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Silent Night Evil Funhouse

November 30th, 2012 · 4 Comments

Hey, it’s BLACK CHRISTMAS sneaking around with an alternate title! There are ten (I hope) differences between these two posters, can you spot them all?

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It’s a Horror to Know You:: Robert Wray of There’s Something Following Me

October 15th, 2012 · 5 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Robert Wray of There’s Something Following Me!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

This is unquestionably Night of the Living Dead (1969). It was around 1978 when my Dad and I watched a television broadcast of this film. We were probably about 30mins into it when my Mom entered the room and started freaking out because my Dad was letting me (age 6-7) watch Night of the Living Dead. She claimed that all of the people die in the end and I shouldn’t be watching it. My dad reluctantly agreed to turn it off. So I had to wait until the advent of home video (about three years later) to finally see the full length film. Until then my mind tried to comprehend how and why would everyone die in this film.

Up to that point the horror films that I watched were almost all creature feature/after school/ late night movies on TV. The films were usually Hammer, Universal, or American International films in which the protagonists always defeated the monster or at least lived to fight another day. How did these people in Night of the Living Dead die? Did the zombies get inside? Did they try to leave and die horribly that way? What about the cellar? How could everyone die? Why would that happen in a movie? Why would the filmmakers do that? Heavy thoughts for a 7 year old.

Well a few years later I saw the very first video release of the film at the local video store (on Media Video with hand drawn artwork) and I wasted no time in getting the cassette into the family VCR. As the film progressed I was sure that I was witnessing hell on earth. I was much to proud to admit that I was scared to death as my palms were sweaty and my heart raced. I became inducted into the world of nihilism. Everyone dies, daughters murder mothers horribly, feed off of the corpse of the father, brothers pull sisters to an excruciating death, plans fail, help doesn’t come, hope disappears as the lights go out, the last survivor dies due to a stupid mistake, and even death doesn’t offer solace. This stark black and white film shook me and my sensibilities. Never again was I to be taken on such a hell ride and Mr. Romero I thank you. And I thank you again for making Dawn of the Dead (1978)!

2. What is the last film that scared you?

28 Days Later (2002). A zombie apocalypse scenario made frighteningly plausible. Probably tied into my initial Night of the Living Dead trauma.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Let’s Scare Jessica To Death (1971)- One of the best horrors of the 1970’s. Subtle, strange, poetic, & creepy with a sense of pathos.

Zeder: Voices from Beyond (1980)- I’m sure that Mr King borrowed from this for his Pet Semetery or maybe the other way around? This Italian film has a intriguing premise and a cool morbid tone mixing science, alchemy, conspiracies, and the living dead. A little talky but it’s one of the most original zombie films you can find that favors creepiness over gore.

Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)- Great little 70’s gem. Not really a horror movie but a tight thriller. Great performances from Foster, Sheen, & Smith. All top notch. This could have only come from the 1970’s. I remember seeing it on TV as an after school movie! Watching a kid handle murder and threatening situations as a kid made for some gripping entertainment.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Slithis (1977) – A 70’s version of the swamp/ocean monster movies from the 50’s and 60’s.

Frogs (1972)- Menacing amphibians lead an army of lizards, snakes, spiders, alligators, leeches, and snapping turtles as they assault a group of humans living on a southern island. Throw in Ray Milland and Sam Elliot and you’ve got a gem!

The Child (1977)- A wicked little girl with psychic powers communicates with a group of ghouls residing in the local cemetery. She uses them to exact revenge. I remember reading a review that compared this to a movie version of the old spook-house albums that we used to listen to in the 1970’s/1980’s and that’s what is fun about it.

5. Send us to a place on the Internet!

A group of friends and I used to build and run a haunted house for over twenty years. We also managed to make a few short films. These links are to the last film we made called, “There’s Something Following Me“. It’s split into four parts. We tried to make it in the vein of a Night Gallery/Tales from the Darkside episode. It’s a tribute to Halloween and being a 1970’s monster kid as you will be able to see many items from that era. It was made with zero budget but our hearts were in the right place. It’s a flick designed for this time of year. Hope you enjoy it. Happy Halloween!

There’s Something Following Me

“Cody Richards decides to walk home from school on the afternoon of Halloween. She had no idea that something would soon be following her every step, something intent on making this Halloween her last.”

