Traumafessions :: Reader LadyKessa on Poltergeist II-Flavored Tequila

My mother re-married and my new step father decided that POLTERGEIST II was a fine film to go and enjoy. I had seen the first one and while grossed out and a little creeped out by a few scenes… I was far from traumatized by it. Now I will utter a four word phrase that frankly starts a lot of stories that end badly…

Then…he… drank… tequila.

The sight of CRAIG T. NELSON gagging and puking up that horrible worm, then its morphing into that disgusting man-thing and slithering off down the hardwood… I am in my 30’s and even to this day I cannot drink the bottom out of a bottle of soda, or the last third from any vessel I cannot see through, unless I use a straw that I bite hard so nothing more than the barest slip of liquid can get through.

AUNT JOHN SEZ: Kids, let this be a lesson to everyone planning on imbibing New Year’s Eve libations tonight… stick to beer, stay in the clear, and for the love of CRAIG T. NELSON… just say NO to Cuervo!

Traumafessions :: Reader Laura on Sesame Street, The Watcher in the Woods, & David Bowie

This SESAME STREET sketch used to scare the bejeezus out of me.

I used to make sure my feet were covered up and not hanging over the edge of the bed lest they be munched on.

Also THE WATCHER IN THE WOODS, the Disney “horror” movie. It had stuff in it about spelling things backwards, mirrors, and girls with blindfolds. Am I even thinking of the right movie? Anyway, it’s still lovingly remembered as my first taste of scary movies/the occult.

Also, DAVID BOWIE’s crotch in LABYRINTH both scared and fascinated me.

UNK SEZ: Dear Laura, it behooves me to report that while searching for a proper image of Mr. BOWIE‘s crotch to illustrate your traumafession I stumbled across something that may traumatize you even further. “A scientific look at DAVID BOWIE‘s package” can be found HERE!

Traumafessions :: Reader FatherOfTears on U.N.C.F.’s “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste”

OK, WAY back in the early ‘70s I was a little kid who, of course, grew up watching Saturday morning cartoons and “Wonderama” on Sunday morning (I’m in my early 40’s and I live in the NY, NJ, Conn Tri-State area). After school on weekdays it was, after homework of course, BUGS BUNNY, THE LITTLE RASCALS, FELIX THE CAT, and various PBS kids programs. I was allowed to watch some prime time T.V. ‘till it was bed time (around 8 PM). Here in the late afternoon/early evening I caught various programs.

My favorite prime time show was EMERGENCY (see, I’m an old geezer!) and also at the time, I got to see syndicated re-runs of THE AVENGERS. Good times! However, also at that time in the early ‘70s there were various public service advertisements that aired. Some were the classic “Cross at the green, not in between,” an anti-smoking add that had a dolphin jump out of a tank to pluck a lit cigarette out of a man’s mouth, the famous crying Indian in an anti-pollution ad, plus there was another one that was about, if I remember correctly, racism that showed a chain that was unwound and stretched till it began to crack.

Very effective.

There was another one that was out that freaked me out and it came out in 1972. It was a P.S.A. for the U.N.C.F.. There were several out and they always ended with the tag line “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” Well, this one featured a man, who may, or may not be either BILLY D. WILLIAMS or CARL WEATHERS (he does resemble them), sitting in a chair in an empty room staring out into space. We hear the sounds of a city in the background, a baby crying, a radio being tuned and a clock’s chimes going off. After that we just hear the sound of water dripping out of the tap. A narrator then comes on and he gives a speech about the importance of education and how one can do world changing things like fighting injustice, becoming an artist, making peace and curing diseases. He then goes on to say that this cannot be possible if one does not get an education.

This is good BUT something is happening as the man talks: The guy in the chair is LOOSING HIS HEAD!!!! It’s slowly vanishing!


Now this is doing a good job of proving that point especially as it ends with the classic “A mind is a terrible thing to waste” but as a then 5-year old, I found this VERY UNNERVING!!!! The guy’s head disappears!!! That quiet part with him staring and looking worried with the water drip helped set that mood and then his head slowly vanished! VERY disturbing indeed! That image would stay in my mind for many years! That image would be replaced in the summer of 1977 by even something worse but that has been covered already!

Name That Trauma :: Reader Tara J. on Sinister Stuffed Animals

I started reading Kindertrauma a few months ago and I love it. Anyways, I have this horrifying memory of a movie I watched when I was a kid and I cannot figure out what it is. I have tried asking on other message boards, and no one can figure it out. I figured you guys are pretty good at this from what I’ve seen, so I figured I’d give it a try. So this is what I remember:

I think it was about a woman who’s daughter had been killed (possibly by being hit by a car? or maybe the woman had been the one who hit her?) Anyways, this woman kept finding stuffed animals around. She found a stuffed rabbit in her freezer with a knife through it and blood. I also remember her backing up her car and hitting something and she got out and under her tire was a stuffed panda and it was raining out.

