Let’s take a field trip over to DANGEROUS MINDS! That cool joint is interviewing our pal AMANDA REYES about her upcoming book entitled ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE? A TV MOVIE COMPENDIUM 1964-1999! Amanda gives an overview of some of the shiniest jewels in the TV Movie universe and the full flicks are even included so you can catch what you might have missed! It’s everything you could possibly want besides an egg salad sandwich and a frosty Yoo-hoo! After you’ve read the post go mow a lawn and save some money to buy that book! Even if yours truly didn’t contribute a tiny portion to it, your favorite shelf would be begging for that lovely tome to sit on it! Jump on over HERE! These TV Movie classics can’t watch themselves!
January 3rd, 2017 · 1 Comment
December 24th, 2016 · 4 Comments
This is a public service announcement created to inform you that the classic 1972 TV-movie HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is secretly available on DVD! The indispensable gem is discreetly hanging out in one of those cheap-o twenty movie combo packs you might easily overlook at your local Walmart! Check out the cover below and scan it into your brain for future reference…
This is important news for folks like me who watch this movie every December and have been concerned that their VHS tape is become increasingly exhausted. I watched this very DVD last night and the flick looks the best I’ve ever seen it. It might not be up to the meticulous standards of the more persnickety collectors but I wouldn’t count on a better release before the Apocalypse. Personally, I like a couple scratches and dust particles floating around when I’m watching a TV movie. It adds flavor! It’s rustic, and weathered and all kinds of shabby chic! Here are a few screen shots to give you an idea …
In case you didn’t know, HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is wonderfully atmospheric, takes place during Christmas time and operates much like your favorite paranoid mystery killer slasher flick (which it probably predates). Sure it’s a little dry in the blood department but who cares when you’re hanging out with the likes of THE HAUNTING’s JULIE HARRIS, PLAY MISTY FOR ME’s JESSICA WALTER and SYBIL’s one and only SALLY FIELD! Not only that, It was written by JOSEPH STEPHANO of PSYCHO fame and directed by JOHN LLEWELLYN MOXEY who crafted the stellar classic HORROR HOTEL! Why, I could go on and on and in fact I do go on and on about this favorite flick in the upcoming book ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE? A TV MOVIE COMPENDIUM edited by MADE FOR TV MAYHEM’s globetrotting AMANDA REYES which you can preorder right HERE!!!
I realize I’m delivering this information kinda late. How are you supposed to secure this DVD in time for Xmas? Don’t fret! HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS is available (albeit in a fuzzier state) on YouTube and you can sample it out below. Don’t worry; we can be friends if you don’t like it. We just can’t be GOOD friends. More importantly, Happy Christmas Eve to you fine folks! Drink stuff!
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.
THE HILLS HAVE EYES (1977)
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?
SUMMER OF FEAR (1978)
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.
DEADLY BLESSING (1981)
One of my earliest and fondest experiences seeing a horror film in the theater and yes, I snuck in. Full review HERE.
LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972)
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.
A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET (1984)
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.
NEW NIGHTMARE (1994)
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?
June 11th, 2015 · 2 Comments
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!
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!
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!
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!
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…
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!