I’ve been holding onto these for too long because they aren’t exactly horror-movie-type traumas; they range from artsy dramas to crime thrillers from the ’40s, but they all have something in common: they all disturbed the hell out of me at some point (as a child or as an adult), and Googling accomplishes nothing. I hope you can help!
Thanks in advance,
1. Made in South Africa? Dysfunctional black family moves into a suburban neighborhood. At one point, Mother is excited by dresses given to her by a clueless but well-meaning white lady neighbor. Angry daughter, offended by this “charity,” throws the dresses in a metal drum in the backyard and sets them afire; Mother tries to save the dresses and gets burned. (White lady is watching from her window, horrified.) Daughter is pregnant, perhaps through rape; has baby then kills it by deliberately dropping it on floor. Father and Mother decide to move. Father goes to retrieve the family’s life savings, but on the way home runs into “old friends” and comes home hours late, having gambled it all away. Mother yells at him. He slaps her. They pick up their few remaining possessions and start walking. THE depressing END. Late ’80s or early ’90s.
2. Two men scuffle in the off-limits area of some sort of large indoor aquarium, and one ends up being drowned. There is a wide shot from the inside of the aquarium in which we see the drowning man’s face screaming soundlessly at the top of the shot as a fish watches from a respectful distance. After the deed is done, the killer rolls the body into the tank with a big splash. Quite probably ’40s or ’50s.
3. Spy thriller? Mystery? Go-Go dancer meets her boyfriend, who is (unbeknown to her) a killer looking to set up the hero. Boyfriend knocks out/kills dancer with a karate chop (!) and throws her down some stairs. The hero finds the dead dancer just in time for the dancer’s co-worker to show up. Thinking the hero did it, she flees back to her room with him in pursuit. She pulls a gun on him and they struggle while he tries to explain. The gun goes off. The co-worker slides to the ground, fatally shot. As she dies, she whispers, “Explain this.” Definitely ’60s.
4. Euro-drama about a nanny/governess who bonds with a wealthy woman’s young daughter, to the increasing dismay of the girl’s emotionally-disturbed mother. The mother eventually fires the nanny to reclaim her role. The distraught little girl tells Mother that she will never love her. Mom responds by taking the girl’s doll and wrapping it in plastic. The hysterical girl screams that “(doll’s name)” won’t be able to breathe. Nevertheless, Mom puts the doll (still wrapped in plastic) away out of the crying girl’s reach. Cut to the nanny, walking away from the home with her bags; she narrates for a little bit (some soothing nonsense about how things eventually got better) and then the credits roll. Late ’80s/early ’90s again.