Pennywise (TIM CURRY) admits “They all float down here.” in the miniseries adaptation of STEPHEN KING‘s IT
Please help me out with verifying that this commercial really did exist; In the mid/late ’90s there was a commercial on T.V. that played in Canada for Rice Krispies/Rice Krispies Squares that involved carolers singing outside the home of a man and a woman. She fed them Rice Crispies squares, all was well with the world, and the commercial ended. BUT…there was a nanosecond epilogue after the commercial wrapped when the man grabbed at his eye socket and said, “Honey, my eye just fell out!”
EVERYONE saw that commercial, but NO ONE noticed that extra couple of seconds except me. Then one day a friend called up and proclaimed me “not crazy” because she had noticed it too. This is not a joke, or put-on, or the result of drug-use. I swear this actually existed.
Does anyone at KinderTrauma remember this, or have the kind of all-powerful access to finding it that you seem to have with everything else oddball that has haunted someone for years?
Long time lurker, first time poster. It’s truly amazing how much stuff you guys have made me remember from my own childhood that I thought I had forgotten. Keep up the good work!
So anyway, I’ve been hearing a lot about the new STEPHEN KING book, Under the Dome. The thing is, KING‘s new door-stopper of a novel sounds like a movie that scared the crap out of me as a child. It was about a small town that had what looked like a Plexiglas dome placed over it by aliens. The townspeople all behave semi hypnotized for a good chunk of the film, just like the THE STEPFORD WIVES. Turns out there is this building in the town that has an entirely black room with only a plastic chair in it. One of the main character’s friends sits in this chair and ALL KINDS OF ’60s BAD ACID TRIP HAPPENS!
The guy starts mumbling and a theremin starts playing. Then all sorts of bad latex Halloween masks start flying around. But what really got me as a kid were the disembodied leprous hands waving around in the camera frame. After a few minutes of this trauma the guy snaps out of it and is now acting just like the townsfolk.
For the life of me I can’t remember the title of this flick that fueled many of my childhood nightmares. I leave it to you and the mighty readers of Kindertrauma to help me place a name on this fear factory.
UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! Special thanks to Reader MercurialM for being the first to chime in with THE BUBBLE (a.k.a. THE FANTASTIC INVASION OF PLANET EARTH.)
When I was little I came across the 1940 SHIRLEY TEMPLE movie THE BLUE BIRD several times on television. It’s sort of the poor man’s THE WIZARD OF OZ with SHIRLEY playing the part of a girl named Mytyl who along with her brother Tytyl embarks on a journey through the past and future searching for happiness in the form of the title bird. The children are aided by their dog Tylo and their cat Tylette, who thanks to some fairy magic, have taken human form.
Based on a 1908 play by MAURICE MAETERLINCK, there’s plenty to find alarming about THE BLUE BIRD. The children’s journey begins in a vast graveyard, their dead grandparents show up to pelt them with guilt, trees transform into vigilantes and finally they end up in some weird limbo place where unborn children in togas howl and cry about how short their time on Earth will be. Personally I was unmoved by any and all of the insanity on display except the unfortunate and fiery death of my favorite character, the cat lady Tylette.
As I watched THE BLUE BIRD again recently as an adult I can see that much of it flew over my head as a kid, most notably the fact that Tylette the cat is clearly drawn as a sinister, mischievous presence and that her demise is meant to be somewhat deserved. Was there something wrong with me as a kid that I would automatically gravitate toward this malevolent malcontent? Before you judge, look at how awesome she is…
To be honest, even as an adult I have sympathy for this devil. She knows that if the children were to discover the blue bird of happiness that she would have to revert back to her former self and remain a “dumb slave to man” forever. So what if a couple tykes have to die in order for her to remain master of her own fate? Let’s face it; with names like Mytyl and Tytyl, those kids were bound for hard times anyway.
