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Five (Eleven?) Underrated Slasher Flicks By Unk

October 8th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment

Inspired by Mathew A’s recent Five Underrated List, I figured I’d do another 5 Underrated List myself this time focusing on slasher films because they are non-stop joy machines in my book. Plus I like doing lists because it’s like writing with all the hellish torture parts removed!

Absurd (AKA Monster Hunter) & Nightmare (both 1981)

ABSURD is the kinda/sorta the sequel to ANTHROPOPHAGUS (aka THE GRIM REAPER) but not in any way that matters. Yep- it’s directed by good ol’ JOE D’AMATO and yep it stars lovably lanky GEORGE EASTMAN but any other connection is, I guess, more to do with marketing. In the world of my tiny mind, it’s known as MONSTER HUNTER and it stands alone as adorable, Italian HALLOWEEN wannabe. This is one of those movies I suspect I enjoy more than I’m supposed to but I’m in no way strong enough to resist the bare bones synth score, the bonkers pseudo science that abounds or a poor victim trapped in a cringe-worthy head brace. My feelings toward this far too forgotten gem perfectly coincide with my feelings toward the equally simple and sleazy NIGHTMARE (aka NIGHTMARE IN A DAMAGED BRAIN), a film I think it shares a lot more in common with than its previously mentioned sibling. Watch these two disturbing and tastefully tasteless twins back to back while eating a Burger King Halloween burger and then feel free to worry about what’s wrong with me that I would suggest such a thing.

Flashback (2002) & Madhouse (1981)

The best slashers always have to concern crap from the past that isn’t going anywhere no matter how hard you try to bury it and long suffering put upon ladies who are all types of sick of suffering the psychosis of others. Nobody ever mentions FLASHBACK (full slobbering review HERE) or the delicious MADHOUSE (full equally slobbery review HERE) enough to satisfy my needs! I don’t understand why.

Cold Prey 1,2 & 3

The greatest slasher series this side of whatever decade it no longer is! I’m just going to go ahead and call the first two masterpieces and then add that reports that the third one ain’t so hot are greatly exaggerated. Sure, Part 3 regrettably has to stumble along without the series’ grandest asset, its charismatic lead (INGRID BOLSO BERDAL) but the sad truth is, it’s still miles better than any American horror flick I’ve seen in the theaters since what seems like roughly forever.

Just Before Dawn & The Prowler (1981)

Isn’t it sad that these two other slashers films from 1981 were somehow never seen by me in my youth? I do remember eyeing the newspaper ad for JBD on the day it came out in the weekend section of the Philadelphia Inquirer but alas, that was the closest I got! For some reason no video store I ever belonged to carried either and frankly I was not terribly keen on checking out THE PROWLER anyway because the title was so boring and just made it seem like it was about some sneaky guy who roamed around looking in windows. Fate would have it that I would catch up to these two fine flicks somewhere around ten or so years ago whenever they hit DVD.
Point is, I think they are both great examples of exactly my favorite thing to watch and I’ll add a bonus compliment to JBD and say I dig its color palette especially that groovy florescent orange that shows up from time to time (full review HERE).

My Bloody Valentine & The Town That Dreaded Sundown (2009 & 2014)

I can understand why people hate remakes like PROM NIGHT (2008) because that one sucks horribly, has nothing to do with the original and every attempt it makes to pander to contemporary audiences reminds you that we can never go back to a time when people weren’t super annoying. On the other hand, both MBV and TTTDS are awesome and wonderful tributes if you ask me. I’m just going to point out that both of these remakes seem to respect the originals and have a real interest in their respective small town settings and have the capacity to acknowledge various variant characters. I’d say in the case of both films too that when they ended, I didn’t feel like I had just been talked down to or treated like a complete idiot for the sin of wanting to see them. I don’t know, I guess what I’m talking about is that there’s a real lack of audience disdain that I find super pleasing. Ya know? I dig that. Gold stars, kisses, thumbs up and kudos on a decapitated head.

