Name That Trauma :: Reader Jeffrey P. on Tots Terrorized by School Supplies

It’s me again, the same one who told you about my fear of FRAGGLE ROCK and the THX logo! Now, I have a trauma that I don’t remember much about. Here’s what I remember:

Two kids were running out of a house and into some kind of van, or something like it, yelling, “We’re going to the water slide! We’re going to the water slide,” in a sing-song kind of way. Then they look in the seats next to them and, from what I remember, they saw a bunch of school supplies next to them. That instant, they yelled, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!”

That’s all I remember, since it has been a very long time since I saw it. It would be a pleasure if anyone could track this down for me.


Jeffrey P.

Traumafessions :: Reader Eric McDade on the Send a Mouse to College Fund

send a mouse to college

Hey there,

Just wondering if you guys encountered the Send A Mouse To College Fund as kids.

The thrust of the fund was to get elementary school kids to beg for money from their parents and their parents’ friends, which would eventually be used to pay for lab mice at, I suppose, local colleges and/or high schools.

Of course, being a kid, none of the grisly truth about what the money’s actually for really makes its way to, past the idea that you get iron-ons and buttons for being a mule.

So you end up walking away with a sense of pride for having raised a bunch of money, as well as a new iron-on of a cutesy, cartoon mouse holding a diploma, wearing a graduation cap and gown neatly pressed onto your old, white Fruit of the Loom T-Shirt.

And of course, none of what you’ve taken part in hits you until you’re in your mid-thirties.

Good times.

Just thought I’d share that with you.


Eric McDade

AUNT JOHN SEZ: As an elementary school student of the late ’70s and early ’80s, I was subjected to brainwashing machinations of the cult known as R.I.F., and its super sexy spokesman ED ASNER:

We were too busy reading books to be bothered with sending cute little animals to death camps. And by the time I got to junior high, we had moved on to peddling Columbia House records and cassette tapes:

Did anyone else out there in Kindertrauma-land “Send a Mouse to College”? If so, please sound off in the comments. And if anyone managed to use the hard sell to convince their Mom to buy The Eurythmics Touch LP, we need to talk.

Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer

Am I last kid on the block to watch JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER? I had been reading about it for some time, finally bought a copy and then just sat on it for months (literally- it somehow found its way under the couch)! Well, just in case there are any other stragglers out there even more lost in the eighties than I tend to be, here is a spiffy post all about how I finally watched it and how I think if you have not yet, you should.

JACK BROOKS: MONSTER SLAYER is about a guy named Timmy O’Tool, no, just kidding, it’s about a guy named Jack Brooks and yeah, by the end of the flick he does indeed turn out to be a monster slayer! The movie has been compared to THE EVIL DEAD films and PETER JACKSON’S DEAD ALIVE, but try not to think about that because that will just leave you needlessly disappointed when you should be enjoying yourself. Personally, I was reminded of the criminally overlooked straight to DVD gem SOULKEEPER from 2001. (SOULKEEPER has the worst cover art in the history of the DVD, but it’s a really entertaining supernatural romp with a DEBRA GIBSON cameo that should be seen by all! My hero in life BRAD DOURIF even shows up!) J.B. may also owe a tip of the trucker hat to an ass kicking gal named BUFFY which is just fine by obsessive Sunnydale dweller me.

When we first meet Jack he has some severe anger management issues which stem from a real life kindertrauma he endured. As a child Jack witnessed the slaughter of his family during a camping trip at the hands of a hideous creature. Therapy is useless and it is only when Jack owns up to his anger and channels it into the destruction of similar monsters that he finds his true calling. The first half of the film might lose some impatient viewers with its cartoon character development, but once Jack achieves self actualization it is wall-to-wall action garnished with joy inducing splatter and a highly appreciated zero CGI ratio. Somewhere in the future I am waiting in line to purchase its sequel and I’m very, very excited.

Here is where I give big props to horror legend ROBERT ENGLUND. Seeing his name on the DVD cover I wrongfully guessed that ENGLUND was going to show up, be ROBERT ENGLUND, grab a paycheck and then split. He’s actually amazing in this movie and showcases some serious chops in the physical comedy department. Who knew? I’ve always been impressed with ENGLUND’s ability to emote so much personality from behind a wall of makeup, but now I’m picturing an alternative universe where he might have been the second coming of JERRY LEWIS. Way to show me what an assuming closed minded twerp I am Mr. ENGLUND, I like it when actors do that!

