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Traumafessions:: Jason L. on When Havoc Struck and The Acid Queen

January 17th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · No Comments

I’m sure you all are going to laugh but here’s my first (and probably worst) Kindertrauma.

In the late 70s, on Wednesday nights, my parents would go to church and leave me with my grandparents. I’d sit and watch TV with them for an hour until my parents came home. I remember watching The Muppet Show and this show right after called When Havoc Struck. That week my grandpa said “We’re gonna watch these bridges collapse on TV”. Sounded like a fun time (not). If you’ve ever watched WHS you know it starts with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (the familiar dun dun dun dunnnnnnn) with a fiery looking logo. Then Glenn Ford comes on and introduces various incidents of disasters/accidents, etc. The tone of the show is already scary from the images, movies, sounds and music.

This episode showed exactly what it said it would, bridges falling down. Halfway into it, they show the 1940 Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse. It’s the actual movie reel of the actual bridge collapsing. The bridge was susceptible to high winds and it would move up and down with the wind. Then one day it twisted itself to death and it collapsed. I remember being a little freaked out at this until they actually showed a picture of the roadway rocking back and forth. This (I don’t know why) scared the hell outta me. I ran into the kitchen and hid in the laundry room until it was over. I was shaking and my mom had to give me medicine to calm down so I could sleep. Then that night I dreamed about it.

It took a long long time before I could actually open a book about bridges and see the pictures of it. THEN in the early 90s, a commercial for Pioneer car stereo featured the bridge. At first I was shocked but then I enjoyed watching it and laugh about how I thought this was scary.

So, what brought me here is that episode is now on Youtube for all the world to see:

And the commercial:

And yes, The Acid Queen scared me too.

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Sunday Streaming:: The Legend of Boggy Creek (1972)

January 15th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · No Comments

Back in the day, one of the scariest movies you could crash into while driving down the UHF highway was the drive-in classic THE LEGEND OF BOOGGY CREEK. It didn’t matter what time of day it was, something about this flick could make you feel like it was the dead of night. Based on so-called actual events and starring real witnesses in reenactments, THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK may be the first faux-documentary horror film ever conceived. With all the polish of a high school Science Ed film, it spins the tale of a town called Fouke terrorized by a hairy Big Foot-type monster. Big Foot or “Sasquatch” carries little weight in the national psyche these days, but once upon a time he was the physical embodiment of the wilderness’s last stand against mankind’s complete appropriation of nature.

The movie itself is a time capsule showcasing a world that no longer exists both within the film (the technology-free town) and without (the film’s identity as drive-in fare). Many scenes are laughable by today’s standards, thanks to sub-par acting and the obvious limitations of an ape suit, but BOGGY CREEK still has its own quiet power. This is campfire story material and the viewer surely has to be in the right mood to be effected by its vague G-rated violence. The sad fact is, with psychopaths and terrorism lurking about in the real world, it may be difficult for modern audiences to empathize with the fear of the wild. Whatever is coming to get us, we can pretty much assume it’s not coming from the woods. In fact, at this point nature certainly has more to fear from us. Still, maybe there’s something ancient in our DNA that fearfully relates…

Kindertraumatically, at the end of the film the narrator returns to the location of his early childhood fears and he surprises himself by actually longing to hear the howl that once terrified him, “Just to be a reminder that there is still a wilderness left.” Sadly, I’d venture that there’s probably a Starbucks in that space today. BOGGY can still be a lot of fun and its influence is ever reaching (BLAIR WITCH PROJECT, PARANORMAL ACTIVITY et al.), but it’s hard to be truly scared of a monster you mostly feel sorry for. That being said, I’m happy to report that sightings of the Fouke monster continue on. Maybe there’s still a little kick in the old boy after all. Take that Starbucks (P.S. this is a re-vamping of an old review. I plagiarized myself)!

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Name That Trauma:: Johnnie W. on an Eyeball and an Awful Orphanage

January 14th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 4 Comments

Hello Uncle Lancifer,

Love your site.

I’ve had this film in my mind since I was traumatized by it as a child in the late 1970s. I’m hoping you can help me find its title, if you please.Here are some details (the first 3 which may be conflated/misremembered/wrong).

1. Opening credits/title zooms in/pans out to a plowed row to reveal an eyeball with a worm/maggot nearby

2. Plot revolves around farmhouse with a (surrogate? foster? orphanage?) family that murders children and eats them.

3. The movie was made before 1980, as I believe I saw it on Bob Wilkins’ “Creature Features” in the late 1970s.

4. The film is not Philip S. Gilbert’s “Blood and Lace” (1971).

Thank you for considering helping me find this title.