Those are mainly what I remember. Some details might have gotten mixed up in my memory, but I remember the stuffed animals really freaked me out.

I saw this in the early ‘90s sometime. I’m 23, so I was probably 7 or so when I saw it (I was born in ’85). I was watching LOVE BOAT and it came on afterwards, so it aired during the day sometime. It could have been a made-for-T.V. movie.

I have tried for years to figure out this movie. It gave me nightmares for years and I’m still a little scared of my grandma’s office. She’s a shrink, and I was watching it in one of the empty offices near hers while waiting for her to finish work. I was so scared I refused to go near that room again and sat outside her door until she was finished that day.

So any help is greatly appreciated! Thanks!

Babes In Toyland by Kinderpal LaDracul

Hey Kiddies! Your Unkle Lancifer and Aunt John found this nifty review from Kinderpal LaDracul stuck in our Christmas stocking this year! We had almost forgot what a weird trippy nightmare this made-for-television version of BABES IN TOYLAND is. Big thanks to LaDracul for reminding us!

Unlike the LAUREL & HARDY classic MARCH OF THE WOODEN SOLDIERS or the 1961 Disney version with ANNETTE FUNICELLO, the T.V. version of BABES IN TOYLAND from 1986 was pretty darned scary. Nosferatu, compost monsters, a one eyed bird whose eye was like a crystal ball…what was this doing in a Christmas movie, you ask?

The story starts out with a girl named Lisa (DREW BARRYMORE) who is 11 and more concerned with being a homemaker rather than just being a kid. Her sister Mary (JILL SCHOELEN from POPCORN and the ROBERT ENGLUND version of PHANTOM OF THE OPERA) works at a toyshop for her horrible boss Mr. Barney (RICHARD MULLIGAN from SOAP and EMPTY NEST) a guy who is dishonest and makes sexual advances on her. Ick. Also working there are Jack (a then unknown KEANU REEVES) and his friend George (GOOGY GRESS from STUCK ON YOU) who can’t stand their boss either. On Christmas Eve, a storm blows through their town of Cincinatti (which I’m wondering how many times it’s mentioned in this film), events similar to the beginning of THE WIZARD OF OZ take place, the four heroes are rushing home in Jack’s jeep when Lisa falls out on her new sled, hitting a tree and somehow landing in Toyland.

Toyland is filled with two groups: Nursery Rhyme people and Furries. Lots and lots of Furries. But the Furries aren’t the disturbing part. Lisa crash lands into a huge wedding cake meant for a wedding that’s not supposed to take place. A girl named Mary Contrary is being made to marry Barnaby Barnacle, a very unwashed old man who dresses like a Visual Kei artist and has two dumb, impervious to sunlight Nosferatu that sound like the Tasmanian Devil. The only reason Mary would even consent to this is because he owns her house, and he’s keeping her from the man she really likes, Jack Nimble, Jr. It turns out Barnaby is also Jack’s uncle, and is preventing him from rightfully taking over his late father’s cookie factory. And Barnaby has gone too far this time-he and the creepy Nosferatu have taken the cookies underground and blamed Jack for stealing them. Fortunately, Lisa is willing to do what’s right for her new friends, even breaking Jack out of jail.

But they all need help, so they go to the Toymaster (PAT effin’ MORITA), who’s revealed to them that he’s bottled up the essence of evil, to keep it in safe keeping. Of course, Barnaby finds this out through Trollog, this Cyclops bird that looks like a SID & MARTY KROFFT reject that has a crystal ball eye. So he’s sent his goons to capture the good guys and get the bottle, but Lisa outsmarts the bird by having it peck at their ropes, painting up its eye, and locking him in a trunk. Of course, this just makes Barnaby intent on making Lisa his new Trollog, and turning the others into monsters. But she’s determined not to let that happen as she sings that Cincinatti song from the beginning of the movie and then they’re all singing and break out to defeat the trolls, that look like compost heaps.

I’ll spare the details on what happens, but you get:

  • The world’s worst go-cart chase
  • KEANU punching out EMPTY NEST guy
  • Happy Ending and Ending ripped off from THE WIZARD OF OZ

I was surprised to find out the late PAUL ZINDEL (who wrote a lot of terrific young adult books) was also the screenwriter. I don’t know why the filmmakers decided to blatantly rip off THE WIZARD OF OZ, but it was still better than THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS.

Shriek of the Mutilated

Winter is upon us. Gone are the halcyon days of summer. Gone are the robust, crisp bountiful days of fall. Now is the time of year that I shelve my childish concerns about coming face to face with Bigfoot and start spending my time fretting about something real. Of course, I speak of the dreaded Yeti!!!

