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Entries from December 2007

New Year’s Evil

December 31st, 2007 · 2 Comments

hot for teacher!

Diane Sullivan (ROZ KELLY, best remembered for her short-lived role as FONZIE’s love interest PINKY TUSCADERO on HAPPY DAYS), the self-proclaimed, high priestess of the presumably UHF-watching punk rock set, is the flame-haired hostess of a New Year’s Eve countdown show on a channel in the higher range of the television dial. Better known to her legions of alternative fans by her super-punk (cough) stage name BLAZE, Sullivan is more concerned with her camera time than the whereabouts of her drunk husband and the general welfare of her odd-looking, adult actor son who just landed a part on some sort of pilot. The show must go on, and BLAZE takes the stage to grind up on the lead guitarist of her televised house band, lord over the studio pogo pit, and take live phone calls from the losers stuck watching her show. (more…)

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Tags: Repeat Offenders

Kids in Horror Films :: The Best of 2007

December 30th, 2007 · 1 Comment

hot for teacher!

You know we love to talk about the movies that scared you as a kid, but don’t forget that here at KINDERTRAUMA we’ve got our eyes peeled for kids in horror films in general, and 2007 brought a fine bounty of critters who face horrific obstacles and/or are horrific obstacles themselves. Here is our list of favorites from 2007. Please let us know in the comments if there are any that we forgot and remember, watch where your tread there are spoilers ahead!

  • JACK KETCHUM’S THE GIRL NEXT DOOR
    Take away the fact that this movie is a nearly unwatchable, soul-destroying slip and slide ride into an endless abyss that will have you scrambling to piece together not only your will to live, but your tattered faith in humanity and it’s a pretty good flick. It’s certainly a faithful adaptation, though whether that’s a good or bad thing, I have yet to come to terms with it. The entire young cast deserves accolades, if not for their more than competent work, than for simply not committing suicide midway through production. At 22, BLYTH AUFARTH is far from a child actress, but she should be singled out for her unflinchingly brave performance as the tortured title character especially when her peers are busy playing amputated strippers.
  • THEM (ils)
    By mentioning this film on this list I have spoiled it’s secret surprise ending. “Them” are a bunch of kids who murder and terrorize for sport in this French import based on a true story. The fact is, we take a “You snooze, you loose” attitude here at Kindertrauma. I know it hurts, I wanted to be surprised by the retro-cylons in BATTLESTAR GALACTICA: RAZOR and some web site blew that for me. But don’t be angry; just think off all the subtitles I just saved you from reading.
  • ROB ZOMBIE’S HALLOWEEN
    DAEG FAERCH, whose name I’ve typed so many times this year that I can almost spell it correctly without Google aid, had the daunting task of playing the young version of the slasher world’s most honored icon. Even if you’ve seen the theatrical and bootleg cuts, do yourself a favor and watch that spiffy new unrated edition. I was already impressed with the lil’ squirt’s interpretation, but the new version has some great black and white hand-held Loomis-cam footage that cinches the deal.
  • WHISPER (aka HELLION)
    This doomed to DVD troubled production fails on many accounts, but has its heart in the right place and more than enough going for it to sustain interest. A great set up, “What if you accidentally kidnapped a devil kid?” garnished with excellent supporting players (like HENRY’s MICHAEL ROOKER) and topped off with the awe inspiring cinematography of DEAN CUNDY (HALLOWEEN, THE THING). Sure, it’s all a bit unconvincing but it blows last year’s OMEN remake out of the water thanks to devil kid BLAKE WOODRUFF’s knowingly sly delivery.
  • 28 WEEKS LATER
    MACINTOSH MUGGLETON plays the part of a normal kid with a normal name, but his life is anything but. In this quiet domestic drama, Andy finds out his mother is half zombie and his dad is about to follow her lead. How do people who love each other stay together when the people they love are no longer the people that they love?… Nah! just kidding, there are no zombies in this movie, just speedy red-eyed RAGE virus freakos!
  • JOSHUA
    What happens when you cross arthouse with grindhouse? Joshua the creepy kid tries to kill SAM ROCKWELL’s baby! Or at least it seems that way at first. Actually little Joshy (JACOB KOGAN) has much more elaborate plans that include turning everyone around him ape-shit bonkers. His work is more subtle than most child maniacs, but you gotta respect the fact that he offers a homeless man 5 dollars if he’ll let him throw a rock at him, and that he closes the film belting out an impromptu show tune about his misdeeds.
  • THE MIST
    Apparently I only ruin French movies because my lips are sealed on this tragically ignored future classic. Suffice it to say, the ending will blow you away and that young NATHAN GAMBLE participates in a scene that happily breaks every law of American cinema.
  • KID NATION
    O.K. this is not a horror movie, it’s not even a movie, and some would say it’s not even a proper television show, but c’mon we needed some more gals in our class [Note to Hollywood: Where have all the killer girls gone? Get on that!] and who is cooler than SOPHIA? Casting agents get to work, and redeem yourselves by tapping the talents of this TATUM O’NEAL-like, wise beyond her years, super-star waiting to happen! Stick her in MIST 2: THE AFTERMATH, or even 28 MONTHS LATER, just make it happen!

