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Traumafession:: Unk on the Masks in A Gun in the House (1981)

February 22nd, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment

I’m currently trapped in a scary mask spiral and the swirling center of said spiral seems to be the year 1981. After being reminded of the hosiery-headed creep in THE BOOGEY MAN (or THE BOOGEYMAN depending on where you live) I had a flashback to the fateful night I recorded SNL as a kid and accidentally captured the terrifying commercial for NIGHTMARE (or NIGHTMARE IN A DAMAGED BRAIN depending on where you live) which concludes with a dude in a grubby mask hammering down a splintering bedroom door (HERE).

But for my money the scariest 1981 masks of all just might be the ones found in the TV movie A GUN IN THE HOUSE. Although AGITH ends up being rather wishy-washy and long-winded, it sure has its share of harrowing moments especially for a small screen affair. I mean, if I never see SALLY STRUTHERS being forced to crawl on her knees while masked intruders (whose relationship seems directly lifted from THE HOUSE AT THE EDGE OF THE PARK (1980)) laughingly pour peach brandy on her head again, that will be fine by me. There’s no doubt this dramatization of the perpetually hot topic of the pro and cons of gun ownership was strongly influenced by the plethora of masked slashers then currently stalking cinemas (one of the masks even looks like it could be a left over prop from the previous year’s TERROR TRAIN). In any case, I know I was one kid who got a little bit more freaky strife than he bargained for tuning into to this flick way, way back in the day. So let’s make your old UNK squirm in his seat and check out the frightening masks from A GUN IN THE HOUSE below….

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Name That Trauma:: Jackball74 on a Blue Glass Ghost

February 21st, 2017 by unkle lancifer · No Comments

One fine Saturday morning back in the early ’80s I jumped out of bed, bolted for the living room and promptly switched on the TV, thinking I would get in a couple of cartoons before everyone else woke up – the usual weekend routine. This morning, however, I was met with a jolt.

The (color) image that faced me showed a man, then cut to a woman, both looking somewhat surprised. I cannot recall who the actor and actress were, but they were middle-aged and the setting looked to be a nicely-appointed house sometime in the ’30s or ’40s. There was a knock on the door, and one of the individuals turned and answered it.

Standing on the threshold was a ghost, but, instead of seeing a semi-transparent actor, the phantom looked like it was made of blue glass and had very vague features (there were no eyes, for instance). And man did it freak me out. I jumped up, ran to my parents’ bedroom and began yelling about what I had seen.

I can’t recall a good deal about the details, other than that the movie seemed to have been made several decades before. It was also probably playing on our old local South Florida channel, WCIX 6. Was anyone else startled by this scene?


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Sunday Streaming:: The Boogey Man (1980)

February 19th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 3 Comments

Hold up now, did you realize that there is absolutely nothing to stop you from watching 1980’s THE BOOGEYMAN for free on super swell and generous CRACKLE (HERE)? Please don’t tell me you’re one of those people trying to rewrite history and claim this movie doesn’t rule. That’s nonsense. C’mon, if being derivative of HALLOWEEN and THE EXORCIST is a crime than you’re going to have to lock up my entire movie collection! I know director ULLI LOMMEL went on to squander his talent churning out lamentable chaff but I’m going to forever contend that there’s some creepy as hell miasma emanating from this partially silly motion picture. The opening theme alone is enough to make me feel like I walked into some sleazy, unfathomable supernatural hive of unmitigated wrongness. Plus, what about that crazy shish kabob car kill? What about that annoying kid being rightfully guillotined in the bathroom window? What about that scary dude with the panty hose on his head? Eh, I give up. Watch it for the soundtrack alone for heavens sake! So good!

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VHSaturday:: The Incubus (1982)

February 18th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments

Hey, let’s start a new feature around these parts! I get super lazy without structure! Without structure there’s absolutely nothing to stop me from sleeping. Do you think death will be like sleeping forever? I sure hope so. Anyway, VHSaturday will be all about me sharing my love of VHS tapes! I even wrote a theme song for this super new feature that should be sung to the tune of Tracey’s Ullman’s “They Don’t Know”.

“And I don’t listen to their Blu-ray lies, if I adjust your tracking, I can see you fine.‘Cause they don’t know about VH-us and they never heard of love.”

I’m working on it. It’s a process. Anyway, today I want to talk about my lovely VHS tape of 1982’s THE INCUBUS. I doubt it’s worth very much in the world of collectors but since I’m never in a million years going to sell it, that doesn’t matter a lick. You can read a review for this wonderful movie that has altered the course of my life in a multitude of ways HERE, presently I just want to appreciate the tape itself as a one of a kind objet d’art!

Is there anything more adorable in the world than this “Horror” sticker? Why is it pink instead of the usual green and why are there two stickers? Was the sticker below the top sticker not doing its job properly? What weirdo decided to place the sticker over the cast credits when there is so much empty space that can easily be utilized? Did they have some deep seeded subconscious disdain for John Cassavetes?