UNK SEZ: Curses! I was just about to say BLOOD AND LACE (How I love that one HERE). Maybe our knowledgeable readers know the answer?!

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Name That Twenty Year Old Horror Movie!

January 13th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 14 Comments

Are you ready to feel super old? All of the images below belong to films released twenty darn years ago! How many of these ancient relics can you identify?

→ 14 CommentsTags: Kindertrauma Funhouse

Traumafessions: Unk on Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things

January 8th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments

Director BOB CLARK’s name rightfully pops up every holiday season in connection to his contrasting holiday classics A CHRISTMAS STORY and BLACK CHRISTMAS. If those monumental movies weren’t enough to cement his status as a potent filmmaker you’ve also got the influential teen sex comedy PORKY’S and the allegorical Vietnam war zombie flick DEATH DREAM as further proof. But it’s the mention of CLARK’s too often shrugged off, earlier living dead soiree CHILDREN SHOULDN’T PLAY WITH DEAD THINGS that still sends a quiet chill of dread down my spine. How can that be? The movie is hilarious camp! Why, just look at the character’s outdated clothes and hairstyles! What a chuckle fest! Sure, maybe I take it less seriously these days and maybe I even find lumps of it annoying and borderline boring but the damn thing still makes me privately wince on some level.

I could brush it away and say that my aversion stems from having caught its ghoulish dime store depravity too many times at too late an hour at a far too impressionable age but the disquiet feels deeper than the echo of nostalgia. As sarcastic and theatrical as CHILDREN loudly presents itself to be, there’s no painting over its oppressive wall of infinite-seeming eeriness. It gets to me. Those electric seventies howling bleeps and whistles, the painful groaning of slow-motion visuals and especially its neon meets inky oblivion color pallet. It’s as if if THE BRADY BUNCH cancelled their Grand Canyon camping trip and decided to vacation in DOGVILLE instead. Nothing can freak me out faster than that dense end of the world background blackness. It‘s a forewarning of that air guitar riddled FAMILY TIES episode in which Alex mourns his dead friend Greg. It’s freaky and off-putting but there’s a swirl of stripped down borderline humiliating coldness to it too. Black isn’t a color, black eats colors for breakfast. We’re all heading there, right?

On a brighter note: Orville! I genuinely love this guy! Every living dead flick worth its salt should have one standout signature zombie and in my book, Orville leaves most of his shuffling brethren in the dust. To truly understand and get the most out of this picture you must both FEAR and ROUTE FOR Orville. As much nausea as he may inspire, and as much dread as he might instill, the long suffering lummox is so outrageously disrespected that its not difficult to find his patiently prepared, masterly marinated stew o’ vengeance delectably delicious. You know, if the whole world has to come crashing down for Orville to have the last laugh on his smug oppressor, I’m absolutely OK with that…and fall down it does. Are spoiler warnings even necessary when talking about zombie flicks? You can bet your bottom dollar this baby closes out with the pessimistic understanding that we’ve only witnessed the tip of the iceberg in regards to the world’s well-deserved demise.

Hey, this traumafession about how CSPWDT scared me as a kid and still creeps me out today, also happens to be a “Sunday Streaming” post cuz I found it on YouTube! Like I nearly said before, the dialogue can be perturbing and the acting hammy and the pace almost dawdling but there’s still something unnerving burrowing around here. If nothing else, you have to admit that the title remains sound advice. Respect the dead today because tomorrow they’re YOU!

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Name That Thirty Year Old Horror Movie!

January 6th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 14 Comments

Happy Birthday to all of the groovy 1987 horror flicks that turn 30 this year! These gems are aging like fine wine! How many can you identify?

→ 14 CommentsTags: Kindertrauma Funhouse

Kinder-Link:: Amanda Reyes Visits Dangerous Minds

January 3rd, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment

Let’s take a field trip over to DANGEROUS MINDS! That cool joint is interviewing our pal AMANDA REYES about her upcoming book entitled ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE? A TV MOVIE COMPENDIUM 1964-1999! Amanda gives an overview of some of the shiniest jewels in the TV Movie universe and the full flicks are even included so you can catch what you might have missed! It’s everything you could possibly want besides an egg salad sandwich and a frosty Yoo-hoo! After you’ve read the post go mow a lawn and save some money to buy that book! Even if yours truly didn’t contribute a tiny portion to it, your favorite shelf would be begging for that lovely tome to sit on it! Jump on over HERE! These TV Movie classics can’t watch themselves!