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Tags: Traumatots

TRAUMAFESSIONS :: Reader Daniel on The Man Who Saw Tomorrow

December 29th, 2007 · 3 Comments

i can see tomorrow

This isn’t technically about a movie. It’s about a documentary, which ran on Cinemax or HBO, called THE MAN WHO SAW TOMORROW. The documentary was narrated by ORSON WELLES, which is creepy enough.

It was about 1982, I was about 10 years old. I must have been at that very impressionable age, but this movie changed my life. The show started out saying that all Nostradamus’ prophecies had come true: He’d predicted Napoleon, the US revolutionary war, Lincoln’s assassination, Hitler and the Holocaust, Hiroshima, and the JFK assassination. So I had to believe that this guy was legit!

(more…)

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Tags: Traumafessions

TRAUMAFESSIONS :: Reader Renee on The Night of the Living Dead

December 28th, 2007 · 3 Comments

In the summer of 1969 my twin sister and I were nine years old. My father took us to the drive in for a double feature: WILLARD and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. I thought it was bad enough that the mean teenaged boys made rat noises when we walked to the concession stand during intermission, but that was nothing compared to how I felt when my father drove us through a cemetery on the way home and pretended to run out of gas. We screamed and screamed and screamed. To this day he insists that was the best way home, but we had never seen that cemetery before that night, and we never drove through it again. I can’t watch NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD (a personal favorite) without chuckling over that memory.

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Tags: Traumafessions

Nightmares

December 27th, 2007 · 4 Comments

This mid-eighties anthology offering is an entertaining excursion for those who prefer their chills ala cart. Dropping the usual wrap around story, we begin with a familiar tale based on an urban legend that has found its way into several other movies in one form or another. A woman, a car, a gas station attendant (here played by genre staple WILLIAM SANDERSON); hoary for sure, but it’s not without built in suspense. The second story has become the film’s calling card. EMILIO ESTEVEZ stars (along side CUJO’s BILLY JACOBY) as a video game addict whose quest to reach the 13th level of a game called BISHOP OF BATTLE leads him to a then impressive effects-driven showdown with digital enemies that spew out of the old school arcade game. Next up, LANCE HENDRICKSON is a priest who has lost his faith and is forced to relive the plot of DUEL with a black truck whose driver’s identity is only hinted at with an upside down crucifix in place of fuzzy dice. The final story brings two more familiar faces for horror fans, the always amazing VERONICA CARTWRIGHT (ALIEN) and RICHARD MASUR (J.C’s THE THING). This often bickering married couple have a young daughter (sadly deceased SAVANNAH SMILES starlet BRIDGETTE ANDERSON) who has been voicing concern about a growing rat problem and wondering what became of her beloved cat Rosie. Veronica brings on her usual hysterics and even an exterminator in the form of FAME’s Mr. Shorofsky (ALBERT HAGUE) but to no avail. Early glimpses of the oversized red-eyed menace are effective, but the final reveal of a blue-screened mouse begging for her deceased offspring busts a hole in the bubble. More a fun diversion than a full horror meal, NIGHTMARES still has its followers and not all of them favor EMILIO’s video adventure.

