Kinder-Link :: Haunted Closet’s Spooky Little Rascals

When your Unk was a critter way back in the seventies they used to air THE LITTLE RASCALS shorts on television every Sunday morning. My favorite was one where the gang unknowingly gets trapped in a haunted funhouse ride. I remember watching every Sunday just hoping that they would show that one again. Leave it to THE HAUNTED CLOSET to dedicate an entire post to spooky LITTLE RASCALS‘ episodes including that favorite of mine (turns out it’s called HIDE AND SHRIEK). Make sure that you check out this wonderful post HERE.

Name That Trauma :: Reader Tony M. on a Creepy Christmas Flick

I remember a movie from the late 1960s/early 1970s that was a Christmas anthology (I think.)

The only thing I remember is an image of a toy soldier in a waterfall/river/body of water and that of a little girl.

I vaguely remember the term “Kris Kringle” used in the movie trailer, and that it was shown as a double feature with THE CHRISTMAS THAT ALMOST WASN’T (again, I think.)

I also remember that it was somewhat creepy.

Any ideas? I would love to complete this partial memory…..


Tony M.

Traumafessions/Name That Trauma :: Reader Karen on A Girl Named Sooner and a Mantis Most Likely Not Named Begley

An IMDb user calls A GIRL NAMED SOONER, “a beautiful story that will tug at your heart.” The only scene from this T.V. movie that I recall, and vividly, is the one in which Sooner shows her tame pigeon to a group of kids who then throw gravel and pebbles at the pigeon till it’s dead. Sorry, but I can’t find an image of this scene online.

Another made-for-T.V. movie that traumatized me concerns a couple who moves to a rural town where the wife becomes involved in a fertility cult. I was fairly certain that ED BEGLEY JR. played the, uh, male praying mantis. If I remember correctly, the final scene shows the infertile out-of-towner husband blinded and with his tongue cut out. I can’t find anything in BEGLEY JR.’s filmography that sounds anything like this movie. Does it ring a bell with you? It would’ve aired in the late ‘70s or possibly the early ‘80s.

Thanks for reminding me of BORN INNOCENT! The big kids on the school bus had to explain to us littl’uns what the deal was with the plunger.


Kindertrauma Funhouse :: Made For TV Mayhem!

UNK SEZ: You kids are in for a special treat! Today’s Kindertrauma Funhouse is being hosted by the glamorous queen of television AMANDA BY NIGHT of the beyond spectacular MADE FOR TV MAYHEM!!! Amanda has supplied us with ten televisions on which can be seen ten images from ten made-for-television masterpieces. How many can you name?

Kinder-News :: Poltergeist 3 Star Dies

Death, ignoring centuries of pleas to “pick on someone its own size” took the life of 76 year old ZELDA RUBINSTEIN yesterday. RUBINSTEIN is best remembered for starring in the super awesome POLTERGEIST 3, but she also appeared in such notable films as SIXTEEN CANDLES, ANGUISH and POLTERGEIST 2: THE OTHER SIDE. She even appeared in a film simply titled POLTERGEIST in 1982. Many believe it was her work in that movie which lead to her landing the landmark role of “Tangina” in the classic POLTERGEIST 3.

Even those who have never seen POLTERGEIST 3 are certainly familiar with many of the highly quotable lines uttered by her character within the film, lines like “My God! HE FOUND HER!“ and “I have the KNOWLEDGE… and the POWER!

Friends fear RUBINSTEIN‘s untimely death will add more fuel to the whispered rumors of a “TEEN WITCH” curse.

In all seriousness, we here at Kindertrauma will miss ZELDA everyday for the rest of our lives because she was one of the coolest people who ever lived. GO into the light baby!

Traumafessions :: Reader -Double L- on a Twisted Tango Advert

Love the site. It’s great reading about the freaky things people remember from their childhood, and I thought I would share one of my own.

There are a few traumatizing T.V. memories from my childhood, including the infamous BBC broadcast GHOSTWATCH (which is one of the main reasons for my current love of horror movies.) But one that stands out in my mind was this advert for soft drink Tango.

