We’re scraping the bottom of the apple barrel! Can YOU find the ten differences?
October 24th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment
October 23rd, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment
It’s hard to believe that it was four decades ago on this very date (October 23rd) that the made-for-television classic BAD RONALD premiered. I have no idea exactly when I first encountered RONALD, it seems like it was always part of my family’s boob tube mythology. “The one with the guy in the wall” it was called until it materialized in the TV GUIDE and then we’d call it BAD RONALD for a while as we planned our viewing and then afterwards, at some point, it would always regress back to “The one with the guy in the wall” again. That literal alias actually came in handy years later when I worked in a video store because every once in a while a customer would inquire about “The one with the guy in the wall” and I’d have a pretty good guess as to what they were talking about. Eventually the Internet came around and spray-painted BAD RONALD’s tag all over cyberspace but for many years, like so many TV movies, this gem was as elusive as an oily eel. Not that there was ever any risk that BAD RONALD would disappear entirely, if you didn’t bump into it on late night TV or at the rare video store that stocked it, you could always count on someone (provided they were of a certain age) bringing it up whenever the conversation turned to freaky movies that camp out in the corners of your head.
In case any of you have been living in a bathroom that has been repurposed into well-camouflaged secret living quarters for the past forty years, I’ll draw a quick sketch of the plot. BAD RONALD concerns a young social pariah named Ronald Wilby who is played by the ever-sincere SCOTT JACOBY. Besides enduring the cruel rejection of his classmates, Ronald lives with the knowledge that when his parents divorced, his father made a deal with his mother to break off all ties in exchange for never having to pay child support (ouch). One day while fleeing a hater pool party, Ronald bumps into a shrewy twerp on a bike who makes the mistake of blasting his mom which causes him to go berserk. He grabs her by the freckled face and pushes her down to the ground and …oops, how come cinder blocks are never around when you need them and only show up at the wrong time to kill folks you only meant to stun? So annoying.
Rather than simply tip toeing away from the scene of the accident and forgetting about the whole mess with a toasted cheese sandwich like a normal person, Ronald does the dumbest thing ever and buries the body in a shallow grave condemning himself as the responsible party. After hearing of this gaff, Ronald’s sweet mother (KIM HUNTER) tsks-tsks his rookie mistake and comes up with an awesome plan to get him off the hook. With some help from the tool kit he just received for his birthday (finally a fortuitous break!), the two devise the ultimate secret fort by transforming a bathroom door into a wall and creating an undetectable living space in the heart of the house. When the police come looking for Ronald, Ma just says he split the scene! All’s well that ends well until mother goes to the hospital for a routine operation, kicks the bucket and eventually a new family lead by the one and only DABNEY COLEMAN moves in. Things get sticky when the increasingly unstable Ronald becomes obsessed with one of the new family’s daughters (CINDY EILBACHER, who you may recognize from CROWHAVEN FARM) though who can blame him, he has a lot of free time on his hands and this all takes place before the invention of the Playstation.
I’m going to be honest with y’all, BAD RONALD is creepy, tense and builds up to a fantastic climax but as a budding recluse, I never solely took it in for thrills, a part of me has always been attracted to it as a hermitic fantasy. I mean who needs Walden’s Pond when you’ve got art supplies, a working sink and apparently an endless stash of chocolate bars? I feel the same way about its unofficial sister flick THE LITTLE GIRL WHO LIVES DOWN THE LANE (which also boasts an indelible outsider performance from JACOBY) in which, secret orphan Rynn Jacobs (JODIE FOSTER) hides away from the world drinking tea and reading books all day in hippie garb with a hamster named Gordon.
Rynn and Ronald may be ostensibly presented (at least as a selling point) as threats to normalcy but the engine in each flick is run by the fuel of the viewer routing for their success in protecting a small space to call their own and the right to decline participation in the nonsense of the world (see also: SHIRLEY JACKSON’s WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE and any album by THE SMITHS). In our current “If you don’t see me, I don’t exist” culture, it’s nearly a verboten idea but I think there’s something admirable about creating your own universe and carving out a sense of self autonomous from the observations and opinions of others.
It’s very likely I’m missing the whole tragic point of BAD RONALD and happily so. In any case the guy got loads of time to concentrate on his art (and his make-believe kingdom Atranta) rather than his rent and we can all agree there are worse fates than that. (According to the sequel that exists only in my head, Ronald, once discovered, is given a year or so of prison time, some therapy of sorts, a book deal and the level of notoriety to sell his artwork at exorbitant prices. He takes all of his millions, buys a mansion and then ends up living in just one small bathroom of the manor with the door nailed shut anyway- because that’s just who he is.)
