Kinderguest Andy of

I remembered this made for TV Movie called SSSSSssssss. It was about a guy who slowly turns into a snake. The visuals of the character in between the metamorphosis scared the hell out of me as a kid. I was terrified by it.

Thanks Andy! All film fans (especially HALLOWEEN fans) should run over to THE HOLLYWOOD SALOON A.S.A.P. and wet their whistles on their incredible podcasts! Check’em out HERE

Official Traumatot: Drew Barrymore

She established herself as a superior screamer in STEPHEN SPIELBERG‘s love letter to space aliens E.T. She saddled up next to scaremeister extraodinaire STEPHEN KING for FIRESTARTER and CAT’S EYE. And as a young adult in WES CRAVEN‘s SCREAM she pulled an audience crushing early departure that would make JANET LEIGH shower her with praise. If Drew’s not TRAUMATOT material… nobody is!


As a result of her parents’ collegiate participation in a secret government agency-funded medical experiment involving a drug known as Lot Six, Charlie McGee (DREW BARRYMORE) is blessed with the power of pyrokinesis. With the flick of an off-camera fan to blow back her dirty-blonde tresses, our heroine can furrow her brow and incinerate anything in her path. Alas, Charlie is not alone in the freaky parlor tricks department, as her father Andy (DAVID KEITH) is endowed with a rather powerful power of suggestion, something he refers to as “The Push,” that enables him to convince people that they are blind, and drain payphones at the airport of change for quick cash. Naturally, the folks at the secret branch of the government behind the Lot Six experiment, aka “The Shop,” wants them captured for further study. The first half of the film is nothing more than a drawn out chase which culminates with young Charlie burning the shit out of a pack of Shop agents on the lawn of a farmhouse where she and her father have taken temporary refuge. Undaunted by the loss of countless men, the head of the Shop (MARTIN SHEEN) dispatches John Rainbird, a psychopath with a clip-on ponytail (GEORGE C. SCOTT), to capture the McGees, and the second half of the movie involves the drawn out testing of the father/daughter mutants. Eventually, the pair tries to escape, but only Charlie makes it out after she rains an assortment of fireballs down on the Shop and everyone who works there. Of the numerous Stephen King adaptations, FIRESTARTER is definitely amongst the lesser fare; however the odd, February-November dynamic between GEORGE C. SCOTT and DREW BARRYMORE definitely smolders.


  • The flashback where Charlie ignites her mother’s (HEATHER LOCKLEAR in too brief a cameo) cooking mitts
  • Charlie gives the soldier at the airport a hotfoot
  • John Rainbird gleefully describing his plan for disposing of Charlie following the experiments
  • The night Charlie burns down the Shop

Cat’s Eye

KAREN BLACK, watch your back! You think you own the corner on horror anthologies? Well, lil’ DREW BARRYMORE has got some wigs up her sleeve too. She makes playing four separate characters look like child’s play in this whisker-licking STEPHEN KING penned comedy-horror hybrid. Her first appearance? A magic mannequin that sets a wayward feline on a vision-quest. Ever played a mannequin before Karen? Didn’t think so. Next up, Drew is JAMES WOOD’s mentally handicapped child in the black comedy showcase “Quitters Inc.” Here the unstoppable Drew sports oversized glasses, talks slower than normal, and is threatened with electrocution if her dad doesn’t nix the nicotine.(Don’t people usually get nominated for OSCARS when they go GUMP? I guess not when all of Hollywood is jealous of how cool you are, like in Drew’s case!) This story is also laced with more danger for our cat pal who must escape being used as a guinea pig! In story two our little Drew is spotted in a cat food commercial wearing an ANNIE fro. Go Drew GO! It’s called “The Ledge” and the cat’s in it too, along with the meanest pigeon you’ve ever seen. He pecks ROBERT HAYS’ foot while they’re both a jillion stories high trying to escape a cuckoo cuckold from Jersey. Finally our Puss find’s his way to the final story which is always the best one. This segment is named “General” and now so is our cat friend. He must protect America’s darling from a harlequin-hooded troll that wants to steal her precious breath! General’s major obstacle is Drew’s bitch of a mom who won’t listen to reason and thinks she’s the center of the universe. This character was obviously based on real-life spaz JADE BARRYMORE. Anyway the dumbbell mom tries to put the cat to sleep but fails miserably and before you can say “euthanasia” General returns to save the day! And when I say “save the day” I mean participate in the rockingest throw down that has ever graced theater screens EVER! Now Drew and her Cat can live happily ever after and look forward to a future without wigs! 


  • This cat is so awesome that he foils both CUJO and killer car CHRISTINE both on the same day! If anyone knows how he configures into the DARKTOWER series please email me!
  • ALAN KING rules as the head of “Quitters Inc.”
  • Suicide is not an option in a universe that is home to a film that features a cat putting a troll on a record player and then playing it faster with his paw at DREW BARRYMORE’s command! This scene could put Bellevue out of business for good!

TRAUMAFESSIONS :: Reader Matt N. on Watership Down

(WATERSHIP DOWN) was shown to our 3rd grade class on a rainy day. It ruined my life.

