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Thank You, Wes Craven (1939 – 2015)

August 31st, 2015 · 12 Comments

Don’t you hate when you hear that somebody has died and then you go to sleep and later when you wake up you find out that they’re still dead? I do. Maybe I should consider a less passive course of action when confronting life’s unpleasantries but I swear, this sleeping and re-setting plan has worked on several occasions! In any case, I think Wes Craven would understand my logic. If you are a horror fan, I’m sure you’ve heard that yesterday Mr. Craven died. I urge you to seek out the words of those who actually knew him and worked with him. He was a true great and loved by many. All I have to offer is some remembrances of a lifetime of watching his films but luckily, around this joint, that’s what it’s all about. It would be virtually impossible to be a horror fan and to not be affected by his work.


This may not be Wes’ first film but it’s my first film of his. HILLS was a notorious late night staple in my house growing up back when there was six channels to choose from. Here in Philly I’m guessing it played after eleven on either Channel 17 or 48. The title alone would fill me with dread. I’m pretty sure I tapped out long before the end credits threatened to roll and I’m going to cite this movie as an early indicator that I worry about the safety of dogs more than I do human babies. Is that wrong?


As I recall, when this made-for-TV witch flick aired it was called A STRANGER IN OUR HOUSE but the big-boxd THORN EMI VHS tape I rented from STAGE DOOR video at the King of Prussia Mall called it SUMMER OF FEAR. This is one of my favorite Craven offerings and I suspect I’m not alone. Tame though it may be by horror standards this baby kicked off my life long love affair with both witch movies and usurper comeuppance flicks. LINDA BLAIR pouting in a fro with giant red blotches on her face is pretty much exactly what I picture my very soul looks like.


One of my earliest and fondest experiences seeing a horror film in the theater and yes, I snuck in. Full review HERE.


Ack. For years and years this was a very hard watch for me. For some strange reason even though this film is filled with brutal rape and murder the idea of a person being forced to pee in their own pants sticks out in my brain as the height of depravity. I can actually watch this movie fine now because I demystified it by reading a book about its making (by DAVID A. SZULKIN). The POV image used on some ads that featured the three attackers looking down upon the victim inspired a bunch of paintings I did in college (though I may have changed them to aliens) and even a Kindertrauma FULL HOUSE parody.


I had a horrendous drug experience as a teen. I can only pull it about half way out of the cupboard in my brain otherwise I’ll get freaked again. A friend and I were offered some pot and so we smoked it. We were then informed by the laughing psychotic who offered it to us that it was laced with angel dust. What then happened, for what seemed like forever, was hell on Earth complete with hallucinations and promises of death pouring out of the radio. It was an absolute nightmare and I think I got to experience my own death a couple hundred times that day. I tell you this because believe it or not, that experience was what came to my mind the first time I saw ANOES. Maybe I had post traumatic stress disorder or something but I assure you that I did not find Freddy Krueger a cute wise cracking anti-hero when I first met him. He scared the living daylights out of me. Freddy’s ability to bend reality and basically do whatever the hell he wanted (like fitting behind that tree! Like stretching his arms across an alley!), terrified me to no end and I basically half expected him to pop up in my very own, recently made unsafe dimension.


Wrote a review back HERE but mostly see above.

SCREAM and SCREAM 4 (1996 and 2011)

Yikes, that bad memory makes me want to wrap this up. In 1996 the horror genre was crying because it was basically in a boat not unlike the one it’s in today. Sure there’s always earnest and interesting indie fare guppies flopping about but who cares when you’re starving for a humongous game-changing fish? SCREAM was a serious breath of fresh air and even though it probably caused another rut to eventually come about, it also spurred a lot of great stuff too. All I know is that after I saw SCREAM I had to drag friends to see it too and that’s the best review I can give a movie. I don’t have to tell you about that opening scene! You know!

And I love SCREAM 4. The second one is darn good (besides the singing), I’m one of those people who don’t care for the third (Today I’ll blame the cinematographer) but I do love Part 4 (I probably explain why in this old review HERE and here’s an entire SCREAM-a-thon HERE.). I’m just sad (and a little greedy) that it’s his last.

Anyhoo, thanks for all the memories, Wes both good and bad and fond and not so fond. Craven brought so much to horror that nobody else could and he saw the value and meaning beyond the surface and made sure his audience did too. He was a chronically innovative artist and storyteller and he broke new ground and paved the way more times than he is given credit for. When he hit, he hit hard and when he missed he missed hard but the misses never stopped him from moving on and hitting that nail right smack on the head again like nobody else could. How many times did he revitalize the entire genre? What are we going to do without you Wes? Who will save us now?

