Earlier this week we had a Name That Trauma involving a father staring into a fireplace and lamenting the loss of a child. I didn’t come close to being able to identify it but it sure reminded me of a Name That Trauma from our early days (HERE) which turned out to be the 1969 TV movie DAUGHTER OF THE MIND. If you ask me, this ghost tale based on a book by PAUL GALLICO (THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE) goes a bit off the rails with its bonkers explanations but that doesn’t dilute the haunting quality of many of its supernatural scenes particularly the chilling opening that closes with a ghost child (THE TOOLBOX MURDERS’ PAMELYN FERDIN) admitting, “I hate being dead.” So let’s say we check out DAUGHTER OF THE MIND today, I’d say it’s perfect Sunday Streaming fare/Super Bowl counter programming! Not sold? Do the names RAY MILLAND and GENE TIERNEY mean anything to you? Hey, it’s even got the exact same opening theme music as WHEN MICHAEL CALLS! What’s that all about?
February 5th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment
February 4th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments
Hey! First of all – love your blog! It’s so comprehensive, plus funny – it’s amazing 😀
Down to brass tacks – I vaguely remember watching a movie on TV maybe 7 or 8 years ago which still nags at me sometimes. I believe it was a horror movie – here are the details I remember:
* Youngish guy working at a burger joint late at night.
*A burger he’s making is sitting on the counter when lighting strikes the building and happens to be directed to the burger.
*It proceeds to come to life and psychologically manipulate the young man into taking over the world, used either CG or claymation that was very eerie.
Thanks for your work!
UNK SEZ: Thanks for your kind words, Kelly! Aunt John, our resident BETTER OFF DEAD-fanatic, is emphatically certain that you are talking about SAVAGE STEVE HOLLAND‘s kooky off-kilter classic BETTER OFF DEAD (1985) and I’m inclined to agree. As much as I wish we lived in a world with many a possessed hamburger movie to choose from, I’m sad to say we probably don’t. Check out the scene below and let us know!
February 3rd, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 11 Comments
February 2nd, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment
Been checking your site out for a while now and it’s astounding! Going so deep into this stuff brought out an early childhood memory that I had forgotten about, prob cuz I obsessed over finding all my other kindertrauma’s years ago and found em all! So asking this as a serious long shot, cuz the scene I will describe to you was on a soap opera, and considering this had to be 1980-1982…well I just can’t imagine it exists anywhere or sticks out in anyone’s memory.
But here it is, an older man in his older man den is sitting down drinking (probably brandy or whatever) and staring longingly into the roaring fireplace. Superimposed on the fireplace is the image of little girl on a swing, laughing. This was obv supposed to be some memory that has brought upon a mournful feeling in the guy. I don’t know if she was dead, missing, or what, but it creeped me out like crazy! I think I remember this was right before an add break and I remember hearing either “Nadia’s theme” from Young and the Restless, or something like it, adding to the creepy factor. But it could have been another soap. I was only like 4 years old, so this is very foggy in the detail department. I’ve looked at some soap fan sites to see if I could find something in the plot lines of those years to match, but with no luck. Maybe? Somebody out there? Anybody?
February 1st, 2017 by unkle lancifer · No Comments
I love budget DVD sets exactly as much as the last time I told you I love budget DVD sets. They’re cheap, the picture quality is usually decent and there’s something exciting about ending up with a bunch of titles that you normally wouldn’t seek out. It can be a gamble but while securing a beloved staple you just might meet a new favorite film or two. Plus as an oldster who was around during the early days of 100$ VHS tapes, I stand stunned that such a thing is even possible. Oh and they take up very little space!
An important thing to remember when shopping for budget sets is to never be swayed by the cover! The cover art is usually too busy to give much useful information so you have to check out the small print on the back. I hope you brought your glasses! My most recent acquisition comes from my old pals at MILL CREEK who frankly, rule. The cover design is pretty darn clever in how it apes old 80’s teen magazines. They even went and put a pin up poster on the reverse side for an added knee-slapper. I would buy this anyway because I pretty much dig any and every teen oriented flick from the eighties but some horror junkies would walk right by it because their eyes are trained to only be attracted to the colors red and black. But slow your jets horror fans! There are films in this pack that might be of interest to you!
Even though FLATLINERS looks all slick and flashy and JOEL SCHUMACHER-y and even though it’s about as mainstream as movies get thanks to JULIA ROBERTS running about in it, there’s no denying the fact that its plot points toward the valley of Kindertrauma. Besides concerns with death and the afterlife being frequently stoked, much time is spent reminding us how past traumas influence our present selves. I’d probably rather that the flick dared to dive into the deeper and darker end of the pool but there are still some genuine creeps to be had and a bit of a hallucinatory NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET vibe running through its veins. I’ve got particular affection for KEVIN BACON’s character’s storyline which finds him having to endure the same bullying he inflicted upon others as a child.
THE NEW KIDS (1985)
How can any reasonable human say no to a teen revenge thriller from the director of FRIDAY THE 13th, SEAN CUNNINGHAM? Especially when said thriller sports the likes of LORI LOUGHLIN (AMITYVILLE 3-D) as the recipient of unwanted attention by a wild-eyed, snowy-haired, psychopath portrayed by JAMES SPADER (JACK’S BACK)? Did I mention that the proceedings culminate in a showdown in a run down offseason amusement park? This movie is Exhibit A of why I’m hooked on these sets. I like the movie enough to own it and return to it occasionally but not enough to spend big bucks for it or concern myself with extras. Also, TOM ATKINS has a small part! Of course I need this on my shelf!
AND THE REST….
