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Name That Trauma :: Reader Becca V. on a Bouncy Bed, a Tape Monster, & a Charcoal Substance

November 26th, 2011 by aunt john · 5 Comments

THANK you for your help with my recent trauma!

Are you game for another challenge?

I’m not sure how your website works – if I’m allowed ONE per year or whatever.

BUT, if you’re game to help with some more, the following are THREE – COUNT ‘EM – THREE TRAUMAS for the price of one, though two of them are for sure short films, and one I don’t even know WHAT the heck it is.


This was a short film that ran on NICKELODEON during its earliest days. I remember being so upset by this film that I would actually change the channel and run around the house finding things to do when I wanted to watch TV and it was on, waiting for it to end. It was a short animated film about a boy or girl, can’t remember which, trying to get through a scary night. There were two sequences in particular that bothered me.

One was a very long sequence in which the kid’s bed would bounce up and down with increasingly angry breathing sounds coming from something beneath it, like a loud inhalation and exhalation of breath that would grow in intensity until the kid’s bed was flying up to near the ceiling and dropping back down with every breath. This goes on for a long time and then the kid V-E-R-Y slowly gets off the bed and looks under his bed, and after a long long long sequence of silence and angry-faced shadowy bat-creature SCREAMS up across the screen out from under the bed.

The other part features a sequence of dialogue that I remember almost word for word. It showed a pendulum with a blade on it coming out of the kid’s ceiling and swinging lower and lower with every beat of the following poem being spoken by the narrator: “The dividing line ‘tween real and dream is like a razor’s edge so KEEN!” and on the word “keen” the pendulum is about to hit the kid in the head/body and then the pendulum disappears with a “pew pew pew” sound effect.

This is followed by a softer-spoken line as morning comes and the kid’s made it through the night where the narrator says “… to be dissolved by warm sun-rays that broke the spell.”

I may have the words slightly wrong, but anyone who can track this down would shock and surprise me.


This was another short film that would air on NICKELODEON from time to time featuring a man who was running around a house being chased by an evil creature that looked as though it was made up of PILED-UP AUDIO TAPE! The monster’s movements were in stop-motion. Whenever the monster itself moved, it was accompanied on the audio track by a very slowed-down voice speaking like a monstrous sound “Rrrrr SHhhhhRRRh hHHHRRRHHRHHRHRHRHHHHHH!”

The man would sometimes hide behind doors, and the monster would poke little bits of the tape through the bottom of the door. When these little tendrils of tape would appear, there would be accompanying high-pitched super-fast speaking on the audio of the short film.

At one point, I remember the man uses a magnet he finds to fight the monster, and it works to stop it temporarily from grabbing him. Eventually, though, the man gets eaten by the monster and the tape wraps all over his body and leaves behind his clothes. Then, the monster goes over and uses its little tape tendrils to type something on a manual typewriter, which I never understood from not having seen the beginning of the short but which seemed like it was some kind of invitation to someone else to come visit the house where the tape monster lived, the context suggesting the monster was sending out letters to friends of each victim to lure more people to the house to be eaten.


This was a film that I THINK was black-and-white, seen on T.V. in the afternoon on a Sunday in the early-to-mid ’70s. I don’t remember much of the details, so this one will be a challenge I think.

All I remember was that it featured a scene of a big house near a cliff face, with waves crashing on the cliff face. I also seem to remember someone finding bits of rock/stone/charcoal or something like that in their sink, and being upset by it, like it was crystallized water or something. My memory wants to say there was a bit of narration at the beginning where a voice or text was saying something like how modern society has never faced many of the great threats from the past but as we continue to explore our world we will encounter more of these forgotten terrors, or SOMETHING hyperbolic like that.

The upshot of it all was that the charcoal substance, if you touched it, it turned YOU into the same charcoal substance. I think someone got turned entirely into it, or it turned all the water inside of them into the same charcoal substance. It is not THE ANDROMEDA STRAIN (that was a whole other trauma).

Becca V.

AUNT JOHN SEZ: The answer to the second one is the 1975 short RECORDED LIVE. As for numbers one and three, I am not too sure. Can someone please help Becca out in the comments?

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Tags: Name That Trauma!

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 GrokensteinNo Gravatar // Nov 26, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Almost dead certain #3 is “The Monolith Monsters.” Space mineral arrives on Earth as a meteorite in the desert; contact with moisture causes it to expand until it ruptures explosively, spreading its “seed.” Contact with organic life causes flesh to become stone-like. Eventually the mineral begins growing into towering spires that ultimately collapse, spreading pieces even further and faster.

  • 2 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Nov 26, 2011 at 9:42 am

    Thanks Grok!

  • 3 StickmannNo Gravatar // Nov 26, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    “Good Grief.”

    No, I’m not just saying that or quoting Charlie Brown. “Good Grief,” that’s the title of that animated film in Trauma #1.

    At least I’m 99% sure. Let me guess: another part of the film showed the protagonist disintegrating and then redefining himself, his brain becoming distinct within his body’s white outline before he coalesces, and another part of the film, the finale, shows him walking through the door to the bright new dawn only to find himself plummeting indefinitely from his levitating house. Is that it? If so, it’s “Good Grief.”

    The thing is, though: I can’t verify it to others! Any YouTube links that would confirm it are dead, and Mike Jittlov’s (“Wizard of Speed and Time”) official site ( http://www.wizworld.com/ ) lists its existence but does not have an active video archive of it as of yet.

    And I need to see it again! I’ve only seen it once, in the mid-80s at an animation festival, so you know it’s a bizarrely potent four and a half minutes if I can still recall those scenes over a generation later. (There was another unrelated animated short at just such a festival called “Nightmare” that I’m also trying to track down as Kindertaumatic, but rest assured it wouldn’t have shown on Nickelodeon. An Inception-like set of layers of nightmares within nightmares keep awakening a man and includes scenes of a bloody slit opening in the ceiling to let loose a torrent of intestines to fill the bedroom, and another scene silently shows a pregnant little girl pointing an accusatory finger at the dreamer. Yeah, like I said, not likely to be shown on Nick.)

    Hope that helps! Kindertrauma’s been good to me for identifying my own Name That Trauma [ http://www.kindertrauma.com/?p=18185 ], so hopefully I can pass on the favor.

  • 4 Terry ThomeNo Gravatar // Nov 28, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    Trauma #2 was called ‘Recorded Live’ and it played on HBO in between movies in the 1980s.

  • 5 Charlie MulliganNo Gravatar // Dec 3, 2011 at 12:15 am

    I found some footage of Mike Jittlov’s panel at DragonCon 1997. The film is shown around 10:05. Horrible quality, and it has Mike talking over it at some points, but it’s something.

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