The Second Annual Kindertrauma Halloween Parade!

ANNOUNCER: Good morning boys and girls, welcome back to the all ready in progress Second Annual Kindertrauma Time-Traveling Halloween Costume Parade. We now join your hosts, Unkle Lancifer and Aunt John, on the east lawn of Kindertrauma Castle.

UNKLE: Wait, is that a float I see driving down the street?

AUNTIE: Oh, sweet baby Jesus… that is, hands down, cross my heart and hope to die, the scariest thing I have ever seen! If it gets any closer I am going to S-C-R-E-A-M!

UNKLE: Wait, I don’t get it. What is so frightening about that? It’s just a bed.

AUNTIE: Sure it’s a bed, but do you care to guess the thread counts on those sheets? I don’t even think it’s real Egyptian cotton, and those throw pillows… S-C-A-R-Y!

UNKLE: I liked the BLAIR WITCH float better, too bad it caught on fire.

AUNTIE: Yea who would have guessed sticks were so flammable. Moving on, perhaps you’ll find our first marcher a little scary. It’s FatherOfTears making the first of his three scheduled appearances in today’s parade. Here is from 1971 as Casper the Friendly Ghost.

UNKLE: You’re right, those pants are frightening.

AUNTIE: You better stop clowning around.

UNKLE: Speaking of clowns, who’s that with the pumpkin?

AUNTIE: Why it’s none other than RATSAWGOD. Let’s throw it down to him to hear what he has to say:

RATSAWGOD: My mother made this cute wittle clown costume from scratch, and dressed me every Halloween… until I was old enough to demand a generic plastic Halloween costume for myself. Stupid, stupid me.

UNKLE: There, there RAT, there’s nothing stupid about plastic Halloween costumes.

AUNTIE: True dat UNK! Just ask Reader Shelley S. and her kitchen full of Ben Cooper-clad pals:

SHELLEY S.: This is Halloween ’78 – must have been a big year for STAR WARS costumes. I am the confused, little bunny, a few weeks shy of my second birthday, about to embark on my first Trick-or-Treat with my playdate buddy in the clown costume. My dad thought it would be a great idea to pull a handful of the neighbor kids into our kitchen and snap a picture of the occasion. Of the four kids up front, my mom can still name who was who, but I forget. Forgive the blotched out faces…don’t want to get sued or anything!

AUNTIE: Shelley is right, 1978 was the year of the STAR WARS costume.

UNK: Good God, what sort of little weirdo would voluntarily dress up as that golden fussbudget C-3PO?


UNK: No, I mean really, this kid on the far right could have been someone really cool like Han Solo, Grand Moff Tarkin or even a Jawa… but instead he really thought C-3PO was the way to go? What a loser.

AUNTIE: Zip it dude… that gold lamé droid is me! My older brothers got first dibs on the Darth Vader and Storm Trooper costumes, and my Mom flat-out refused my suggestion that I go out as Princess Leia… so C-3PO it was.

UNKLE: I guess they didn’t make Aunt Beru costumes.

AUNTIE: No, they didn’t, and if you keep it up, I’m going strut my way out the door.

UNK: Really?

AUNTIE: No, not really, but I think my feelings would be best expressed by an interpretative dance by the legendary KINDERTRAUMA DANCERS! Take it away girls:

AUNTIE: Thanks girls! Say, what’s up with the weather today? One minute it’s nice and sunny, and the next it’s overcast. I don’t want to jinx things, but it almost looks like it could…


AUNTIE: Yep, and you know what they say about showers?

UNK: Umm, do I really have to say this?

AUNTIE: Just read the cue cards or I will get someone in here WHO CAN!

UNK: Ugggh… this joke isn’t even seasonally appropriate… they bring May flowers.

AUNTIE: That’s right UNK, and if we all learned anything in high school history class, the Mayflower brought us Pilgrims. Chubby little Pilgrims!

UNK: Why look, it’s none other than Emmy Dumas, sister of Andre Dumas of THE HORROR DIGEST.

ANDRE: Today my Mom thought…”What would be a good costume for a 3 year old? cute pumpkin? A cuddly lion? Oh I know! A chubby pilgrim!!!” Isn’t she adorable?

AUNTIE: She’s totes adorable!

UNK: Ugghhh… I hate that word totes… this parade is becoming a nightmare.

AUNTIE: That’s right… A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Here’s FatherOfTears in his second costume of the day:

FATHEROFTEARS: Next is me around Halloween 1988 as Freddy. I’ve lost count on as to how many eggs of Silly Putty were glued to my face & head! Someone in the house owned a orange shirt with dark stripes and I had the hat from my high school days… I was on a TOM BAKER DOCTOR WHO kick back then. Anyway, I actually drove to my college with that makeup on. How I didn’t crash I don’t know. It was dark, I couldn’t wear my glasses and I couldn’t fully turn my neck due to the glued on mess on my head!