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Kinder-Spotlight:: Scare U!

September 22nd, 2012 · 1 Comment

UNK SEZ: Here’s something you kids may enjoy! Our new kinderpal Beverly over at THE SCARE HOUSE (One of America’s top haunted Houses stationed in good ol’ Pittsburgh PA.) gave us a tip about a video series they are doing called SCARE U! It’s a project after our own heart as it examines what scares people and why. The first segment is on clowns (Very Kindertraumatic) and an upcoming installment will concern dolls (likewise). Cooler still, there will be a new video presented every Wednesday till Halloween! Check out their Youtube channel HERE to keep up to date! Thanks for the decapitated heads up Bev!

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Traumafession:: Reader Ozne on Kolchak, Elmer’s Glue, Bigfoot & a Creepy Neighbor

August 21st, 2012 · 5 Comments

Hey Guys,

Here’s my two cents on what scared me or gave me nightmares: Kolchak: The NIght Stalker Episode 6 “Firefall“. The conductor, or should I say his doppelganger, tried to annoy Kolchak by repeatedly knocking against an open window of a church. It was that smirk and the insane look on his face with the knocking that bothered me as a little boy. I had nightmares about that doppelganger for a few days. Also from the 70s was that smiling cow on every bottle of Elmer’s Glue. For some reason, I kept superimposing Mr. Clean’s face with the cow and the two together had this I’m-going-to-get-you look. Weird and scary.

Lastly, any of the Bigfoot documentaries of the 70s. Chills down my spine all the time. It was hard to get any sleep. Oh yeah, I almost forgot: the neighborhood pedophile who always looked at me and my brother whenever we were out playing or going to the store. He was thin and tall like Norman Bates with sunken eyes and super creepy. I later discovered he had a record for molesting a neighborhood boy.

That’s all folks! Keep up the Traumatic work.

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Society (1989)

August 15th, 2012 · 7 Comments

Is it possible that I read too much into horror films? Am I hallucinating subtext where there is none in order to justify my obsession? Well, I needn’t worry about subtext when it comes to Brian Yuzna’s SOCIETY (1989). If I interpret it to be about rich people sucking the life out of the poor, it’s because in the film, rich people grow giant puckering lips, seize the poor and suck the life right out of them. Actually, they do far worse than that but to describe it would mean thinking about it and I just had lunch. Much of SOCIETY operates as a paranoid mystery, so I’m sorry if I just gave away the ending. Don’t worry, even though everything suspected within the film is revealed to be true, there’s no way you can possibly imagine what that entails. Suffice to say, the wealthy are not shown in the best of light but I suppose into each life a little rain must fall.

Bill Whitney (BILLY WARLOCK son of DICK WARLOCK of HALLOWEEN II and III!) is at the age where he is starting to feel disconnected from his family and their values. Part of his mounting alienation may be due to the fact that he is adopted and part of it is probably because he’s heard a tape recording of his parents planning and participating in a deranged orgy with his sister. His parent’s obsession with garden slugs and his sister’s ability to twist and contort her body in impossible ways while showering only add fuel to the fires of mistrust. You’d think that having three-time scream queen HEIDI KOZAK (FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 7: THE NEW BLOOD; SLUMBER PARTY MASSACRE II’s zit girl) for a girlfriend would be enough for a guy, but Bill has got his cagey eye on exotic and suspiciously limber Clarissa (DEVIN DeVASQUEZ). His psychiatrist is zero help and if you’ve watched any conspiracy movie in the history of ever you know why.

The horror genre is one that is granted some added leeway to be as bizarre and inappropriate as it can get away with, so it’s a big fat shame that more filmmakers don’t take advantage of that extra elbowroom. BRIAN (BRIDE OF RE-ANIMATOR) YUZNA’s SOCIETY is refreshingly oblivious to good taste and it delivers all the creativity and originality that audiences beg for and so often overlook once they receive it. I’d say it’s a little too breezy and footloose in the storytelling department but if it is that type of freewheeling attitude that ultimately opens the door for the gooey, loony, hilariously unhinged insanity that concludes the film, I’ll take it. I’d appreciate a better mapped out route but as long as I end up someplace I’ve never been, I’m happy.