Bigfoot, as smelly and giant sized as he may be, is a walk in Yosemite National Park when compared with his frosty albino cousin. The Bigfoot I know, and secretly love, is a wilting violet for the most part. He slinks through the forest and wants nothing more than to be left alone with his thought(s). Much like the senselessly demonized great white shark, he only gets violent when modern man gets all up in his grill. Yeti, on the other hand, has no reservations about screaming and howling in your face like he’s auditioning for an APHEX TWIN video. Yeti is looking for trouble.

Yeti, a.k.a The Abominable Snowman, has had several films made depicting his fascinating lifestyle. Unfortunately, as is the case with the Bigfoot canon, most Yeti films tend to disappoint his ravenous fan base. (I would count SNOWBEAST among his few successes just as NIGHT OF THE DEMON is Bigfoot’s ultimate ode). SHRIEK OF THE MUTILATED, which basically shares the exact same plot as NIGHT OF THE DEMON (a teacher takes his students to an isolated place to investigate a monster who picks them all off one by one), gives us zero new information about the mysterious creature, unless you count the assertion that the beast wears tennis shoes.

The biggest problem (out of literally a zillion) with SHRIEK is that our pal Yeti doesn’t look so hot. He’s not scary period. This particular incarnation of the monster has been described as looking like everything from a department store Santa wearing a fur coat to a high school sports mascot gone berserk. I myself can only think of a large-scale version of HONK the fuzzy alien from THE FAR OUT SPACE NUTS. (Side note about HONK: HONK was portrayed brilliantly by PATTY MALONEY who was also little Lumpy in THE STAR WARS HOLIDAY SPECIAL and Twiki’s girlfriend Tina on BUCK ROGERS IN THE 25th CENTURY– take that LINDA HUNT!)

As dopey as the sometimes-frolicking monster is, he’s partially camouflaged by the fact that everything and everybody else in the movie is pretty cruddy too. There’s really not one moment of normal human behavior to be found anywhere. Suffice to say, I love, love, love, SHREIK OF THE MUTILATED. Directed by MICHAEL FINDLAY who was responsible for the crap-fest SNUFF, and written by the genius that penned INVASION OF THE BLOOD FARMERS, SHREIK offers something much more valuable than quality, it’s actually fun to watch. If you enjoy early JOHN WATERS or any HERSCHELL GORDON LEWIS then this is absolutely your bag and a must see. Unfortunately, in real life director FINDLAY had one of those dreaded freak decapitation by helicopter blade things happen to him so we’ll never know what other hilarious trash he had in his noggin’.

*One sad thing I have to report is that although a current DVD does have all of SHRIEK‘s blood and gore finally at our disposal, due to freakin’ lame copyright crap that ruins everything, the song “Popcorn” which garnished the film’s original version is M.I.A. You might not think that it would make a difference but it does, “Popcorn” has no substitute!!!!

Merry Garbage Day!!!!

Hey Kids!!!! Sick already of celebrating the holidays? Friends and family got you ready to go nutzo? Why not celebrate SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT 2‘s Garbage Day instead with this nifty postcard? Simply print out the amateurishly photoshopped image, cut and glue it to a piece of heavy stock paper and then stamp it and send it on it’s way. Imagine your postman’s surprise when he realizes that you are more unstable then he is!

Silent Night, Deadly Night (All of ’em!)

This year your Unkle Lancifer decided to give himself the ultimate holiday present by plopping down on the couch and watching all five SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT movies in a row. Did he survive? Did he go mad? You be the judge….

SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT may have been controversial upon its release, but the years have definitely softened its edges. It’s hard to imagine anyone getting too upset over what today feels more like a dark satiric comedy. Mad mothers may have took umbrage to television spots depicting a vengeful Saint Nick but let’s face it folks, scaring kids into behaving well is a Christmas tradition as old as the holiday itself. As tongue in cheek as much of SILENT is, it does indeed earn its stripes as an eighties slasher. Scream queen LINNEA QUIGLEY’s demise is a classic kill all the way and a featured slay ride beheading of a bully truly satisfies. It’s all much more sleek and compact then you’d be lead to expect and it’s far cleverer as well. LILYAN CHAUVIN, as an intimidating Mother Superior, takes her role seriously and makes a much more frightening impression than the psychologically damaged Billy who dresses up as Santa to dispose of those who have been “naughty.” Mother Superior is no match for Grandpa (WILL HARE) though, a phony mute who steals his few scenes with a memorable, twisted Popeye grimace. You’d really have to be a Scrooge not to enjoy what SILENT NIGHT DEADLY NIGHT has to offer. It might not have the class of something like BLACK CHRISTMAS, but it’s perfect for those who prefer beer to spiked eggnog.

