…:::kindertrauma:::… random header image

Smoking with Marilyn Burns

August 7th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 13 Comments

It breaks my heart to write about the death of Marilyn Burns but it doesn’t seem right to post anything else until we’ve acknowledged this loss. My heart goes out to her friends and family who surely must endure the brunt of the devastation. As a mere fan, I’m sure I can’t even begin to understand the depth of grief felt by those close to her. Still, I can’t help feeling like everyone who ever loved a horror movie just took a major dent, whether they realize it or not, and that something incalculable that was once here is now gone.

Maybe I’m being pessimistic due to my morbid state but I think the truth is that horror audiences can expect to never, ever, ever witness the type of unadulterated terror that Marilyn Burns was able to put into her performance in THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE again. It’s just a sad fact. The way the genre is moving it just wouldn’t be allowed and even if it were attempted, you’d never be lucky enough to find an actress as unselfconscious as Burns to pull it off. Even if they had the talent, it’s hard to believe they’d also have the moxy to withstand such a grueling endeavor. Nope, we’ll never see the likes of it again because we’re all too soft and spoiled and modern horror has become less about fear and terror and death and mortality and the unflinching unfairness of the universe than it is about looking competent and cool in the face of adversity. So I guess I just want to thank Marilyn from the bottom of my horror fan heart for bravely going where no actor ever had gone before or ever will again. Real horror, it’s there, in that movie, forever thanks to her.

I’m going to make this about me for a second and if you think that’s vulgar, I totally agree with you but I have to get over this bump somehow and I never said I wasn’t ignoble in the face of death. I may have mentioned before that I can be, on occasions, socially awkward. One thing that’s sure to make me a Bambi-legged Jell-O bowl is a large crowd. I don’t go to horror conventions very much any more but when I did, what I was really seeing in my head was the climax of THE DAY OF LOCUST. If I meet a famous person, I’m usually a jittery marble mouthed spaz on invisible roller skates and that’s putting aside for a moment my legendary Lori Singer evoked facial-tick.

Anyway, once I was at this horror convention feeling like a Howdy Doody marionette plopping around in a sea of Monster High Dolls and I went outside to the front of the hotel for a breath of fresh air and mostly a cigarette (this post was not approved by the Surgeon General). And who do I see there all by herself but Marilyn Burns puffing away. So we get to talking (actually, I was with a more boisterous friend who initiated the conversation but I’m going to edit that person out in the spirit of poetic license) and she put me at ease (not an easy thing to do) in all of a minute. She was so gracious and open and generous and all around awesome that I almost forgot that I was talking to a living legend.

For perspective, please realize that a half an hour earlier I was getting shady stink eye from a self-proclaimed scream queen whose boobs were featured in an unwatchable piece of garbage directed by her mouth breathing husband and now suddenly I was being made to feel like I might exist enough to cast a shadow by a woman who plowed like an eighteen wheeler through one of the greatest movies ever made wielding only one of the most outstandingly performances of all time. And folks, at the risk of sounding like a curmudgeon, that’s something else you can look forward to seeing less of in the future- humility. No, they don’t make movies like TCM anymore but what makes me sad here is that the last time I did a head count, they don’t make too many people like that anymore either. I know I can’t say that I knew Marilyn based on our brief encounter but I can say that it was obvious to me that those who did know her were very lucky. Goodbye for now Marilyn and again, thank you so much for all that you gave. It’s more than you’ll ever know.

One last thing, I gotta give a shout out to EATEN ALIVE. That’s a fantastic movie too.

→ 13 CommentsTags: Caution: I break for geniuses!

The Incredible Werewolf By Mickster

August 5th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 9 Comments

When Werewolf premiered on Fox in 1987, I was instantly hooked. A prime time show about a handsome werewolf trying desperately to cure his lycanthropy? What’s not to like? When the Chiller Channel began airing episodes of Werewolf a few years back, I was stunned to realize that Werewolf and The Incredible Hulk share many of the same qualities. I loved The Incredible Hulk when I was a little girl, so I am surprised it didn’t occur to me back in 1987 that Werewolf is essentially The Incredible Hulk. Not convinced? Sit back and I will explain.

Eric Cord (John J. York) and David Banner (Bill Bixby) were changed by freak circumstances. Eric’s best friend, in werewolf form, attacked him, and David was altered by an accidental overdose of gamma radiation.