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Tags: Caution: I break for geniuses! · Kinder-News

Christopher Lee 1922-2015

June 11th, 2015 · 2 Comments

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Tags: Kinder-News · Trauma-Daddies

Miley Cyrus Is Possessed.

August 30th, 2013 · 7 Comments

I know you’re sick of hearing about MILEY CYRUS and well you should be! What is the big deal? Anybody with even a cursory knowledge of horror films could tell you that the girl is simply possessed! She’s not the first and she won’t be the last. Get over it! It’s not like she can’t afford an exorcist and really, isn’t becoming possessed a natural part of growing up? People who view poor Miley’s behavior as some kind of calculated media manipulation need to educate themselves! Thank God I’m here to do just that. Here’s proof that Miley is possessed as illustrated by the always informative world of horror cinema…

PROTRUDING TOUNGUE. Sticking out your tongue in a provocative manner is the simplest way to let folks know that you are possessed! AMITYVILLE 2: THE POSSESSION (1982) is a fine example of this but really just about any possession movie will tell you the same!

STAIR SLITHER. Those possessed know that making an entrance is key and nothing leaves a more indelible mark than a creepy crawl down a staircase. One needn’t attempt a full EXCORCIST style crab walk to be effective; punished heathen Lucy’s crypt decent in BRAM STOKER’s DRACULA (1992), for example, looses no steam for being streamlined and straight forward.

DANCING TEDDY BEARS. Do your toys dance on their own accord? Congratulations you are possessed! Sometimes it is not your actions but the actions of the inanimate objects around you that determine how lost you are to possession. There are far too many examples of toys, dolls, teddy bears and other symbols of childhood coming to life in possession films (Not to mention THE WALTONS) for me to name them all so allow me to simply reference the doll in BROTHERHOOD OF SATAN (1971) and assume that title alone is enough to back my theory.

SATAN GOT BACK. Honestly I don’t know what the devil’s long recorded SIR MIX-A-LOT-like obsession with posteriors is all about. I suppose whatever gets the church folk in an uproar is worth his while. Satyr-horned Cyrus’ recent display of fanny fascination fits right in with the archfiend’s modus operandi. Maybe just count your blessings that a goat was not involved as depicted in THE ANTICHRIST aka THE TEMPTER (1974).

SIMULATED MASTURBATION. I probably do not need to remind you of little Regan’s disturbing repurposing of a crucifix in THE EXCORCIST (1973). Unless you’ve sprayed SCRUBBING BUBBLES directly into your ear, that’s still in your head. Miley doesn’t go quite that far but if she thinks wearing a foam finger will save her from the curse of hairy palms, she is mistaken. On the other hand what better way to communicate you are Satan’s #1 fan?

BODY COTORTIONS. Be real and admit that Miley’s twerking stance is basically just the backwards version of the torso origami showcased in THE LAST EXCORCISM (2010).

BODY MUTATION. When you are possessed your body can do crazy things that seem to go against the laws of nature. Your head can blow up like in THE BEAST WITHIN (1982), you can somehow stick a lipstick into your breast like in NIGHT OF THE DEMONS (1988) or your boobs can turn into monster faces like in MAUSOLEUM (1983)! In other words, if Miley doesn’t fit into her costume as well as she might- don’t blame her blame Satan!

SHAMELESS BEHAVIOR! Opinion has ranged from “Hey, that’s too sexy!” to “Hey that’s not sexy!” Dusty professional MADONNA sycophant CAMILLE PAGLIA even called MILEY’s performance “cringingly unsexy.” (Would-be pop stars take note: If you fail to deliver Jane Hathaway a lady boner, it isn’t art!) It’s as if disobedient CYRUS thought she could just wing it and have fun while Lady Gaga spent all her days practicing her precision SPROCKETS moves! This love it or leave it attitude and scandalous lack of shame over one’s physique can only bring to mind that rude scantily clad attic beast from [REC] (2007)! Don’t kids today realize empowerment requires flawless choreography and tailoring?

SEDUCTION OF MEN! If only there was some way to figure out why the first order of business for recently possessed gals is to seduce innocent older men! I know you must be thinking “ROBIN THICKE is not so much innocent as the dude that sang this past summer’s smash hit date rape anthem.” Yes, but don’t you understand that Satan speaks in symbols and codes? ROBIN THICKE is the son of ALAN THICKE and when you hear “son of ALAN THICKE” you subconsciously picture KIRK CAMERON, America’s greatest Christian! Oh Satan, you and your mocking trickery! How dare you!