UNK: Dark you say? I think our next two little marchers might know a thing or two about spending Halloween in the dark.

AUNTIE: Brilliant segue UNK! Here’s Kinderpal Mickster to describe her nephew & niece’s outfits.

MICKSTER: Zac (AKA Zackster) is ALF, Halloween 1987. This was an interesting Halloween. The power went off all over my small town around 3:00 that Saturday and stayed off until 8:30 P.M. It was really creepy when the sun went down. I will always remember the Halloween blackout of 1987.

MICKSTER: Brittany (AKA Brit-Brit) is a tiger, Halloween 1988. She, unfortunately, is too young to remember the blackout from the year before because she was 10 months old at the time. She was a cute little tiger!

AUNTIE: Brit-Brit really is the cat’s meow!

UNK: Funny you would use the word meow AUNTIE, since none other than Mickster’s cat is our next entrant.

AUNTIE: Get a load of Count Von Whiskersen! That’s a really cool cape for a really cool cat.

UNK: Speaking of cool cats in cool capes, it looks like Mickster’s husband Professor Von Whiskerson just showed up in a matching Dracula costume!

PROF: Of all the costumes I had as a child, I only remember being a vampire more than one year. This pic is from 1981, according to my sister the family historian (who scanned them in). My mother did the makeup, complete with painted on “Widow’s Peak,” and those fake plastic vampire teeth that make you drool so bad you’re constantly making Drac-like sucking noises. This was obviously back in the day when we counted on our kids to keep their asses out from in front of a speeding car, judging by the amount of dark clothes I’m wearing. Maybe that was a secondary reason for the white sash, although it wouldn’t even be visible from behind, what with the awesome black cape.

AUNTIE: Indeed Prof., black capes really are awesome!

UNK: Did you both just use the A-word?

AUNTIE: What are you deaf? Yeah, we both said awesome.

UNK: Awww, that word makes me think of Mr. Canacorn who has been on hiatus from his NSFW blog AWESOMENESS FOR AWESOME’S SAKE.

AUNTIE: There, there UNK, I miss that big lug too, but you know what?

UNK: What?

AUNTIE: In a KINDERTRAUMA HALLOWEEN PARADE first, we have a second-generation parader… Mr. Canacorn’s son Chuy is here as a Werewolf. Let’s throw it over to the lovely and talented Mrs. Canacorn (of Lucky Kitty fame) for the details:

MRS. CANACORN: I made his hat (not the ears, but I did sew them on), attached faux fur to his shirt and made his little wolfy shoes… enjoy!

AUNTIE: How I love me some fuzzy shoes.

UNK: Well then check out the mitts on our next parader… it’s Yao Ming, a.k.a. the Orange Menace from ZOMBIES ARE MAGIC!

AUNTIE: All this cat fur is drying out my sinuses and making me feel parched, can you pass me that bottle of juice under the console?

UNK: Yeah… I got your juice right here… BEETLEJUICE that is. Take it away FatherOfTears:

The last one is from 1990 as some ghost in a TIM BURTON movie. Mother had to make the costume. I did the rest… O.K. someone in the house had to spray the colors on my hair! I didn’t put makeup on the hands, as I didn’t want white stuff all over the furniture. Oh, if you look closely on the piano, you can see my high school senior picture. DORK!!!!! Sadly, this costume was destroyed in a 1992 college party while I was tossed around in a mosh pit.

UNK: I would be a total basket case if my costume got ruined like that.

AUNTIE: Well it’s looks like our final entry should have no worries.

UNK: Damn, that’s a solid looking number.

AUNTIE: Yep, crafted from the finest timber the Pine Barrens have to offer comes Joe’s (CARRIE WHITE BURNS IN HELL) homage to FRANK HENENLOTTER’s BASKET CASE.

UNK: Wait, where’s Joe?

AUNTIE: He promises to send us a picture later tonight when he wears it out.

UNK: Speaking of wearing it out, I’m done with this banter, these goofy segues and horrible jokes.

AUNTIE: Looks like someone is ready for his nap, and with that, this concludes the SECOND ANNUAL KINDERTRAUMA HALLOWEEN PARADE. Special thanks to today’s participants: FatherOfTears (x3), RATSAWGOD, Shelley S., my two older brothers, the KINDERTRAUMA DANCERS, Emmy Dumas, Mickster’s niece Brit-Brit and nephew Zak, Professor Von Whiskerson (the cat), Professor Von Whiskerson (the man), Chuy Canacorn (and his rockin’ parents!), Yao Ming and owner Jen, and Joe from C.W.B.I.H.