There is a downside to SOCIETY though, at least for me, knowing that the last third of the movie is an explosive orgy of ferociously perverse, audaciously surreal, bold-faced bacchanalia, makes the first two thirds feel like a bit of a semi-chore. Before we’re finally gifted with the full-disclosure finale, we’re subjected to more than any movie’s fair share of stalling. Suspicious evidence is discovered, discounted and rediscovered in a tiresome loop and too much of what transpires has no relevance at all. Fortunately the cast is likable enough to keep things afloat and of course there’s always the added charm of the time period in which SOCIETY was filmed. More than anything though, if you have any interest in the art of pre-CGI special effects the work here, care of SCREAMING MAD GEORGE, is required viewing. I don’t know if it “holds up,” I just know that it’s fantastic and that it’s gorgeously grotesque and thank God it’s captured on film. So what if we end up with a half hour’s worth of material stretched like taffy to three times that length? Since that half hour is three times more potent than what is standard, I say, fair enough.

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It’s a Horror to know You:: Luisito of A Slash Above!

August 2nd, 2012 · 4 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Luisito Joaquín González of A Slash Above!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

I was quite squeamish as a kid and I remeber I used to get scared even by murder mysteries on TV. But that changed forever when I saw John Carpenter’s Halloween. I was about eight years old (I think) when I watched it and I was petrefied! Michael Myers was like nothing that my little eyes had ever seen before. I can recall that walking from one room to another with the light off was almost impossible. The mystery of that open ending kept me seraching for years. I always wanted to know how and why he could get back up after so many bullets. It’s amazing that we never really get a real explanation.
That’s how I became a fan of slasher movies, because I was always trying to get that same feeling that I got from Carpenter’s seminal flick. After a while, I noticed that it was a pretty niche sub-genre to follow as stalk and slash flicks generally get a hard time from critics. They’re also quite hard to find, so I have spent the past nineteen years tracking the rarest entries down. Most of them are fairly bad, but there is most definitely enjoyment to be had in watching them.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

To be honest the last film that really made me jump was The Ward from 2010. I agree that it was by no means classic Carpenter, but I remember we were watching it in a big empty cinema and some of the shocks were quite effective. Before that I thought that [REC] from 2008 was quite scary, but after something like 800 horror movies, it takes something special to get me now. If I ever fancy a scare, I go for one of the older ‘classics’ like Baron Blood or La Residencia (The House That Screamed). I’ll give you one that you may not be aware of. The film Alison’s Birthday from Australia is fairly rubbish, but has one of the most terrifying opening scenes anywhere ever. Seriously, it used to terrify me.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

There’s so many! Of the recent ones though, I thought that The Mist was deserving of higher praise. The downbeat ending and the grim environment of impending doom were exceptional and it’s one that I feel may grow in popularity in ten years or so. Another that is regularly overlooked and undeservedly so is Small Town Massacre (a.k.a Strange Behavior/Dead Kids) from 1981. I know, you are probably wondering what the hell it is, right? Although not scary, it is superbly acted, brilliantly plotted and it boasts a unique retro vibe. The small town community is something that I think really gives it an authentic character. My last is Al Filo Del Hacha (Edge of the Axe) from 1988. This is a no nonsense straight-up slasher flick and probably not so different from the countless others that were made for next to nothing around this time. What makes it stand out though are the characteristic performances, the twist ending and the absolutely gorgeous backdrops.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Now this is more my area of expertise. I grew up on rubbish, but charming horror. I love 1988’s Blizzards of Blood or Iced as it’s more commonly known. The dialogue, personas and attempts to be sinister, whilst failing – drastically, make it all the more fun. It’s so unbelievably campy that it will cheer you up quicker than twenty bottles of Prozac. The character of Carl should become like an ambassador for eighties cheese. Next up, Mausoleum from 1983. A terrible, terrible film in every which way but lose, but if you don’t get kicks out of seeing a beautiful ex-Playboy centerfold with yapping fangs for breasts, then you’re lucky enough to still be very sane. But people, like me, who ‘lost it’ many moons ago, will be in riddles of laughter all the way through. Last but by no means least, I would have to say Burial Ground from Andrea Bianchi. The gore, the cheese, the bad acting, the kid trying to get it on with his mom! Yes it’s all those things and more; a horror flick filled with more funny parts than a Jim Carrey omnibus. In fact, many of the Italian Zombie films from that period were great fun. It wasn’t only the stalk and slashers.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

VEGAN VOORHEES – A fantastic site dedicated to slasher films, where the authors are always first with the newer entries.