O.K., now I’m just being facetious…but only half so. I truly think if you look under the hood of the hysterical outrage to CYRUS’s performance you’ll see the same engine that drives your standard possession film. Fear of female sexuality doesn’t even begin to cover it (though it’s a crucial start), something tells me CYRUS could be as sexy as she wanted to be as long as she respectfully emulated an approved icon like deceased exploited trainwreck MARILYN MONROE (see: MADONNA) or expressed the proper reverence and gratitude toward fame and commerce (see: LADY GAGA). Instead her entire shindig was a goofy, gangly, semi-bratty, free-spirited blow-off to the status quo and no, that’s not going to sit well with certain folks.

Because the real fear billowing up here (as in many a possession film) is the fear of uncontrollable youth, the fear of the next generation coming up to bat, the fear that they’ll stick their (foam) finger up at the boundaries we’ve drawn for them, the fear that they will not adopt and be loaded down by our collective neurosis as planned, the fear (resentment, really) of their freedom to make their own path where we were too meek to do so. The fear that they’ll have more fun than we allowed ourselves, the fear that we misspent our time worrying about the wrong things. This makes the older generation angry but more importantly, and stingingly, this makes the older generation…older (and “older” by the way, is super secret code for “closer to death”).

Damn, CYRUS’ Pan-tastic rite of passage ritual was a pagan dance on all of our graves! She even transformed 27-year old LADY GAGA into a haggard crone right before our eyes! Don’t believe me? check out this clip of GAGA‘s opening number…

(alright, maybe she can’t be blamed for that but still…) In any case, the point is there are plenty of things to be outraged, angry and scared of in this world and a young woman leaving behind childhood has never been nor ever should be one of them. I have little interest in MILEY’s musical output (I’m still trying to adapt to OLIVIA NEWTON JOHN’s “Physical” and SHEENA EASTON singing songs penned by PRINCE) but from what I’ve seen, each generation is slightly less ignorant and hateful than the one that came before it so I’m perfectly fine with MILEY and her contemporaries twerking to their hearts content. I say go for it… go for it, have fun and hail Satan!

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Tags: Caution: I break for geniuses! · Kinder-News · Kinder-Spotlight · Kinder-Topix · Kindertrauma Hair Club

They’re Back! Kindertrauma II: The Other Side

July 14th, 2013 · 17 Comments

Hey, look we’re back and better than ever! Well, actually that “better than ever” part isn’t accurate but the part about us being back is mostly true. Sorry we were away for so long. Our move turned out to be a great deal more arduous than expected. We had zero Internet for a time and then when we did get it back, I didn’t exactly welcome its return with open arms. I needed all the white plastic flakes in my snow globe brain to settle before I could even think about turning my computer on. I did play a great deal of Candy Crush on my phone though. I admit that. It didn’t help much and neither did imagining zillions of Chicken Little apocalyptic scenarios. Do they make thunder shirts for people? Why do dogs get all the luck?

Somewhere along the line I became morbidly obsessed with the Artax –sinking notion that my working hard on something and my not doing anything at all both produce uncannily similar results. Naturally this resulted in oblivion-seeking naps followed by more oblivion-seeking naps. Futility is the fluffiest pillow. Almost too late I realized the cause of my discombobulation, molasses-dipped ennui and dramatic Mathew Perry-style weight loss was my foolish decision to go cold turkey from my required dosage of trauma. No wonder my kilt was off-kilter! And so I return. Thanks for your patience stalwart kindertots and my apologies to anyone whose submissions were not processed promptly. Hopefully we’ll be running at full capacity soon! There’s still plenty of trauma gold in them there hills!

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Tags: Kinder Loves Mickster! · Kinder-News

Happy Memorial Day and Kinder- Hiatus Alert!

May 27th, 2013 · 7 Comments

Hope everybody out there is having an excellent Memorial Day! I have to give you a warning that things may be a little quiet around here for an undetermined amount of time. Here’s the thing, we are moving out of the Kindertrauma Kastle! Don’t worry we found some place older and darker and bigger and better! It even has a vestibule, the only thing I ever wanted! I decree that we will never move again and that I shall grow old and die at this new address! Isn’t that cool?

The rub is that there is so much packing etcetera to do that I need to focus and laser style. I’m going to be as nervous as a hermit crab between shells until we are in our new abode with all the hatches battened down! I’ll certainly post any and all traumafessions and “Name That Traumas!” that come in, but our reviews and regular features like Friday Funhouse and Sunday Streaming will have to be put on hold. Those suffering from acute trauma withdrawal are invited to explore our extensive archives and to LIKE us on Facebook HERE! Hang tight! We’ll be back to haunting the internet at full capacity before too long!

