Traumafessions :: Reader Miriam67 on The Nightmare Before Christmas

It was just this morning that I suddenly remembered something that totally freaked me out as a child. When THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS came out, I was ten. I remember seeing commercials for it on T.V., and there was one commercial that featured the one scene after Jack dresses like Santa and visits all the houses leaving creepy gifts. There’s one boy holding a present and his parents go, “What did Santa bring you, honey?” and he pulls out a scary shrunken head and they scream.

That always totally scared me and it was years before I actually watched the movie. It’s one of my favorites now, go figure. I looked on You Tube and found it. The shrunken head is right at the end, at 1:17. Still gives me a bit of a shiver.

Horror Movie Bar Crawl

Alcoholics and horror fans alike know that when you’re jonesin’ for a fix, beggars can’t be choosers. In these instances any old place will do. Yet we all have our personal favorite drinking spots where we feel most comfortable and at home. Here is a list of my favorite drunken horror hang outs, the bars in horror movies that I return to most often and where I sometimes even score one on the house.

THE HOWLING (Name Unknown)
Now this is my type of joint, just regular people sitting around shooting the shit and enjoying brewskis, burgers and billiards. Nobody puts on airs here and they’re very friendly to out-of-towners. My only advice is to be very specific about how you want your hamburger cooked; the last time I ordered one rare they let it cook through the entire closing credits!

Moosehead fans rejoice! This is the place for you. After a hard day in the mines you couldn’t ask for a more relaxed vibe. They’ll even let you play five-finger fillet on the tables! Stand warned though. Don’t get bartender “Happy” started on the olden-timey days. He’ll really talk your ear off!

Somewhere in the heart of Springwood lies this notorious gay bar. Don’t ask me how to get there; I don’t remember a thing. I do know that it’s hidden in a dark alley and that’s rarely a good sign. From what I recall, the lighting left something to be desired, but that may have been due to my ill-fitting leather cat mask. It’s definitely worth a stop-by if you’re interested in the more adventurous scene (i.e., S&M gym teachers), but I’d keep my eyes on my drink and who’s serving it at all times.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME (The Silent Woman Pub)
The only drawback to this fine establishment is that it acts like a magnet for drunken Shriners. If you don’t have a problem with listening to “99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall” sung in your ear all night, everything is Jake. You can’t beat the location, it’s within walking distance to Crawford Academy and it’s adjacent to a draw bridge in case you want to play a little game of “Chicken’!

THE HUNGER (Unknown Goth joint)
This place is more of an after-hours club than a bar, but I bring it up because if you go, you are guaranteed to have the time of your life. First of all, you can still smoke there, which is a major plus (actually thanks to proprietor TONY SCOTT the whole place is literally filled with smoke!), and you won’t just hear groovy tune-age from the likes of BAUHAUS, you will actually get to see them perform live! Plus, if any of you swingers out there are looking to score some ANN MAGNUSON tail, this place is really your best, and only option.

FRIDAY THE 13TH PART 2 (Casino Bar)
I love this place!!! There is always a great mix of locals, and I still hold the Q-bert high score there! It’s quiet enough that if you want to talk bar stool psychology, you know like why mongoloids are such mother-loving murderers, your friends can actually hear you! The staff is all around attentive, even if they do spend more time flirting with customers than actually clearing away empty beer bottles.

(The Tombs)
This place is very crowded, you should know that from the get-go and it may take you a while to get served, but once you’ve found a booth Beelzebub’s you’re unkle! I like to take all of my priest buddies here and get them completely, stone cold wasted. Since this is Georgetown, it’s not long before Father so-and-so is straddling a jukebox and performing a sax solo just like ROB LOWE in ST. ELMO’S FIRE! I would also recommend the establishment from THE NINTH CONFIGURATION which was also penned by WILLIAM PETER BLATTY, but I think if you went there you might get your face punched in.

HALLOWEEN (The Rabbit In Red Lounge)
A source of plenty of schoolyard speculation, this out-of-the-way Haddonfield, Illinois night spot is famous for its lenient policies regarding proper age verification. ROB ZOMBIE‘s remake may have split fans down the middle in the T.M.I. department, but few complained about his remodeling of this particular joint. Rabbit re-dux has got girly-girls doing the hoochie coochie!!!

It’s not the friendliest place on Earth, but at least it’s warm. What you’re really going out of the way for here is atmosphere and the Slaughtered Lamb just reeks of old world tradition. Dart throwing, joke telling and if you go often enough, you’re just bound to bump into DROP DEAD FRED (RIK MAYALL) playing chess! Just don’t ask the regulars about the five-pointed star on the wall and, above all else, remember the Alamo!

