I know quite a few people in my age group — early thirties — who remember, very vividly, a TV show called Under the Mountain. I was probably about 10 years old and it scared the bejesus out of me and, I’m sure, if I was still wearing a nappy it would have been quite full by the time the show was over.
Sometimes at night I have these flashbacks of kids riding a boat and bumping into something only to discover later the slime left on the side because they had hit one of these alien beings called … Wilberforces. The name still sends a chill down my spine. They looked like people but this fronds of slime would grow out of their heads.
Anyway, determined to exorcise my demons, I searched Google to find out if this show really was the scariest show ever made. Guess what, after so many years the show actually looks quite dof. You know the kind of dof that was SABC programming in the mid-Eighties. This was also the time of the A-Team [taa-ti-taa duh duh daa … oops, couldn’t help myself, click here for the real deal]. My wife remembers it and she says she must have blocked it out of her memory — the Eighties, the A-Team and the Wilberforces.
The IMDB says of the show:
Two teenage twin siblings, Rachel and Theo, on a summer vacation in Auckland visiting their aunt and uncle, meet a certain Mr Jones, a mysterious man who helped find them when they got lost in the woods eight years earlier. Mr Jones turns out to be an alien fighter from a distant planet who wants their help in fighting an alien giant slug family of eight members led by a certain Mr Wilberforce who have arrived on Earth with plans for world domination.
A giant slug family … scary giant slug family, if I remember correctly. If you don’t believe me, watch the clip below.
Okay, scary when you’re very young and in the time before Aliens and Hellraiser. After this rather cathartic journey consisting of a total of two Google searches and a search on YouTube, I now feel quite embarrassed that I could hold such a disappointing object so close for so long. Then again, how many times have we come across photos of our first loves and thought, wow, this really was the most beautiful woman in the world? I’m sorry, but I don’t find gangly featureless eight-year-olds attractive any more and if you do, I suggest you get help, fast.
I post this as a public service to all of you who remember Under the Mountain and live in fear of hooking up with a Wilberforce in real life, seconds after having turned off the lights … like the one lurking behind the door right now.