And last not but, not least, special thanks to you the readers of Kindertrauma!

Happy Halloween!

Traumafessions :: Waxartist72 of Shrieks in the Night on Halloween, Friday the 13th, et al.

Well for me I saw HALLOWEEN on it’s network television premiere in 1981 (I was 9) and was forever changed. I was scared to go to the bathroom, much less sleep. I watched both FRIDAY THE 13TH and the sequel back to back and practically went into convulsions of fear, loving every single minute of it. I was hooked. So I would have to say HALLOWEEN and FRIDAY THE 13TH Parts 1 and 2 were defining moments for me. However, just as terrifying were SALEM’S LOT, DARK NIGHT OF THE SCARECROW, I, DESIRE, and HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS with SALLY FIELD. They were all made-for-T.V. movies that scared the crap out of me.

AUNT JOHN SEZ: Thanks waxartist72, you rattled off the names of some of my favorite made-for-T.V. movies. To see more from waxy, be sure to check his blog SHRIEKS IN THE NIGHT!

The Blair Witch Vs. Paranormal Activity

Did I mention that I wasn’t crazy about that PARANORMAL ACTIVITY movie?( I’m glad it stuck it to the SAW franchise though.) To tell ya’ the truth I guess there is a lot of popular stuff that I just don’t get. I hate cars, have never owned a cell phone and I’m truly appalled by pizza delivery places offering any kind of dessert.

Some people have told me that if I saw PARANORMAL with a non-sucky crowd before the hype I’d feel differently, maybe they are right but I am unconvinced. One particular piece of PARANORMAL propaganda that ended up galling me is the claim that it is superior to the film on whose shoulders it stands on, THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. Now I know not everybody digs B.W.P., I can name several people off hand whose opinion I value more than my own who find it intolerable, yet for me it really does do the trick.

In fact, I watched it again the other night (obviously well aware that it is not a true story at this point) and I still gotta say it gives me some real creeps. It certainly works for me better than PARANORMAL ACTIVITY did. I guess BLAIR just hits me where I live and rakes up my own personal bugaboos where P.A. does not. Anyway, I thought I’d try to share with you just what about it I think makes it a scarier and more effective movie (at least for me)…

For some people PARANORMAL is particularly frightening because it takes place at home in a bedroom where you are supposed to be able to feel safe. I get that, but ultimately looking at a bed just makes me feel like taking a cat nap. I defy any demon to try to wake me when I’m truly exhausted and welcome them to join me in bed if they are so inclined. On the other hand, woods, especially barren woods with trees that look like skeleton hands reaching out of the ground, scare the crap out of me. From Little Red Riding Hood to THE EVIL DEAD, woods are a common backdrop for tales of terror because they hit on something primal within us all. Think of it this way, the characters in B.W.P. were trying to GET OUT of the woods so that they could go home and GO TO bed, that’s gotta tell ya’ something.

Whether it be the scary faced locals or unseen witches, old ladies are built to unnerve. I know the GOLDEN GIRLS seem nice but just imagine them suddenly attacking you…it’s enough to make you faint on the spot. Everyone from Hansel and Gretel to that poor loan officer (ALISON LOHMAN) in DRAG ME TO HELL understands this. I’m sorry PARANORMAL ACTIVITY, but demons tend to have cool horns, awesome pointy tales, and sexy goatees. On the other hand old ladies smell like mothballs and chew Mary Jane Candy… you’re trumped again!

I know HEATHER DONAHUE (who by the way, ruled in the miniseries TAKEN) can be kind of grating and sometimes comes off like a disgruntled Urban Outfitters manager, but she admits her mistakes, never courts trouble and is an aspiring filmmaker rather than an aspiring bead stringer. JOSHUA LEONARD and MICHAEL C.WILLIAMS are guys you wouldn’t mind sharing a beer with; the only thing I would share with MICAH SLOAT is a live hand grenade.

Both films saved a lot of paper by forcing their cast to ad lib without scripted dialogue, but you can’t accuse the makers of B.W.P. of slacking creatively. Even if one felt slighted by the content of the film itself you have got to hand it to whoever came up with the spooky legend of the BLAIR WITCH; it’s far too elaborate to go into detail here, but if anyone knows a more effective campfire story I’d love to hear it.