THE SHINING (The Overlook Bar)
If you want to go high class, I always suggest a hotel bar. Not only are they required to keep the place relatively clean, but also it’s usually teaming with yummy transients you’ll never have to speak to again. The Overlook Hotel’s bar is so fricking swank that Replicant God Dr. Eldon Tyrell (JOE TURKEL) is the gosh darn bartender! Whenever I want a refill of the good stuff, I just slam my glass down and say, “I want more life f*cker!”

So, when I want to tie one on, those are my personal favorite horror watering holes. If there’s some place that you dear reader frequent that you’d like to recommend, the comments section is all ears! Just remember I prefer nuts to pretzels, AND I’m on a limited budget.

UPDATE: Once again our brilliant readers have spoken and these are their top choices when it comes to wetting their own horror whistles.

Amanda by Night and Aunt John can be found tying one on at “One Eyed Jacks” from TWIN PEAKS. Sometimes they’ll even bounce over to sister establishments “The Bang Bang Bar” and the “Pink Room” Slow down you two, the night is young!

After Amanda calls it a night and returns home to her hubby. Aunt John finds consolation with PHEOBE CATES at Dorry’s Tavern from GREMLINS.

Mamasweetpeaches and Erczilla are all about The Winchester from SEAN OF THE DEAD and why shouldn’t they be?

Tank and the Mickster (who also raves about the club from FRIGHT NIGHT) know that the best jukebox is at NEAR DARK’S “Shit Kicker Heaven” where there always seems to be an ALIENS cast reunion taking place.

PLUS: After all this drinking you might need some late night diner grub. Amancebado suggests Beakman’s Diner from NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD and Theauldlangsyne sings the praises of a joint you may have seen in THE BIRDS.

Traumafessions :: Reader sbd on Tarzan Escapes

Sometime during the ‘70s, a local T.V. station used to show old action movies and serials on Saturday mornings and at one point they showed TARZAN ESCAPES.  Another possibility is that I saw this first at the Saturday Morning Fun Club which was similar fare put on by a group of students at the University of Texas (where my Mom attended) who got a hold of a theatre on campus on Saturdays and provided popcorn and reams of discarded copy paper to make airplanes to throw at the screen during goofy moments – I also remember some funny smelling smoke that seemed to hang above the last few rows of the theatre…  Anyhoooo.

There is a scene from TARZAN ESCAPES which seems to have floated into iconic status – at least all the references to it I found online don’t mention the specific movie it’s from and just refer to it as basically occurring in just about every TARZAN movie ever made, but I don’t think that’s the case.

What happens is this: a party of pith-helmeted white explorers are being led back to civilization by their friendly native guides through the jungle when they encounter a big, not-too-friendly tribe.  A trade deal begins and goes wrong because frankly, head bwana devil is a pigheaded idiot.  Instead of killing the explorers right there, everyone is dragged back to the jungle village where much partying ensues and where the main entertainment happens to be, of course, the execution of the explorer party.  Now the most fun way to do this apparently is to whip up a gizmo consisting of two spring-loaded tree trunks crossing each other and held in place with a single release rope (imagine what the Professor from GILLIGAN’S ISLAND would come up with if he was an escaped Nazi scientist), and then lash a poor captive to both trunks just below the cross point, cut the release rope, and watch what happens.  Mr. Hayes wasn’t about to let the Saturday Morning Fun Club show everything (this movie also marks where MAUREEN O’SULLIVAN was cast out of her skin-tastic loincloth bikini from TARZAN AND HIS MATE and into a mid-thigh tunic) but what they did show, the hapless struggling schmuck being tied up upside down in absolute terror (’cause you know if you’re being tied below the cross of two spring-loaded tree trunks, things are going to suck pretty quick) and then the tops of the trunks suddenly whipping away from each other accompanied by the most horrendous grown man scream you’ve ever heard, was enough for my fertile little imagination to fill in all the details.

Cripes!  What’s worse is, TARZAN actually shows up right after the first guy is ripped apart, but while they’re grabbing the second guy and ripping the bejeebus out of him, he’s pussyfooting around secretly cutting the ropes of the other captives.  Finally, just before the first white guy – of course – is about to get his E ticket punched, TARZAN calls in his herd of elephants to break up the party and saves everyone.

My memory of this scene has a “big-screen” quality to it – part of why it made such an impact – so I think it likely the Saturday Morning Fun Club was responsible.  It also had enough force that, until I watched the movie again recently, my recollection was of this tree thingy being utilized many times even though they only actually show it working on the first guy.  Regardless, I still remember the power inherent in that device as it loosed its stored up energy on those poor screaming extras.

Name That Trauma :: Mr. Canacorn’s Co-Worker on Psycho Primates

Last week a coworker glanced over my shoulder and asked what in the hell I was looking at. I explained the awesomeness that is Kindertrauma and he seemed appropriately impressed. Then he hit me up with his own “Name That Trauma” that left me totally stumped. So, I’m turning it over to you boys and the faithful readers of Kindertrauma….