“Alamo” Joe Rogan (Lance LeGault) and Jack McGee (Jack Colvin) are essentially the same character. Each is relentless in their pursuit of their quarry, “Alamo” Joe as a bounty hunter and Mr. McGee as a tabloid reporter in search of a juicy scoop for his paper.

Eric and David stumble upon people in need, as they search for a cure for their alter egos. In “The Boy Who Cried Werewolf,” Eric hid in a young boy’s tree house eventually helping the boy and his mother from her abusive boyfriend. In “Death in the Family,” David saves a young, crippled girl whose evil family members are plotting her death, so they can inherit the family fortune.

While in the form of their alter egos, Eric and David never harm innocent people even though they are supposedly unaware of their actions during the change, which shows their goodness.

Eric and David must move on at the end of each episode before their pursuers catch them and to continue pursuing a cure to rid them of their alter egos for good. Eric is in search of the originator of his “bloodline” that, at first, he thinks is Janos Skorzeny (played by a scary-looking Chuck Connors) because killing the “head” werewolf will cure his lycanthropy. David, a physician, tries to cure himself and is constantly seeking the means to do so.

See? Werewolf and The Incredible Hulk are the same show! It is a shame that Werewolf only lasted one season. I thought and still think that it is a cool show. So, are there any Werewolf fans out there that agree with the Mickster?

→ 9 CommentsTags: Kinder Loves Mickster! · Telenasties

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Turn On Your TV: The Top Ten Shark Attack Movies By Amanda Reyes

August 2nd, 2014 by kinderpal amanda by night · 3 Comments

That Was Then: I originally wrote this article in 2008 for a website that is no more. Since then, Asylum Films has literally vomited up a new breed of direct-to-video shark movies. And while I do not care for their output, I do appreciate the cold hard fact that it is impossible to keep a good killer fish down. With that in mind, I feel fairly confident that I wouldn’t change too much about what I wrote (although I did add an addendum and tweaked my original piece a bit to release it of some unfortunate jibes… I was far more bitter in 2008, apparently). Also, I should note, at this point, I had missed a classic or two that probably should have made the list. I’ve already been scolded for omitting Mako: The Jaws of Death (1976), so please that keep that mind!

And away we go…

People have always been fascinated with sharks, although film audiences may not have recognized that until 1974 when Steven Spielberg’s Jaws was released. The film was so popular that the term blockbuster was created to define its chartbusting success. Since then, many a filmmaker has tried their hand at undersea terror.

The stories generally remained the same, even if the creatures changed. Piranha 2 for example, follows the blueprint of Jaws almost verbatim but instead we get tiny but toothy flying fish. OK, so that one didn’t really work out (don’t misunderstand me though, I love that movie!) and truth be told, it was the shark movies people kept coming back to. Jaws itself spawned three sequels and countless rip-offs that continue to this day. And, since we are #2 on the old food chain, why not sink your teeth into some of the best, and some of the not-the-best-but-pretty-damn-fun shark movies ever imprinted on celluloid?

1. Jaws (1975) – Without a doubt, Jaws is the greatest shark film ever made and one of the most cherished horror films of our time. The success of Jaws is partially due to the fact that it transcends the typical man vs. nature plot and becomes a human drama about men facing their fascination, fears and objects of revenge. If you haven’t seen this film then you’ve either been living under a rock, or have a terrible fear of sharks. Essential viewing for anyone who loves great filmmaking.

2. Jaws 2 (1978) – However, Jaws 2 was probably not made for lovers of great filmmaking, but fans still ate it up. It never comes close to being better than its predecessor but as a lover of slasher films, I find that this movie is basically a version of Friday the 13th featuring a shark as an unstoppable killer. We’ve got beer guzzling teens, girls in cut off shorts, isolation and one scary creature! Made purely for the love of entertainment, this movie succeeds at that on every level. (Confession: I watch Jaws 2 way more than the original. It’s how I roll.)

3. Open Water (2003) – Yeah, yeah, yeah, Open Water is not really a shark movie, it’s a metaphor about the disintegration of a marriage and about how self-importance can lead to one’s downfall. But let’s face it, that’s not what drove the masses to the Cineplex. We came to see lots of sharks terrorize a good-looking couple that find themselves cast away into the brutal ocean. The mixture of art and horror works beautifully and it made Open Water one of the most thoroughly haunting pieces of guerrilla filmmaking I have ever seen.

