Let’s take a field trip over to HULU where we can watch the 2014 documentary KILLER LEGENDS for the price of free! It’s from the folks who brought you CROPSY yet I kinda like it better than CROPSY because it’s stuffed with clips from so many of Kindertrauma’s favorite films. KILLER LEGENDS explores the classic hook hand urban legend and its connection to THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN, the hysteria surrounding tampered Halloween candy, the classic “the call is coming from inside the house!” routine and Chicago’s longtime issue with rampaging killer clowns. I probably would have preferred that the filmmakers stayed off camera, left some of their chatter on the cutting room floor and resisted the temptation to tell an old lady that her home was once the scene of a heinous murder, but why look a free flick in the mouth?
January 18th, 2015 · 1 Comment
July 20th, 2014 · 13 Comments
I can’t believe I’ve never seen a single episode of the BORIS KARLOFF-hosted anthology series THRILLER before. I have several excuses as to why not but they make me sound stupid, so I’d rather not share them. Thankfully the fates stepped in and forced the issue. I was watching something on YouTube the other day when an episode of THRILLER popped up as a suggested next watch on the side. All I saw was a title card which read “Parasite Mansion” and I was sold. I can’t resist a title like that, it sounds like the name of my new favorite band. Well, I must have watched the best episode first because I find it hard to believe there’s another one better than “Parasite Mansion.” It’s all downhill from here. It’s like a swampy pitstop between THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932) and THE HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (1932) and it features SPIDER BABY‘s (1967) BEVERLY WASHBURN as a tortured waif plagued by a poltergeist who is holed up in a decrepit room clinging to a rag doll and scribbling gibberish on the walls. The word “jackpot” comes to mind.
Like all great stories, this one begins with car trouble, the kind of trouble that occurs when someone blows out your tires with a shotgun while you’re driving through the woods on a dark, rainy night. PIPA SCOTT plays Marcia, a thoughtful woman with (Ginny Field-style) psychology on her side who wakes up in a cob web strewn, Southern gothic mansion and is kept against her will by a family of lunatics all bent on keeping a supernatural secret. I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to ruin anything but I must add that JEANETTE NOLAN as bonkers ringleader Granny Harrod is through the roof, over the moon, one for the books, phenomenal. I found her so mesmerizingly hideous that my pupils turned to hearts. I love a good hag and Granny Harrod is like the haggiest hag who ever hagged. It’s so sad she can’t be in every episode of THRILLER.
February 11th, 2014 · 3 Comments
Today is going to stink because SHIRLEY TEMPLE is dead. I have to thank SHIRLEY for THE BLUE BIRD (1940) which had a big impact on me as a kid and for helping me write this review of ROB ZOMBIE’S HALLOWEEN II.
January 3rd, 2014 · 3 Comments
The Black Pit of Dr M (Mexico, Fernando Méndez)
Ultimo Mondo Cannibale (Italy, R. Deodato)
Jigoku (Japan, Nobuo Nakagawa)
Witchhammer (Czechoslovakia, Otakar Vavra)
Our Mother’s House (UK, Jack Clayton)
November 19th, 2013 · 6 Comments
Howdy kids! Please accept my sincere apologies if you already saw this on Facebook. I’d hate to be all annoying and repetitive! I just realized though that many of you might not be connected to Kindertrauma via Facebook and I wouldn’t want you to miss this! It’s the awesome new Kindertrauma theme song by the incredible Col. Mike and Montana Tyler! Click on that little tiny button below to the left to hear!
October 27th, 2013 · 2 Comments
I’m cleaning off my desktop. There are dozens and dozens of posts I never finished all over the place. Here’s a scrap about THE OLD DARK HOUSE….
“JAMES WHALES‘ THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932) is officially horror comfort viewing for me. It may not be the director of FRANKENSTEIN and BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN’s greatest work but I’m thinking it may be my first pick of his to take to a desert island with me. When it calls my name, it’s like a little prayer and it feels like home! Which is odd because it’s not like I grew up with it, it was considered lost forever and I believe debuted on VHS for the first time back in 2000. Since then I think I’ve watched it on a nearly yearly basis because it makes me feel as snug as a bug in a rug for some reason.”