Tylette is brought to life by Oscar-winner GALE SONDERGAARD, who would go on to appear in several UNIVERSAL horror films like THE BLACK CAT (1941), THE SPIDER WOMAN (1944) and THE SPIDER WOMAN RETURNS (1946) (in which, again, GALE’s death is caused by fire.) She was originally cast as the wicked witch in THE WIZARD OF OZ who was first conceived as a sinister glamour-puss similar to the evil queen in Disney’s SNOW WHITE. When it was decided that a more haggard version of the witch was the way to go, GALE split and in came MARGARET HAMILTON. (HAMILTON nearly abandoned WIZARD herself when her costume caught fire and she was severely burned.) SODDENGAARD’s career was seriously hampered when her husband, director HERBERT BIBERMAN, was accused of being a communist during the infamous red scare of the early ‘50s; she died in 1985
You know, as unhappy as I may still be with Tylette’s fiery fate, there’s no way around the fact that her death is the most exciting part of the film. In fact, the movie kind of looses its steam as soon as she departs. I know we are meant to learn from this tale that happiness can only be found at home but if you ask me, without an evil, self-serving sociopath like Tylette to share it with, happiness is for the birds.
CREEPY NOTE: During the filming of THE BLUE BIRD four year old actress CARYLL ANN EKELUND was burned to death off set when her birthday dress (or Halloween costume, depending on your source) caught on fire. She was buried in the clothes she wore in the film.
ALSO: I feel I should warn you that THE BLUE BIRD was made into a musical in 1976 starring JANE FONDA, ELIZABETH TAYLOR and a tiny PATSY KENSIT as Mytyl. Believe it or not, this American, Soviet Union co-production was directed by legendary director GEORGE CUKOR. It could very well be one of the worst movies of all time and masochists can find it on Youtube. In this version, Tylette is portrayed by CICELY TYSON. CUCKOR accused TYSON of using voodoo to curse the film.
MORE CREEPY: No joke, I was in a thrift store yesterday and this song was playing on the loudspeaker…(yes, I’ve double checked the smoke alarms)
PSYCHO‘s ANTHONY PERKINS finds himself on the wrong side of the blade in 1979’s THE BLACK HOLE.
In our recent LOOK BACK ON 2009 I mentioned some DVD releases that I was particularly happy about. Ever since I have been kicking myself (like ALICE, it’s my favorite sport) because I neglected to mention a couple of other really great titles. There’s MESSIAH OF EVIL (thanks to Reader Taylor for reminding me of that one) PHANTASM 2 (Phinally!), and the great THE GATE (whose remarkable effects look even more remarkable on DVD) and most importantly… NIGHT OF THE CREEPS!
How could I forget N.O.T.C.? Well, I didn’t really forget it, I just hadn’t bought it yet due to moths in wallet syndrome but that sad glitch has been fixed. Unfortunately, yet another bricks and mortar video store in our area is closing but not unfortunately, I was able to vulture a half price copy of CREEPS right off its corpse! So now it’s mine, all mine and I couldn’t be happier because it’s a super awesome jam packed director’s cut DVD.
We already reviewed CREEPS way back WHEN so I won’t go into the plot, suffice to say it involves aliens, zombies, sorority girls and TOM ATKINS. That’s really all ya’ need to know and if you haven’t seen it yet, you simply have to, particularly if you dig eighties horror. CREEPS is like RETURN OF THE LIVING BREAKFAST CLUB, you just can’t find a better time capsule.
So I’m not crazy about the cover art or the comic book menu design, but the extras shine like a KOJAK dome polished with Crisco. Two, count ’em two commentaries; one with director FRED DEKKER (who also helmed the lovable MONSTER SQUAD) and one with the film’s cast which includes JASON LIVELY of NATIONAL LAMPOON’S EUROPEAN VACATION and the cutest girl who ever lived JILL WHITLOW. There’s a superior alternate ending, a tasty trailer and a gratifying plethora of mini docs that go into great detail about the making of this cult classic.
The high point is seeing the core cast reunited, there’s obviously real affection on display and it’s always an honor to hear any word ATKINS utters. I can’t fathom how N.O.T.C. avoided becoming a hit upon release. From what we learn from director DEKKER it sounds like the studio did a crappy job of supporting and distributing the film (times sure have changed, haven’t they?) Oh well, as I told my golfing buddy TIGER WOODS, “It’s better too be loved deeply by a few than cheaply by a slew.” The important thing is, this fun, effervescent, endlessly quotable gem is finally getting the presentation it deserves and passionate new fans are an inevitability.