→ 1 CommentTags: Where is the Love? Five Underrated Flicks

Killer Scene:: Mickster on Fright Night’s Dance Seduction

October 7th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 8 Comments

It is hard to believe Fright Night is thirty this year! I was not lucky enough to see this fantastic film in the theater. I had to wait until it was released on VHS (sometime in 1987). The movie is a classic for many reasons. It has a great blend of comedy and horror. William Ragsdale is great as noisy neighbor, Charlie Brewster. Stephen Geoffreys is fantastic as Charlie’s sarcastic friend, Evil Ed. Amanda Bearse is exemplary as Charlie’s skeptical girlfriend, Amy Peterson. Roddy McDowell is perfect as the non-believing vampire hunter, Peter Vincent. Jonathan Stark is quite humorous as Jerry’s daytime guardian, Billy Cole. Dorothy Fielding is believably flaky as divorced mom, Judy Brewster.

But let me cut to the chase by saying the real reason I have watched this movie repeatedly over the years is Chris Sarandon‘s portrayal of the ultra sexy vampire, Jerry Dandrige. I have a problem. I cannot get enough of a particular scene from Fright Night…the nightclub seduction scene. I guess it is sad, but I have been waiting for that to happen to me since I first saw the movie. The thought of having Jerry Dandrige possess me on the dance floor is very appealing. Don’t judge me because this is my biggest fantasy (I know, I’m sad). Let’s examine the scene…

*Jerry expertly entices Amy to the dance floor.

*Jerry begins dancing with Amy, while she appears to be in a trance of the vampire persuasion.

*Jerry drops Amy; giving her the chance to escape, and seconds later, she turns around transformed.

*Hot dancing between Jerry and the newly transformed Amy ensues.

*Then that dolt, Charlie, tries to foul up this sexy moment by attempting to punch Jerry. Hope you enjoy that crushed hand, Charlie!

UNK SEZ: Hey, is it getting warm in Kindertrauma Kastle today? Aunt John and I would like to thank Alabama’s favorite daughter Mickster for taking time off of her busy teaching schedule (Yay teachers!) to stop by our humble abode and share this killer scene. If you have a favorite scene from a horror film, traumatic or not, feel free to send it in!

→ 8 CommentsTags: Killer Scene · Kinder Loves Mickster!

Neoteric Traumafession:: Melody M. on The Bay (2012)

October 6th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · No Comments

I have a very, very recent Traumafession to make; in fact, I literally just watched the movie that scared me the night before last!

I’ve recently been on a found-footage horror movie kick–actually, I watched The Taking of Deborah Logan solely on your recommendation, Unk!–and I came across a movie that came out in 2012 called The Bay. From what I gathered about the description, it sounded promising: The Gov’ment had covered up a horrifying incident involving a small Maryland town in the Chesapeake Bay area back in 2009, and the footage taken during that incident was now being released to the public. Since it seemed like a detour from the usual demonic possession/monster theme these kinds of movies always seem to have, and with a very prominent director attached to it (Barry Levinson) I figured, why not? I’ll give it a go!

WELP. I can handle demonic possession/monster movies, because while they are scary, I can chortle about them later, content in the knowledge that they’re not real and the beasties in those movies won’t be showing up in the real world any time soon. What I CAN’T handle are movies about contagions/ecological horrors that are plausible enough to actually happen in the real world. And this movie had just that: nasty water-borne parasites, mutated by agricultural run-off, gruesomely eating people from the inside out. GUH! Talk about getting under your skin! After watching this, I’m pretty sure I’ll never go swimming again, and only drink bottled water from now on.

UNK SEZ: I hear you loud and clear, Melody! That kind of stuff gets to me too. I could not eat tuna for months after that ZANTI MISFIT face showed up in a tuna can! Listen folks, it’s October and we all need as many scares as possible! If you’ve had a modern, new wave, recent-style trauma like Melody, feel free to send us a trauma-FRESH-ion telling us all about it!