TREVOR MATTHEWS does a fine job in the title role and is a breeze to hang out with for the course of the film. He’s no BRUCE CAMPBELL but neither are you. Kudos also go to RACHEL SKARSTEN, if for nothing else than forcing me to contemplate the concept of latent heterosexuality. I’m going to throw this baby onto the ever growing pile of movies in my head that support the fact that if you want to see a good horror movie these days you’re better off cranking up the T.V. and staying home. Turns out there’s plenty of great stuff going on this decade, just maybe not at your local theater.

Name That Trauma :: Reader Guy T. on Orphans at Sea

O.K. not to be greedy… but there is a movie I saw as a kid, and it was a movie not a T.V. movie, and I think BOGART was in it. There were children on a ship (and this is like British navy, 19th century or a pirate from that era I think) and one falls from the rigging and dies, again with blood out of the nose. I guess that nosebleed death thing really got to me as a kid!

I have sort of searched through BOGART filmography and haven’t really turned up anything, so I may be wrong about him, but there was definitely a ‘40s early ‘50s feel to the film and there were (orphan?) children on a ship. I think someone gets hanged in it as well.

UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! Reader Senski truly is the captain of the S.S. Trauma for steering us towards A HIGH WIND IN JAMAICA.

Name That Trauma :: Reader Susan G. on a Possibly British Blob-Like Monster

This is what I remember.

In the late 1950s, I went to the movies with my older siblings; was dumped, so they could go off with their friends. I watched this movie ‘alone’ in a theater with a crowd of people:

Group has built a rocket, to go to the moon. There they will build a moon base. This base has several domes. Funds are cut. Project canceled. Ordered to shut down. Small meteor-like rocks are seen falling to earth on their radar. Investigation finds that the rocks explode and an alien gets inside the human and kills or takes over their body. Further investigation finds an identical moon base has been built on Earth. It is call a soup factory. Humans who have been taken over by the alien run this factory. They give tours, where humans are thrown into a vat to feed the alien, who looks like THE BLOB. Group with the rocket blast off the rocket to destroy the alien in the ‘soup factory.’ The base is destroyed, but, THE BLOB-like alien is set loose. It terrorized me. Finally it was killed. This movie was set in a country where the police sirens sounded like “it was Great Britain.”

So did I image this? Is it a combination of scary movies I saw, that I did not want to see? I have searched for this film. I don’t have nightmares anymore, BUT I did for too many years. Can anybody help me find the name of this film?



UPDATE: Name That Trauma SOLVED! Special thanks to Reader Senski for knowing that this Blob came from 1957’s QUARTERMASS 2.



If W.C. FIELDS was known for his reluctance to working with kids and animals, then there should be a list of actors that both child and four-legged performers should avoid at all costs. Based solely on her less than subtle performance in MOMMY, and I do mean that in the nicest was possible, PATTY McCORMACK tops my short list of actors children should not work with. On paper, MOMMY loosely reads like an imaginary sequel to McCORMACK’s most infamous work THE BAD SEED. Imagine if little Rhoda Penmark grew up, spawned a tow-headed daughter, became an alpha-Mom, and left a body count in her wake when said daughter Jessica Ann (the completely overwhelmed and out of her league RACHEL LEMIEUX) is overlooked for student of the year. In actuality though, MOMMY has too much working against it to rightfully be considered the heir apparent to the BAD SEED.

For starters, you know something is terribly wrong with a movie when you can barely hear the lead child actress mumble over the score. The omnipresent music in MOMMY takes on a life of its own and drowns out just about everyone except for McCORMACK who belts out every line like she is performing for the back row in a theatre production. I know the budget on this one was paltry, but surely there was a boom mike on set. Dial it down a notch PATTY! Taking the opposite approach is JASON MILLER (THE EXORCIST’s Father Karras) as the chain-smoking Lieutenant March hot on the heels of our murderous matriarch. Self-aware enough to realize that this vehicle is beneath his esteemed horror pedigree, his boredom is palpable.

Had MOMMY played it for laughs, like JOHN WATERS’ SERIAL MOM, it could be a contender as a camp classic. It features cameos by MAJEL BARRETT, the “First Lady” of STAR TREK and crime writer MICKEY SPILLANE, as well as undisputed B-Queen BRINKE STEVENS as the oddly eye-browed Aunt Beth. Not even this troika, bolstered by MILLER, can wrestle MOMMY away from McCORMACK. It’s ultimately her showcase, albeit a sorely disappointing one. Both she and the legacy of Rhoda Penmark both deserve much better.

Traumafessions :: Reader Kahotep on a N.Y.P.D. P.S.A.