UNK SEZ: CAROLINE MUNRO turned 60 yesterday and our pal FatherOfTears wants to celebrate and wish her well, take it away Father…
Yes, the British actress who was in such memorable movies as DRACULA AD 1972, CAPTAIN KRONUS: VAMPIRE HUNTER, MANIAC, SLAUGHTER HIGH and many others turns the big 6-0! CAROLINE first started out as a model, had a few bit parts in some late ’60s movies and became the face for Lamb’s Navy Rum for a ten year period. This got her noticed and she was cast as the dead wife of Dr. Phibes in the two VINCENT PRICE DOCTOR PHIBES movies. Yep, she played a stiff which meant she had to-um-play dead in her scenes. Not so easy as she was allergic to the feather boa she had to wear causing her to sneeze at times and requiring some scenes to be reshot! Soon she signed a “long term” contract with HAMMER FILMS (one year). She did DRACULA AD 1972 but she turned down DR. JEKYLL AND SISTER HYDE, FRANKENSTEIN AND THE MONSTER FROM HELL and an unmade VAMPIRELLA movie as they contained nudity. She would do CAPTAIN KRONUS which is a personal favorite of mine. The movie’s writer, BRIAN CLEMONS of THE AVENGERS (T.V. show) fame then got her the big break by having her cast in THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD as Margiana, the slave girl.
THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD was my first CAROLINE MUNRO film as I saw this movie in a theater in the mid-’70,s at the age of 7. Now, at that time I was more interested in the stop motion monsters that were used in the movie but that would soon change. SINBAD would give her other big roles including AT THE EARTH’S CORE (Which probably provided kindertraumas for some with the pig faced half human creatures who “talked” by making grunting/barking sounds) with PETER CUSHING & DOUG MAcCLURE plus she had a guest starring role in THE NEW AVENGERS episode “The Angel of Death” complete with her getting into a fight with Purdey. In the late ’70s she would get her biggest role as Naomi the helicopter pilot in the James Bond Film THE SPY WHO LOVED ME. To be in that film she turned down another big-time offer: To be Ursa in the late 70’s SUPERMAN movie! Imagine if she did that and the sequel instead of SARAH DOUGLAS!
However, not everything she did was pure gold. She took the lead role in the badly done sci-fi movie STARCRASH (How MST3K missed this, I don’t know). She would also do some “slasher films” in the 1980’s with MANIAC, THE LAST HORROR FILM and SLAUGHTER HIGH. This would help getting her the “Scream Queen” tag. She would also have a singing career plus she would be featured in ADAM ANT‘s video of “Goody Two Shoes” as the reporter (and a possible Sarah Palin prototype!) There was also talk of having her be in a proposed but never filmed DOCTOR WHO movie as the Doctor’s companion…which is when I learned her name!
By the ’90s CAROLINE would cut back on her work to spend more time with her family (but she would have a role in the film TO DIE FOR). She has done some T.V. interviews about horror films plus she can be found at an occasional comic book/sci-fi fan gatherings held across the globe signing autographs.
So let’s celebrate CAROLINE‘s milestone birthday. Watch CAPTAIN KRONOS, MANIAC or THE GOLDEN VOYAGE OF SINBAD on DVD or watch, and perhaps laugh, at her video performance in “Goody Two Shoes.” Hell, if you have that MST3K “Shadowrama” sticker that sticks to T.V.s, stick it on your T.V. screen and riff STARCRASH.
I was wondering if there were any traumafessions yet about MAKING CONTACT (a.k.a. JOEY)?
There was just something about that dusty dummy opening its eyes that disturbed me when I saw it as a kid. I remember when I was 13, my parents had my grandparents’ tapes after their house was burned down. We were watching one of the movies, I didn’t know what it was, and it ended up being this movie. I forgot all about it until that scene when the dummy comes to life. At that point I jumped out of my skin.
(AUNT JOHN SEZ: The offending dummy comes in around the 5:35 mark. Also, who’s JOEY‘s interior designer? I want those RETURN OF THE JEDI sheets!)
Then there was this ending which was freaky:
I’ve been having dreams about a giant head, and I think this may have something to do with it. It always disturbed me when the dummy burnt to death at the end too.
Hey, Look! I grabbed a shot from each and every AMITYVILLE HORROR film. Can you tell which image is from which movie?