A SLASH ABOVE – Is it egotistical to put my site here? I hope not, but I am concentrating on reviewing the most obscure slashers along with the classics, so maybe you will find something you like there!

THE TERROR TRAP- One of the oldest horror websites on the web and easily one of the best. Intelligently written reviews and a really nice lay out make this one a must.

HORROR.COM FORUMS – Great forum for chatting with other fans of horror. The people logged on are generally full of knowledge and good fun to speak with too.

SLASHER STUDIOS – These guys don’t only love slashers, they make slashers too! What more do you need?

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It’s a Horror to Know You:: Daniela!

July 5th, 2012 · 11 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Daniela of nowhere on the internet because I don’t have a website.

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

I really don’t recall much stuff that reaches so far back as to be dubbed childhood, not in terms of movies anyways. But I do remember the first movie that should have freaked me out, but failed epically to ever scare me: Mom + Dad were working in the garden one Sunday afternoon, Jaws (1975) was on TV (translated to The White Shark in my native Germany), and shivering with excitement about doing something forbidden, six-year-old me watched it – and watched – and nothing in any way shark-related happened in the scenes I caught, and a while later my parents walked in and frantically stopped the show. I had seen zilch of interest, and to this day, by now having grudgingly digested the full length of the movie, I still don’t care for Jaws. I’ve never forgiven it. It’s always been, and will ever remain, an anti-climactic movie for me.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

Tales Of The Black Freighter (2009): I saw this short only last week, and boy, was I shocked and disgusted… I’m usually highly unqueasy, but this artfully animated companion piece to Watchmen really got to me – physically and psychologically intense.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

1) Martyrs (2008): Of all the supposed New French Extremism (which especially many French directors deny as an existing genre), I liked some (À L’Intérieur: wow, yes! Haute Tension: pretty decent) and despised others (Frontière(s): enervating and pointless). But rarely has a movie blown my mind, my retinas even, as profoundly as Martyrs. It almost never happens that I sit open-mouthed facing an empty screen minutes after the movie is finished as I did with this one. I believe this movie is smart and thought-provoking yet heartrending and bittersweet and so many other praising adjectives that I can’t think of right now. It might also be the only extreme horror movie that made me cry with its sad, violent, disturbing beauty.

2) YellowBrickRoad (2010): As with such great nîche movies as Triangle, The Woman, Frayed, Død Snø, Perkins’ 14 and Maléfique, I must have discovered this beautiful(ly) low-budget gem here at Kindertrauma. YellowBrickRoad was a terrific viewing experience – I had avoided any potential spoilers, had no clue what to expect, and it blew me away! It could have been cheap, badly acted and sloppily executed crap (and maybe it is?), but to me it completely worked on so many levels – a deep, creepy, existential piece of underground horror. Plus the ending truly scared me shitless, which rarely happens to me these jaded days since I’m probably as jaded as all you jaded lot.

3) The Ring (2002) / Silent Hill (2006): Equal shares go to these two – both of whom address with compassion and terror the theme of abused and neglected children, whose darker versions become manifest on a haunting tour de vengeance in a sad, hopeless, twistedly atmospheric, white/gray/black netherworld. In Silent Hill, the maze of BDSM nuns, the barbed-wire janitor and mighty Pyramid Head did it for me. The Ring freaked me out with the horse going overboard and with the frosty detachment between mother and son – and fresh-up-from-the-well-through-your-TV Samara is the topos I envision to creep up on me, staccato-style, in a dark corridor.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

1) Tokyo Zankoku Keisatsu (2008): So totally fucked up, typically grotesque and way-out extreme J-bodyhorror gore splatter exploitation thingy… um, what? The fist cannon! The katana-limbed cybergoth amputee! The huge nozzle-funnel-whatever mutant dick! I mean… wait… I don’t know what to mean about this movie! It’s just so frigging irreverent, self-ironically wallowing in its own sexo-socio-political depravity and bucketful of transgressive ideas and… wait… let me simply call it cooool.