Let’s face it, this box is beautifully, perfectly weathered. It has just the right amount of natural well-earned wear and tear. Don’t you hate it when folks try to do fake erosion in photoshop and they go overboard and it ends up looking like a remnant of the Johnstown flood? I keep this particular tape in a clear plastic squeezable container so that its aging process is thwarted as much as possible. I only have about a dozen of said protective containers so if you are a VHS tape in my house, it is a coveted and illustrious fate as to be shielded in one.

Look at this VESTRON label! So simple, so pure! Such a relaxing muted taupe-grey! Do we really believe that THE INCUBUS (Simply INCUBUS in the opening credits) is a precise 90 minutes long? That seems a bit convenient if you ask me (IMDb says 93). The tape itself is tightly wound and mostly uniform with little to no sign of warping or (God forbid) mold. They really knew how to make sturdy tapes back then. This baby is built like a tank! We can conclude from the genre-identity label on the front that this is a formal rental but notice there are no paranoid security labels and no bossy threat stickers. I like that! I’m going to assume that this tape enjoyed life in a very trusting and casual video store environment. It had to be a mom and pop shop. Do I even remember where I got this tape? No, I don’t. It’s always been with me.

Let’s check out the back and admire how VESTRON keeps it classy yet again. They throw the official tagline up top in bold in case that’s all you have time for and below there is a more detailed description that respects the director’s previous work and avoids making outlandish promises the film itself may not be able to keep. Sure, maybe the ending won’t actually have viewers “sitting on the edge of their seats” but it could! Ya never know! I can see it happening. Kudos on the lone image that gives nothing away and for the mentioning of Paul Mazursky‘s THE TEMPEST, I love that movie!

Finally, let’s close out with some general appreciation of the art transferred from the movie poster/ ad campaign. That font really captures THE INCUBUS’ personality as an against the grain gothic shocker at the height of the slasher boom. I’m again going to award high marks to the folks at VESTRON for keeping it simple and not crowding the cover with desperate bids for attention. This almost looks like an ancient tome of some sort, which fits the movie to a T. There, that’s the end! I love you, INCUBUS VHS tape! You know I do (kisses it)! Will I return next week for another addition of VHSaturday? It’s all up to the chemicals in my head! We’ll have to wait and see.

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Name That Techno Terror!

February 17th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 13 Comments

Ack! We got hacked! Oh well, I’ll take any time away from the computer I can. That’s precisely what I’ve been stockpiling all of these fine movies for! How many of the tech-inspired horror movies below do you recognize?

→ 13 CommentsTags: Kindertrauma Funhouse

Sunday Movie:: Mom (1991) (Via Comet TV)

February 12th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 3 Comments

My name is Unk and I’m addicted to COMET TV. I can’t help it because they’re always showing the best stuff. And I love watching on my bunny-eared TV with clothes hangers and aluminum foil wrapped around the antenna. God help me, I even like the weird commercials that rudely assume I’m in golden years and have somehow fallen and can’t get up (that’s actually an assumption that gets more accurate with each passing day). Sorry, that fancy TV downstairs can go ahead and just stew in its HD juices, for all I care. My little TV is literally huggable. I don’t know, maybe I’m really addicted to nostalgia. It was always a treat for me as a kid to watch TV from under a blanket with my cat and now that my cat has been reincarnated, we still enjoy it! Anyway, you don’t need a TV to watch COMET TV, you can watch it on your computer anytime you like!

Anyway, I figured today for our weekly SUNDAY STREAMING shindig we’d try something different and I’d alert you to a movie that’s airing live tonight on COMET TV! At 6pm you can hit COMET TV and watch a strange little flick from 1991 called MOM. Have you seen this one? I avoided it for years because the VHS box made it look like some boring French comedy of some sort but it’s actually a straight up monster movie! It kind of reminds me of THE FLY (1986) a bit because it explores the limits of loyalty when a loved one progressively transforms into a toxic nightmare who threatens to drag you down with them. Making it even more worrisome is that it stars JEANNE BATES who triggers the hell out of me due to her mortifying presence in MULHOLLAND DRIVE (especially when she gets all miniaturized). Seriously, I did a terrified spit-take when she materialized in DIE HARD 2: DIE HARDER just this past holiday season! That old broad is scary (incidentally MOM features yet another DIE HARD 2 actor, ART EVANS, what does it mean?).

In closing, click HERE at 6! You’re going to be terribly convinced that MOM is going to be a goofy laugh riot from its cheap look and then by the time it’s over you’ll be all shocked at how strangely tragic and quietly unsettling it ends up being. MOM also stars the excellent BRION JAMES (THE HORROW SHOW) and ginger royalty MARY BETH McDONOUGH of THE WALTONS, MORTUARY (1983) and MIDNIGHT OFFERINGS (1981) fame! Furthermore, please remind me on a yearly basis that MOM is both a great Christmas horror movie and a great Mother’s Day horror movie! Thanks!