1985’s THE LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN may not be horror but it’s hard to imagine any 80’s horror fan not enjoying the ride. How can you deny a road movie with STEPHEN KING killer-car horror alumni like YEARDLEY SMITH (MAXIMUM OVERDRIVE) and KEITH GORDON (CHRISTINE)? It’s impossible! Don’t try.
If you happen to be in the mood for a teen sex comedy but you also want to upset JOHNNY DEPP then PRIVATE RESORT is the movie for you because he hates it and wishes it would disappear! The rest of the grab bag is pretty square but there are some early roles for big talents like ROBERT DOWNEY JR. (TRUE BELIEVER) and RIVER PHEONIX (LITTLE NIKITA). I can’t say I’m too interested in LIKE FATHER LIKE SON or SIDE OUT but you never know when you may want to hate watch something. Honestly I’m just going consider this a 3-pack of FLATLINERS, THE NEW KIDS and LEGEND OF BILLIE JEAN and consider all of the other movies ‘extras”. Three great movies out of eight may not seem like a winning ratio but if you consider how many times I’m likely to re-watch BILLIE JEAN it’s a steal.
Anyway, buy enough of these types of sets (and I do) and you can rest easy knowing you are prepared for a rainy day or a long stay in a nuclear fallout shelter, whichever comes first. Also, if you think I’m not going to take this opportunity to post PAT BENATAR’s “Invincible” video from the BILLIE JEAN soundtrack you are sorely mistaken….
January 29th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · No Comments
I’m just going to come right out and tell you that I prefer the 1988 TV remake of I SAW WHAT YOU DID over its WILLIAM CASTLE directed, JOAN CRAWFORD starring, 1966 predecessor. You can threaten me with wire hangers all you like, I won’t budge. The revamp is directed by the criminally underrated suspense specialist FRED WALTON of WHEN A STRANGER CALLS (1979) and APRIL FOOL’S DAY (1986) fame and it is just as slick and groovy as you’d suspect. Furthermore, it stars two of my favorite people on the whole planet (SHAWNEE SMITH the same year she did THE BLOB!) and TAMMY LAUREN (she who took down THE WISHMASTER!) Plus, it’s got good ol’ CANDACE CAMERON from FULL HOUSE in it…PLUS…two (count em!) creepy CARRADINE brothers (ROBERT and DAVID)!
Oh, I’ve got plenty more to say about this fantastic jam but to read that you’ll just have to buy ARE YOU IN THE HOUSE ALONE: A TV MOVIE COMPENDIUM (HERE) edited by the glamorous and multi-talented AMANDA REYES! In the meantime, you can be kind to yourself by watching the slap of eighties awesomeness below! Oh no! Just checking out the first scene with its HALLOWEEN II approved “Mr. Sandman” song featured in it has got me hooked! I’m trapped! There goes another Sunday afternoon!
January 27th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 24 Comments
January 22nd, 2017 by unkle lancifer · No Comments
Hey, let’s say we all watch the TV movie classic WHEN MICHAEL CALLS! I’m not sure if it’s scary but it’s definitely creepy and sometimes I think creepy is better than scary because it lasts so much longer. I mean, there’s just some sort of feeling or tone to this movie that gets to me every time- ya know? Well, it was filmed in Canada in the early seventies and that certainly helps give it some legitimate horror cred. It’s even got Mrs. Mac (MARIAN WALDMAN) from BLACK CHRISTMAS in it and we all know she rules. Sure, it’s a little dated as it comes from that time period when everybody thought it was perfectly acceptable for a grown woman to impersonate a young boy by utilizing a Rocket J. Squirrel voice but in same ways that just makes it more surreal and weirdly off-putting. In any case, you can’t beat the cast; when you’re cooking with the likes of ELIZABETH ASHLEY, BEN GAZZARA and MICHAEL DOUGLAS how can you possibly go wrong? Trust me, if WHEN MICHAEL CALLS isn’t perfect for a mid January Sunday afternoon, I don’t know what is! Plus it’s got murder by bees! I love me some murder by bees! How did I not mention the score? Listen to this opening theme…
January 20th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 12 Comments
It’s never the wrong time to learn about school bus safety! How many of these scary school bus movies are you able to identify?
January 17th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 4 Comments
I’m sure you all are going to laugh but here’s my first (and probably worst) Kindertrauma.
In the late 70s, on Wednesday nights, my parents would go to church and leave me with my grandparents. I’d sit and watch TV with them for an hour until my parents came home. I remember watching The Muppet Show and this show right after called When Havoc Struck. That week my grandpa said “We’re gonna watch these bridges collapse on TV”. Sounded like a fun time (not). If you’ve ever watched WHS you know it starts with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony (the familiar dun dun dun dunnnnnnn) with a fiery looking logo. Then Glenn Ford comes on and introduces various incidents of disasters/accidents, etc. The tone of the show is already scary from the images, movies, sounds and music.
This episode showed exactly what it said it would, bridges falling down. Halfway into it, they show the 1940 Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse. It’s the actual movie reel of the actual bridge collapsing. The bridge was susceptible to high winds and it would move up and down with the wind. Then one day it twisted itself to death and it collapsed. I remember being a little freaked out at this until they actually showed a picture of the roadway rocking back and forth. This (I don’t know why) scared the hell outta me. I ran into the kitchen and hid in the laundry room until it was over. I was shaking and my mom had to give me medicine to calm down so I could sleep. Then that night I dreamed about it.
It took a long long time before I could actually open a book about bridges and see the pictures of it. THEN in the early 90s, a commercial for Pioneer car stereo featured the bridge. At first I was shocked but then I enjoyed watching it and laugh about how I thought this was scary.
So, what brought me here is that episode is now on Youtube for all the world to see:
And the commercial:
And yes, The Acid Queen scared me too.