2) Shakma (1990): Stupid in a lovely way. During a nightly LARP session at the lab, a bunch of students are hunted down by a fluffy, red-assed baboon. Said baboon is very angry, innocent people die, and at one point, the splendid dorks attempt to save their lives by throwing cutlery through the shutters out of a window. Featuring an intrinsically incompetent Christopher Atkins and a deliciously odd Roddy McDowall. Oh, and not to forget: Chris Atkins’ hair is in this, too, even if it’s uncredited (and unpermed). [It has about the same effect as a miniature Kristin Chenoweth tap-dancing in front of histrionic Shakma. And if this last sentence makes sense to you, you're just the person who should go see this movie!]

3) Deep Rising (1998): I love it! I don’t know why! I say it needs some love! Okay, this is as guilty a pleasure as guilty pleasures come. I’m well aware of the deserved hating done to this movie, and sure, it’s pretty mediocre and flawed, objectively speaking. But whatever it is that made this movie (whose German title translates as OctalusDeath From Down Below – cough) stick with me, I could watch it once a week and not grow bored. Maybe I just love the ocean, exotic scenery, a clumsily designed CGI creature producing heaps of human gore for the heroes to slip and slide through, luxury cruises, Famke Janssen? Could it be that simple?

3½) Honorable mention goes to Troma Entertainment’s cult-fest Poultrygeist – Night Of The Chicken Dead (2006): I judge this movie better than my own judgment of it, which is that it’s one sloppy hell of a sleazy fun ride.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

I don’t follow any blogs or hypertextual internet tone poems (aside from Kindertrauma, yey!), so unless you’re dying to be forwarded to IMDB, Youtube, Ryanair and the German versions of Amazon and Ebay, this is the only site link I have for you:

Explosm.net. Totally haha webcomic; style: male college humor; degree of colitical porrectness: zero. I love it.

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It’s a Horror to Know You:: Kelly of A Moment A Love A Dream A Laugh

June 27th, 2012 · 1 Comment

It’s a Horror to Know You: Kelly of A Moment A Love A Dream A Laugh!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

Definitely a tie between Poltergeist and Jaws. The scene in Poltergeist where the mans face starts falling off in front of the mirror and into the sink. Made me sick when I was younger, I’d never seen any sort of blood in a movie before. The clown and the tree scene were also traumatic. I never actually saw Jaws in its entirety I would just take a sneak peak, afraid something would scare me. I used to think Jaws would be in the swimming pool (irrational) or the toilet (just plain crazy). My mom used to hum the theme and I would start freaking out.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

Probably the first half of Insidious, I didn’t care for the second half. But the first was a good old fashioned haunted housed movie. A scary one at that! The creature pointing over the bed, the tiny tim music! UGH.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

1.Alice, Sweet Alice- A great horror film, with a lot of great scenes and a semi-interesting twist! I really have a soft spot for this movie. Wish it got more love.

2. May- I really enjoyed this movie and thought it was great. Creepy and demented to be sure. Has a-bit of a cult following though, so not sure how underrated.

3. The Woods- A lot of people hate this movie so maybe this should be in “movies I enjoy against my better judgement” list. But I genuinely liked it. People said they didn’t find it scary but it honestly creep-ed me out. The perfect use of “You Don’t Own Me” sends shivers down my spine. It’s all good until the end.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

1. Campfire Tales- I found this to be a fun and interesting take on Urban Legends trilogy. There are some genuinely fun times to be had with this movie. Sure it isn’t scary, but it doesn’t need to be.

2. Freddy Vs Jason- I thought this movie was pretty much all it needed to be. I enjoyed the slapstick humor and ridiculousness of it all.

3. The Grudge- This movie genuinely frightens me, maybe I just have an aversion to long black haired ghosts. But I think about that hand scene every-time I’m in the shower. I thought this was an effective remake. Forget the sequels though.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

IMDb (I really enjoy the use of lists on this site)

Think Geek (Are you A geek? Shop here!)

aghosthouseproduction (rare horror dvds for sale)

The Haunted Closet (a great blog with vintage books and reviews)

Long-Forgotten (Think you know everything about Disney’s famous attraction Haunted Mansion? Read detailed essays here)

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It’s a Horror to Know You:: Stacy Pershall Author of Loud in the House of Myself!

June 19th, 2012 · 10 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Stacy Pershall Author of Loud in the House of Myself!