There are TV movies and then there are TV movies and BAD RONALD is certainly up there with the very best of the best. Oh, and here’s another wonderful thing: If you buy a BAD RONALD DVD you will get a free bonus Kindertrauma blurb at no extra cost! It’s true! They actually quoted yours truly and slapped it right there on the back of the DVD for the world to see. That probably doesn’t seem like a big deal but to me it’s an honor to be shrink wrapped with a lifelong favorite. It’s also proof that even the twitchiest shut-ins don’t mind a little acknowledgment of their existence every once in a while. Now I’m hungry for a chocolate bar. Happy Birthday Prince Norbert! I’ll see you in Atranta.
October 20th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 2 Comments
Hello Kindertrauma! It’s Popcornmonster.
I recently had a very Kindertrauma-esque moment I would like to share. A little background and then I’ll explain the solution to the mystery.
When I was five years old, so this would have been around Summer of 1979, I vaguely remember playing with a friend who lived a few houses away. We were in the basement of his house and a puddle had formed on the floor from the washing machine. We starting pretending it was a lake. Then my friend started telling me about some new movie where the people can’t go in the water because the water comes alive and eats the people. Some time later, we were walking past the TV and the trailer was playing for the film. My friend pointed it out to me and said that was the movie he was talking about.
Fast-forward thirty-five years. Long time horror fan and filmmaker myself now. But I’ve never known what that scary movie was. I knew it wasn’t Jaws or Piranha. The time period doesn’t match up and I knew what Jaws was. So a few nights back I was watching Machete Maidens on Netflix. It’s a documentary about how cheap it was to make exploitation films in the Philippines during the late 60s through the early 80s. When suddenly they played a trailer for a film. I immediately recognized that trailer from that dusty old memory and now I had a title to go with it. A title that IMDb verified with the June 1979 release date. The film was “Up From the Depths“, which now I realize was a title that sat under my nose all these years. The poster artwork was a familiar site in the old video stores but I never bothered to see the film. Until last night.
It’s one of the dopier Jaws clones of the late 70s. They even managed to copy the mayor from Jaws with an arrogant idiot resort owner that refuses to heed the danger. The goofy kill scenes all look like the actors flopping around in a pool while someone bubbled red dye around them.
Ultimately it’s a dumb movie but now it holds a place in my memory for being “that movie”.
October 19th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment
I think we can all agree that if Cylons landed on Earth on Halloween night it would be particularly devastating, as folks would naturally assume that they were costumed revelers rather than robots committed to the final annihilation of the life form known as man. If this concept chills you to the bone fear not, the entertaining yet borderline atrocious two part episode of GALACTICA 1980 entitled “The Night the Cylons Landed” is here to assure you that there’s nothing a clown, a microwave oven, a few verses of “The Goodship Lollipop” and Wolfman Jack can’t fix. As the Cylons take Manhattan, keep your eyes peeled for PETER MARK RICHMAN as crabby Colonel Briggs who’d go on to portray crabby chaperone Charles McCulloch in FRIDAY THE 13th PART 8.
October 18th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment
Hello Kindertrauma, I really hope you guys can help me with this little nightmare inducer.
When I attended primary school the library also functioned as the media centre (which in those days meant a big TV and a VCR player). Depending on her workload the librarian would sometimes plunk us down in front of the TV with a tape. One time we watched an animated flick that still haunts me, although I don’t remember a great deal of it. It was the first time I can remember literally being frozen from fear. The scene that has stayed with me is a slow pan down a dark hallway in what I think was a wooden church with a thoroughly awful portrait on the wall and red eyed rats lurking around.
Here are all the other details I can remember or deduce:
The animation style was hardly animation at all, but rather slow pans over dark and heavy hand drawn images of a style you might almost find in a children’s book. I’m not certain, but I think I remember narration, not unlike the audiobook recordings with still images that you get now on YouTube.
1995 is the latest year this could possibly have come out, but it was probably made earlier than that, likely in the 80’s.
I live in Australia so whatever this was had been released here and was possibly made here.
Finally, this would have been a short film, probably less than an hour long, likely not more than half an hour or so.
For the longest time I thought it was animated adaption of H.P Lovecraft‘s ‘The Rats In The Walls‘ but I’ve never been able to find anything that matches up with what I remember. If you know of anything that sounds like this (or of an obscure adaptation of TRITW) please let me know. This has been haunting me for the best part of two decades.