As a person with literally zero sense of direction who as an adult has been summoned by intercom to meet up with my lost companions at the entrance of a Target department store, I feel for the trio walking in circles in BLAIR WITCH. Acting wise their frustration and exhaustion reads as authentic to me whereas our PARANORMAL pals just come off as mostly petulant and perturbed. The BLAIR kids make some dumb moves but their efforts are evident, the P.A. couple overlooks obvious solutions simply because they are conveniently told that any attempts to escape would be fruitless.

Some complain that nothing ever happens in B.W.P. but I beg to differ, there are several scenes that chill me to the bone even during a repeat viewing. The use of sound and darkness is pretty intense if you ask me and I am always aware of myself straining to hear and see more. Giggling children? Was that a cackle? Is that Josh crying out in pain? Is somebody just fucking with them? How about that damn dilapidated house at the end? That place just reeks of evil. Maybe those hand prints are a little over the top but I would not spend a second in that dwelling especially at night no matter how lost I was. At this point the film has earned its contagious hysteria as far as I’m concerned. Maybe STEVEN SPIELBERG might have preferred a CGI witchie-poo to fly toward the camera at the end, but I think the sight of Mike standing in the corner staring at the wall is simple unshakable perfection.

We all have our personal fears based on our nature and experiences. Would I think old ladies were so scary if that crone hadn’t harangued me at summer camp? Would I think being lost was frightening if I had not experienced the same feelings myself? Is Micah’s macho arrogance and mundane living space just too alien for me to relate too? Ultimately I can’t blame my disappointment in P.A. on the hype because B.W.P. had just as much or more and I loved every minute of it. Both films deserve laurels for relying on their audience’s imagination for scares but for me BLAIR WITCH illustrates the idea that sometimes less is more and P.A. reminds me that sometimes it really is just less…

Kinder-Taining :: How to End Your Child’s Halloween Birthday Party

Hosting children’s parties can be exhausting any day of the year, but throwing ones for those born on All Hallows Eve can be down right draining with the extra burden of having to make costumes. Once the games have been played, the cake has been cut, and the gifts have been opened, it’s time to clear the room and send the little partygoers on their way. Should you not have an air horn handy or enough energy to call in a bomb threat to your own home, try the simple solution of slurred arithmetic as demonstrated in the 1976 After School Special FRANCESCA, BABY. In the time it takes you to count to five, your house will emptied and you can get back to doing what you really wanted to be doing, like drinking on your child’s birthday!

Kindertrauma Investigates :: Lizzie Borden

Hi kids, it’s your Aunt John here. Your Unkle Lancifer and I are taking the day off to get ready for this coming Saturday’s SECOND ANNUAL KINDERTRAUMA HALLOWEEN PARADE. And by get ready, I really mean settle a choreography dispute with the KINDERTRAUMA DANCERS. So if you haven’t sent in your parade picture yet ( get on it!

Anywhoozles, in our absence, Kinderpal Mickster has graciously agreed to take time off from her gig as an investigative reporter and baby-sit today. So spread out your story-time mats, grab your juice boxes, and get comfortable as Mickster takes a whack at LIZZIE BORDEN:

The Lives and Loves of Laurie Strode

It’s that time of year when I watch every movie in the HALLOWEEN franchise. The quality ranges from “heart-pounding work of stabby genius” to the cinematic equivalent of a piece of fruit thrown into your trick ‘r treat bag; happily all of the films are required by law to take place on Halloween and I can’t say no to that. I never watch the HALLOWEEN movies in chronological order, but there is a method to my Myers madness. First I get PART 3: SEASON OF THE WITCH out of the way, I don’t want its joyous insanity mixing with the rest of the group, just like I don’t want my gravy touching my peas. Then it’s on to “The Laurie Cycle” which includes Part 1, Part 2, H2O & the beginning of RESURRECTION. (The rest of RESURRECTION, I discard like a corn husk.) Then it’s time for “The Jamie Cycle” which starts great with Part 4, gets horrible with Part 5 and then gets who cares because PAUL RUDD is in it. The festivities are then completed with a drunken excursion into the ROB ZOMBIE zone.

Where I stand now is in the crossroads between cycles Laurie and Jamie. So while I’m here let’s talk a bit about our old pal Laurie, the greatest female horror character of all time (Sorry Ellen Ripley, I love you too but since you drive a spaceship to work and break bread with robots, you gotta play on team sci-fi.)

When we first meet Laurie (the one and only JAMIE LEE CURTIS) she is your typical American teenager except for the fact that she is responsible, respects her parents, shows signs of humility and reads books. In today’s world such a creature would be terrorized into committing suicide via an on line social network, but back in the seventies you could wear beige and sing corny songs (“I wish I had you all alone…”) in public without fear of retribution. In fact you might even end up hanging out with the two coolest girls in high school Lynda Van der Klok (P.J. SOLES) and Annie Bracket (NANCY LOOMIS)!