1. What was the first film that ever scared you?

The first films that scared me did so solely through commercials. My dad’s an insomniac like I am, and when I was a kid and couldn’t sleep, I’d go into the living room, snuggle up next to him on the couch, and watch whatever he was watching. It’s a testament to both his coolness and his complete lack of sense that he let me, because I’d get so terrified by a 30-second trailer that I’d beg to sleep in my parents’ room for the rest of the night.

So my dad would be sitting there watching late-night M*A*S*H reruns, and I’d be getting all lulled to sleep by the theme music, and then they’d cut to a commercial and some terrifying-ass trailer for a horror movie would come on between ads for Marlboros and Schlitz. Because it was the ‘70s, the commercials had that low-budget 16mm drive-in film look and crackly, poppy soundtrack that made them even scarier. All of this is to say that the first horror movie that ever scared me was It’s Alive, but it was just the ad with the crib that turns until you see the monster claw hanging out. I was so disappointed when I finally saw the film as an adult and realized it was really pretty lame. Still, the M*A*S*H theme song continues to evoke a feeling of foreboding to this day.

The first horror movie I watched all the way through that really terrified me was The Exorcist. I was about 14 years old and being raised religious, so it messed with my head pretty badly. I had to watch it over and over again for years, always in the middle of the day, with all the curtains open and someone else present, to distill its power. Now it’s one of my all-time favorite movies, but I didn’t get there until I’d seen it at least a dozen times. And I was still completely flipped out the first time I visited The American Museum of the Moving Image in NYC and realized they had the spinning-head Linda Blair dummy there!

2. What was the last film that scared you?

Insidious, for sure! That’s a great film until the last 15 minutes or so, when it unfortunately becomes stupid. It takes a lot to scare me these days, but watching that one alone in the middle of the night definitely gave me chills. The first you see the red-faced monster is just brilliant, and Tiny Tim’s music has always been creepy as hell.

The last film that came anywhere close to scaring me as much as The Exorcist was Ringu, which was made even scarier by the fact that I saw it on a bootleg VHS my brother brought back from a trip to Japan as an exchange student. Those two films and The Shining are like my holy trinity of scariness.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

First and foremost is The Prince of Darkness. I love that movie, and still find it genuinely scary. The dream sequence is really iconic for me; I’ve thought of it a lot as I write the book I’m working on now. On New Year’s Eve 1998, when everyone else was blasting Prince and finally partying like it was 1999, I was doing my usual ritual of finding a quiet place to write and reflecting on how it was now “the year one-nine-nine-nine” and the Alice Cooper zombie apocalypse was upon us.

Second would have to be Young Sherlock Holmes. It wasn’t billed as a horror movie, but there are some truly creepy scenes, particularly the one at the end with the bad guys chanting their evil chant and pouring lava on Elizabeth. (Why is it that bad things always happen to red-haired girls named Elizabeth? Seriously.) There’s also the swordfight with the knight who leaps from the stained-glass window – the first time a CGI character interacted with a live one against a live-action backdrop – and the attack of the killer stop-motion cupcakes. It amazes me that so few people seem to remember and love this one like I do.

Third is a tie between 301/302, from Korea, and In My Skin, from France. They’re two of the best examples of body horror I’ve ever seen, but not as well-known as lesser films like Martyrs, which I loathed in a way generally reserved for movies starring Robin Williams or Jim Carrey. 301/302 and In My Skin hold their own admirably against the triumvirate of body horror against which I judge all others: Jacob’s Ladder, Videodrome, and Eyes Without a Face.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Yes! A chance to talk about my deep and abiding fondness for Shriek of the Mutilated! How can you not love a movie with whitewashed wood paneling, a Perrey and Kingsley soundtrack, and a yeti mask with deeply disturbing lips? You’ll feel like you need to take a bath in Sea Breeze after it’s over, since, like all ‘70s drive-in horror fare, the actors seem to have doused themselves with bacon grease before shooting every scene. But I always did like the smell of the Sea Breeze, so it’s cool. I suggest a refreshing scrubdown with Noxema first, for old times’ sake.

Then there’s Death Bed: The Bed that Eats. If you’ve ever wondered what it would be like if Aubrey Beardsley was trapped inside your wall, your bed could eat a bucket of chicken, and rubbing a chain across your neck could make your toes bleed, you’ll find the answers in this masterpiece. I love this movie deeply and without irony.

