Thank you so much for the gift that is Kindertrauma – every day brings new delights!
I am surprised that no one has yet mentioned a classic P.S.A. from the late ‘60s, and I must confess I’m grateful that they haven’t, as I am simply terrified that someone may excavate this childhood horror in video form and post it. Every few months or so I do a web search to see if it has ever resurfaced…to date, nothing.
It was an anti-heroin P.S.A., I believe 15 seconds in length. The camera panned around a wind-up toy monkey playing a drum as a little girl’s voice is heard: “They say that people who are addicted to heroin have a monkey on their back – isn’t that cute!” Then the kicker – the camera zooms in FAST on the monkey’s face. It bares its fangs, and the hellish thing screams. (It may have cut to a shot of an actual simian at this point, but my memory is unclear.)
The speed of that zoom was breathtaking – the child had scarcely finished her last word before the camera moved and the shriek was heard. It was unquestionably the most frightening thing I ever witnessed in my childhood, and despite a steady diet of filmed and written Horror from my youngest days, nothing had prepared my little six-year old psyche for this. Whenever the ad played again, I ran screaming from the room…and since it was only 15 seconds long, I didn’t have much time to get away!
A number of years ago, I posted this recollection on a web discussion group dedicated to all things horrific. Days later there was a very angry reply from a respected attorney in Texas, who said he had successfully repressed the trauma of this ad over the years…and my posting had brought the evil thing back into his consciousness and was giving him nightmares. Trust me; this cautionary spot had a profound effect on those of us of a certain age. I’ve long suspected this might have been an inspiration for Stephen King‘s short story “The Monkey.”
My arms have been covered in gooseflesh typing every word of this. Please – don’t find this P.S.A.!
UNK SEZ: Steven S., this is your lucky day because no matter how hard we tried, we could NOT find your P.S.A.!