INDELIBLE SCENE(S):

  • FEAR’s LEE VING makes a cameo
  • Even the sexy whiles of MOON UNIT ZAPPA can’t distract our EMILIO!
  • Hooray, one of the evil video monsters is an obvious homage to Centipede!
  • The devil truck emerges from under the earth
  • The rat rips apart all of the little girl’s stuffed animals EXCEPT the one that looks like a mouse. MRS. FRISBY represent!

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Tags: Repeat Offenders

The Children

December 26th, 2007 · 5 Comments


Following a nuclear leak of some sort at the Yankee Power Company, a sulfur-colored cloud wafts past a covered bridge in the small town of Ravensack and engulfs a busload of school children singing annoying songs. After the cloud clears, Sheriff Billy Hart (GIL ROGERS) happens upon the now abandoned bus, and the search for the missing kids begins. The kids aren’t really missing, however, they’ve just mutated into black nail polish wearing zombies with a penchant for incinerating people to death via hugs. As the children leave a trail of victims in their adorable wake, the Sheriff joins forces with parents John and Cathy Freemont (MARTIN SHAKAR & GALE GARNETT) to track down the toxic tykes. [Editor’s Note: GARNETT is the folk-song stylist responsible for the hit We’ll Sing in the Sunshine, and also voiced Francesca in Kindertrauma-fave MAD MONSTER PARTY]. While the Sheriff and her husband are driving around and finding a bunch of burnt bodies, the very pregnant Cathy kicks back and enjoys a cigarette to calm her jangled nerves. The trio eventually reconvenes at the Freemont household for the final showdown, where it is discovered that the children are impervious to sawed-off shotguns and, for some amusing reason, can only be killed when their nail polish slathered hands are hacked off with a machete. The children do put up a pretty good fight, with their hugging and squeezing, and do manage to take out the Sheriff before John hacks the mitts of the last little zombie. No sooner than you can say, “Honey, our one son is dead, and, oh yeah… I just killed our zombie daughter,” Cathy goes into labor, and John assists in the prolonged, scream-punctuated home delivery. Just when you think calm has been restored to the Freemont home, a gratuitous close-up of Cathy breastfeeding reveals black nail polish on the fingers of the newborn suckling her teat.

INDELIBLE SCENE(S) :

  • The inexplicably cunt-tastic Dr. Gould is hugged to death in the graveyard
  • The repeated, pre-HELEN LOVEJOY use of the phrase, Think of the children!
  • Cathy sneaking the aforementioned butt. They really don’t make pre-natal/pro-smoking movies like this anymore
  • Zombie baby breastfeeding!
  • If the music in this film sounds familiar, it’s because it was scored by HENRY MANFREDINI, who was working on the soundtrack to FRIDAY THE 13TH at the same time. There is a lot of musical overlap between the two films

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Tags: Kids Who Kill

TRAUMAFESSIONS :: Reader Mickster on Frosty the Snowman

December 25th, 2007 · 2 Comments

 

I was just watching FROSTY THE SNOWMAN for the millionth time this evening and remembered how it traumatized me as a child. The part where Professor Hinkle locks Frosty in the greenhouse to melt made me cry every year. I just knew he was melted forever and I was crushed. Also, Santa took his sweet time explaining that Frosty would be okay.

Thanks Mickster for the great Traumafession! And thanks to all who have sent in traumafesssions this year, you are the magic hats that keep Kindertrauma alive! Happy holidays to you all from Uncle Lancifer and Aunt John!

seasons beatings!