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Diane Franklin Double Feature:: Deadly Lessons and Summer Girl

February 11th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 3 Comments

Hey, today is DIANE FRANKLIN’s birthday! I don’t have to tell you that DIANE FRANKLIN is wonderful in BETTER OFF DEAD (which we recently discussed) or that she excels in the new wave classic THE LAST AMERICAN VIRGIN or that she’s downright heartbreaking in AMITYVILLE II: The Possession (which everybody with a working brain agrees is the best in the series). All of that (along with the understanding that FRANKLIN is as talented as she is beautiful) is common knowledge. But did you know that DIANE starred in two of the very best made for TV movies ever made? It’s true! I’m talking about the highly entertaining small screen slasher extravaganza DEADLY LESSONS (1983) and the riveting usurper thriller SUMMER GIRL (again, 1983). If you think I’ve talked about these gems before you are right and you should also prepare yourself for the fact that I’ll be talking about them till the day I croak. Due to the general dumbness of society neither of these sensational flicks are on DVD but cry not because that’s what YouTube is for! Let’s have a double feature! Happy Birthday DIANE! You rule forever!

→ 3 CommentsTags: General Horror · YouTube Alert!

Name That Jerry Goldsmith Movie!

February 10th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 10 Comments

Happy Birthday to the late, great composer JERRY GOLDSMITH who was born on this date! Let’s count the ways we appreciate this beyond brilliant dude by identifying ten images from ten flicks he lent his awesome talent to!

→ 10 CommentsTags: Caution: I break for geniuses! · Kindertrauma Funhouse

Name That Trauma:: David A. on a Giant Raggedy Anne Doll

February 9th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment

Dear fine folks at Kindertrauma,

I’m hoping you can help me with a memory that has plagued me most of my adult life. Before I started elementary school in the very early eighties (had to be 1981 or 82) and became a slasher freak at far too young of an age (thanks to the advent of cable and my hesher older brother), one memory of freakiness remains lodged in noggin.

My beautiful Mom, like most homemakers, was a total die-hard soaps freak and because there was nothing else for me to do at the time, so was I. I remember being vaguely caught up in the various plots of Days of Our Lives, Another World and the Young and the Restless. On one of these or possibly another I am forgetting, there seemed to be some sort of inheritance scheme involving a young woman with questionable mental stability. Someone somewhere was trying to drive her crazy and it seemed to be to get at her fortune (or possibly her man…I was about 4 yrs old, after all). The way they were doing this was by dressing up in a giant Raggedy Ann costume and tormenting her when she was alone. I seem to remember creepy music box-type music and that the camera would get this sort of hazy/psychedelic/fish-eye lens effect to symbolize her broken mental state. It seemed to stem from some kind of childhood trauma having to do with Raggedy Ann which scared the lady (and me too!).

In any case, this always stuck out to me as a brief moment of horror creeping into Mom’s soaps and I, for the life of me, have never been able to figure out what I saw or met anyone else that knows what I am talking about. Does this ring a bell with any of your readers? If so, do they know what soap or what the hell was going on? Or should I doubt my own mental state? In any case, if I start to see any giant Raggedy Ann dolls showing up around the house, I’ll let you know…

UNK SEZ: Yikes, I think I found your trauma, David! Apparently the soap in question was ANOTHER WORLD circa 1982. If you check out the video below (around the 4:40 mark), you’ll get a glimpse of the tormenting doll costume! From what I could gather, a character named Alma Rudder donned the garb to drive a lady named Blaine insane (At the beginning of THIS episode, Blaine discusses the nightmarish encounter with her shrink). Thanks for sharing this David, I can see why this freaked you out as a kid!

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Traumafession :: Reader Donny O. on The Last Starfighter

February 6th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments

Hey guys,

I love your site. When I was about nine or ten my father took me to see “The Last Starfighter.” I loved the movie but one scene nearly made me pee my pants. When the main character is sent off to battle aliens in space he is replaced in his home by a duplicate version of himself sort of like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers.” At one point, a blanket is lifted off of a bed and we get a glimpse of the duplicate before it is fully formed and its skin is pasty and its eyes are popping out. As a kid who had only seen rated G movies up to that point, it was totally gross and totally shocking.

UNK SEZ: Oh yeah! You’re talking about Beta Alex, the quirky doppelganger of Alex Rogan (as played LANCE GUEST of HALLOWEEN II fame)! We love THE LAST STARFIGHTER around these parts! Why, it was even directed by NICK CASTLE who played the original shape in HALOWEEN! Thanks for bringing this one up Donnie! As an added bonus, Aunt John made the gif below so you can stare at slimy Beta Alex as long as you like! Enjoy!

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