4. Shark Attack 3 (2002) – To date, this is the mutha of Megaladon movies and is also the best entry in the Shark Attack series. It’s a non-stop ride for fans of MST3K and is not without its share of surprises either. One of the best lines ever put in a movie is here and it’s a doozy. And the awesomely bad CGI only adds to its charm.

5. Deep Blue Sea (1999) – High budget Hollywood all the way, Deep Blue Sea is one of the few films in the recent onslaught of shark movies that made its way into the theaters (recent being relative of course, I forgot this movie came out in the 90s!). It’s certainly one of the better nature gone amok films of recent memory and frankly was far more entertaining than most people gave it credit for. It’s deliciously over the top, especially Stellan Skarsgard’s hilariously serious performance, and it has enough truly suspenseful moments that it just had to make the list (Hollywood haters be damned!). Plus its got the beautiful Thomas Jane proving that he’s often a bit better than the material he’s saddled with.

6. Spring Break Shark Attack (2005) – This made for TV movie is just great. OK, it’s not ‘great’ by normal standards, but it’s far cheekier and more entertaining than most TVMs of late. There was no reason for CBS to have aired this, since their audiences seem drawn to cerebral police procedural fare. But hey, slap a bikini on a couple of pretty girls, sink some CGI teeth into a few obnoxious teens, and somehow convince Bryan Brown to show up for a small cameo and you’ve got yourself a winner!

7. Blue Demon (2004) – It’s a dream come true! A shark attack comedy. I mean it’s an intentional comedy! And it’s actually funny! Although not well received when it was released (PG13 shark movies are usually a no-no), there are enough funny moments, including an incredibly hilarious turn by Jeff Fahey that the admittedly bad CGI doesn’t hurt nearly as much.

8. Up From the Depths (1979) – Well, it’s a monster fish and not really a shark, but I qualified it because it’s just too much fun not to mention. Made for the drive-in audiences of the 70s, this is a pure popcorn thriller complete with a giant gilled fiend that can attack in three feet of water! Check out the older couple blaming the hotel manager for ruining their good time when he tries to rescue them from a con artist! Good stuff.

9. Cruel Jaws (1995) – OK, this movie gets points for ripping off every shark movie ever made. I don’t merely mean they lift the story either – they plagiarize dialog, music and re-use footage (most of the extra footage came from L’ultimo Squalo aka The Last Shark)! If you’re a shark attack movie connoisseur you’re sure to pick out every pilfered moment – and you’ll love every second of it!

10. Shark Attack 2 (2000) – OK, it’s not quite as jaw dropping as Shark Attack III, but there are enough what-the-heck moments to make it one of the more entertaining attack films to have been released of late. The best scene features our heroes, who, supposedly beside themselves with worry about the killer sharks, take time for a sightseeing tour of the island! Good times.

Honorable Mentions:

Dark Waters (2003) – This didn’t quite make the list, but I have to include any Lorenzo Lamas extravaganza featuring our brunette beefcake going toe to fin with some killer fishes. It’s a surprisingly engaging film. Or I’m an easy sell.

Megaladon (2002) – This is a serious attempt at making a suspenseful shark attack movie and minus the utterly horrible special effects, it’s actually a very good little film. The acting is top notch; it’s just too bad the shark looks a bit like Jabberjaw. Still, it’s not a bad way to kill an evening.

L’ultimo Squalo (aka The Last Shark, 1981) – Just because James Franciscus is so cute.

This is Now: Well, it’s 2014 and here I am reliving my favorite shark moments, and wondering if I’ve missed anything. Since I wrote this I have seen Mediterranean Shark Attack (2004), Sharks in Venice (2008) Shark Night 3D (2011), and Bait (2012), all of which I’ve enjoyed on some level (and I’m wondering why I haven’t seen The Reef (2010)… and I still haven’t seen Jaws of Death either! Argh!). Of those, I think only Bait would make a new top 10, but since I’m a sucker for the toothy water creatures, I will add them all to the honorable mentions list. I’m like that – everyone gets an award!