Folks can speculate all they want about Laurie’s (assumed) virginity saving her hide, but I think that discounts her girl scout ability to make weapons out of household objects (knitting needles, clothes hangers) and her obvious talent for finding the quickest route between point A and point B. For somebody who is labeled a goodie-two-shoes, she sure smokes a lot of weed and spends a lot of time thinking about Ben Tramer. Alls I’m saying is Laurie is not the one note character she is sometimes painted to be. Just because she’s not as slutty as Lynda, it doesn’t make her a prude.

Interesting note: Knowing that nobody would buy the antiquated idea of a scrupulous, moral being walking the planet, ROB ZOMBIE insisted that in his remake, the thoroughly modern Laurie Strode (SCOUT TAYLOR-COMPTON) should perform various sexual acts upon a non consensual bagel to the horror of E.T.’s mom (DEE WALLACE) while threatening to escalate the atrocity to include an elderly owner of a hardware store.

Directly after the incidents depicted in the first film, emergency workers tend to Laurie’s wounds, place an insane wig on her head and drive her to the nearest hospital. Sadly, in this installment, our gal is mostly a drugged out blank slate. She’s not so far gone as to not suddenly remember that she’s her assailant’s sister, but she certainly has lost some of her whip-smart edge. Laurie has not become a total dumb-dumb though, she props up pillows to create a decoy and has dead-on accuracy shooting a gun. She’s even intuitive enough to start putting the moves on the still breathing orderly Jimmy Lloyd (LANCE GUEST) somehow knowing that dream date Ben Tramer is now a mincemeat and car sandwich.

Interesting note: If the ambulance is rockin’ don’t come a knockin! In the television version of HALLOWEEN 2, Laurie and Jimmy share a romantic moment at film’s close and ride off presumably to go make little DANIELLE HARRIS’ and JOSH HARTNETS.

I know I said this movie is “Cycle Jamie” and not “Cycle Laurie,” but I should point out that Laurie does appear in this movie briefly in a photo. Turns out daughter Jamie (DANIELLE HARRIS) lovingly keeps a photo of her mother holding a pumpkin and waiting to be picked up by Annie on the Halloween night she was almost brutally murdered. Nobody knows who took this photo (The Shape?) or how it came to be in lil’ Jamie’s possession…

It’s twenty years later (hence the title) and Laurie has changed her name, dropped the wig and nabbed a sexy new boy toy (ALAN ARKIN, who I’ve come to refer to as “George Goonie.”) She has reinvented herself not only as the dean of a prestigious school, but also as a high functioning alcoholic; you go girl! Many claim that H20 is a direct sequel to Part 2 and pretends that HALLOWEENs 4-6 do not exist. I always just assume that Laurie had two kids and kept one and dumped the other for reasons unknown…hey, it happens!

H20 is a dream of a sequel and offers us the rare treat of seeing a characters progress decades on. It sports tons of fanboy references (great job getting NANCY STEPHENS back!) that never get in the way or take you out of the plot. I’m not so keen on the new version of Michael Myers who changes his mask from scene to scene, but I’ll live.

If they gave out Oscars for slasher flicks JAMIE LEE CURTIS would have earned one here. (I’m not talking about the scene where she grabs an axe and demands that Michael confront her. I’m talking about the scene where she grabs a waiter and demands a refill of chardonnay.) H20 may throw breadcrumbs to the SCREAM pigeons, but it also stands as an admirable tribute to a character that, when all is said and done, is just as much if not more important to the HALLOWEEN series than its masked killer. My only sadness comes from the fact that DONALD PLEASANCE did not live long enough to either participate or proudly observe from the sidelines.

HALLOWEEN RESURRECTION (Well, at least the first 20 minutes of it.)
Hey fence, this is my ass and it’s going to sit on you! I’m not sure how I feel about the way Laurie exits the series. On one hand, it’s a joy to see her all ragged and war torn in a mental hospital with semi believable long hair, but on the other she deserved the dignified end of the last chapter where she did not decapitate an innocent bystander, but her arch nemesis instead. I’m not sure I can accept this ending for Laurie; thankfully in horror there are no real endings. For all we know after Laurie got stabbed, made out with her psychopathic sibling and fell several stories into some trees that she landed in the bed of a truck passing by filled to the brim with soft, cushiony Silver Shamrock Halloween masks. A fanboy can dream can’t he? Goodbye Laurie! I wish I had you all alone, just the two of us!