Hello, guys, Kahotep here, terrific site, and I’m looking forward to exploring every crook and nanny here, and all this Traumafessin’ has made me remember a Public Service Announcement I saw once or twice late at night growing up in New York. I’m wondering if anyone else remembers it: it’s a face shot of an actor playing a policeman, saying something to the camera along the lines of, “When some of you look at me, you don’t see a person, you see a pig.”

And then his face morphs or dissolves into that of, yes, a pig. I don’t remember much else, but it was in the same style as that Smokey the Bear one where a model unzips her head to reveal the bear underneath.

Good old-fashioned nightmare fuel, that.

Anyway, thanks for listening!


UNK SEZ: Kahotep, I think I know what you are talking about! I remember it being an anti-littering spot. There was this woman’s voice that kept saying, “You’re the one!” as in “You’re the one who throws trash from your car.” Each time she makes an accusation the man turns more and more into pig until finally he was some kind of Dr. Moreau-type pig monster. If it’s the same spot I’m thinking of, I can attest to how disturbing it was. I may have mentioned how I feel about scary pigs once BEFORE.

Traumafessions :: Reader Rich E. on The House on Haunted Hill

Hi KinderTrauma,

The link to this site, found today at Vault of Horror — brought back one of my earliest shocks.

Not long after we moved from Toronto to NJ, I discovered Chiller TheaterCreature Features…my Saturday nights revolved around these shows.

We had an old black & white T.V. in the basement. One side was finished for us kids…our T.V., my drums, our stereo & records were all down there. An open doorway led to the laundry room & Dad’s workshop, dark and creepy, and it was a challenge to walk past the doorway on the way upstairs after a movie, sometimes. At the very back of the laundry room there was a small crawlspace a few feet above the floor, warped doors exposing the darkness within…

The floor of the finished side was green linoleum with a black linoleum square in the middle, with a linoleum laughing clown face, right there on the floor. The face was assembled out of pieces of linoleum like a puzzle. I later covered the clown with the rug that my drum set sat on.

The night Chiller showed HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL, there was nothing in the room but a small chair and the lamp on the floor behind me, for my dad had just waxed and polished the floor, and we hadn’t yet moved our stuff back. My shadow loomed on the wall next to the T.V.

WILLIAM CASTLE‘s movies always gave me the creeps and I loved them. The eerie piano music, the ghostly female voices going ah-h-h-h-h, the shadowed b&w photography that had that strange presence; I don’t know how to describe it. Crystal clear but strangely lit. The opening scenes hypnotized me…the cars arriving one by one as each passenger’s story was told…the Frank Lloyd Wright house, which was later used in “Angel”VINCENT PRICE and the supersexy CAROL OHMART were so lurid…the miniature coffins holding the “party favors”…I was completely absorbed.

Then the attractive young couple, played by RICHARD LONG & CAROLYN CRAIG, hang behind the others in the basement to explore and look for secret compartments where someone playing a trick might hide. Miss CRAIG kneels to listen for hollow areas on the wall while LONG knocks from the room next door. She’s alone in the room…she stands up and sees that face leering over her shoulder!!

My face must have gone white, I felt numb, my eyes must have bulged in their sockets for a second when I saw that old hag! It hovered next to her while she screamed, then floated out of the room, right past her screaming face, its hands clutching the air, scrabbly old claws. I couldn’t stay down there in the basement all by myself. I ran across the room, pounded up the stairs and then up stairs once more to my parent’s bedroom where they were watching CAROL BURNETT. Or was it BOB NEWHART? It was that famous CBS Saturday night lineup.

I tried to casually lean against the door and check out the show but my mom knew something was up…“What’s the matter?” “Oh nothing.” But she knew what I had been watching. Later I felt angry with myself because I knew I’d missed the rest of a really good movie. To this day, whenever I’m creeping around, searching for secret compartments, I can see that scary face in my mind and I nervously look over my shoulder.

UNK SEZ: Rich E., thanks much for this vivid traumafession and for mentioning one of our favorite joints, THE VAULT OF HORROR!!! Anyone out there interested in visiting THE HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL can do so HERE.

Name That Trauma :: Reader Jim M. on a Team of Time Looping Scientists

Given my fascination with LOST (and just about any time travel/time loop story), I have spent too much time Googling and hunting for a film that help contribute to the oddity that I am today. All I remember is that a team of scientists were in some sort of space/jungle station and they kept reliving the same scenes over and over again until someone managed to break the time loop. I remember a computer that had one large center light (or possibly an eyeball.) Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

UNK SEZ: Jim M., time traveling scientists in the jungle? I’m no help, all my pea brain can come up with is PREHISTORIC GLAMAZON HUNTRESS: A.D.!