→ 3 CommentsTags: Amanda By Night

Viewing Party:: Night Vision (1987)

July 25th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments

We have something real cool today and it’s all thanks to our pal Darkko who shared this flick with me. It’s called NIGHT VISION and it’s from 1987 and it’s directed by the apparently late and clearly great MICHAEL KRUEGER. Now, if you’re NOT the type who digs zero budget flicks that lean toward the long winded and feature only short spurts of sanity, you may want to run in the other direction, feel free, nobody blames you. But if you, like me, go gaga for the blessed confetti explosion of idiosyncrasy such outsider efforts frequently supply, you may have just entered heaven and not just any heaven, hog heaven, the best heaven of all! To bait his hook, Dan H. cleverly advised me to simply watch a short scene on YouTube knowing full well it would seal the deal…

Did you see that? This movie largely takes place in a corner Mom and Pop video store sometime in the eighties! I feel like I’m seeing something that was filmed in some beloved home I once lived in and in a way I am. I don’t have to tell you that this little gem has many flaws but so do we all and flaws really aren’t so bad if you simply embrace them. Scraggily though it may be, NIGHT VISION is rather imaginative all things considered and was ambitious enough to go against the grain during a time when many horror flicks were marching in line. Also this film is basically about a haunted videotape which makes it quite the early precursor. Or maybe this KRUEGER guy just liked VIDEODROME a lot, I don’t know. If nothing else it fearlessly exposes the seedy underbelly of Denver.

So here’s the thing, I have to go away for a little while because I gotta do something that I said I was going to do that I never did. You know how it is. I need to focus because I can only do one thing at time and multitasking is for chumps. So I’m leaving you with this movie to view and here is my challenge to anyone who wants to participate…

Watch this movie and identify as many VHS movie boxes that appear on the shelves at the video store that you can.

I’ll even start you out!

  • I spied the large clamshell box for THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN. Yay for me.
  • They have the same plastic embossed FROM BEYOND ad I used to have hanging on my bedroom wall. Weep.
  • Do they really have a poster for the YVONNE DeCARLO flick VULTURES (1987) posted by the door? That has to be rarer than a hen’s tooth!
  • Why is there a VHS copy of the GOLDIE HAWN and BURT REYNOLDS vehicle BEST FRIENDS in the SCI-FI section? I feel like that is a subliminal message.
  • Good lord, is that the same VHS copy of BLOORAGE (1979) that Craftypants Carol sent to me but with its title altered to BLOOD NYMPHS?!?!
  • All right, I gotta get started on the thing I said I’d do that I never did. I’ll check back in the comments section when I can. Have fun, play safe!

    1987–NIGHT VISION-HORROR FILM from Jonathan Moser on Vimeo.

    → 5 CommentsTags: Kindertrauma Funhouse · Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert!

    Traumafession:: Fiji Mermaid on Alien (1979)

    July 23rd, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 2 Comments

    Unk and Aunt John, it’s you dear old ghoulish friend, Fiji Mermaid. I’ve got a Traumafession for you.

    After reading a few recent traumafessions I realized as much as I love horror and scary stuff all my life, it’s really out of true enjoyment, fun I guess. Rarely… rarely has anything scared me at any age. When it’s happened it’s quite memorable. The one big and first clear memory of something scaring me was a scene in “Alien” (1979). I was maybe around 9 years old. My dad rented the movie for me on VHS. I definitely was looking forward to seeing it. I knew some things about the movie, but not a whole lot. Basically it was going to be a monster movie that takes place in space. Now a big thing to me was that I knew exactly what the Alien looked like because when I was around 3 years old my parents bought me the know legendary Kenner giant action figure. I loved that toy and played with it until it fell apart. So I was really looking forward to seeing the monster on the silver screen.

    All the stuff up to and including when Harry Dean Stanton’s character is killed was enjoyable and not scary in the least, but then the next kill is what did it. Dallas going into the ventilation system to hunt down the Alien, when clearly they had no clue what they are up against. Parker did describe it as “big, like a man” sized thing, but still it didn’t seem frightening. But when he’s in the tubes and everyone is watching the computer screen and the tracking system and he seems to be disoriented really made the tension tight. Being that he was a main character I thought, no way he’s going to die, he’ll make it out. Right when I thought he’d escape he turns around and the AlIEN reaches out to grab him with a weird scream and feedback over his microphone. The editing, music, performances, visuals… it terrified me. I was literally frozen with fear. I couldn’t move, couldn’t close my eyes nothing. It took a minute for it to wear off. That scene was a success.