My co-worker is very guarded about his age, but I know he’s older than I am (36). His memory involves a movie or show he saw on television as a child. It could have been in black and white or in color. All he recalls of the plot is that there were some scientists performing super secret experiments on chimpanzees somewhere in the Arctic (or some other cold as a witch’s tit kind of place). And get this; the scientists are being murdered off one by one by someone or something.

It’s the last scene that has haunted him for years. The lone surviving scientist gets locked out of the lab and is stranded outside is below freezing temperatures. He furiously bangs on the reinforced door begging to be let back in and who appears in the small window of the door? One of the chimps, looking all smart and malevolent! You see, it was the chimps committing the murders all along! Needless to say, my future coworker was freaked the hell out of his short pants…

He’s scoured the Internet looking for any clue about what movie or anthology series this could have been and has come up empty handed for years. Anyone have a clue? I’m guessing it’s pre-PLANET OF THE APES and probably from some show like THE OUTER LIMITS.

AUNT JOHN SEZ: Mr. Canacorn, as a member of the same age-bracket as your guarded co-worker, I would like to believe he is referring to the seldom-aired, season three B.J. & THE BEAR Halloween special. Readers of a certain age will recall that season three of the GREG EVIGAN-helmed, big-rig situation comedy marked the departure of pesky Sherriff Elroy P. Lobo (CLAUDE AKINS) and heralded the introduction of the “Seven Lady Truckers.”

Led by the immensely talented JUDY LANDERS as the appropriately named “Stacks,” (her character had an insatiable appetite for pancakes from what I can recall), the “Seven Lady Truckers” aroused great friction and drove a wedge between the titular B.J. McKay and his best friend Bear.

Feeling spurned and dejected, the usually easy-going Bear reached his boiling point on the Halloween special, when he methodically hunted, brutally tortured, and savagely killed the “Seven Lady Truckers.” B.J. of course had no idea who was behind the murders until the final, gory decapitation death of LANDERS.

Advertisers were mortified by the monkey violence, and the episode only aired in Eastern Europe and parts of Southern New Jersey. In the U.K. it was released theatrically as B.J. AND THE BEAR: AN EXPERIMENT IN FEAR, and was considered a major bomb.

Of course none of this actually occurred in what polite society refers to as “reality,” so I am going to ask our astute readers for help. Does anyone have any idea as to what killer monkey show Mr. Canacorn‘s co-worker is talking about? Leave your guesses in the comments, or e-mail ’em to us at

BONUS: Click the Bear button below to hear one of the best theme songs in the history of modern television!

UPDATE: Reader Ivan just sent in the following tip:

A COLD NIGHT’S DEATH: An awesome movie–I caught this on the old NYC ABC late movie–at first I thought it was a (good) ripoff of CARPENTER’s THE THING, but the TV Guide set me straight. And it IS good. I’ll never forget that damn monkey staring through the door at poor ELI WALLACH

UPDATE: Big ups to reader Ivan for nailing this one! Another Name That Trauma! solved.

Kinder-Links :: Mysterious Little Fears

I admit it. My love for Bigfoot is fading fast. I’m beginning to think the big palooka is all looks and no brains. I don’t understand why he has to smash so many people’s windows without provocation. Could the mystery beast be nothing more than a glorified vandal? I’m beginning to feel like Bobby Brady when he figured out that Jesse James was a dick-wad. I get that Bigfoot does not have to concern himself with money and such, but what exactly does he do with his day? With all that time to kill I would imagine that he would come up with a better game plan. He certainly could have learned at least one language by now!

Thankfully, my mission to watch every Bigfoot movie known to man has been greatly assisted by my pal Jeff over at DINNER WITH MAX JENKE. He was kind enough to lighten my load this week by reviewing the documentary THE MYSTERIOUS MONSTERS, a film that gave him the old Kindertrauma whammy back when he was a kid. Check out his thoughts along with some impressive footage of the hirsute beast of leisure HERE!

Long-time Kindertrauma role model Curt of THE GROOVY AGE OF HORROR has brought something fascinating to our attention, a childhood horror role-playing game created by JASON L. BLAIR called LITTLE FEARS. In it you take on the role of a child and get to battle beasts like the boogeyman and travel to a dark fantasy world called CLOSETLAND. The game, originally released in 2001, is looking forward to a special edition sometime in the future. Apparently it has caused controversy and divided critics with its portrayal of child abuse, with some condemning it and some, like noted author ANDREW VACHSS, throwing laurels. From what I’ve seen it looks pretty creepy, but any game where teddy bears come to life to protect you and kids survive thanks to a special magic called “belief” can’t be too bad in my book. To learn and see more stop by the grooviest place on earth HERE!