Now the Tango adverts had generated quite a bit of controversy here in the U.K. by that time, but when this advert popped out of nowhere, I was caught completely off guard.

A guy is at a football match when the crowd disappears and he is left all alone. Shocked, he sees a little girl skipping on the pitch, however she turns around to reveal it is actually an old woman (an apparent homage to cult classic DON’T LOOK NOW) who is brandishing a giant corkscrew. To the man’s side appears a grim reaper-like figure. Both the woman and the reaper began shouting, “No” at the man in what is a very disturbing (and somewhat psychedelic moment.) The man, getting quite panicked takes a drink of his can of Tango, and is instantly ‘decapitated’ by a mysterious force. Suddenly, the pitch returns to normal, and the man is left traumatized and rubbing his throat in shock.

Although the advert is done in a quite humorous tone, it was quite shocking for young children and seemed to be pulled of the air quite quickly as I can only remember seeing it a few times.

-Double L-

Name That Trauma :: Reader Jimmy F. on Two Hospital Horror Shorts

Got one that I’m sure someone knows. I remember watching late night anthology horror/sci-fi a lot with my mom in the ‘80s and there’s a couple of shorts that I can vaguely recall. It’s seems like it might have been a RAY BRADBURY THEATER deal.

One short dealt with paralysis. A man gets in a car accident and can’t move, but he brings you along with his inner dialogue. Something must’ve been sour with the guy, since most of the stories in series like that involved a comeuppance. He’s taken to a hospital, and in SERPENT AND THE RAINBOW fashion, pleads fruitlessly that’s he’s not dead. Most of the short is from his viewpoint, looking at the wheels spinning from the wreck, looking up at the doctors, etc.

I’m almost positive the second short I can’t place was during the same episode. It dealt with a man and his wife. The wife had been attacked or raped, and the husband was picking her up from the hospital. On the way home, she shrieks at the husband to stop the car, that’s she’s just seen her attacker. He parks the car, beats or kills the guy, then continues driving home. Seconds later, she claims to have just seen her attacker. He says something like “Are you sure? I thought that other guy was the one!” and she replies something like “No, I’m sure this time.” I think he beats/kills one or 2 more guys until he realizes wifey’s brains have gone bye-bye.

Love the site!

Jimmy F.

UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! Special thanks to reader jaakko for knowing that these were episodes “Breakdown” and “Revenge” from 1985’s THE NEW ALFRED HITCHCOCK PRESENTS.

Traumafessions :: Reader David D. on MacGyver ep. “Kill Zone”

From my humble beginnings, according to my mother, I was a sensitive child. Quiet, bookish, a catch and release the firefly sort of kid. I would cry when other neighborhood children would keep them in jars or squish them against the sidewalk. This sort of behavior did not sit well with my Father and he would try, to the best of his ability, to toughen me up. We would watch grown up type movies. Not ‘adult’ movies but movies like TRUE GRIT, TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE, THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN. These watching habits extended to television as well, THE A-TEAM, KNIGHT RIDER, these were all shows enjoyed by me while my dad read the paper and nodded approvingly whenever MR. T punched a dude, my dad even let me have the recliner when they were on.

“This sounds like a perfect childhood, Fauntleroy, where is the trauma?” you ask.


The year: 1988.

The person: An 11-year-old me.

The show: MACGYVER. I had to look up the title of the episode, “Kill Zone,” and the year (my memory isn’t THAT good).

In this particular MACGYVER, he is sent in to some wilderness to investigate reports of animals dying after a satellite crashes to Earth. I may be wrong about the satellite, but the episode had a real ANDROMEDA STRAIN feel to it. It turns out, a weird bacteria has returned with the crashed object and this bacteria, upon exposure to a living thing, accelerates the aging process to fatal levels. We’re talking a lifetime in a matter of minutes. A sample of the bacteria is sent to a lab for analysis where it comes into the hands of a dedicated lady scientist who is softened by the presence of her beloved dog. How could this scientist be so obstinate? Look how much she loves her dog.

