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Kindertrauma Funhouse

October 18th, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 4 Comments

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Kinder-Gallery:: Eric Messina

October 16th, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 4 Comments

It turns out that our old pal Eric Messina (of Theater of Guts) is a truly gifted artist! Just take a look at the gallery below to view his stunning horror-inspired work! Incredibly, he’ll draw commissions for a mere $40 so you’ll probably want to look him up on Instagram under his profile name Erok Hell! Here are some links to explore more of his eclectic output: Etsy=HERE, Redbubble=HERE, and Threadless= HERE. Big thanks to Eric for letting us share his fantastic artwork with our beloved readers!

→ 4 CommentsTags: Kinder-Art · Kinder-Gallery

Trauma Scene:: Alligator (1980)

October 15th, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments

I was watching ALLIGATOR the other night in honor of the late great Robert Forster when a particular scene popped out at me as exceptionally kindertraumatic. It’s kinda crazy it never struck me as such before and I wondered why I hadn’t noticed it the last time I watched ALLIGATOR (which strangely enough was about a month ago). First off, ALLIGATOR is a great movie. It’s written by John Sayles (PIRAHNA) and directed by Lewis Teague (CUJO) and it’s an action-packed, super sly send-up of fifties-era giant creature flicks as much as it is an inevitable cash-in on JAWS. Forster is brilliant in it and always a good sport when the subject of male pattern baldness arises. I also have to give a shout out to the charming and underrated ROBIN RIKER who we come to find out is the little girl from the film’s opening whose thoughtless parents flushed her tiny pet alligator down the toilet. There’s a very good chance that her long lost pet is the mutated monster eating so many people who actively deserve it (the creature’s attack on an upscale wedding and his subsequent chomping of the film’s various villains in the climax is so gratifying).

The vignette I feel obliged to spotlight occurs well within the movie when the alligator is in full rampage mode clobbering anyone unlucky enough to get in his path. In a suburban backyard, three little boys are playing pirates with the two older kids bullying the youngest (who is blindfolded) toward the end of a diving board (pretending it’s a pirate’s plank) and into the deep end of the pool. Unbeknownst to the trio, the titular alligator is (understandably) taking a much-needed dip in the pool! Now, where every other film known to man would utilize this scenario for suspense only to have the kids realize their blunder and escape at the last minute, this flick has the kid fall in. Not only does he fall in, shortly thereafter he is shown colliding with the scaled abomination and not long after that, the pool is turning blood red signaling that his and the alligator’s encounter didn’t work out so good for at least one of them. I guess considering ALLIGATOR’s debt to JAWS it shouldn’t be that shocking that a tyke might end up on the wrong side of an animal encounter but something about this scene feels extra vicious (and perhaps darkly humorous).

Mostly though, I can’t help feel sorry for the two older kids who have to live forever knowing they are responsible for their sibling’s death. Plus I can’t help empathizing with the blindfolded kid who became alligator dinner because the initial prank seems like something my older brothers would have done to me without pause. Anyway, I’m not sure if this macabre scene would float in this day and age but it sure has bite.

→ 5 CommentsTags: Trauma-Scene · Trauma-Shots · Traumatots

Sunday Streaming:: Hammer House of Horror Marathon

October 13th, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 2 Comments

Once upon a time, your very own Unk had a “Name That Trauma” of his own. I had fallen asleep watching an episode of SATURDAY NIGHT DEAD hosted by Philly legend STELLA and woke up to a horrifying scenario on my TV. I caught only the very last moments of the program and they included a man and woman screaming from within a window somehow trapped and going stark raving mad inside a house. Miraculously a reader knew exactly what I was talking about and informed me that it was an episode of HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR entitled “The Silent Scream.” Here in the States it seems episodes of the show were often passed off as singular movies. Of course, I had to immediately order the entire series on DVD and boy was I pissed at the time when someone screwed up my order and sent it to me on VHS! Years have passed and I’m actually glad about that mistake so I guess there’s a lesson to be learned there somewhere.

Point of all of this is that today COMET TV is having a HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR marathon and you can watch it free on cable, the airwaves (if your TV is set up with a converter) or just watch it live off of your dearest computer HERE. It starts at 10 am (which is why I posted this so early) and it goes on until 3:30 in the AM! The aforementioned episode “The Silent Scream” is scheduled for 5:30PM but if I were you, I’d catch as many episodes as you can. It’s sure to get you in the Halloween spirit.

→ 2 CommentsTags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

In Memoriam:: Robert Forster 7/13/41 – 10/11/19 R.I.P.

October 12th, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 3 Comments

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Kindertrauma Funhouse

October 11th, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments

There are ten differences between the image above (A) and the image below (B). Can you find them all?