Then there’s Devil Dog: The Hound of Hell, a TV-movie extravaganza starring Richard Crenna as an unsuspecting suburban father who brings home a bargest for the kids one day. What’s a bargest, you ask? Well, in this case it’s a cute black puppy who happens to be a minion of Satan. Oops! This was a late-late movie I discovered one insomniac night in high school, and I still call my black cat a bargest lo these many years later. Fortunately, he does a lot of evil stuff, so I get to call him that a lot.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

Deadmalls – If you’re a sucker for suburban blight like I am, you’ll love this extensive collection of abandoned shopping mall photos.

Underground Ozarks – Dogpatch USA was a second-rate amusement park in Jasper, AR based on the Li’l Abner comic strip. We used to go there when I was a kid, because it was closer than Silver Dollar City in Branson and offered just enough thrills to shut the kiddies up for a while. It opened in the late ‘60s, fell on hard times in the ‘80s, and was abandoned in 1993. The owners left everything to rot, and of course there’s nothing more terrifying than a rotting amusement park, unless it’s a public service announcement.

Tulsa TV Memories – If you grew up in Oklahoma, Arkansas, or Missouri, you probably experienced a number of your kindertraumas on KTUL Channel 8. Even if you didn’t, this site is a great look at a strange and wonderful regional TV station. Check out the Weather Teller and the Indian Sign Language sign-off!

Haunted Legend of Zelda – My favorite Creepy + Pasta entry. If you don’t have the patience for the (very) long story, just watch the videos. They’re such a labor of love, and definitely nightmare-inducing!

Goya’s Black Paintings – Hands down my vote for Most Disturbing Paintings Ever. The story of Goya’s life at Quinta del Sordo is fascinating, if depressing as hell. If you want to see what it looks like when a brilliant mind experiences the terror of insanity, start here. Someday I’ll have Anil Gupta tattoo Saturn Devouring a Son on the back of my hand, mark my words.

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It’s a Horror to Know You Dylan of Better Living Through Pop Culture!

May 11th, 2012 · 16 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Dylan of Better Living Through Pop Culture!

(If I am lucky it gets updated every 6 months, usually it takes a year. Halley’s Comet takes 75 years to make an appearance. Ergo, my blog > Halley’s Comet.)

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

Pete’s Dragon. The foster family who “bought” Pete and chased him relentlessly terrified me.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

The Thing remake\prequel\reboot. Not so much scared, as got me to jump a couple of times.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Something Wicked this Way Comes. This poor little gem gets white washed by the Disney moniker, but it is kindertraumarific. I still remember our 4th grade class watching it and the teacher finally turning it off before it was over because so many of us were getting freaked.

Street Trash. Written of as a goofy comedy, this is one of those rare movies with unabashed political incorrectness, spot-on satire and wino’s melting in toilets. The F/X are some of the best at that time. A great kick back, poor a tumbler of Viper and enjoy flick.

Near Dark. Not so much underrated as ignored. A well constructed story with good (Okay, sometimes merely passable…) acting and great F/X. Plus loads and loads of Henriksen!!!

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Friday the 13th Part 7. Don’t you judge me! My favorite of the series. Sci-Fi meets slasher with just a touch of brutal sleeping bag piñata.

Fright Night II. I almost listed this in the underrated category, but didn’t feel that I could justify it merely with the two words, “Julie Carmen.” Nowhere near the fun of its predecessor, but still… Roddy McDowell. That counts for something, right?

Waxworks. I said, don’t judge me! I just watched this one recently with my son, because he had to put up with years of me saying, “Steak Tartar? Oh yes, Steak Tartar,” completely out of context. Now he knows, and he may never forgive me.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

None of these are horror related, they are just places I love:

Cracked. Major time vampire, but, unlike most on the internets, very well written.

Joan of Dark. The life of a knitter, roller derbyer and barista all in one. Plus she’s a friend of mine.

Sword Swallowing to the Hilt. Getcher minds out of the gutter! Great site for a nearly forgotten art.

Show History. While we’re talking side show acts, this is another great site for aficionado’s or beginners.

Sheldon Brown. He may have passed, but his site lives on. Sheldon combines my two favorite things, cycling and a passion for weirdness.

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