The episode progresses. MacGyver fixes stuff with a paper clip, etc. etc. Eventually, he is supposed to destroy said organism, its existence deemed too dangerous to the planet Earth. The dedicated lady scientist isn’t having it. The organism is simply too important to destroy. She locks herself in the lab with her dog and the organism sealed in a glass container for further study. Alas, the beloved dog misinterprets the glass container holding the bacteria for a toy and knocks it from her hand, releasing it in the sealed laboratory.

The dog immediately begins to age, its black fur becoming gray seemingly before MacGyver’s eyes. It limps to the lady scientist’s lap and dies in her arms while she also begins to show signs of age. MacGyver runs to find some way to free her from the lab but by the time he returns, she is horrifyingly old and, in my opinion, kind of looks like a gray haired version of The Hag from the trauma inducing movie CURTAINS. It wasn’t enough that a dog withered and died in front of my eyes while its owner apologized and said ‘she hoped it doesn’t hurt’, no, I was also treated to the grim visage of death itself, in the form of a grizzled old woman.

I ran from the room, oblivious to my father’s cries of, “For crying out loud! It’s just MACGYVER!” I never watched another episode of MACGYVER again for truly this was a one/two punch: soul crushingly sad, followed by horrifying.

Finding the clip online was easy, WATCHING said clip, an entirely different matter. I did not, but I am including it for those whose morbid curiosity is unquenchable. Don’t say I didn’t warn you:

Halloween II (2009, The Director’s Cut)

While I was reading up on the SHIRLEY TEMPLE fantasy flick THE BLUE BIRD, I found that consensus held that its financial failure was due to the fact that audiences could not stomach seeing SHIRLEY in an “unsympathetic” role.

We’ll get to ROB ZOMBIE’s DIRECTOR CUT of HALLOWEEN II in a moment but first I’d like to know what’s so darn unsympathetic about SHIRLEY‘s character Mytyl in THE BLUE BIRD…

Let me break down Mytyl’s “bratty” behavior for you; when the film opens we find her putting forth great effort into capturing a bird and then finally succeeding. On the way home with her prize some girl who claims to be ill suggests that Mytyl hand it over it to her, and Myty rightfully declines. Later, Mytyl comes across a mansion where folks are living it up at a Christmas party. She points out that those who have to work the event are having zero fun.

Once home, Mytyl accesses her surroundings and feels great dissatisfaction She demands to know why her digs are so cheap when others are living high on the hog. Mytyl refuses to be placated with the old “others have it worse then you so shut up “ spiel. The girl can’t help it, she wants more.

That’s about it, the rest of the movie she’s helping strangers find their lost belongings, yodeling for people’s entertainment and playing therapist to a bunch of unborn children. She even hands over the bird to the sick girl eventually, so really why the hell is she so darn “unsympathetic”?

Is it because she expressed her unhappiness and dissatisfaction? Is it because she voiced her discontent? Is it because she had the audacity to stop tap-dancing for other peoples benefit and wonder what’s in it for her? Audiences want Mytyl (and SHIRLEY really) to shut up and tow the line; they want those dimples to shine.

All of this was on my mind when I sat down to revisit Haddonfield with the director’s cut of H2. Now, I defended the theatrical cut for its schlocky, rough around the edges grindhouse charm and general off kilter bizarreness but I’m now prepared to unabashedly call the director’s cut one of my favorite films of last year. It quite simply fascinates the hell out of me. Is Michael Myers wearing a hoodie in this? Do they show his face? You know what? I couldn’t care less about that guy at this point. I’m intrigued, enamored and obsessed with this cut of the film because Laurie Strode takes off her own mask here and reveals her rage. Is she sympathetic? Does she yodel and tap dance for the audience? The time for keeping up a polite front is over. Laurie Strode is seriously fucked up and whether you like her or not is beside the point.