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As Above, So Below (2014)

October 10th, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 4 Comments

As it turns out, it appears that I am a big fan of AS ABOVE, SO BELOW. I’m a little startled by this newfound awareness but maybe I shouldn’t be so surprised; it was directed by JOHN ERICK DOWDLE the same guy who delivered above-average horror fare like DEVIL and QUARANTINE. It’s just that I assumed that I was basically done with the whole found-footage gimmick and it seemed to have been generally trashed by most critics (its Rotten Tomatoes score is way harsh). I guess it just goes to show you that you have to keep your eyes open and never listen to anyone else when it comes to horror because what scares us is always a very personal thing. In any case, I was very wrong in assuming that AASB was just another cheap also-ran with nothing new to offer. It’s actually pretty darn unique in that it works as a rousing adventure flick as much as it works as a claustrophobic, psychological horror tale. There’s also something strangely relieving about a found footage flick in which it consistently makes sense that folks keep filming. Plus I think the world needed a good horror movie that takes place in the skeleton infested catacombs underneath Paris; it’s such a fascinating location that can’t help but bring the dread.

PERDITA WEEKS stars as Scarlett Marlow who means to continue her father’s work in tracking down an Indiana Jones-esque alchemy stone that can turn crap into gold and also does the nifty trick of granting eternal life. She’s somehow able to corral her ex-boyfriend and a couple of tagalongs in her kooky quest miles below the city. Inspired by the possibility of fame and fortune, this crew is amazingly adept at ignoring blaring red flags and warning signs which include (I believe) flashing subliminal ghosts (?), a cult of possessed females, an impossible piano from the past and a car on fire. Everybody involved seems to have horrible guilt from long-ago events that the evil caves are somehow able to capitalize on (that’s what evil caves do). If that weren’t enough, there are plenty of traps that can kill you and a wrong move can result in your being crushed under rocks. Things get worse and worse as the group gets further and the only way out appears to be to keep trudging deeper into more and more danger and more and more crazy-making blasts from the past. It’s almost as if they are literally traipsing through hell itself and honestly the claustrophobia and phantasmagorical happenings really start to get to me.

When I was a wee lad reading THE AMITYVILE HORROR, I remember the most terrifying part for me was when a hooded figure appeared at the top of the stairs during the climax and (if I’m remembering correctly) pointed a finger at the fleeing Lutz family. I was so disappointed that this scene never made it to either cinematic adaptation because for me, it signified that the shit was hitting the fan and that all debates over the reality of the supernatural threat were over. Essentially it’s the moment when the impossible becomes undeniable. AASB has such a scene. It fiendishly takes its kid gloves off and pushes these hooded Knights Templar looking dudes forward and after being so convinced of the reality of the situation, there’s something truly alarming about removing any question of the validity of the evil uncontrollable forces (Sorry, I hope that’s vague enough to not be a spoiler). AASB is currently on Netflix but I had to get a physical copy for myself in case it ever disappears. This is one truly underrated, almost horrifically poetic movie and I’m looking forward to return to it many times in the future. I also want the poster, the t-shirt and the theme park ride if that is at all possible.

→ 4 CommentsTags: General Horror

Sunday Streaming:: Ticks (1993)

October 6th, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments

Hey! It has come to my attention that TICKS (1993) is available to stream for FREE on TubiTV and Vudu and even Amazon Prime. I don’t think I’ve ever properly reviewed this gooey gem but I know for sure it was mentioned in my salute to AMI DOLENZ way back HERE. In retrospect, several fine horror flicks were released in the early nineties but I remember being in the middle of a dry spell of dud rentals when I was so pleasantly surprised by this throwback creature feature back in the day. TICKS has everything: a summer campground setting, young folks looking for trouble, lunatic locals, grotesque creatures and fountains of spewing slime. Let me tell you, I’m not an easy person to gross out but something about the awesomely disgusting special effects in this flick gets me flinching. I would hug a spider, kiss a snake and marry a bat but I’m not down with ticks. They gross.

And how can anyone resist the greatest (and possibly shortest) cast ever assembled? Besides the aforementioned adorable DOLENZ, you get SETH GREEN, PETER SCOLARI, ALFONSO RIBEIRO and the legendary CLINT HOWARD (pop RANCE HOWARD is even the sheriff)! Frequent horror helmsman TONY RANDAL (HELLRAISER 2:HELLBOUND, CHILDREN OF THE NIGHT, AMITYVILLE 1992: IT’S ABOUT TIME) keeps things moving at a skittering pace and over the top climax is like a low budget salute to THE BLOB or THE THING. I suppose the title alone is enough to keep some folks from singing this movie’s praises as loud as it deserves but it’s so much more than your standard one-note killer insect flick. I think it’s surprisingly thoughtful (most of the young characters are battling personal demons), well-acted (considering the outlandish situation), keenly directed (it never fails to make me squirm) and overall great fun (did you know mutant tick bites cause hallucinations?) If you haven’t seen it before, do yourself a favor and give it a chance. Trust me, once it gets under your skin, it doesn’t let go.