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Tags: Traumafessions

The Star Wars Holiday Special

December 24th, 2007 · 2 Comments

How does one measure the traumatic effect of adrenaline-fueled anticipation followed by sheer unadulterated soul crushing disappointment? For the pint-sized nerds in training who were unfortunate enough to witness the lone broadcast of THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL the level of utter bewilderment it inspired created a life long scar and initiated them forever into the ranks of the walking wounded. Imagine the cruelty of discovering Lucas’s fantastic universe only to watch it be savagely debased by LAND OF THE LOST level special effects and a DONNY AND MARIE SHOW level cavalcade of bottom feeder guest stars. I actually believe that this much bootlegged atrocity has the power to drive the viewer insane. It is a viscous slap in the face of all that is rational and is the equivalent of a pixelated k hole. Grotesque dance numbers that would have been rejected from SOLID GOLD are sandwiched between scenes of a Wookie family being terrorized by storm troopers and sub moronic HARVEY KORMAN sketches. If you are strong enough to make it to the finale that involves CARRIE FISHER singing to the original film’s theme, you will be rewarded with a montage of footage from the classic film as a sort of nasty taunt of the world you’ve left behind. Some of this spaceship wreck is indeed hilarious, and modern viewers will find much to laugh at, but I guarantee you, that laugh will slowly die and be replaced by a growing fear that there is something very, very wrong in the universe.
INDELIBLE SCENE(S):

  • Unbearable dialogue-free opening consists of what seems like hours of nonsensical Wookie speak that sounds like a donkey being beaten to death by a 2×4
  • Grandpa Itchy’s holiday gift entails virtual DIANE CARROL porn
  • Crazy-making miniature Cirque de Soliel dance number
  • Imperial guard can’t resist tapping his fingers to JEFFERSON STARSHIP
  • BEA ARTHUR is cruised by HARVEY KORMAN at Mos Eisley Cantina and delivers a song that clears the house.
  • BEA reveals a clandestine relationship with an alien; “Short memory eh Thorpe?…SHORT MEMORY!” (Understandably, Thorpe appears to have blocked this drunken indiscretion from his mind).

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Tags: Telenasties

Christmas Evil (a.k.a. You Better Watch Out!)

December 23rd, 2007 · No Comments

After seeing Mommy get her freak on with Santa Claus, Harry Stadling (BRANDON MAGGART) develops into an emotionally crippled man obsessed with all things Christmas. By day, Harry works in middle management at the Jolly Dream toy factory (“Remember, if it’s not a Jolly Dream, it’s not worth having!”), and by night he maintains meticulous notes on the good and bad doings of the neighborhood children. Moss Garcia, a bratty little boy on Harry’s radar, is relegated to the naughty list for having impure thoughts and “negative body hygiene.” While watching the Macy’s Day Parade, Harry begins his descent into yuletide madness, and crafts a traditional Saint Nick outfit out of plush red fabric, ample thigh padding, and fur trimmings. He slathers his face with gum spirits, applies the requisite snow-white beard and mustache, and sets out on Christmas Eve to distribute toys to kids at the Willowy Springs Hospital in a white raper van with a sleigh painted on the side. After dropping off the toys, Harry spends the rest of the evening giving people what he feels they deserve. For the good boys and girls, it’s toys; for the bad grown-ups, it’s axes to the forehead, throats slashed with tree toppers, and eyes gouged out with toy soldiers. On Christmas Day, Harry is cornered by a crowd a townspeople, and one of the cinema’s best chase scenes involving a mob with torches pursuing a soot-covered maniac dressed as Santa Claus driving a beat up van ensues. Definitely more of a black comedy than a Santa slasher flick, CHRISTMAS EVIL is grounded by MAGGART‘s masterfully understated performance. He makes the homicides seem justified since the victims were definitely naughty, and that’s pretty nice in my book.

INDELIBLE SCENE(S):

  • Young Harry cuts himself with a snow globe after catching Mom & Santa under the tree
  • Toy soldier to eye!
  • Harry’s impromptu X-Mas polka at the VWF post
  • The Christmas broach Harry takes to the face
  • The closing scene where Harry drives off the bridge… you should see that white raper van fly!