Editor’s note: I would like to officially announce my first ever Traumafication-by-proxy which took place while hunting down an image for this post. WATERSHIP DOWN is a veritable nightmare that has now ruined my life as well. Thanks, Matt!

P.S. Matt: Whatever you do, do not click HERE

Gremlins 2: The New Batch

When it’s primarily the pre-teen set that’s buying tickets, five years can be a long time between films. Many a GREMLINS t-shirt was outgrown between 1984 and 1989. The result? This worthwhile sequel came and went without nary a mogwai chirp. It’s a shame because THE NEW BATCH is everything a sequel ought to be and much more. It brings back the elements from the original that we are nostalgic for (though admittedly it is FELDMAN-less) while expanding it’s universe and upping the ante at every turn. G2 goes one further still, by splicing it’s DNA into nearly every known genre and becoming a different beast altogether. By films end, it becomes a whirlwind collage of self references, fourth wall obliteration and non-stop cinephilia. Continue Reading →


As the Christmas snow powders the sleepy streets of Kingston Falls, inventor Randall Peltzer (HOYT AXTON) returns from a business trip with an exotic mogwai he picked up in New York’s Chinatown for his son Billy (ZACH GALLIGAN). Billy is delighted by the furry little creature his father has dubbed Gizmo, and sort of half-listens to the three caveats that govern the gift of the mogwai: don’t expose it to bright light; don’t get it wet; and never EVER feed it after midnight. Continue Reading →

The Willies


Here’s a strange little horror anthology geared toward the Nickelodeon set. It’s wraparound tale involves three kids in a backyard tent (one of whom is SEAN ASTIN) swapping scary stories and trying to gross each other out with adolescent humor. The structure is an oddity as we begin with various blink and you’ll miss them vignettes about well known urban legends, like the dog in the microwave, then move on to two excessively long tales that fill out the bulk of the film. The first concerns a tormented boy who finds a monster in the boy’s lavatory at school. Although it’s played as broadly as possible, it’s easy to imagine a child thinking twice about using a bathroom stall after viewing. It’s given some buoyancy thanks to stand out performances from greats JAMES KAREN & CLU GULAGER (RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD) and KATHLEEN FREEMAN(GREMLINS 2 THE NEW BATCH). The second and most memorable tale introduces us to the most unlikable protagonist this side of 1981’S THE PIT. Gordy Belcher is an overweight social pariah who spends his days creating tiny dioramas of dead flies. He’s impossible to sympathize with, but bizarrely fascinating anyway. He has a constantly constipated expression unless he’s witnessing somebody in anguish, in which case he howls with delight. His private war with a crypt keeper like farmer ends when the farmer offers him an olive branch in the form of magic manure that escalates growth in plant-life. Gordy’s tiny insect obsessions dine on the doo and greet him at the foot of his bed in new gargantuan form ready to extract long overdue revenge.


  • The appearances of Seaver siblings TRACEY GOLD, JEREMY MILLER and yes, a sense of humor intact KIRK CAMERON!
  • The Janitor putting on his mask
  • Gordy laughs at a near fatal car crash
  • The fly on a crucifix in the tiny church
  • Girl munching into Gordy’s homemade fly cookie
  • Gordy’s new appendages

Whoever Slew Auntie Roo?

Following the success of BETTE DAVIS and JOAN CRAWFORD in WHATVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, Hollywood developed a formula for dealing with A-List actresses of a certain age. Take the over-the-hill screen siren, slap her into a harebrained thriller, and watch the camp meter explode. Such is the case with SHELLEY WINTERS over-the-top turn as widow Rosie Forest in 1971’s WHOEVER SLEW AUNTIE ROO? After her only daughter Katherine dies in one of those unfortunate, “Mommy, watch me slide down the banister” mishaps, the insanely wealthy Rosie spends her days caring for the child’s mummified remains that she keeps stashed in a hidden nursery, and trying to make contact with the dead girl via séances facilitated by an obviously fake medium. Once a year, Rosie, aka Auntie Roo, opens her big heart and expansive manor to select children from the local orphanage at Christmas time. When the uninvited brother-and-sister tag team of Katy and Christopher crash the holiday festivities, Rosie realizes the striking resemblance between Katy and her dead daughter, and does what any grieving mother would do; she kidnaps the young girl and locks her away in the hidden nursery. After the rest of the children are carted back to the orphanage, Christopher hangs back and wages a one-boy battle against the unhinged Auntie Roo in order to free his sister. The film makes no secret that it is a retelling of Hansel & Gretel, Christopher articulates this one too many times in various voiceovers, and it makes the obligatory nod to the Wicked Witch of THE WIZARD OF OZ with Auntie Roo’s hourglass in the kitchen. WINTERS never really comes across as a witch, but more of a bat-shit insane mother, and the analogy falls somewhat flat. 


  • Auntie Roo performs a soft-shoe routine for the orphans on Christmas Eve, and SHELLEY shows off some ample inner-thigh
  • WINTERS pre-dates JACK NICHOLSON‘s classic “Here’s Johnny” move in THE SHINING by nine years when she hacks her way through the pantry door with a meat clever, followed by a close-up of her face in said shattered door
  • The mummified remains of the daughter crumbling in Auntie Roo’s gloved hands
  • Auntie Roo devours an apple