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Traumafession:: Grant G. on Mego Dolls and Cyborg Annie Ross in Superman III

January 2nd, 2017 by unkle lancifer · No Comments

My name’s Grant, and I write a blog called FIRE BREATHING DIMETRODON TIME where I watch wonderfully fun old adventure shows and movies with my son, now five, and see how he enjoys them. Since he’s still small, we haven’t hit anything like the heights of horror that you all celebrate, but he’s been mildly frightened by various threats like the Sleestak and a couple of Batman’s enemies.

I’d like to share a ridiculous traumafession of my own. I get the impression that quite a few people were traumatized when Annie Ross got turned into a cyborg in Superman III. It rocked me as well, but perhaps in not quite the same way as most.

I saw Superman III in theaters, but I’m pretty sure it didn’t give me the creeps until a year later, when it showed up on HBO. So this is 1984, and my best buddy and I had pretty impressive collections of Mego’s 8-inch tall superhero dolls. He and I really were, in the words of parents, “too old to be playing with dolls,” but I enjoyed being a kid and was in no hurry to discover girls and guitars yet. I had superheroes and Shogun Warriors to play with.

Mego dolls had been out of production for at least five years by that point, but we were still scouring garage sales and anywhere we could think of to find new Mego bodies – Star Trek, Dukes of Hazzard, Emergency, whatever – to customize into new characters for our various Justice Leagues. Of course, since we were 12, we didn’t have the skills necessary to make good costumes for the toys, but we did have lots of paint, multi-colored electrical tape, duct tape, and imaginations.

So one day that summer, I was playing in my room and decided that Superman was going to get grabbed by an indestructible robot – Biotron from the Micronauts – and turned into a cyborg like Annie Ross in the movie. So I interrupted the action and spent about an hour carefully cutting out detailed little duct tape circuitry for Superman’s hands and face, planning to sic the Man of Steel on his low-powered colleagues like Falcon, Human Torch, and Green Arrow.

And somehow, admiring my handiwork, it suddenly sunk in that this was really terrifying. I was actively bothered by what happened to Annie Ross‘s character in the movie… and my toys weren’t fun anymore so I quit playing that adventure. I remember having this sinking feeling in my gut, and the next time HBO showed Superman III – because we watched favorite movies every single time HBO showed them, probably within a week – I started dreading her conversion so much I couldn’t enjoy the movie anymore. Then I started having nightmares. Then I packed up the toys and started paying attention to girls and guitars.

Sadly, very few of those toys have survived into adulthood, although my Mego Supergirl is still with me, her shoes long lost and replaced by spare Batgirl boots with red electrical tape, and my Shogun Warrior Daimos still looms from atop a bookshelf, with a little bit of 40 year-old duct tape to help on its sides where a previous owner tried peeling away the sticker from around its massive robotic waist.

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Happy New Year! Love, Kindertrauma!

January 1st, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment

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Official Traumatizer: Author Richard Adams

December 31st, 2016 by unkle lancifer · 2 Comments

Very recently (12,24,16) we lost the great and noble inadvertent traumatizer, author RICHARD ADAMS who passed away at the ripe old age of 96. Two of ADAMS’ books, WATERSHIP DOWN and PLAGUE DOGS, both concerning the plight of vulnerable animals in a heartless world, were turned into animated feature films which subsequently have been responsible for more indelible anguish than any less well meaning horror film. I think it’s safe to say that on these pages we have received more traumafessions (HERE, HERE and HERE for example) regarding WATERSHIP DOWN than any flick starring Freddy Krueger. With it’s notorious “shotgun scene,” PLAGUE DOGS makes it clear that it’s just as woke, savvy and capable of shredding viewers every preconception of what animated films were capable of depicting.

I wish I could honestly tell you that I’ve read either of the books mentioned but no, I haven’t and I can safely say that I never will because hey, I know my limitations. I’m sure I told you before that I’d rather see a human decapitated than a bunny with a splinter. In any case, we here at Kindertrauma salute RICHARD ADAMS eternally for fighting the good fight and opening so many minds to the vulnerability and emotional complexity of our four-footed friends. WATERSHUP DOWN and PLAGUE DOGS may have traumatized many an unsuspecting young viewer but sometimes that’s what you have to do to shake a human from his or her cocoon of complacency. Like any great Artist ADAMS changed a lot of hearts. Now go hug the nearest animal in honor of him!

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