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Tags: Repeat Offenders

Top 10 Least Loved RANKIN & BASS Characters

December 21st, 2007 · 3 Comments

Yea, yea, yea, we get it, Rankin and Bass created a Christmas staple with RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, and SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN is probably the best origin story Kris Kringle will ever receive. Even the somewhat lesser YEAR WITHOUT A SANTA CLAUS introduced two original characters in the form of misers Heat and Snow that have become universally loved generational touchstones. But for every appreciated addition to the Christmas lexicon there are a half dozen more that garnered a resounding, “Thanks, but no thanks” from discerning tots. Rankin and Bass, apparently high off earlier successes (or something else) took a “throw every conceivable holiday and childhood icon against the wall and see what sticks” attitude in later productions that left television airwaves riddled with some of the most annoying and unwanted characters in history.We apologize in advance if you are insane enough to feel any love for the following…
10. Tingler, the sound imp from LIFE AND ADVENTURES OF SANTA CLAUS. He brays like a goat and is useless when battling the Orc-like “Awgwas”. ADVENTURES was based on a book by OZ scribe L. FRANK BAUM but does all a disservice by negating everything that transpired in SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN. Being accused by Christian groups as being Satanic is usually enough to keep a program on our good side, but Tingler’s harlequin bells remind us of the dastardly troll in CAT’S EYE, so here he sits!
9. Drunk Leprechaun from LEPRECHAUNS CHRISTMAS GOLD. We admit that rampant alcoholism is as important to the holidays as inappropriate mistletoe behavior and re-gifting, but these greedy magical lushes have their OWN holiday already! Plus the color green is more than adequately represented on X-mas, thank you.
8. Sister Jean from FIRST CHRISTMAS SNOW. A nun’s habit is like the international symbol for brain numbing boredom to any normal child. Throw in lightening inflicted blindness and feral wolves for the perfect holiday feel bad downer.
7. Miss Lilly Loraine (ETHEL MERMAN) from RUDOLPH AND FROSTY’S CHRISTMAS IN JULY. With her inadequately explained ability to fly, inappropriate bust line, and penchant for belting out a song about her dissatisfying love life, this circus person comes off like a familiar sad relative who hides her chronic loneliness behind a mask of bawdy, out of date, self-deprecating humor.
6. Jack Frost from FROSTY’S WINTER WONDERLAND. As far as arch villains go, this bitter jealous old queen is about as threatening as a PROJECT RUNWAY judge. Luckily Frosty’s wife Crystal (SHELLY WINTERS) knows the secret to disarming sociopathic egomaniacs like Miss Frost; a couple empty sycophantic compliments and he’s blue putty in her frozen hands!
5. Celebrating the zero-wattage star power of GEORGE GOBEL, ‘TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS takes place in the always snore-filled olden-timey days. It’s most annoying character is by far the intolerable, bespecled mouse Albert. Like many Christmas nay-sayers, Albert is preoccupied with useless subjects like science and reality, and with one scathing dis of a letter is able to make the usually reliable Saint Nick throw in the towel for good. In the R& B tradition everyone involved in this production has dental problems.
4. RUDOLPH’S HAPPY NEW YEAR concerns our red-nosed pal’s search for missing baby “Happy” whose gargantuan ears cause ridicule wherever he crawls. Characters like caveman O.M. (short for One Million) give him a run for his money, but with his constant stupefied expression, WILLIAM KATT hair-don’t and monstrous overbite, “Happy” takes the prize for least lovable being in this barrel scraper.
3. Like all chronic people-pleasers, Pinnoccio from PINOCCHIO’S CHRISTMAS is a habitual liar. His self obsession and preoccupation with becoming real is about as entertaining as a snow bank melting. The inescapable phallic symbolism of his uncontrollable olfactory organ and dud songs like “Knock on Wood” exasperate what’s already a holiday must-miss.
2. Cribbing desperately from the far superior Rudolph story, Nester of NESTER THE LONG EARED DONKEY is another sad sack that is ripped to shreds by everybody until the fateful day they find some selfish use for him. This depressing nightmare even includes a scene in which Nester’s mother freezes to death on top of him while trying to protect him from a severe snow storm. As far as holiday fun goes, you might as well watch REQUIEM FOR A DREAM.
1. Give it up!, JACK FROST is not a viable Christmas character! He sucked as a bad guy in that Frosty toon (#6), and he stinks as a protagonist in this clunker! From its obnoxious trying too hard opening theme that consists of various shots of Jack, arms akimbo laughing his head off about God knows what, this lump of coal is the most repellent of the R&B specials. Even if we could stomach the SANDY DUNCAN-like shenanigans of its titular star, there’s no excuse for killjoy BUDDY HACKET as a narrating groundhog!

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Tags: Repeat Offenders