    “We found this laying there. No blood, no Dallas, nothing. How come I don’t hear anybody say anything?” – Parker

    I’ll tell you why Parker, nobody is saying anything, because we are frozen with FEAR!!

    → 2 CommentsTags: Traumafessions

    Joint Traumafession :: Unk & Mickster on “Hush”

    July 22nd, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 10 Comments

    The other day (read months ago) my old pal Mickster and I were talking about what else, scary crap that scared us. I mentioned to her that one thing people seem to underestimate is the importance of when you view something. I’m not talking about what age; I’m talking about what mind frame. In other words if a tornado recently killed your favorite cow, it’s the wrong time to watch TWISTER. I didn’t use that dumb example whilst talking with the Mickster. Instead I told her of an ancient dark memory that took place in the chilling nightmare winter of 1999. I was going through a depressing break-up, no doubt imagining a long grey road ahead and I decided that the perfect thing to watch was BUFFY THE VAPIRE SLAYER as it was sure to cheer me up because many of my imaginary pals live on that show. The episode airing that evening was “Hush” which pitted Buffy and cohorts against a small tribe of grimacing floating demons that hung around with shifty creatures in straightjackets. At some point during the episode, I was surprised to find myself morbidly horrified in a way I could not have predicted. Mind you, it wasn’t fear I felt but a kind of pessimist nausea mixed with an inescapable sense of doom. I was going to die alone and the universe couldn’t hold in its giggle.

    Upon hearing my confession Mickster revealed that she, my unmet friend, on the same evening albeit in a different time zone was experiencing a similar encounter with the episode. With her permission, here is her story…

    On December 13, 1999, I underwent surgery for the second time in a three-week period. It was an unpleasant experience that was compounded by the fact that I was 2,000 miles from my family, and my husband, at the time, was a worthless alcoholic that dumped me at the hospital to go through it all alone. The next day, I was in a great deal of pain from the surgery and gas pain that accompanies surgery as well. I was hooked up to a morphine pump to manage the pain. As I struggled to become comfortable on the evening of December 14, I looked for something to watch on TV. I was delighted to find an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer just starting. The evening was about to become memorable, as this was the episode titled “Hush.” As I watched, the “Gentlemen” stealing hearts from victims who were unable to scream naturally disturbed me, but I was also aware that it was kind of a metaphor for my life at the time. I felt as though I had no voice, as my heart was slowly being ripped from my chest day-by-day and year-by-year. In fact, the pain from the surgery did not compare to my emotional pain. Who would think that an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer would force me to recognize the real pain in my life? It took me a bit longer to gain my voice to destroy the “Gentleman” that was ripping at my heart than it did Buffy, but I eventually did. Thanks, Buffy the Vampire Slayer (and the morphine) for opening my eyes.

    O.K., Mickster’s story kind of makes my story sound like a Haagen-Dazs stained Cathy comic. What can I say? I’m easily discombobulated. Egad, what kind of cad leaves his wife in the hospital? And what kind of person still uses the word “cad”? Anyway, the point remains, when one is in a fragile state of mind they are that much more vulnerable to the creeps. Why just recently Kindertrauma Castle was under siege by miniscule calamities of one sort or another and I thought I might escape by falling asleep to a scratchy HORROR HOTEL VHS tape. I didn’t get half way through the gloomy chant-filled opening credits before I decided to nix that plan and switch to XANADU. I may have even quoted LaWANDA PAGE in MAUSOLEUM (1983) by exclaiming “No more grieving, I’m leaving!” as I pulled out the tape. Incidentally, I want that quote carved on my tombstone.

    On the other hand let’s not overlook the fact that the “Gentleman” are indeed legitimately off-putting even in the lightest of circumstances. I mean, they’re like POLTERGEIST 2’s Reverend Kane crossed with the chauffer from BURNT OFFERINGS, shmooshed with PHANTASM’s “Tall Man” piled up with any number of ghouls from THE SENTINEL, times four and with a dollop of Mr. Burns and “The Slender Man” on the side. Worse still, and this may be where I outdo Mickster on the trauma front, when I look in the mirror I know the years before I resemble one are few! Oh no, now I’m getting depressed again, is it getting darker in here? Where is my XANADU tape? What cruel inhuman monster would hide it?