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Tags: Holidays · Kinder-News

Rondo Rally!

April 1st, 2013 · 3 Comments

Here at Kindertrauma we are very honored to have been nominated for best blog in the 11th annual Rondo Hatton Awards! Why not pretend that we never had a post titled “Help the Leprechaun catch Jennifer Aniston!” and jump over HERE and vote for us! Even if voting is not your thing, checking out that ballot is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with a bunch of stellar writers and blogs! We can’t possibly cover all of the nominees here, so allow me to spotlight a few fine folks who were generous enough to participate in our “It’s a Horror to Know You!” campaign! Good luck and congratulations to all these guys who were nice enough to stop by and share their expertise with us! It’s a horror to be nominated with all of you!

It’s a Horror to Know: J.M. Cozzolia of Zombo’s Closet!

It’s a Horror to Know: Christine Hadden of Fascination with Fear!
(And a special happy fifth Anniversary to Fascination With Fear!)

It’s a Horror to Know: John Squires of Freddy in Space!

It’s a Horror to Know: Brittney–Jade Colangelo of Day of the Woman!

It’s a Horror to Know: The Mike of From Midnight with Love!

It’s a Horror to Know: Jaako of Groovy Age of Horror!

And as always, everyone is invited to participate in It’s a Horror to Know You! Just respond to the questions as these folks have done and send your answers to Kindertrauma@gmail.com! We’d like to have the horror of knowing you too!

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Tags: It's a Horror to Know You! · Kinder-News

Kinder-News:: Drew Daywalt’s The Hurting Man

February 14th, 2013 · No Comments

UNK SEZ: Listen to this great news! Our old pal DREW DAYWALT has just signed a deal to direct the horror feature THE HURTING MAN based on his own original script and executive produced by LARRY FESSENDEN of THE HABIT and THE LAST WINTER fame! This is from the press release:

THE HURTING MAN follows the story of a police officer who tragically finds his family murdered after a failed 911 call and now must work to save their souls from a demonic boogieman haunting his childhood home.

“I wrote this script and kept it close to my chest,” says Daywalt, “ because this one was written from my own worst terrors, both as a parent of small children, and also tapping into my own childhood fears of a hideously costumed boogieman. This one’s going to scare the hell out of everyone. I promise. I can say that because it really scares me, and I’m letting my fear guide me on this one.”

Says Fessenden, “There’s a certain kind of genuinely terrifying old-school-campfire scare that Daywalt gets right in his Fear Factory gems and I can’t wait to see him nail those chills in a long form film.”

This is exciting news for any horror fan familiar with DREW‘s fantastic previous work! Make sure you keep up to date by liking the film’s Facebook Page HERE. And keep yours eyes out for his soon to be unleashed flick THE PASSENGERS which sounds equally kindertraumatic! In the meantime, it’s always a good time for this DAYWALT classic…

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Tags: Kinder-News

Kinder-News:: Silent Night is Coming to Town

November 26th, 2012 · 8 Comments

UNK SEZ: My apologies if you have already heard about this but just in case you missed it, yours truly and Kindertrauma appeared in yesterday’s New York Times in an article about the upcoming remake of SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT! Check it out HERE! SILENT NIGHT stars MALCOLM McDOWELL and JAIME KING and will be available on December 4th!

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Tags: Kinder-Link · Kinder-News

I’m Stevie Wayne and I Approve this Message…

November 6th, 2012 · 2 Comments

Ahoy maties! It’s your nightlight Stevie Wayne here reminding you that today is Election Day, so make sure you get out and VOTE! It’s not KAB practice to endorse any one candidate but how about doing your old pal Stevie a favor and voting for the person you truly believe is less likely to use a misleading fire as a beacon to lure a ship of unfortunate lepers to their watery death in order to plunder their gold? Trust me on this. It may not seem like a big deal right now but in my experience, future generations reap what their predecessors sow.

Like I said, I can’t tell you who to- hold on! Wait! I see something on the horizon! Could it be…??? Ah, no, it’s nothing. I thought I saw some fog out there! Come to think of it, there hasn’t been much of that stuff around here lately. Antonio Bay is by no means perfect but I have to say it’s been a lot less foggy the last, what… four years or so? I hardly remember what it’s like to have my tape recorder scream about an albatross and explode into flames and this single mom likes it that way. Anyway, that’s off the subject. Point is, get out there and do your part as a citizen!

In addition, councilwoman Kathy Williams has asked me to urge you to donate to the Sandy relief fund. She’s been begging for relief from Sandy for years.

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Tags: Kinder-News

Happy Birthday Kindertrauma!