→ No CommentsTags: Post Childhood Traumafession · Trauma Au Courant · Traumafessions

Name That Trauma:: Rudy from the Netherlands on Three Men and a Dinosaur

October 5th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · No Comments

OK, sorry if I am cheating a bit here for the film I’m looking for probably traumatised my parents more than it did me. I distinctly remember when I was a child, my mom and dad took me to a local video store here in Holland. I come from a tiny village with its nearest city being a 20 min. car-drive away. As it was only worthwhile for us to rent films from the video store in that place for a week, my parents never exposed me to the shelves displaying the latest titles. Of course I didn’t know that, so one day I rented a tape really hoping it was THREE MEN AND A BABY, only it turned out to be the original French film. I couldn’t have been a day older than 10 years old, so imagine my confusion. It distinctly wasn’t in the language my prepubescent ears were more or less familiar with, meaning it sounded a whole lot different than the language being spoken on my favourite show back then (PUNKY BREWSTER (The “The Perils of Punky” – episode must have popped up on this site SOME TIME), it definitely scared the bejesus out of me back then!) not to mention it lacked one very famous black mustache I was pretty acquainted with already. I never knew what was going on, because it clearly had three men and a baby on its cover, so how could have it been anything else than that Guttenberg/Danson/Selleck-masterpiece? Back then I always stuck to comedy-films, as my parents didn’t let me rent anything else, and I just loved ‘funny things’. I ended up taking home loads of tapes, the titles of which I can’t remember now, but more often than not turned out to be lousy European films I didn’t enjoy a second of.

Now about the tape I’ve always wondered about and can’t seem to find any information about. It was a compilation tape of sorts and featured a T. Rex in a director’s chair on its sleeve. I thought it would be fun , because after tons of unfunny euro-sleaze, I probably ached for a comedy featuring an American (how could it possibly be from somewhere else with a T.rex in a director’s chair??) Alas. I remember when I popped it in one day with my parents being present. It started with a reel of clips mostly featuring sex-scenes, some insipid humour, and then supposedly ‘funny’ sex-scenes. And yet more sex-scenes. After watching 10 minutes of it my parents thought it best to yank it from the VHS player and to run off with it to the kitchen, where they probably hid it in the deep fryer. So that was that. I remember also that I was still of so ripe an age, that the sight of copious amounts of bare titties didn’t make up for what I was really aching to see: a T.rex in a director’s chair…

I’m really curious as to what the name of the tape is …and if I can now appreciate the tape’s content for its ‘artistic worth’ more than I could back then. Funny thing, a couple of years later a new video-rental store opened in a village much closer to ours. The first thing I grabbed back then was a copy of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET PART IV (my interest in film-taste received a firm jolt after seeing a picture of Freddy Krueger in a teen-science magazine). Being used to the system of our former video stores, we unwisely kept it for a week, costing my parents approximately 35 dollars worth of overdue expenses in the end (!)So that’s two film-induced traumas I gave my parents before I had probably turned 12. Not bad, I hope someone can unveil the title of this life-changing piece of VHS-magic.

Rudy – a regular reader from the Netherlands

→ No CommentsTags: Name That Trauma!

Sunday Streaming:: Terror on Tape (1983)

October 4th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment

Having RANDI ALLEN stop by the site this week had me remembering that I may have first viewed CATHY’S CURSE in the late eighties but the first time I ever heard mention of it was when I rented TERROR ON TAPE some years earlier. Are you guys familiar with the one and only TERROR ON TAPE? It’s the crazy compilation of clips from movies all of which happen to be on the long defunct CONTINENTAL label and it’s hosted by your pal and mine CAMERON MITCHELL! Can you imagine a better place to visit than a video shop that exclusively carries those old school giant box videos? Take some time out to watch TERROR ON TAPE today! It’s goofy and sleazy and it’s going to be released on DVD exactly never in my estimation and I’d say that’s more than appropriate and fine by me!