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT PART 2 is a scam but, as far as scams go, it’s hard to stay mad at. Focusing on the younger brother of the original film’s killer we are presented with flashback after flashback of the first film. Ricky can even recall the horrible death of his parents by a mad man in a Santa Claus suit even though he was but an infant at the time! There is some interesting editing between the two films, but it’s pretty obvious that we are being presented with about half of an original movie. What we do see of Ricky’s life is that it mirrors his brother’s closely. He too is a tall drink of water that tends to go ballistic when he sees the color red or a nun’s habit. Whether the two brothers were more damaged by witnessing the horrible rape and murder of their parents or by their stay at a nun run orphanage is up for debate. Once we get all the filler out of the way, S.N.D.N.2 earns trash classic status. Actor ERIC FREEMAN’s interpretation of Ricky is sort of ROWDY RODDY PIPER meets JOAN CRAWFORD, and his mid-day rampage on a suburban street is intoxicatingly postal. He too gets to eventually have a show down with the now inexplicably facially scared Mother Superior, but not before he gets to belch out the immortal line, “It’s garbage day!” right before shooting a man for taking out his trash.

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT 3: BETTER WATCH OUT! pushes our tale to its limits. Ricky (now played by BILL MOSELEY) we learn did not actually die in the last installment and is now a Frankenstein-ish medical oddity with a glass salad bowl dome over his head that exposes his brain. Stranger still, he now has a psychic connection to a blind woman. Directed by the usually respectable MONTE HELLMAN, S.N.D.N.3’s biggest sin is not its ludicrous plot or even its ponderous dialogue, but it’s slow as molasses on Christmas morning pacing. Even still, it does have one of the more interesting casts in the series; besides the aforementioned MOSELEY, there’s ROBERT CULP and a troika of DAVID LYNCH alum: ERIC DA RE and RICHARD BEYMER from TWIN PEAKS and future MULHOLLAND DRIVE star LAURA HARRING. None are given much to do in this sadly gore-less third outing, which turns out to be the last gasp of the original’s story line.

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT 4: THE INITIATION is considered by most people to be the low point in the series, but your Unkle Lancifer is not most people. Directed by BRIAN YUZNA, and featuring such notables as MAUD ADAMS, REGGIE BANNISTER, CLINT HOWARD and even more amazingly, ALLYCE BEASLEY, Part 4 is a topsy-turvy fever dream of feminist cults, trippy body distortion and squishy jumbo insects care of SCREAMING MAD GEORGE. It has little to do with the earlier installments, outside a brief glimpse of Part 3 on a television screen and it’s Christmastime backdrop (it actually would work as a better sequel to YUZNA’s SOCIETY). Released in the U.K. as BUGS, this movie is a lunatic collage that really deserves to be taken on it’s own terms. It may leave killer Santa fans on the side of the road waving their fists in the air, but this is just the type of funky late-eighties, straight-to-video fare that yours truly lives for.

SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT 5: THE TOYMAKER saves the big guns for last and by big guns, I mean MICKEY ROONEY. Maybe I saw the television movie BILL at a far too young age, but ROONEY has always scared the living daylights out of me. His work in the film THE MANIPULATOR still sends shivers down my spine. As someone who requires a certain amount of personal space to be content, something about ROONEY’s demeanor makes me think he would not deliver it to me. He comes off as a close talker who’s always gotta shove his donkey-braying, elfin mug way too close. In this movie he seems a bit more sober than usual, but he does do a lot of screaming and eventually beats the crap out of his son. Strangely I kind of preferred this evil ROONEY over his usual more jovial-than-thou persona. ROONEY plays Joe Petto, the titular toymaker, and his son is “Pino.” Wacky Pinocchio references aside, this is kind of your standard killer toy movie, but the toys are a bit lamer than usual. The one exception is the SCREAMING MAD GEORGE creation “Larry the Larvae” who gets to tunnel through a man’s head by way of his mouth and then pops out of his eye. Folks wondering about the fate of Part 4’s main character will find her here as a friendly neighbor offering advice learned from experience.

All in all, the SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT series certainly has its weak moments but every once in a while, it delivers in bloody spades. Nothing really touches upon the first film’s simple brilliance, but that is usually the case in most horror franchises. Ironically by the end, the series achieves just what JOHN CARPENTER had in mind with HALLOWEEN 3, a selection of loosely interlocking tales centered on a specific holiday. They might not be the most expensive toys in the sack, but at least they are dependably entertaining. I was convinced that after watching all five in a row I would be crying Unkle, but instead I find myself itching for a Part 6!!!