Murder Loves Killers Too

Do you guys remember a little while back when we talked about the cool poster art for the forthcoming film MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO?

Having not seen the movie yet, I stated that from the trailer the movie, “Looks like it knows where to go and how to get there.” Well guess what, I got a chance to the see the movie and I’m happy to report that I’ll never have to eat those particular words. When you hear horror fans bemoaning the present state of the genre, if you ever wonder what exactly it is that these people are on their hands and knees begging for, the answer is MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO. I’m not exaggerating, much of the film is a love letter to all of your favorite flicks and the part that isn’t is a bright shining arrow pointing towards the genre’s future.

The story is simple, five pretty young things embark on a weekend and meet one not so pretty older thing and, as expected, a giant portion of said people are super dead by the time the end credits roll. Director DREW BARNHARDT basically takes the viewer on a tour of horror’s most famous landmarks; it’s a fun journey and he’s a great guide, but just as you’re getting ready to thank him for the wonderful time and return to your hotel to write postcards, he grabs you by the ear and drags you down an alley that’s not on any map. This is where M.L.K.T. sets itself apart from the pack. It makes it perfectly clear that there is no place this film is unwilling to go. It’s not afraid of gore, it’s not afraid of black humor, and it’s not afraid to be smart, subtle and artistic.

I usually try to give small independent films with a limited budget some leeway when watching them but now I’m left wondering why I do. M.L.K.T. proves that it doesn’t cost anything extra to set up handsomely memorable shots, recruit likable, natural actors (lead screamer CHRISTINE HAEBERMAN particularly impresses) or orchestrate nail-biting, suspenseful scenes. I guess all you need is talent and a serious authentic love for what you’re creating, two things on obvious display here. This movie can be enjoyed as a blood-soaked party film or a bizarre art house character study or anything in-between.

Mark my words though, this is not the last time you hear about MURDER LOVES KILLERS TOO. Not only does it know where to go and how to get there, but it’s genuinely committed to giving horror fans what they’ve been pleading for, the ride of their lives.

Traumafessions :: Reader Erczilla on When a Stranger Calls

The year was 1980 and my grandparents had just got cable television. As a seven year old, I was amazed at the bounty of forbidden entertainment that was now available to me. I remember being astounded and confused by a sleazy aerobic program on Showtime and all the uncensored music videos that they showed in between the movies. My older sister and my older cousin told me that a scary movie called WHEN A STRANGER CALLS was coming on Showtime and we made plans to sneak out of our bedrooms and watch it.

We all sat in the living room with the lights turned off and were scared out of our minds by the first ten minutes of the movie. The tension filled the air as we huddled together and hoped that no one would be calling from another room in the house. Just as the movie was getting scarier and scarier, my sister heard a thumping and scratching sound coming from the coat closet. My cousin screamed at the top of her lungs as the scratching noise got louder. My grandmother came running into the living room and began cussing at us and wondered why we were up so late watching television. She opened the closet door and out sprang her cat. I remember feeling bad that we got caught, yet relieved that there wasn’t a murderer waiting in the closet!

Traumafessions :: Reader Puca on Dragon Slayer

I saw DRAGON SLAYER when I was eleven years old, in the year it was released. In the film, the king has made a bargain with a very nasty dragon. In exchange for the dragon not destroying his villages, he provides the dragon with virgins. Twice a year there is a lottery to choose a girl to be sacrificed to the dragon. But one year, the Princess learns that her name has never gone into the lottery. She sees this as a horrible wrong she must correct and replaces all the tiles with her name to guarantee that she is chosen at the next lottery.

Even when the Princess has the chance to escape her self-induced fate, she doesn’t. She descends into the cave. You don’t see her for a while, until the Slayer (PETER McNICHOL) happens upon her. And there she lays, dead (one would assume), but looking pretty decent except for a little blood…

… and there are baby dragons munching on her leg!

They’ve eaten off a fairly clean portion, and you can see the bone, and the baby dragons happily munching along like a hungry man eating a bad, fast food fried-chicken leg still attached to the chicken, ripping off more flesh as they go.

And they clean that bone.

It’s visible in the darkness of the scene; a long white shank between two hunks of meat.



And I wondered if she was dead when they started eating her. The baby dragons are hungry little buggers that look like nuclear-waste mutated MUPPETS. When SLAYER-boy McNICHOL kills them, they quiver about and are even creepier and sad because although they may be virgin-eating monsters, they’re just babies.

Since then, I’ve never been able to deal with movies where people are eaten, especially if they’re eaten alive. And if my ankles are touched or grabbed for any reason, I take serious umbrage!

Then my boyfriend learned of this trauma and thought it would be funny to bite my ankles. It was at his peril.

I found the scene in bits (at about 1:45) in a music video someone made, and it still turns my stomach.