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Traumafessions :: Reader Jenny M. on the VHS Cover of Bloodsucking Freaks

August 19th, 2008 by aunt john · 10 Comments

As a child, I really had no restrictions as to what I could watch on T.V. or as video stores opened up what I could rent.  I do remember at the age of 8 being terrified of the MANIAC trailer every time it came on T.V. and when I finally saw it at 14; it is now one of my favorite horror movies.  When we got cable, my brother and I could watch every horror movie on HBO or Showtime and it is because of that I have a love for horror to this day.

Now I can’t remember what age I was when I kept seeing the tape for BLOODSUCKING FREAKS.  All I know is that the cover scared the shit out of me and I was always drawn to it every time we went in to rent something.   It was the picture of the director JOEL M. REED on the back of the box that scared me too death, but I couldn’t put it down every time I went to that video store.  My dad would say, “Do you want to rent it this time?” I would always say, “No.” I think I finally got the nerve to rent it with my boyfriend who is now my husband and I was 25 at the time.  I now know it was a piece of crap and JOEL REED wasn’t even in it, just on the cover.   It really is a joke of a movie with bad effects and bad acting.   It was his sinister grin that to this day gives me the chills.  He is so creepy looking.

Anyway I would love to thank my parents for not being restrictive on what my brother and I could watch when we were younger and that is why I have such a love for horror.   We both turned out normal from all of the stuff we saw. I would also like to thank my mom for renting I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE for me when I was 15 after I asked her to bring back anything horror.   It has remained one of my favorite movies due to CAMILLE KEATON‘s performance.  If my mom only knew what she had rented for me that day I am sure she would not have rented it.  She said she thought the title was cool.

I cannot wait until my 3-year-old son is old enough to share my love for horror.   He has been to several conventions and has his own CHUCKY doll, so I hope he follows in my footsteps.

UNK SEZ: Great traumafession Jenny. We’ve been talking a lot around here about age appropriateness and horror films lately. I’d like to think kids with open, loving parents who are involved in their lives are pretty durable and you (and your mom) sound like a fine example of that. Color me jealous, I didn’t get my first Chucky doll till I was in my twenties! (thanks for the swell b-day gift Kip and Sheri!)

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10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 FoxNo Gravatar // Aug 19, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    This is a great Traumafession.  I’m still kind of traumatized by this cover.  And I still haven’t seen the movie.  Is i worth it???
    And, Jenny M., I mean this with all due respect, but this kinda Traumatized me:
     My dad would say, “Do you want to rent it this time?”

    When I was 12, my dad was still renting us Baby : Secret of the Lost Legend.

  • 2 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // Aug 19, 2008 at 4:07 pm

    After I read this traumafession, I spoke to a co-worker about what is an appropriate age for watching horror. For me, my parents really gave me free reign on what I was exposing myself too, only they asked what it was I was watching and kept up on it. They never told me no, but after my first encounter with Halloween (age 8), they suggested I might be to young for it. I think the idea was to plant the seed and let me make the choice to not watch it. After a couple of other horror movies I was done until my mid-teens.

    This doesn’t count made for tv movies though. I was all over that shit!

    For my friend and co-worker, he went to movies that were non-horror (he avoided horror movies like the plague) but ended up seeing movies just as shocking. I mean, he came of age in the 70s, and was exposed to Taxi Driver at a very young age. Like, he told me he thought it would be a fun movie because of Foster in Bugsy Malone. Well, no need to tell you, he was scarred!!!

    I was also put off by the weird box art for Bloodsucking Freaks and then put of more by the movie, which is horrible. I’ve seen it twice. Once with a boyfriend who laughed a little too much when the women were tortured and then again with a group of girlfriends at a midnight theatrical screening. Then it was a lot more fun. We actually worked with this girl who was basically a midget and really annoying so my friend used to call her Ralphus, which still gives me a giggle even all these years later. Ah, retail!

  • 3 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Aug 19, 2008 at 6:12 pm

    Thanks for bringing up “Baby: secret of the lost legend” a dinosaur AND Sean Young how can you go wrong?

    You reminded me of a factor that I keep forgetting to throw into the equation as far as this “how young is too young?” question goes and that is that the genre is soooo diverse. I think I take sort of a knee jerk defensive stance on the subject because it seems people try to paint all horror films as detrimental to kids which I disagree with. My parents allowed me, as soon as we got a VCR, to pick out my own stuff and I just naturally gravitated to slashers and the more spooky supernatural movies. I never thought it was a badge of honor to see the grossest stuff possible so I stayed clear of stuff that seemed too severe. (I do remember being turned off by Bloodsucking freaks, though who knows, I might be able to see it in a different light today.) I don’t have kids so that makes it pretty easy to throw out my opinion since I never have to act on it but if I did have kids they would HAVE to be exposed to horror. I mean, my decorating taste is “early abandoned funhouse meets peewee’s big chainsaw massacre” Personally as a kid, I would have much preferred to live with the Munsters, the Adams or especially Bewitched’s Stevens clan than the Bradys. (actually the Bradys really knew how to stage a good UFO or ghost in a trunk prank!) I guess this subject has no place for blanket statements, that kids and movies are so diverse and as a parent probably part of your job is to figure this stuff out as you go and learn from trial and error. I’d just hate to see folks who identify themselves as “normal” dictating how others live. In the 50’s comic books were considered the big bad, a medium that not only had kids reading but inspired them to draw. I don’t know why this subject gets me so on the soapbox but I think it’s because when I bounce around the interwebs I see so many horror sites that just rag on horror movies. If horror fans don’t defend horror I’m sure nobody else will. There is a reason that HALLOWEEN is such a popular holiday with kids (I know some kids love x-mas more but it’s just because they’re greedy). Getting scared is fun. Whistling past the graveyard is fun. Horror (and fellow bullied genres sci-fi & fantasy) really stimulates the imagination. I wouldn’t want to imagine a generation growing up without it!