October 17th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 14 Comments
UNK SEZ:You know a holiday is approaching because here comes our old pal Mickster to kindly host another funhouse! Yay! This time out Mickster has selected images from Halloween themed TV episodes and specials. How many do you kinder-critters recognize?
October 14th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments
Your website is amazing. I can nose around for hours. I’ve got one for you that’s been really bugging me. I saw this on TV in the early to mid ’80s, so I think it was an episode of a TV show or a TV movie (we didn’t have any movie channels). I really just remember the end … it was a male serial killer who dressed as a woman and lured a man back to a room (might have been posing as a prostitute, I can’t remember, and I think it was a hotel room or the man’s apartment). The killer/woman was blonde (aren’t they always??). (S)he brings the man (I think he was a business man) back to the room, then excuses herself to the bathroom, where she proceeds to peel off her disguise. This was the part I remember as really creepy! Off comes the wig, the dress, the make-up…. and there stands a man in a dark shirt and pants, with dark hair and small black eyes (a little reminiscent of Anthony Perkins actually). He then pulls out a long knife, that I remember as almost like an ice pick. The killer finally emerges from the bathroom, and somehow manages to sneak up on the victim and stabs him repeatedly with the knife. The details here are hazy …. but a cop (or team of cops) is chasing the killer, and tracks him down … and I think soon after this encounter in the room the killer is cornered in an alley by the cops and is killed. He may have gotten back in disguise at that point.
I just have no idea what this episode or movie is! No familiar actors, and I can’t picture the cop or detective who was tracking the killer. I’m pretty sure I’d recognize the actor who plays the killer, but from various googling I can’t find it. Any idea?
October 13th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 7 Comments
My name is Maddie, I’ve just turned 18 and I recently discovered your website. I read something online that got me thinking about traumatic experiences from our childhoods that we either can’t remember or block out. I’m especially interested in disturbing media/cinema moments from childhood, so I’ve really enjoyed your website, but I also have a few of my own that I was hoping you could help me with.
I was watching a movie with my family as a kid, and one of the very first scenes (it seems like it was within the first ten minutes of the movie) was one of I guess, torture. There was a man on a table in a fire-lit room, with someone either beating or stabbing him, and his whole body like jerking and convulsing at the same time. I only have a vague memory because it’s been like 15 years since I saw the scene, but I clearly remember being disturbed by the visual effects and especially the convulsions that the man on the table (I feel like he was either not wearing a shirt or naked as well) was having.
Anyways, up until today, I had a vague memory of the movie being “Legend” but I found the movie online today and the scene I was so horrified by as a kid was nowhere to be found, and I ended up just watching 90 minutes of Tom Cruise make a horrified face through his long, dirty hair.
I would love your help in finding out what movie it was from, or if it was some sort of alternate scene from “Legend,” and if it was possible to find a clip of just that scene, I would be so grateful. I can’t give any more details about the movie, or confirm that it was “Legend” since I had to leave the room immediately and never saw it again, although I did see online that there is a torture scene in some versions of the movie, but I can’t seem to find it.
Thank you so much!
October 12th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · No Comments
Way back in 1982, right smack in the heart of the slasher craze, the TV show SQUARE PEGS did a Halloween episode inspired by the then current furor entitled HALLOWEEN XII. It would behoove you to watch this classic episode below and then go ahead and order the entire series HERE.
October 11th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 2 Comments
Love your website and I have two different movies that I saw as a kid that I am trying to figure out.
1. Saw this movie with my dad but cannot remember the name and was so traumatized that I didn’t watch the whole movie. What I remember is that it is about a mummy, it must be late 70’s, early 80’s. The scene I recall is that there was a mummy that was uncovered by archeologists and it was taken to a research center or university or something and there was a young student that touched the corpse causing the skin on his fingers to rot like leprosy. I can’t find the actual title to the movie to find out what happened to the student!
2. I think I saw this on television, one of those Saturday afternoon horror films. This was probably made around the time of Captain Kronos Vampire Hunter and was in the same style but was not that movie. It looked like the Vampire Barnabas show with the 60’s hair and the Technicolor sound stages. The scene I remember is two young boys who follow a female vampire into a forest to a tree ??? or cave and she kills them and the next scene I think they are in coffins with bite marks. It was very creepy but I can’t recall a title or anything else about the movie.
Hope you can help, thanks!