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Name That Cemetery Funhouse

March 6th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 22 Comments

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Sleepstalker (1995)

March 5th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · No Comments

I’m still trapped inside some kind of mid-nineties nostalgia spiral. When will it end? I’ve lost all respect for myself and that was probably the draw. My latest disgraceful conquest is 1995’s SLEEPSTALKER, a movie that I turned off after about 20 minutes when I first tried to watch it 20 years ago. SLEEPSTALKER is exactly the type of movie I rallied against back in the day, it’s yet another feeble attempt at a Freddy Krueger-type horror icon complete with magic comic book fantasy powers and a penchant for ham-handed, fey bon mots. You know the type. To add another layer of degradation to the affair, the flick is directed by TURI MEYER the unrepentant monster behind the cinematic slap-in-the-face known as CANDYMAN 3: THE DAY OF THE DEAD (another movie I could not sit through and yet own). Have I developed a taste for dishonoring my previous self? I can’t help it! It’s fun. Plus there’s always that chance that I’ll like something I used to hate. In any case, I’ve surely discovered that all decades are better once I’m no longer living in them.

Turns out, SLEEPSTALKER is still pretty lame but I won’t complain because I knew what I was signing up for. Instead, I’m going to talk about a few enjoyable things that made it worth a second view for me. First of all, it’s a full-bodied, stuffed to the gills nineties time capsule. For example, slackers are awkwardly crammed into conversation, the cast lives above a FRIENDS-inspired coffeehouse and our protagonist Griffin (THE BOY WHO COULD FLY’s JAY UNDERWOOD) sports a goatee, wears a vest and aspires to write an in-depth article regarding the leader of a street gang named “Dog.” We learn that Griffin’s parents were killed by a serial killer named “The Sandman” who is about to be executed and “executed” in a film like this means granted incredible posthumous powers thanks to stumbling, baby stage CGI. Of course with special powers come special loosely followed “rules”, the main one concerning Sandman’s logical yet hoary aversion to water. Eventually Sandman is offing Griffin’s pals and we come to find their connection is deeper than previously thought.

It’s all pretty humdrum but occasionally the soundtrack hits you with worth your while lightening bolts like the track below…

There’s certain sloppiness to the storytelling and the plot feels caged into following a well-known pattern but I can’t say SLEEPSTALKER doesn’t hit some strange original tones at points. There’s an ethereal glow throughout much of the film and a few effectively off-putting moments. At various times we jump back to learn the killer’s origin story and it’s all kinds of Kindertraumatic. The poor guy was raised in what looks like the surreal set for an early music video, his lips were sewn shut and he was beaten nightly while a horribly creepy song played on a child’s record player. Worse still, much like your poor Unkle Lancifer, the young Sandman slept in a room with a hideous clown painting on the wall! Look at this painting! I don’t fully approve of this movie but I can’t deny the yikes of this…

And that song that the record plays! It’s repeated again over the closing credits and it is genuinely and inarguably freakishly haunting. So, in closing I can’t say I changed my mind about this one because “The Sandman” truly gets on my nerves whenever he slowly spews out word salad before a kill…BUT I am glad I checked this one out again for the weirdly twisted flashback sequences and the super awesome soundtrack, most particularly the insane song that’s apparently never going to stop slithering around my poor head…

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Name That Trauma:: Lennart on a Late Ex-wife in a Laboratory Basement

March 4th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 2 Comments

I’m trying to remember a movie. Well, I probably have never known the title of the film due to the fact that I was very little (like 5-10 years old) when I saw it. I don’t remember much of the film and the things I do remember are pretty much horror movie clichés, making it harder to figure it out, but I’ll try to describe some of it as best I can remember. Here it goes:

Firstly, it was a semi-crappy B-movie. It could have been a ‘60s or ‘70s film as well as an ‘80s film. I remember it was a black and white flick but then again there was one scene (I’ll explain later) where the police lights shined trough the window and that seemed to be in color, so let’s say it was a color film. The plot was that a young(ish) woman was hired in a house to help out or maybe she got lost and asked for shelter there. In the house there lived an old man, a middle aged man (who started killing everybody or just held the woman captive) and there was at least one more character who was the man’s brother/friend or neighbor.

One of the plot-twists was that the man kept his late wife in the basement. He might have had a laboratory-like basement and maybe he wanted to revive the dead wife somehow (maybe using the new female character for “parts”?) Then again I’m not sure about what the purpose of the basement was. All I remember is, that the dead wife was still wearing clothes (a white dress?) and the fact that the woman saw it, made the man angry and that meant that he could not let her out of the house to tell anyone about that.

As for the old man in the house, he was probably the man’s father or maybe the owner of the house. He was very ill. He was on the bed, all the time and he could ring a bell (or push a button?) to down stairs to call for help. Maybe the woman was hired to be a nurse to the grandfather figure? At one point the old man asked to see a woman naked once before he passes away. I don’t remember if the woman was forced to do so, or if she did it out of pity, but at one point she was mostly (maybe completely) naked, just standing there in front of him. There is a possibility that the nurse and the woman who was new to the house were two different people.

Later in the movie people started dying. Again, I don’t know who the killer was or why he killed but it was probably the man. The old man was killed also, the call for help button was pushed and when the woman got up the stairs to see what’s wrong, the old man was dead. At one point the woman tried to call for help with the phone, but somehow got in touch with the man’s brother or neighbor who was also in on it, I guess. The woman saw the police lights through the window and thought that the help was on the way, only to find out that that was just the man’s brother/friend with a pickup truck with the police-like lights on it. There was no escape. The brother/friend was in on the killing/harassing as well.

