looking on their own, get a few scenes where they distort their features to a Nightmare Face degree.
    Popeye: I told ya there's no such thing as ghosts.
    Ghosts: OH YEAH?!?
  • The film Popeye's Voyage: the Quest for Pappy has the Sea Hag turn into a horrible sea monster with giant tentacles instead of hands.
  • During the climax of the live-action movie, an octopus grabs Olive who was tied up and pulls her underwater. She spends the next few minutes trying to fight off the octopus only for it to drag her back down and trying to kill her. All the while Popeye and Bluto are fighting, she’s screaming for help and trying to keep her head above water.
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  • "Happy Birthdaze" has a pretty dark ending for a Popeye cartoon. By the end of the short, Shorty has ruined Popeye's birthday and his relationship with Olive. What does the one-eyed sailor do? He murders Shorty! It's not shown, but Shorty stops singing after the gunshot and the words "The Bitter End" appear afterwards.
  • The King Features Syndicate TV series' episode "Timber Toppers" (1960) begins (as usual) with a conflict caused by Brutus, who steals both Olive and Popeye's logs while the latter was chopping trees down nearby. After some Amusing Injuries, things take an unexpected dark turn when Brutus stops fooling around and ties Popeye and Olive to a trunk on a conveyor belt in his workshop (and that after strangling Popeye to the point of making him faint). What for, you may ask? He intends to saw them alive with a circular saw blade just for kicks. Eventually, Popeye knocks Brutus out and stops the conveyor belt a split second before the saw blade would have claimed Olive's life.

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