Why The Child Catcher From Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Is The Most Fucked Up Villain Of All Time
If you’re a classic movie fanatic like myself, than you probably grew up on family musicals like The Sound Of Music, Mary Poppins, and Grease. If these movies were a large part of your childhood, than you’re probably familiar with the 1968 British-American musical adventure fantasy film, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. The film script was written by famed children’s author Roald Dahl who wrote fan favorites Matilda, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Witches and James And The Giant Peach.
Aside from the incredible talent behind the production of this film, the all star cast was really what knocked it out of the park. Classic movie musical LEGEND Dick Van Dyke headlined this film, alongside the absolutely stunning Sally Anne Howes, supported on screen by Lionel Jeffries, Gert Fröbe, and Anna Quayle. What a freakin’ cast right?
The story follows an eccentric failed inventor Caractacus Potts (Dick Van Dyke) who purchases a car from a local junkyard after being pressured to do so by his two children. (It should also be noted that this man is a widower because ALL children’s movies of this era included a dead mother.) He completely remodels the car in his garage, while receiving constant criticism by his father “Grandpa” Potts and then boom – we have Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.
Mr Potts then swoons his rich neighbor by the name of Truly Scrumptious who is not a stripper, and the two of them and his children decide to spend a wholesome day at the beach. Sounds safe, right? Wrong. Their day is interrupted when a fucking PIRATE ship, captained by the evil Baron Bomburst, shows up to try and steal the marvelous motorcar he’s heard so much about. Here’s when we find out that the car actually doubles as a boat (because obvi) and eventually safely lands on shore, outrunning the Baron and his goons.
Think this story is whack? Just wait.
Eventually the Baron’s spies return and capture Mr. Potts, except only it’s the wrong Mr. Potts. They capture Grandpa by mistake and air lift him off to the land of Vulgaria where they lock him in a dungeon below the castle with a bunch of other old men with VERY long beards (because how ELSE would we know how long they’ve been down there). They demand he invent them a motorcar like the one they saw floating on water.
Crazy right? Keep reading.
So the real Mr. Potts, Truly Scrumptious and the kids see Grandpa getting air lifted away and follow him to discover that the car can also fly (unbeknownst to the man who literally rebuilt it in his garage from scratch using scraps of metal laying around his property), and they take flight to Vulgaria to rescue Grandpa.
Nothing can surprise you at this point right? Wrong.
As our heroes are landing in the village, they are spotted by the Baron and Baroness, who send out a platoon of their finest horsemen to finally capture the car and bring it to the castle. However, upon further investigation, The Baroness (who hates children and banned them nationwide, because honestly? Same, girl.) spots the two children in the car, and decides to send out the royal child catcher to ensure the children are captured and removed immediately.
After they land, Mr. Potts and crew are greeted with death stares from virtually every single person in this village because they know shit is about to get FUCKED UP with those kids. The royal horn blasts and the villagers, realizing a raid is coming, scramble into their homes and shut and lock their doors. Thankfully, a random toymaker (this makes less and less sense as the movie goes on) spots the crew and quickly invites them into his home. The toymaker hides them all in his secret basement and opens his front door.
Are you ready for your nightmares to become reality? ENTER THE FUCKING CHILD CATCHER.
You heard that correctly – the CHILD CATCHER. This man’s SALARY position is to capture all and any children that enter this nation, and stow them in the mountain below the castle. Totally normal, right?
Not only is this man quite possibly the most batshit and grotesque looking thing you have EVER seen, he absolutely the most terrifying villain to EVER grace the silver screen and I’m going to tell you why.
1. He’s HORRIFYING.
I’m talking cracked out, Victorian London Babadook serial-killing WITCH doctor level of horrifying. From his long stringy black hair, to his beady eyes and dusty ass top hat, they spared NO expense on making this man look as fucking terrifying as possible. They wanted children to REMEMBER this man and have nightmares about him well into their 50s.
2. He can SMELL children with his nose.
Oh yeah. Hiding children in your secret basement? NICE TRY. This man can SMELL them and he will FIND them and he will TAKE them away and you will NEVER see them again.
3. He carries around a fucking NET.
A NET people. A GIANT NET. To CATCH children in. A NET.
4. He disguises himself as a Lollipop salesman.
Because what would any career criminal be without a half-assed disguise? And what is more terrifying than luring children out of their homes than creepy a LOLLIPOP man? Nothing.
5. HE DRIVES A MOTHER FUCKING CAGE.
A CAGE. This is his mode of transportation. A CAGE. On wheels. A MOVING CAGE. And this is ACCEPTABLE in their society.
“Hey Child Catcher!”
“Oh Hey Barb!”
“How are you today?”
“I’m well, just washing my CAGE CAR so it’s nice and squeaky clean in case I need to go capture any children today.”
“Aw fun! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday!”
“You too Barb! Good to see ya! Tell the Mr. I said hello! Sorry I stole your only son 3 years ago.”
“Hahah. Will do. See ya later!”
WHAT. THE FUCK?
This monster waltzes into this village, dressed as a lollipop salesman and LURES children out of their homes into his fucking CAGE VEHICLE and rides off into the sunset. In what fiery pit of actual HELL was this character forged in? TELL ME. TELL ME WHAT PIT. Think of the most terrifying movie villain you can imagine, multiply that by 100 and you have the Child Catcher.
Samara from the ring? Bring it on.
The little girl from The Exorcist. TEA PARTY.
Freddy Kruger? Child’s play.
I won’t spoil the rest of the movie for you, but if you’ve seen it before, you know what happens in the end. But please be warned before watching – you will never forget this man’s face, you will never forget this man’s voice, and you will NEVER want to eat a lollipop EVER again.