→ 1 CommentTags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

Name That Trauma:: Gary B. on a Werewolf PSA and a Two-faced Town

October 3rd, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 4 Comments

Hi! I’ve submitted a Name That Trauma once BEFORE and it took your readers only about 3 hours to solve that lifelong mystery. So I’m back with two more. I think these are gonna be pretty tough. I’ve tried everything to find them, but I can’t. Let’s see if your readers can come through again!

1. We’ll start with the really difficult one. This was an anti-drug PSA that aired in the early 70s. I remember a man would go into his bathroom, and look at himself in the mirrored door of his bathroom medicine cabinet. He was in a robe, had messed up hair, and a 5 o’clock shadow. He opened the medicine cabinet, frantically swallowed some pills, and closed the medicine cabinet. But when he looked at his reflection after taking the pills, he was…gasp…a werewolf! Clearly, the message is that drug abuse causes lycanthropy. Anyway, it scared the crap outta me.

2. I think this one will be easier, because I am about 90% certain it was an episode of “Night Gallery“. Again, this aired in the early 70s. The scene was set in the old west. There were horse and buggies, and everyone was wearing old west attire. I remember a man running through the streets screaming for someone to help him (I don’t remember why he needed help). But everyone he ran to for help had ghostly white faces! They reminded me of mimes. Not see-through ghostly, just white clown paint. I specifically remember a man in a top hat with a ghostly white face, but there were many others ghost-faces also. The ghost-faced people would laugh at his cries for help, and mock him. I think I remember the scene ending with them surrounding him – pointing and laughing at him with their white ghost-faces, and closing in on him as he shrieked in terror. One last detail – I think I remember that the man did not belong in the old west. He had gotten there accidentally through some wacky time travel mishap. But I may be fuzzy on that detail.

I’d really appreciate it if you could share these two submissions with your readers. I’m hoping to finally confront these traumatic experiences as an adult!

Love your blog! Been reading it forever!

UNK SEZ: Thanks Gary! That first one sounds awfully familiar but I think I’ll have more luck helping you with the second! The movie you just described sounds a whole heck of a lot like 1971’s BLACK NOON! We’ve got a full review for that one back HERE! It’s a western with the TWILIGHT ZONE vibe you described and a real knock your socks off revelation at the end! Let me know if I got it right and if so, thanks for giving us a chance to mention that creeptastic gem again!

→ 4 CommentsTags: Name That Trauma!

Name That Craven Funhouse

October 2nd, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments

→ 6 CommentsTags: Kindertrauma Funhouse

Kinterview :: Randi Allen of Cathy’s Curse!!!

September 30th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 3 Comments

Anyone who follows these pages regularly surely knows that your Unkle Lacifer is a sworn lifelong member of the CATHY’S CURSE fan club. In fact, early on Kindertrauma was quick to honor its star RANDI ALLEN with the highly coveted (just go with it) title of Official Traumatot right ‘round HERE! Today being Kindertrauma’s eighth birthday (we don’t look a day over 5), I am proud to present to you with what’s going to go down in my books as my favorite kindertrauma post of all time! Yes, it’s an interview with Cathy herself, RANDI ALLEN! And I even got a Traumafession out of her! Yay!

UNK: Our website Kindertrauma is always interested in what films scared people as kids so my first question is…

What is the first movie or TV show that you remember being scared by as a kid?

RANDI: The first movie that scared me was The Wizard Of Oz.

UNK: What is you favorite memory about the filming of Cathy’s Curse?

RANDI: Favorite memory on set – being found, sitting on an elevated platform, unable to get down, while the crew was eating lunch.

UNK: What is your least favorite memory about Cathy’s Curse?

RANDI: My least favorite memory is contact lenses – Cathy’s eyes were supposed to glow, but I could not tolerate the contact lenses on my eyes.

UNK: I’m really curious about the film’s release. Did you guys have a premiere party?

RANDI: Cathy’s Curse premiere party was held in Old Montreal, in a beautiful Italian restaurant. We sat with the director Eddie Matalon and everyone, the crew was there.

UNK: I know you have at least one daughter. Has she seen Cathy’s Curse and if so, how does she feel about it?