Sorry that was as much I could remember. This movie has haunted me almost my whole life and was the first movie that caused me nightmares and every now and again I remember some image of it. I am frustrated I can’t remember the name of the film and rewatch it. I have read a bunch of plot summaries; none have been close to what I remember. Many of them are without spoilers so it makes things even more difficult.

If you can help me, I would be so very happy. It should not be a very rare movie since it was shown in my home land- Estonia in the (very) late ‘80s or early ‘90s.

PS. English is not my first language.



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Name That Trauma:: Jared M. on a Grotesque Morphing Head

March 3rd, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 7 Comments


I’ve had this haunting memory of a scene stuck in my head for over twenty five years. Not sure if it was a movie or TV show. I still can’t figure out what I saw, but perhaps you or my fellow readers can remember. I was a little kid when I saw it. Here I am at age 32 and still hunting.

Here’s the scene…

A guy and a girl sit down on what I believe was the edge of a bed. They’re obviously about to engage in some adult activities (didn’t comprehend that at the time). The guy is talking and gets distracted — I’m not quite sure. He turns away for a moment. As he turns back around, the girl’s head has morphed into something grotesque. I believe it was insectoid, but I’m not positive. She then proceeds to eat the guy’s head.

Thanks for whatever help you could possibly provide.

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Traumafession:: Carl M. on Judgment at Nuremberg

March 2nd, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments

Forget the horror movies. What scar(r)ed me the most when I was but 8 years old was seeing “Judgment At Nuremberg” and learning about something called “The Holocaust” for the very first time! It was all I could think about for weeks!!

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Sunday Viewing:: The Haunting of Julia (1977)

March 1st, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 5 Comments

I’m still shocked that I spent half my life thinking THE HAUNTING OF JULIA (aka FULL CIRCLE) was really boring when in actuality, it’s so darn good. Thank God my brain wised up and changed its tune in this dusty review that you can read HERE. I’d say this creepy flick is a perfect movie for us to check out today on YouTube because it’s not available on DVD (around these parts) and the VHS version is all costly, cropped and crappily panned and scanned. Let’s check it out below and do pay special attention to its super spooky soundtrack and MIA FARROW’s awesome turtle neck and overalls combo…

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French Horror Funhouse

February 27th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 11 Comments

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Name That Trauma: Anna L. on an Evil Inescapable Psychiatric Hospital

February 26th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 2 Comments


My name is Anna L. and I’m wondering if you could help me identify a movie that has burned itself into my brain ever since I watched it as a child in the ‘90s (from what I remember, the movie looked like it was made in the ’90s or possibly the ’80s as well). It was about a troubled teenage girl (possibly with red or brown hair) who was put into a psychiatric hospital (by her parents I think?) after she was caught drunk driving or doing drugs or something along these lines.

However, as I remember it (which might be a bit off, since I was pretty young when I watched it and might have misunderstood something), the doctors in the hospital were all evil. They tried to experiment on the patients there or tried to get them to commit suicide maybe?

Anyway, the girl met a boy in the hospital (he had dark, curly hair I think) and fell in love with him. But I think that boy committed suicide as well in the end because he couldn’t take the horror anymore. The girl probably survived and managed to escape, I guess. Does this ring a bell for anyone? I’ve been trying to figure out what that movie was for years, but with no luck.

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Name That Trauma:: Dan Kelly on a Skiing Feline in a Doggy Dream

February 25th, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 3 Comments


This will probably be a tough one.

HERE is a full write-up I did for my blog. It’s driving me NUTS (and it probably didn’t do me any good as a kid either).

Love the site. You are doing God’s work. Which god though I am afraid to speculate upon.

Take care,

Dan Kelly

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Traumafession:: Taryn C. on The Psychopath (1966)

February 23rd, 2015 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments

I just turned 50 last week (still trying to figure out how THAT happened?) and I loved watching horror and science fiction movies during my formative years. I checked the archives but didn’t see a mention of a fairly obscure 1966 movie called “The Psychopath“. Although it wasn’t a big hit at the time, it was written by Robert Bloch, directed by Freddie Francis and starred Patrick Wymark. As a child, I used to beg my parents to allow me to spend Friday nights at my best friend, Julie’s, house. Julie’s family always stayed up to watch horror movies on the Big Chuck & Hoolihan show (Cleveland, Ohio – REPRESENT!) and I really enjoyed this Friday evening ritual. I saw “The Psychopath” in 1975 when I was 10 years old, on an old black & white TV in my friend’s basement/rec-room. It disturbed me on a level I wasn’t even aware existed! Suddenly, I realized that not all ‘monsters’ were covered in thick fur, or drank blood, or had large bolts sticking out of their necks. Sometimes a ‘monster’ can be the normal-looking person who lives next door…

I can’t begin to convey how the ending of this movie terrified me. My friend and I would always bunk down in sleeping bags (on the shag-carpeted floor!) after the movie was over, but I didn’t get any sleep that night because it was spent clutching the pillow up around my face! The mental image of the movie’s shocking ‘reveal’ played over and over in my head for a looooong time afterwards….and even years later, I would still get the chills thinking about it.

I couldn’t recall the name of this movie for the next 27 years but thankfully, the internet and IMDB came through for me and at the age of 37, I had the opportunity to purchase a bootleg copy of this film and watch it again as an adult. Perhaps it’s due to my childhood memories, but – honestly – the movie STILL manages to frighten and disturb. While it can be a difficult title to track down, I strongly recommend viewing this one to anyone who loves a good, psychological horror story!

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