And that’s as far as I got. I didn’t know what else to say. When we moved into our new home I christened the place with my VHS copy of this baby. I love the atmosphere, the characters, the humor, the underling dread of madness and decrepitude and the incredibly corny and unrealistic love story it has the nerve to try to pull off. Check out the scene where the old crone curses the pretty young girl that one day she too will be old. How right she is! That young lady is GLORIA STUART who ended up being the old lady in TITANIC! Anyway, I guess I’ve just been more in the mood for watching things than yacking about them lately and that’s why my desktop is such a mess. You could and should watch THE OLD DARK HOUSE below. The picture on YouTube is so much better than my tape and it’s perfect for getting ready for Halloween…
August 15th, 2013 · 8 Comments
I had seen about half of THE LAST HOUSE ON DEAD END STREET (1977) before; it was about ten years ago and, here in Philly, somebody was showing a double feature of it along with FRIDAY THE 13th PART 3 in actual 3-D (a big deal at the time)! Back then, I only cared about seeing FRIDAY, but now I’m kind of amazed that somebody had access to a 35 mm print of TLHODES. From what I saw of TLHODES that night, I had no regrets for showing up late and not sitting through its entirety. I love horror but there are certain movies that fall into the sadistic zone that I stay away from just because I’m not into the whole “Now I feel like soaking in a tub of Clorox” thing. I get why other people enjoy pushing their limits but I’ve done my time in the trenches and I don’t need to try every 31 Baskin & Robbins flavors to have a general idea of what appeals to me. Forget the rampant torture and sadism for a minute, DEAD END STREET shows a cow being slaughtered! Morrissey wouldn’t approve, but my delicate condition demands that I stay willfully ignorant of the ungodly bloodcurdling origins of my beloved Whopper Jr.! I pretend magic makes them.
So there I was living the life perfectly content never seeing DEAD END STREET again. Let others put it on a pedestal based solely on its obscurity, I was done with that horror-ipster stuff. But then one day I saw the mesmerizing mess-terpiece SHADOWS OF THE MIND (1980) by the same director (the late ROGER WATKINS) and I became curiouser and curiouser. As much as I didn’t have a taste for DEAD END before, I suddenly found myself needing to see something else from the director of SHADOWS OF THE MIND and, sans his porn output, it was my only option.
But could I take it? Yep, it turns out I could. I only wanted to turn it off once and that wasn’t even because of the sadism… it was because of the eerie as damnation score freaking me out. (Oh wait, I must have caught something from Chuckles because that is a lie. There is a shot of a woman in a clear mask and the way her features fluctuate beneath the translucent, plastic shell shoved my finger toward the pause button for a millisecond too.) I can see now that this movie really is something. Let me unpack my sack of non-criticisms! The acting is insane, it’s poorly dubbed, it choppily skips all over the place and it looks like hell and hell on a budget, dragged through the mud. As you know, I no longer give any of those types of slights the time of day. None of those crutches can stop the film from being unforgettably disorienting and disturbing. In fact, I’m sure they help.
There’s absolutely nothing supernatural going on in TLHODES but still, the whole shebang stinks of bad mojo. It’s like being a witness to a savage ritual and its grim unyielding take on dog-eat-dog inhumanity has a bite that may require a tetanus shot. WATKINS admitted that most of the film’s budget went to his drug addiction, which could explain the movie’s blistering nightmare feel and palpable raging desperation. Somehow, amidst all this trash-tastic rubble though, there are clear glimmering flashes of aberrant artistry that should appeal to anyone who has a jones for gritty seventies-era exploitation.
Geez, it really is incredible how powerful a simple mask can be on film… and hey, snuff! You can’t help but make a statement about society’s disgusting nature when you have snuff as a topic in your film! Oh, I’m sorry I forgot to tell you the plot! A guy (writer/director WATKINS) gets out of jail and needs to make money, so he decides to make snuff films. Worse still, he somehow gets a group of equally down on their luck people to help. Worser still, there’s Manson-esque henchladies! Worstest still, they wear hideous masks! I recommend this flick to folks looking for something extreme or maybe annoying too-happy people who need to be made less so. In any case, all humans must watch the trailer! It alone could scratch itself a permanent hole in your psyche…
May 10th, 2013 · 5 Comments
“I’m so proud of my boys- they found all ten differences!”
April 5th, 2013 · 5 Comments
I know now that my wife has become host to a Kandarian demon. I fear that the only way to stop those possessed by the spirits of the book is through the act of… finding ten differences in these two photos.
January 18th, 2013 · 13 Comments