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Name That Trauma :: Reader Heidi on a Trampled Tot

July 21st, 2010 by aunt john · 13 Comments

Hi there,

I’ve just discovered your wonderful site and wonder if you could help me with a kindertrauma my mum experienced as a kid.

It was a fairly old film, set in some kind of circus or carnival. There is a little girl who is always skipping around singing a song – it might be “Bye Baby Bunting” — and annoying everyone.

In the scene my mum remembers, a scary man (possibly a clown) snaps and starts jumping heavily on this kid, singing her annoying song in a kind of staccato as he stomps on her, finally realising she is dead. I think this happens behind a parked car.

My mum was going crazy trying to remember the name of this film.

Any suggestions?


UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! After some back & forth with Heidi, she came around to the realization that Unk was correct with DAY OF THE LOCUST.

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13 responses so far ↓

  • 1 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jul 21, 2010 at 11:26 am

    There’s no clown but this sounds so much like the end of Day of the locust!

  • 2 JergyNo Gravatar // Jul 21, 2010 at 12:56 pm

    Donald Sutherland would make one scary clown!
    And let’s also say that is wasn’t a little girl!! But instead is an equally creepy young Jackie Earle Haley.

  • 3 bdwilcoxNo Gravatar // Jul 21, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Was it the prequel to Casper?  (Yes, I know that was in poor taste.)

  • 4 onlychild1213No Gravatar // Jul 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    That’s Locust alright. It’s so uncanny: my mom nudged me in the direction of that film for years (never revealing the ending) and I finally watched it a couple weeks ago (and I only started frequenting this site last week)! If that ain’t the answer, I dunno what is.
    Annoying song: “Jeepers Creepers”

  • 5 Eddie QuistNo Gravatar // Jul 21, 2010 at 7:55 pm

    Donald Sutherland’s name in Day of the Locust? No joke, it’s Homer Simpson.

  • 6 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jul 21, 2010 at 7:58 pm

    I wonder if ma just got the details switched around a bit. How many kid stomping movies can there be out there?

    (Besides the Casper prequel!)

  • 7 lottie_of_millhavenNo Gravatar // Jul 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    It does sound like Day of the Locust, and I could see the weird facial effect being mistaken for clown makeup.

  • 8 FatherOfTearsNo Gravatar // Jul 21, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    What happened after the kid was stomped was disturbing too!

  • 9 aunt johnNo Gravatar // Jul 21, 2010 at 9:11 pm

    Reader Greg emailed his two cents:

    This is a film that traumatized me so much as a teenager that I wrote about in SCREEM — It’s “Day of the Locust,” from 1975, the song is “Jeepers Creeprs,” NOTBye Baby Bunting” and Donald Sutherland NOT dressed as a clown stomps the girl to death behind a car. What makes this movie EVEN creepier is that “the little girl” is in actuality played by a Little Boy — Adore O’Hara! Did this help.

  • 10 TVSANo Gravatar // Jul 22, 2010 at 2:10 am

    I loved “Miss Lonely Hearts,” but have yet to Plow my way all the way through “Day,” in fiction or film. I only recall the plywood, plaster, and chicken-wire, disaster during a battle scene.  Speaking of  Matt Groening and “The Simpsons,” I was recently clued into a “Breakfast Club” connection. “Nelson” is a nod to Judd Nelson, and Futurama’s “Bender” is a nod again to the same character. I think there were other Hughesian echoes, but I’ve forgotten them.

  • 11 aunt johnNo Gravatar // Jul 22, 2010 at 8:25 am

    UPDATE: It’s probably not DAY OF THE LOCUSTHeidi emailed this response:

    Thanks guys.  I think 1975 might be a bit too recent – I’m thinking a ’60s movie maybe – but I will definitely look this movie up.  Thanks for your time.

  • 12 stexeNo Gravatar // Jul 26, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Even before I clicked the comments, I was positive it was “Day of The Locust” as well.
    The movie isn’t so great, but the book is essential, especially if you live in or near Hollywood. It’s also very short. You can read it in a couple of hours.

  • 13 aunt johnNo Gravatar // Jul 27, 2010 at 8:59 am


    Heidi emails:

    Wait a minute, I was mistaken – It WAS the movie you stated!  How could I have doubted the awesome knowledge of 
    your experts? Now my poor mother can resume her life as a trauma-free individual!  Thanks guys, I can’t wait to actually find this dvd and see what she was talking about.

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