    → 10 CommentsTags: Traumafessions

    Sunday Viewing:: Thriller’s Parasite Mansion (1961)

    July 20th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 12 Comments

    I can’t believe I’ve never seen a single episode of the BORIS KARLOFF-hosted anthology series THRILLER before. I have several excuses as to why not but they make me sound stupid, so I’d rather not share them. Thankfully the fates stepped in and forced the issue. I was watching something on YouTube the other day when an episode of THRILLER popped up as a suggested next watch on the side. All I saw was a title card which read “Parasite Mansion” and I was sold. I can’t resist a title like that, it sounds like the name of my new favorite band. Well, I must have watched the best episode first because I find it hard to believe there’s another one better than “Parasite Mansion.” It’s all downhill from here. It’s like a swampy pitstop between THE OLD DARK HOUSE (1932) and THE HOUSE OF 1000 CORPSES (1932) and it features SPIDER BABY‘s (1967) BEVERLY WASHBURN as a tortured waif plagued by a poltergeist who is holed up in a decrepit room clinging to a rag doll and scribbling gibberish on the walls. The word “jackpot” comes to mind.

    Like all great stories, this one begins with car trouble, the kind of trouble that occurs when someone blows out your tires with a shotgun while you’re driving through the woods on a dark, rainy night. PIPA SCOTT plays Marcia, a thoughtful woman with (Ginny Field-style) psychology on her side who wakes up in a cob web strewn, Southern gothic mansion and is kept against her will by a family of lunatics all bent on keeping a supernatural secret. I won’t say anymore because I don’t want to ruin anything but I must add that JEANETTE NOLAN as bonkers ringleader Granny Harrod is through the roof, over the moon, one for the books, phenomenal. I found her so mesmerizingly hideous that my pupils turned to hearts. I love a good hag and Granny Harrod is like the haggiest hag who ever hagged. It’s so sad she can’t be in every episode of THRILLER.

    → 12 CommentsTags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming · Uncategorized

    Traumafession:: Unk on Death Scream (1975)

    July 18th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 11 Comments

    How in the world can I still have a trauma to confess after all these years? I’m pretty sure I did go on about this one in our comments section back in the day but I never got around to doing a proper post. That is because when I tried to watch it again, I found it lacking which is weird considering it stars RAUL JULIA whose peepers can usually carry anything. It’s O.K. though, my trauma isn’t about the whole movie; it’s only about the scary opening scene. The opening scene of DEATH SCREAM (1975) remains a tense view for me even if what follows is deadly dull.

    The first scene of DEATH SCREAM is based on the real murder of Kitty Genovese who was raped and stabbed to death outside her apartment building as she was returning home for work in 1964. Weeks later her death became national news when it was reported that her attack was witnessed in one form or another by thirty-eight neighbors who did nothing to aid her. Exactly how many witnesses and exactly how much they may have seen would later be debated but the fuse of the story had been lit and public outrage followed. It’s not the numbers or the confirmed details that make this story horrify though, would it be half as shocking if there were only nineteen witnesses? The fact is you could probably turn on the news tonight and find a story that involves bystanders turning a blind eye. I know because watching the news the other day is what made me remember this trauma.

    I know I saw this made-for-TV flick when my family was living in California and since we left in ‘76 that means I must have seen it the night it premiered on September 26, 1975. Yay for me! I was eight. Why was I watching this movie when I was eight? (Sorry, I gotta go down this rabbit hole) That means this trauma actually predates my SATAN’S TRIANGLE trauma by a few months and that’s the one I’ve always cited as my first. Hmmm, well, I’m not changing my plea. There’s really no comparison when I think about it. DEATH SCREAM was more of a “horrified by human ugliness”- trauma whereas SATAN’S TRIANGLE was more of a “Oops! Your soul is damned for eternity!” type of thing. Apples and oranges.

    Let’s move on before I start telling you about how my mother left me unattended on a beach when I was three. You won’t believe the cast of DEATH SCREAM. Besides RAUL JULIA being a cop whose daughter is HELEN HUNT and whose love interest is KATE JACKSON, they also somehow crammed ED ASNER, TINA LOUISE, CLORIS LEACHMAN, ART CARNEY, DIAHANN CARROLL, LUCIE ARNEZ, SALLY KIRKLAND, TONY DOW and NANCY “Quicker Picker Upper” WALKER (among others) into this cinematic psycho clown car.