I realize that the director’s cut of H2 will not alter the opinion of those who hated the theatrical cut, but my point is that the very best parts of this movie were extracted from that version in order to make Laurie more…here’s that word again “sympathetic.”

Obviously this is NOT the same Laurie we met in 1978, but let’s say for a moment that she is, and for over 30 years this character has behaved for the audience. She has taken it on the chin, acted the hero and came back for more. Let’s say that Laurie Strode in any incarnation is the ultimate embodiment of every horror victim, let’s say she represents every screamer there ever was…

Now she wants to tell you what it’s like to live in fear. Now she wants to tell you how maddening it is that she’s expected to go back to normal. She wants to reveal that she can’t even stand to look at her best friend’s face because it is a constant reminder of her pain. She’s pissed off, she’s angry, confused, and she’s brimming over with self-loathing. She wants to hurt herself and she wants to hurt the ones who stand by her. These feelings are impossible to neatly box away. The past constantly bleeds into the present. Hallucinations parade through the waking day. She identifies with her attacker, who else on earth could possibly understand the fury brewing inside her?

All of the above is consistent with the symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder but what the hell is it doing in a slasher sequel? Wouldn’t we rather see Laurie transformed into a warrior? Why isn’t she MACGYVER-ing traps or sleuthing through microfilms? How about an archery training montage?

Apparently audiences don’t want to see Laurie’s pain and even if they could withstand the repulsiveness of her vulnerability you can’t possibly expect them to accept the ugliness of her guilt and the stench of her anger. …that’s just silly. If horror movies, particularly slasher films are built to thrill teenagers then why the hell is this one such a boner killer?

H2, unlike just about every horror sequel I can think of, actually stops and asks Laurie how she’s doing. Laurie answers honestly but it’s not what we want to hear. How unsympathetic, what a selfish victim to not hide away her anguish.

Sure big bro Mike stomping on a head is alarming but the real horror in this movie comes from the idea that the old idiom about “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” only works if you’re seven feet tall. The sad reality for Laurie is that the “whatever” that didn’t kill her only made her suffering (and med dosage) stronger. She’s a 19 year old who lost her parents, several friends, got the tar beat out of her and ultimately had to shoot a guy in the face to save her own hide; when’s she gonna get her act together?

Even more intriguing (to me) than Laurie’s down hill dementia-dive are the dynamics of her tumultuous relationship with best bud Annie Bracket (DANIELLE HARRIS), which was lightly skimmed over in the theatrical, or as I like to call it “mall” version. I get why they dropped this stuff for the Friday night crowd, dialogue and drama is teen boy kryptonite but it’s the beating heart of the movie and it makes Annie’s ultimate fate that much more devastating. In other words, with the added addition of roughly 15 minutes of extra footage, I’m not feeling very guilty about this guilty pleasure anymore.

ZOMBIE has a talent for falling between barstools; too violent for this crowd, too dime store pretentious for that one. It just so happens I enjoy that no man’s land. I wouldn’t disagree that Z’s trash-attack approach was an unnecessary crutch but that doesn’t change the fact that he makes a genuine point of grafting frequently shirked emotional levels on to the slasher template. It’s actually pretty amazing to observe MARGOT KIDDER star of the inaugural slasher BLACK CHRISTMAS attempting to coach Laurie on how to function post assailment and getting a face full of “fuck you” in return.

With his long hair and fuzzy face you’d think hobo Mike was a stand in for the director but I think he’s just a decoy. ZOMBIE is really doppelgang-banging neo-Strode. Look at them, two defensive, discordant peas in a pod, up against the wall with something to express that nobody wants to hear. Remember kids, opinions are like assholes, the more you expose your own, the less friends you have.

O.K, I’m rambling here. What was my point? Oh, yeah HALLOWEEN 2: THE DIRECTOR’s CUT and THE BLUE BIRD (1940) are the perfect double feature! They both have petulant protagonists, specifically colored animal symbolism and a ghostly fairy lady leading the way. Don’t believe me? Well, I’m half past give a shit. I’m sure ROB, Laurie and Mytle understand.