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Kindertrauma Funhouse:: Hosted By Matt Sunshine!

October 4th, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 24 Comments

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Blu-ray Review:: The Prey (1984)

October 2nd, 2019 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments

Woodsy slasher flick THE PREY is finally on Blu-ray! I once caught this slippery fish on YouTube and reviewed it way back HERE. The gist of my take was that THE PREY is unquestionably lackadaisical in spots (it’s famous for an over-reliance on nature footage) but kind of charming and adorable anyway and I’d certainly give it another shot when a superior release was available. Well, I have to say, Arrow’s new release is all kinds of superior and THE PREY cleans up real good. Having only seen a hazy, washed-out, zillionth generation version before, my peepers were more than pleased to take in some bright rich colors. Sadly I have no means to screen-grab images from my Blu-ray player but check it out; the picture is so vibrant that I was able to directly take photos off the TV with my ancient phone! Picture quality can’t save all of THE PREY’s quirky issues but it certainly does help.

I know THE PREY isn’t up there with the higher lords of campfire terror like FRIDAY THE 13th and THE BURNING. It’s not even up there with middle level also-rans like THE FINAL TERROR. It’s more stuck in the trying–to-keep-up zone of THE FOREST and DON’T GO IN THE WOODS and that’s fine. In my opinion, all eighties-era wood-set slasher movies have value. I might even say that out of the many underachievers, THE PREY is the most fetching to me. Sure it tries your patience on many occasions but it’s not mean-spirited (if you skip over the implications of the dour denouement), it’s got a healthy respect for mother nature (it features more critters than a TALK TALK music video) and I’m basically going to love any movie with a park ranger who plays banjo and tells jokes to fawns (and if these scenes are improvised padding, I’m all for it).

Arrow Video’s snazzy new package includes three (!) versions of the movie; there’s the zippy (80 minutes that feel like 100) jam we all know and love, a European cut that includes a back story involving gypsies, and finally a go-for-broke integrated combination of the two. Now in most cases, you’d want to gravitate to the version that serves up the most meat but I wouldn’t say so here. Turns out the gypsy backstory version does not consist of scenes edited out for time that were part of the original vision but scenes directed by a gun-for-hire that were added in by a producer who thought the movie needed more boobs. It’s not so much a lost, Holy Grail complete version, as it is a bastardized alteration that the director didn’t approve of. I’m still grateful to have all three (the more the merrier) but I think I’ll be sticking with the O.G. for future watches.

Perhaps the greatest attribute of this release is that it sports a commentary from our old pal Amanda Reyes of MADE FOR TV MAYHEM fame (if you haven’t gotten her book ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE? yet, I suggest buying as many copies as financially feasible because they make great Christmas gifts and the holidays are just around the corner!). Let me tell ya, I have experienced the joy of watching a movie with Amanda firsthand on several occasions and it’s always an unmitigated treat. I can’t think of anyone who is as knowledgeable and entertaining at the same time. Here’s she’s joined by fellow THE PREY super-fan Ewan Cant and their rallying adoration for the flick is infectious. You’ll also find some informative interviews with cast members and crew, a return visit to some of the locations and a slew of never-seen-before outtakes.

Since my first viewing, I took THE PREY to be sort of a lovable underdog but this package has kindled new respect in the movie for me. Even though it will forever suffer from amateurish editing and dubbing issues, it has a genial heart that many of its better-made cohorts lack. It’s really too bad this early to the gate (filming started in 1979!) slasher got tangled in distribution woes and didn’t hit the track until interest in what it offered was beginning to wane (1983). I’m guessing it’s more influential than its given credit for as WRONG TURN (2003) features a scene that seems lifted straight from it (although the concept of a deranged mutant cutting a climber’s rope so that they fall to their death was surely a cinematic inevitability). In any case, THE PREY will always be the one and only movie to feature my childhood heroes Shazam! (JACKSON BOSTWICK) and Uncle Fester (JACKIE COOGAN, in his last film) discussing the merits of cucumber sandwiches and for that alone, I must stand and give it some long-deserved applause.

→ 6 CommentsTags: Amanda By Night · Blu-ray Review · General Horror