September 30th, 2012 · 10 Comments

It’s the last day of September and that means it’s Kindertrauma’s birthday. We usually allow the date to pass without any horn tooting but this year is different because it’s our big fifth anniversary! Yep, it was precisely half a decade ago that the very first Kindertrauma post appeared! Fittingly our inaugural subject matter concerned a birthday, the birthday of one Elizabeth Walton as depicted in an episode of THE WALTONS entitled “The Changeling”. Looking back, the “article” itself is nothing more than an annoyingly flippant, poorly illustrated, sketchy synopsis but hey, ya gotta start somewhere! We may have been wet (soaked) behind the ears but nobody can accuse us of ever being confused about what we wanted to focus on. Let everybody else feign coolness and pretend that their attraction to the genre is due their being so brave, dark and counterculture. We knew the unspoken truth; that inside every insatiable horror fan there was a kid with his hands covering his eyes begging for the light to be left on.

Or maybe that’s just me. I was 11 when “The Changeling” first aired on October 26, 1978. I had been dabbling with horror movies for some time and had no reason to think that the pre-Halloween episode would be anything I couldn’t handle. Right I was…for the most part. Floating rocking chairs and inexplicable walking dolls were relatively benign occurrences and it was not as if anybody was physically harmed or that things didn’t go back to normal when the episode closed. Yet still…the creeps. There was something WRONG with Elizabeth Walton. For so long she was the cute, youngest, adored child and then suddenly she wasn’t. It was if growing older made all her inadequacies rise to the surface. She became a magnet for cruddy things and as a kid getting older, I related. My older brothers were developing new interests that left me in the dust and my parents began looking at me like I broke a vase with every step I took. Like Elizabeth, I didn’t want to grow up. From what I could tell, it sucked. It wasn’t the piano playing by itself that freaked me out, it was the fact that I identified with the alienation poor Elizabeth couldn’t scrape off her shoe. If she was cursed then I was cursed too. I was a little over twice as old as this website and I wasn’t worried ghosts would harm me so much as I dreaded they might expose me as deficient and rotten to the core. Good times.

Anyway, It wasn’t long before we started getting some baffling heavy-traffic connected to our very first post! Yay! People must like what we’re doing! Sadly and yet somewhat hilariously, trailing the links back to their source exposed the opposite appraisal. Fans of THE WALTONS were outraged! The WALTONS board was NOT having Kindertrauma. “It is unbelievable the disgusting garbage and filth that is on the internet. This vulgar and obscene website should be eliminated!” Huh? What now? “It is by far the worst thing I have ever read.” Really? “Oh my God! How rude could this person get!” Rude? I reread the article a billion times trying to decipher what spurred the umbrage but to no avail. Geez, maybe I really was just a bad apple and like Elizabeth’s poltergeists, only true WALTONS fans could sniff me out!

But wait, there’s another story connected to our first post that I think tells a larger truth about Kindertrauma and serves eleven-year-old me some redemption as well. I had a very difficult time finding an image to accompany that first piece. There was nothing on YouTube, at the time, to capture and Google came up all kinds of empty-handed…

I had about given up when I came across something strange. It was an artist’s installation based on the episode. It involved a person lying in bed next to a TV that showed Elizabeth’s rag doll walking about in a loop. Wow “The Changeling” inspired somebody else as much as me and I was able to grab a shot of the doll via the tiny video! Fast forward three plus years and Kindertrauma begins receiving encouraging emails from one STACY PERSHALL (Buy her book!). We became quick friends as she was obviously a kindred spirit and eventually she even came to visit. While talking about the shows that left a mark on our youth the subject of “The Changeling” reared its head. As it turned out, my new pal STACY was the very person who made that installation I encountered years before and inadvertently had a hand in our original post. Point being, enraged WALTONS fans or no, Kindertrauma’s existence had permanently altered the way I viewed “The Changeling.” Maybe there was something strange and weird and off about Elizabeth but I was dead wrong in thinking she (or I) was alone.

So here is where I thank everybody who ever contributed to and has supported Kindertrauma over the years. I started a list of names but it truly would be impossibly long and I can’t stand the idea of leaving anybody out. You all know who you are and we acknowledge and are proud of the fact that we’d be nothing without you.

I’d also like to thank our readers and commenters for being so remarkably consistent in respecting each others opinions and personal experiences and keeping this joint a drama-free zone, It’s really an anomaly on the internet and quite impressive for such a “vulgar and obscene” website! Happy Birthday to us and Happy Birthday to ALL of you. Stay tuned. And check back often. Tomorrow is October first and we’ve only just begun.

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Tags: Holidays · Kinder-News