RANDI: We have 2 daughters, born in 1992 & 1994, who believe Cathy’s Curse, and their mother, is hilarious.

UNK: Although Cathy’s Curse as a film has its shortcomings, you are really good in it and had clear talent. Did you have any desire to be in another film?

RANDI: Did I wish to be in another film? No. My brother Bryce, who is also in the movie, and I worked solely to support our single mother.

UNK: Halloween is coming up soon, what horror film would you recommend if any?

RANDI: Cabin In The Woods is my favorite horror movie to date. However, my husband and I went out as an “Amazing Race” couple last year!

UNK: Dear RANDI, it was an honor to get to talk to you! I think I’m going to enjoy CATHY’S CURSE even more now (if that’s at all possible) knowing that you are such a cool and good-hearted person, with a wonderful family, a great sense of humor and excellent taste in movies! You will always be royalty around these parts and you have made our eighth birthday the best ever!

→ 3 CommentsTags: Kinder-Spotlight · Kinterview

Five Underrated Flicks By Madamoiselle Macabre

September 28th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments

My devotion to Kindertrauma verges on the Squeaky Fromme-like. I was initially drawn in by the witty, insightful movie reviews but became impressed by the interaction from other bloggers, trauma addicts and movie fans. Kindertrauma is the film club I wish had existed when I was in college.

It even inspired me to start my own dark corner of the internet, DESCENT INTO MADNESS.

Thanks to Kindertrauma, I have discovered many new favorite movies and books (SCISSORS jumps to mind, and I am eternally grateful to this website for introducing me to Kier-la Janisse’s HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN). I would like to express my appreciation by submitting my own FIVE UNDERRATED list.

And since I am lifelong Southerner, how about five underrated flicks set in the South?

FRAILTY (2001)

I’m a native Texan, so I’ll start there. Having grown up in a family more dysfunctional than the Manson Family, I’m a difficult person to frighten, but I still can’t watch FRAILTY without getting chills. I’m envious I did not write its brilliant screenplay (by BRENT HANLEY) myself. With mental illness, an Old Testament God, a tormented father, ax murders, a child locked in a storm cellar, an obsession with sin and salvation and bodies buried in a rose garden, FRAILTY is Southern Gothic at its finest. It gets extra points for also featuring the ever-underrated POWERS BOOTHE. And kudos to BILL PAXTON for not only turning in a layered, outstanding performance as the eerily nameless Dad, but for evoking just the right East Texas atmosphere (and from Los Angeles locations at that!).


This one is one of my Wallpaper Movies (ie I frequently have it playing in the background) as it contains all the elements I find as comforting as an oversized sweater and a hot cup of tea: it’s a ‘70s made-for-TV-movie drenched in creepy atmosphere, and features not only a family of homicidal Tennessee backwoods teens with a twisted sense of family values but also STACY KEACH and SAMANTHA EGGAR! Hey, I’d want to kidnap them and make them be my parents, too!


I know the praises of this one have been sung elsewhere on the pages of Kindertrauma, but I want to reiterate its greatness here. My love for the Peach State overfloweth and therefore I have a special affection for horror movies set in Georgia. It’s a lovably demented homage to THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and THE HILLS HAVE EYES. I may be alone in this but I actually think it more deftly combines horror and twisted humor than similarly-themed MOTEL HOTEL. Atlanta master thespian and Cates Pickle spokesman DANNY NELSON is outstanding as Jake, the scripture-quoting, homicidal populist patriarch. And no, I did not forget JOHN SAXON.

SCALPEL (1977)

Like BLOOD SALVAGE, SCALPEL was also shot in the Atlanta area and has woefully not been released on DVD. It’s a deliciously sleazy potboiler featuring ROBERT LANSING as a homicidal, megalomaniacal plastic surgeon and a laundry list of Southern Gothic tropes such as familial dysfunction, warped sexuality (in this case it’s latent incestuous obsession – YUCK), a scheme for a coveted inheritance, mental illness and jazz funerals. Crystal-eyed JUDITH CHAPMAN is terrific in a dual role, but my personal favorite is ARLEN DEAN SNYDER as the eccentric and suspicious Uncle Bradley.