  • 4 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Aug 19, 2008 at 6:15 pm


    P.S. That sort of ended up having nothing to do with your comment and being more of a rant but what can I say, you are one of my peeps so ya get me vent-y!!!

  • 5 Amanda By NightNo Gravatar // Aug 19, 2008 at 6:48 pm

    I’m a peep! You mean I FINALLY found a group to belong too?!? YAY! 😉

    I think you need to write a kinderessay on this subject (of course I’ve just now really started digging into your archives, so maybe you have). I agree there is a fairly wide scope of belief on this subject. I don’t have kids either, so I can’t say how I’d raise them, but (and maybe I am using rose colored glasses because I think my late parents were the bee’s knees), but I feel like giving me the option of watching or not watching helped me out a lot. If they had banned the movies, I’d just want to see them more. My parents thing was that they just wanted to know what I was exposing myself too… the rest was up to me.

    And I agree about how diverse horror films can be. It’s like The Lady in White was made for kids, you know? You can’t compare that to Friday the 13th. I know watching made for tv movies let me watch films that (for the most part) wouldn’t horribly scar me… Of course, that Dark Night of the Scarecrow… YIKES!

  • 6 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Aug 19, 2008 at 8:50 pm

    First of all, you couldn’t be more of a peep if you were made out of marshmallow and I met you in an Easter basket. Secondly, one thing I do want to add is that when I was a kid I really wanted to be scared! Sometimes I think saying a horror movie is too scary is like saying a comedy is too funny. There are movies that are too intense or whose sexual nature is definitely not for kids but they are pretty easy to weed out. I think television movies are usually a safe bet. Meanwhile, I still think Night of the scarecrow is pretty scary, just the anticipation factor always gets to me. There is a part near the end that takes place in a car and as you look out the windshield you can just imagine the scarecrow jumping out of anywhere. It’s a great example of the director letting the viewer imagine the worst but never really showing it. I kinda wish movies still scared me the same way they did when I was little but they usually don’t…O.K, I did check to see if my door was locked after WOLF CREEK and the truth is, I was up late the other night and there was one of those documentary murder investigation shows on (Nightmare on 31st st?) and I tells ya, I turned that shit off, it started freaking me out…I guess that’s the important difference about being an adult, you have the power to turn it off. The thing is, I think I learned HOW to turn it off (both the T,V set and my over active imagination) by watching horror movies. If you want to know the real scariest thing that ever happened to me as a kid it was being on the matterhorn mountain roller coaster at Disneyland I seriously thought I was going to die that day!

  • 7 JennyMNo Gravatar // Aug 20, 2008 at 10:08 am


    I think my dad said that every time we went because he knew I would never actually have him rent it.

    If you can see it for free then go for it.  It really is a piece of crap and for some reason Eli Roth praises it.

    I know a lot of people don’t like I Spit on Your Grave, but I love it.  I highly recommend watching that with the Joe Bob Briggs commentary.  It is one of the best commentaries out there.

  • 8 JennyMNo Gravatar // Aug 20, 2008 at 10:20 am

    Thanks again Unkle for posting this. I would like to say that I have not let my son watch anything horror.  Being 3 years old is way too young, but he does know who Jason, Freddy, Pinhead and Michael Myers are.  He knows I am terrified of clowns and thinks it’s funny. I will determine what age I think he will handle watching horror.  My parents thought I could handle it at 12 and I did.   I do remember seeing Trilogy of Terror on tv when it was rerun in prime time and that little doll scared the crap out of me. Like Unkle says, I wish I could get as scared as I did when I was little, but there are still certain things that do get me and I love the rush of being scared.  Universal Studio’s Halloween Horror Nights usually gets me scared.  Thanks again for letting me share my kindertrauma with everyone.

  • 9 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Aug 20, 2008 at 11:20 am

    The pleasure is all ours JennyM!

    I think that it’s awesome that you share your interests with your kid while limiting his exposure based on what you feel is appropriate. I think you pretty much put a capper on the debate right there. Whatever the age is that you allow your son to watch the big kid’s stuff it’s clear you two are going to have a lot of fun together. I gotta say all this talk is getting me psyched for Halloween… I’m thinking that’s gottta be a great time at your house. Make sure you’ve  got plenty of candy this year, it just might be me and Aunt John ringing your bell!

  • 10 DavidFullamNo Gravatar // Aug 23, 2008 at 9:44 pm

    Don’t ask me why, but I have a weird fascination with that poster. I know the blonde, tussling her hair, is actress Elizabeth Kaitan. I always wondered who the other two were.

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