    The first scene has THE HOWLING’s BELINDA BALASKI playing the role based on Kitty. She’s arriving home from work but must first make her way through an eerily empty parking lot. If you’re a kid from the seventies, this might appear to be any number of cop shows. We’re talking clanking high heels on asphalt and cats toppling over trash cans before a trench coat wearing shadowy figure lunges. What’s especially harrowing about this attack is how many times BALASKI’s character nearly escapes and how that relief is repeatedly denied. Frustration reigns too as we are constantly torn away from her plight and into the apartments of the building’s residents, being untimely forced to hear their weak justifications for inaction.

    To be honest, it’s not quite as nightmarish as I recall. In my mind’s eye, I’ve always remembered NANCY WALKER hanging out her apartment window 227-style casually looking down upon the proceedings. Thankfully, it appears I made that creepy LYNCH-vision up in my head. Look, I’m not saying I’d be running down the stairs with grease paint under my eyes carrying a bazooka either but I’d like to think I’d do something. What, nobody’s got a potted plant to throw? All right now I just envisioned a DONKEY KONG style video game where you’re NANCY WALKER dropping plotted plants out of a window to ward off murderers. I share that not to make light of a grizzly scenario but to illustrate how unhelpful my brain constantly is. Now I feel bad. This is based on a real tragedy and all I can think about is how well NANCY WALKER rocked her Zira from PLANT OF THE APES hairdo. I’m going to utilize my side-step to identify another clear current of queasiness; it’s not like they picked nameless shmoes to play the cowardly bystanders in this flick, these are my TV pals! It’s like that famous quote,” The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for both Grants Ginger and Lou to do nothing.”

    I’m now hopped up on chewy Spree so it’s best that I go. The scene in question is below. It freaked me out as a kid and what it says about humanity still makes me barf today. Kitty Genovese, I’m so sorry. NANCY WALKER, I miss you.

    → 11 CommentsTags: Telenasties · The Seventies mushed my head · Traumafessions

    Sunday Viewing:: The Babysitter (1980)

    July 13th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 2 Comments

    Is there any possible chance that there are people alive on this planet who have never seen THE BABYSITTER (1980)? I would rather that not be the case. THE BABYSITTER has everything! It has WILLIAM SHATNER, PATTY DUKE, STEPHANIE ZIMBALIST, JOHN (fresh off THE FOG) HOUSEMAN and QUINN CUMMINGS! The only thing it doesn’t have is an actual babysitter on account of the lunatic in this is really more of live-in nanny but who cares about that? Can you believe this slice of excellence was directed by PETER (ROMEO IS BLEEDING) MEDAK the very same year he directed the super-classic THE CHANGELING? It’s true because that is what my nice computer just told me. Read our dusty old review back HERE and save your day from becoming meaningless by watching the spectacular full movie below….

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    Name That Trauma:: Jennah S. on a Kindly Spotted Closet Monster

    July 12th, 2014 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment

    Help me, Kindertrauma!! You’re my only hope!!! A mystery needs to be solved for my friend (and for my own sanity, as well). The problem is thus…. in the mid ’80s (this would have been around ’85-’86) our school teacher used to roll in a TV & VCR sometimes and show us episodes from a TV show that was very much like AMAZING STORIES in nature, but I don’t think it was AMAZING STORIES, I think it might have been another similar show. I remember a logo at the end or beginning of every episodes of a large Phoenix bird on fire against a black background, and that might have been the logo for the show or maybe from the production company.

    One episode I remember vividly is of a young boy who was afraid of a monster who hid in his closet. The monster was white or pale with spots in different bright colors. It was a large monster too, I remember that. The twist was that the boy discovered that the monster was actually nice so they became friends. It was in color, so the show must have been from the late ’70s to mid ’80s. This has been breaking my brain for almost four hours. I’ve already figured out that it isn’t AMAZING STORIES-I searched through the episode guides. I’ve also asked my friend if he can remember if the show was American (he’s Swedish), was it live-action, and if he can remember how long the episodes were….in hopes of making further deductions.

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