Though neither are traditionally classified as horror movies, I think both deserve mentioning here as I think both do a better job of eliciting a sense of dread and foreboding than many other films in the genre. A great number of my favorite films take place in Louisiana and these are no exception. There’s just no place quite like Louisiana: the culture, the folklore, the food and it’s filled with insane people who want to be your best friend. Some denounce it for its poor educational system, but the way I see it, Louisiana is that beautiful delinquent who doesn’t give a damn, smokes behind the school and pushes the student council president down the stairs. With its foreboding atmosphere, decaying mansion, dark secrets, sexual repression and tortured, neurotic heroines, THE BEGUILED is pure Southern Gothic. Watching it will give you the same feeling you get from reading a book of Edgar Allan Poe short stories. Even better, it features a cast of complex and flawed female characters. GERALDINE PAGE, ELIZABETH HARTMAN, and MAE MERCER particularly give amazing performances. The first time I watched it, I felt haunted for days, in particular by the look on MS. HARTMAN’S face in the final scene.

And once again, I may be in the minority, but I prefer SOUTHERN COMFORT to the similarly-themed DELIVERANCE. It perfectly captures the beauty and menace of the Louisiana swamps and I can’t think of many scenes more suspenseful than the climactic scene in the Cajun village. And don’t get me started on the lovely score by RY COODER. POWERS BOOTHE as sarcastic, chain-smoking transplanted Texan Charlie Hardin may be one of my all-time favorite movie characters too.

Small sidebar: To my horror, thanks to the recent Sunday Streaming post about it, I realized I used to live in the same town where THE LAST SLUMBER PARTY was filmed. Metairie, Louisiana: strange suburban wasteland of strip malls, drive-through daiquiri stands, mafia real estate and, scariest of all, Dave Treen supporters.

And now, how about a lagniappe for your trouble?

HOME SICK (2007)

I know a lot of people don’t understand why, but I love Alabama. Zelda Fitzgerald, Kate Jackson, Harper Lee and Tallulah Bankhead are from there, how can it not be awesome? I’ll admit, when I first gave the DVD of HOME SICK a spin back in 2008, I didn’t care for it. Either I was in a bad mood or I’m becoming increasingly warped and misanthropic, because now this gleefully mean-spirited, bat-shit crazy low-budget wonder warms my dark heart. It’s imaginative, surreal and has a sick sense of humor. Picture a combination of CLERKS, GUMMO, the mania of THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE and strong dashes of giallo and you will not be far off the mark. I think the nihilistic twenty-something pasty-faced weirdoes working dead-end minimum wage jobs (in the grocery store, the school cafeteria, the funeral parlor) and spending their off time drinking too much beer and watching EVIL DEAD TRAP II reminded me of my post-graduate nihilism.

A scene featuring a coked-out TIFFANY SHEPIS and her recently murdered mother is jaw-dropping to say the least, but MATT LERO as the abrasive Tim and BRANDON CARROLL as the unhinged Devin stand out in a cast of unknowns. But wait, I haven’t even gotten to the best part yet: the force of nature known as TOM TOWLES as unrepentant redneck and chili fanatic Uncle Johnny. We sadly lost Mr. Towles this year. By all accounts he was a really funny, nice guy and always attacked every role with gusto. I think my initial dissatisfaction with HOME SICK was due to the fact that he’s not in more of the movie because every scene he’s in crackles with deranged electricity. Also features BILL MOSELEY as grinning maniac, Mr. Suitcase.

Pleasant nightmares,
Madamoiselle Macabre

→ 5 CommentsTags: Where is the Love? Five Underrated Flicks

Sunday Streaming:: The Midnight Hour (1985)

September 27th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · No Comments

In the autumn a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of watching THE MIDNIGHT HOUR (1985) on YouTube…

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→ No CommentsTags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming