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Five Hidden Hulu Horror Gems

May 4th, 2014 · 6 Comments

Today’s picks are all available to stream for free on HULU. I’m not sure if HULU is available everywhere so if you don’t get HULU, seek out these flicks anyway. HULU is pretty annoying. You gotta deal with commercials, pathetic attempts to convince you to upgrade to HULU-plus and the generally loud and unappealing look of the joint. It’s like the place is lit with industrial florescent lights. Have I mentioned I loathe the color white more than hydrangeas? Who cares because they have FREE movies and we’re all about that! Here are five flicks that deserve your attention.

ENTER NOWHERE (2011)

I took this one out from the library a while back (support your local library!) and now I’m so glad I can share this find via HULU. The only reason I wanted to see this was because of THE INNKEEPERSSARA PAXTON but I ended up liking everybody in it and digging it more than I expected. It’s about three strangers who inexplicably find themselves lost in the woods. I was all convinced I was being set up for ye old “We’re already dead!” routine but ENTER NOWHERE has a whole other batch of tricks up its sleeve. There’s a very interesting TWILIGHT ZONE vibe going on here and I found the limited setting and the eventual camaraderie between the characters highly enjoyable. PAXTON is predictably charming, KATHERINE WATERSON is genuine and convincing and SCOTT EASTWOOD is exactly the right level of handsome to get away with clunky acting every one in a while. The camera loves him like it loved his pa CLINT circa THE BEGUILED, and that goes a long way. ENTER NOWHERE is so story and character driven that it could easily work as a stage play and I’d put it up along with THE DARK HOURS (2005) and DEAD END (2003) as a worthwhile head-trippy independent keeper.

ISOLATION (2006)

This one was recommended to me a while back (review HERE). It was something I could have very easily passed over and I’m so thankful I didn’t. You’d never know it but ISOLATION is an engaging, wonderfully slimy monster movie.

TESIS (1996)

Released the same year as SCREAM, TESIS did not make anywhere near a comparable impact but it’s amazing what a better predictor it is of themes that are popular in horror today. It’s also interesting to consider it predates THE RING and BLAIR WITCH with its preoccupation with VHS/found-footage horror. Director ALEJANDRO AMENABAR would go on to deliver OPEN YOUR EYES and the hit THE OTHERS, but the darkest road he has traveled remains this quietly influential debut.

YELLOWBRICKROAD (2010)

I have quite the love/hate relationship with this movie (full review HERE.) As much as I refuse to outright like it, here I am still thinking about it. I don’t get it. It’s very possible that this movie just has some real, undiluted crazy in it and therefore I shall never truly be capable of fully scraping it off of my shoe. It may be more fun to think about than it is to actually watch but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

TOWER OF EVIL (1972)

We previously covered this one in our SEVEN FROM THE SEVENTIES post. I love me some seaside horror and this movie has the coolest seventies clothes, deliciously grisly death scenes and plenty of fog infused atmosphere. The original story comes courtesy of GEORGE BAXT who’s responsible for another favorite I can always count on to put me in the desired creepy mood, CITY OF THE DEAD (1960). This is a must see but you might want to wait till its dark out to get the full effect.

Hope you guys enjoy these and try not to let those pesky commercials ruin the fun!

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Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

Sunday Viewing Suggestion :: Darkko on Abby (1974)

April 27th, 2014 · 5 Comments

Abby (1974) starts with a group of students talking to Dr. Williams, who is an expert on the deity of chaos and trickery, Eshu. Soon to be leaving for Nigeria on an archeological expedition, his students give him a sweet silver cross necklace as a going away gift.

While exploring caves, they find a box with a carving on it. More specifically, it’s Eshu with an erection. I can’t be sure, but as they struggle with how to open it, I think they end up twisting the wooden boner. Dr. Williams exclaims, “Yes, of course!”

The box is opened, dust flies everywhere, and there are several demon cut away flashes of what looks like a female Hulk (Lou Ferrigno style).

Eshu proceeds to make an instantaneous cross continental journey back to good ole’ Louisville, Kentucky to wreck havoc on Dr. William’s daughter-in-law (Abby) and extended family! What follows is a passive aggressive possession of Abby and her violent sexual adventures. I mean, why didn’t Eshu just go after Dr. Williams and his team in Nigeria? When Reverend Emit (Abby’s husband) calls Dr. Williams to tell him what’s going down, Dr. Williams takes a stab at logic and thinks it’s because Abby is overwhelmed by, “All the Church and community activities.” At one point, Abby feels like some kind of Saturday Night Fever/Exorcist splice up. Disco/funk music plays in the background as Abby alternates between being horny and picking up guys in a bar, to violently tossing these same guys across the room while laughing maniacally.

The cornucopia of expletives that flows forth from possessed Abby’s mouth is reason enough to watch this film! As Abby says, “Killing is too much fun!”

Warner Bros. sued the filmmakers and won for copyright infringement of The Exorcist(1973). Abby was actually removed from theaters in 1974 and did not resurface again until 2004!! Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did!

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Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

Sunday Viewing:: Offerings (1989)

April 13th, 2014 · 4 Comments

What does OFFERINGS (1989) have against me? I was not even able to finish it the first time I tried to watch it back somewhere in that missing decade. I am forever searching for that elusive hidden classic and I doubt I was too far into OFFERINGS before I realized it wasn’t classic and should probably stay hid. Its title evaporated in my head but it left all this stupid debris anyway. Sometimes I’d wonder to myself, “What was that movie with the terrifyingly hideous orange wallpaper?” or “What was that stupid movie that had that poorly executed bit about kids eating pizza with human flesh on it thinking it was sausage?” or “What the heck was that boring movie with the strange cake eating parents who laugh maniacally while watching cartoons?” In all cases the answer was the same; gosh darn OFFERINGS. This was before KT so it wasn’t like I could write up a Name That Trauma and Googling “hideous orange wallpaper” would get me nowhere. Plus there was the fact that I had absolutely no desire to watch whatever movie it was again to consider. That really curtailed the search.

Then again, dipping my psychological pigtails in ink is a great way for a crap-tastic movie to endear itself to me and it’s not as if my sensibilities have not nose-dived towards the bottom of the barrel lately. OFFERINGS is terrible and rather hypnotically so. It’s like watching a dozen HALLOWEEN rip offs in one sitting because it goes on forever and whatever trance everybody in this movie is in, is highly contagious. Let’s face it too that at the end of the day I’d rather see something atrociously flawed than something all Hollywood-sanitized and pruned of all character. It’s my curse.

Here’s an example of why OFFERINGS is maddeningly stuck in my craw. One scene finds our dazed heroine preparing dog food for the family pooch. Her front door bell rings and so she goes to answer it carrying a full spoon of dog food because who has time to put a spoon down? At the door is her friend who sees the spoon sporting an unidentified substance and then bends down and eats whatever it may be and is alarmed to find that she has just eaten dog food. Who does that? And more importantly why am I so fascinated by the idea that somebody out there at one point thought human beings might behave this way. I will give points for the line, “Serves you right!” which is the spoon girl’s response to her friend’s insane actions because truer words have never been spoken. There are dozens more inexplicable occurrences in this guesstimated 9-hour long movie but I should really just let them go and move on with what is left of my squandered existence.

Maybe you shouldn’t watch it. Maybe you should just put it on and do something else while listening to its wonderfully shameless rip-off score. It’s up to you. All I know is that I found it on YouTube with a better picture than I recall and spectacularly enhanced with spicy Spanish subtitles! Yay! It’s called OFFERINGS because the killer leaves random body parts like ears and noses behind as gifts. If it was up to me though, I would have titled it THE HOUSE WITH THE SCREAMING WALLPAPER.

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Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

Sunday Viewing:: The Addiction (1995)

March 30th, 2014 · 3 Comments

The other night I found myself jonesing for some ABEL FERRARA. He does that thing where he makes movies about stuff he’s actually interested in rather than crap that panders to lame-o’s. I love when people do that. It reminds me of art! Our pal has plenty of masterpieces under his belt. DRILLER KILLER, MS. 45, KING OF NEW YORK…aces all. But do you know the movie of his I hold closest to my heart? Why it’s THE ADDICTION.

You should not be surprised by that because it stars LILI TAYLOR, is shot in black and white and is so morose it makes Eeyore look like RICHARD SIMMONS. It’s my favorite vampire flick besides THE HUNGER. Lots of folks tell me it’s an allegory for drug addiction but I think that’s only one casket at this mass funeral. FERRARA gets all up into humanity’s addiction to evil and he’s not afraid to point an accusing finger at the victims who stand back and allow or even invite evil to occur. I can understand this movie not being for everyone, it goes a little overboard with the quoting of philosophers and there are a few scenes that are truly barking mad. I don’t care though, because that’s what gives this strange movie is singular personality. In any case you have to witness CHRISTOPHER WALKEN’s delivery of the line, “You know nothing!” and the bit where TAYLOR, confronted by an image of Christ on a pamphlet, goes mega beserker equating goodness with slavery ripping off her clothes and screaming, “I will not submit!” Plus it’s chock full of New York night life and mid-nineties rap. Who isn’t craving some “I Wanna Get High” from CYPRUS HILL? You’re lying. Watch THE ADDICTION below, it’s regrettably not on DVD at least not in these parts.

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Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

Sunday Viewing:: Don’t Open The Door!

March 23rd, 2014 · 10 Comments

Now I get it! DON’T OPEN THE DOOR is on my list of films I always fish for on YouTube and always fail to catch. Then the other night, there it was just staring me in the face like it was there all along claiming to have been posted more than a year ago. How is that possible? Turns out I have been searching for it with the year 1975 attached while the YouTube video says 1974. I guess that’s why it never got stuck in my net. Well, IMDb agrees with ‘74, I have no idea where I got ‘75 from and to make matters muddier the actual film sports ‘79 in its opening credits. Are we talking when it was made or when it was released? I’m confused enough to stop pretending that I have any concept of time in the first place. The important thing is that I got to see this movie again! DON’T OPEN THE DOOR was directed by the always interesting independent filmmaker S.F. BROWNRIGG whose first film DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT (1973) haunted late night airwaves throughout my youth. I had seen DOOR once before on VHS and although the entire film hadn’t rocked my world, I was wowed by its climax which took place in a lighthouse-like crow’s nest cupola complete with colored glass windows. It stuck in my head.

But how did I forget the film’s opening credits? How? It consists of an assortment of creepy dolls standing in a black void and it is the swellest thing ever. Maybe I blocked it out because I wasn’t cool enough to appreciate the awesomeness yet. That must be it. Oh geez, I wasn’t ready for any of this movie back then! That was before I realized that the best plot in the world concerns a young lady returning to her childhood home where she once witnessed a parent being murdered. Why are movies ever about anything else? It also doesn’t hurt that our main lady (SUSAN BRACKEN) acts like a cross between NAOMI WATTS in MULHOLLAND DRIVE and a petulant LINDA BLAIR or that the entire film looks like the grooviest candy-coated art flick that CINDY SHERMAN forgot to make. I’m probably not the best person to speak on the subject of feminism because my favorite Spice Girl is Baby Spice (I know Sporty has better pipes but did she attempt an awesome ode to Carol Anne from POLTERGEIST?), but somebody really should write a term paper about how every menacing man in this movie tries to get our heroine to bend to their will only to get a full blast of her nuclear ire instead. Sure, madness is her only reward and that’s the same resigning towel THE YELLOW WALLPAPER threw in.

What on Earth am I talking about? I should say that there is a legitimate swampy ten minutes of redundancy that you have to drag yourself through to get to the glorious denouement but don’t cry during that part, just use that opportunity to make yourself a tuna fish sandwich. Put pickles on it, that’s what I did. If your refrigerator does not offer pickles, push it out the door and buy a new one.

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Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

Sunday Viewing:: Bloodrage (1979) Presented By Crafty Pants Carol

March 16th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Today we have an especially special rarity thanks to our good pal Crafty Pants Carol! It’s Bloodrage (1979) (not to be confused with that OTHER BLOOD RAGE from 1987). It’s directed by JOSEPH ZITO, the underappreciated dude who brought us THE PROWLER and FRIDAY THE 13th PART 4: THE ALMOST ENDING. It’s about a misanthropic ne’er-do-well who finds himself killing hookers so you might want to ask yourself, “Do I mind movies in which many prostitutes are killed?” before you watch it. Personally, I think hookers are fascinating and should not be murdered but I also take into account that the psychopath in this movie works at a YOO HOO bottling plant and I can’t honestly say how my own brain would handle that. I might quit before I killed a hooker but who knows, maybe not. The most important thing is that this movie is filmed in New York in the late seventies and it’s totally worth it for the seedy atmosphere and all the mesmerizing secondary characters that inhabit its raunchy halls. That reminds me, I’m sad to say a nice non-hooker doggy also gets killed which I wasn’t happy about but thankfully a cute kitten poster is prominently displayed in many scenes to balance out that atrocity.

Also windows! So many creepy windows! At the risk of sounding like a peeping Tom, I think windows in movies are the coolest things ever because it’s like a frame within a frame. While the viewer is watching the screen, the character is watching the window and its like some kooky mirror effect like you’re trapped inside a M.C. ESCHER print on some stoner art student’s dorm room wall. Anyway, I love this movie! It stinks on some level because it’s partially ramshackle and clearly some important scenes were never filmed and we just have to deal with dialogue band-aids to hold the thing together but then again, it has a very convincing nihilistic flavor that would make it snuggly bedfellows with HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER , CANNIBAL MAN & THE KILLING KIND. I’m not proud to enjoy a movie with such a high dead hooker quotient (yeah, right) and yet I must acknowledge the fact that BLOOD RAGE is a success in expressing a completely horrific and dismal atmosphere and there’s no better time or place to capture it than when and where it does. I’m also allowing it extra points for making me want a HEAVEN CAN WAIT poster because I don’t even like that movie.

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Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

Streaming Alert:: What Are Friends For? (1980)

March 12th, 2014 · 4 Comments

Sorry, I gotta make myself scarce for a bit! We have a guest coming to the Kindertrauma Kastle and that means I have to clean (remove bodies), do the wash (scrub out the blood stains) and hunt down my copy of THE ABC AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL: WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR? Everybody who stays in this dwelling must watch this masterpiece as it is the unofficial training film for dealing with yours truly. If you can’t handle the friendship stylings of Michelle Mudd (DANA HILL), then I don’t think you’re ready for this jelly. Oh, cool! It looks like WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR? is available on the portal to hell known as YouTube! Yay. Read my old review HERE and watch the lamentable happenings below, otherwise you’re not a very good friend!

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Tags: After-School Trauma · Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert!

Sunday Viewing:: Quiet Cool Presented By Darkko

March 9th, 2014 · 7 Comments

Hi! This is “Darkko.”

I searched your site and did not see anything for Quiet Cool. It’s a fairly violent revenge-with-a-buddy type of deal. It’s so bad it’s actually entertaining. Basically, some psychotic pot farming guys think it’s best they slaughter anyone who lays eyes on their precious marijuana. The main guy and his buddy exchange many long, questionable looks with each other! Hahaha…
It’s available to watch on youtube…

UNK SEZ: Thanks a zillion Darrko! I was just wondering the other day why I keep the KT fires burning when I only get paid negative 10 cents an hour and after nearly seven years of diligent service I have yet to win a Pulitzer (I know!). But then I remembered it’s because I love movies so much that it is not even remotely funny. Point is, I would have never seen this one without your kind help and that would have been a real shame and I’m so glad that KT provides me with a place to share titles with fine folks like yourself. QUIET COOL is so awesome that I do believe the ghost of PATRICK SWAYZE watched it with me.

Now, if any of you other peeps know of a good movie that’s viewable online in full, please do feel free to write in to kindertrauma@gmail.com and if it’s not too inappropriate we’ll share your recommendation with the rest of the class on a future Sunday! How QUIET COOL is that?

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Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

Sunday Viewing:: Picture Mommy Dead (1966)

March 2nd, 2014 · 2 Comments

Every couple months or so I check YouTube to see if anybody has uploaded PICTURE MOMMY DEAD (1966) which has eluded me for years. I once neglected to buy the VHS at a used store and clearly the film held a grudge and was playing hard to get. Happily my saint-like patience finally paid off and PICTURE MOMMY DEAD appeared before me and looking mighty good I might add! I’m glad I didn’t pick up that ratty old tape that surely was wearing washed out colors and a shroud of static. This movie needs to be crunchy not fuzzy! I put my DONNA WILKES marathon on temporary hold and dived in at once. I wasn’t even through the opening credits before I decided that PICTURE MOMMY DEAD is my new favorite thing that ever existed and I was bound to be obsessed for days before some other cinematic chippy came strutting around. Holy crap, it looks like a box of candy! I had that thing were I started fantasizing about eating the movie. This movie would taste delicious! It’s all pastels and gold and ornate and fizzy and now I want to listen to that ABC album “The lexicon of Love.” This movie was filmed in a real mansion and has ZSA ZSA GABOR in it for Pete’s sake! Maybe this will be all too frilly for some horror fans but I think the relentless onslaught of prissiness creates a counter intuitive hellish atmosphere all its own. Diabetics beware.

PICTURE MOMMY DEAD is irresistible because it brings home the crazy and fries it up in a baroque, gold-plated pan. SUSAN GORDON (who’s father is incidentally the director of this fine flick, BERT I. GORDON, who also blessed our world with the tonally opposite FOOD OF THE GODS) plays Jan Brady-level crazy Susan Shelly. Our Susan has just spent some time in a convent that doubles as an insane asylum because she witnessed her mother’s tragic death by fire and was so traumatized that she blocked the whole thing out of her head! Am I salivating as I type this? She comes back home to her luxurious estate with her father (DON AMECHE!) and his new wife who is Susan’s ex-governess; a sneaky moneygrubber named Francene (MARTHA HYER). Turns out, if Susan looses her marbles or should happen to die her inheritance will go to her father, who could really use it because Francene has expensive tastes and has already spent his share of the dough! All right. I’m not really into inheritance drama but I am really into accusing dolls that sing, “The worms crawl in and the worms crawl out”, menacing stuffed animals, attacking falcons, paintings that bleed and or yell at you and giant-sized lurking groundskeepers with scars on their faces (Not necessarily in that order). Oh, and ZSA ZSA freakin’ GABORas a flaming ghost!

I hate to use the word “camp” because it sounds dismissive and yet it’s kind of unavoidable here. This is 1966 though and we should remember that folks acted like hysterical lunatics in most movies back then not just in low-budget horror flicks. Obviously everything was done here sincerely and not as a joke but it is funny– especially if you imagine the characters have no idea how insane they sound and are actually trapped in a surreally overstated melodramatic dimension they can’t escape. And I love the heavy-handed mommy and daddy issues; it’s rather like a powder puff version of HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME without all the awesome kills. In any case, the scene were the dolls begin to harass crazy Susan is now one of my favorite scenes in all of moviedom. I’m not kidding! It’s like three minutes of pure grade-A Kindertrauma. I almost overdosed! And as a matter of fact, this movie gave me crazy dreams. Any movie that can grant me trippy dreams can picture itself a pal of mine for life.

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Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

Sunday Viewing:: Shock Treatment (1981)

February 23rd, 2014 · 4 Comments

I’m guilty of not properly appreciating SHOCK TREATMENT until now. I own it on VHS only because it is one of those KEY videos with the rainbow stripes on the side and I love those because you can line them up and they look so pretty and can you believe I’m not forced to take medication? I have not given this one much of a thought since I saw it as a teen and I think I thought it was just weird back then. I also seem to recall a brief time period where my younger brother was very into the soundtrack and played it everyday and so, by no fault of my own, I partially know all of the songs because they poured through my wall.

Anyway, I decided to watch SHOCK TREATMENT the other night because the tape was in my face and I’ve decided I like it better than THE ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW which I’m guilty of not liking quite as much as I’m clearly supposed to. My preference is easily explained by the presence of JESSICA HARPER. Is anyone more beautiful than Jessica Harper? Beauty gets a bad rap these days because magazines are psychotic but I don’t think there is anything wrong in noting when someone is visually appealing. It’s kinda what art is all about. Well, some art. Also my ears are fond of HARPER’s deep voice and now I want to watch PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE right this second.

I’m pretending that SHOCK TREATMENT is a sequel to equally colorful SUSPIRIA rather than a sequel to ROCKY HORROR. I have decided that at the end of SUSPIRIA, Suzy Bannion has lost her mind and so she hallucinates that her name is Janet and she’s in a new wave musical. It could happen. Plus that makes more sense than MOTHER OF TEARS. You need a little SHOCK TREATMENT below.

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Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming