Carrie: Don’t Ask, Don’t Snell

Oh the majority. There’s a reason why the majority should not have the power to vote on the civil rights of others. The majority has a crappy track record. The majority thought slavery was a super idea and this one time, at band camp, the majority thought that women shouldn’t be allowed to vote. Who has the audacity to both nail groovy Jesus to a cross AND burn witches at the stake in his name? That goobly gobbly gelatinous blob the majority that’s who! Benefits of joining this club include never having to feel shame or remorse and never having to feel personally accountable for your actions. Jump on in, the water is oblivious! How’s that whole “people are basically good.” thing working out for you Anne Frank? My mistake, the majority didn’t snag you, you died of Typhus. Even the best concentration camps can do little to curtail a typhus outbreak.

The majority of the students at Carrie White’s school think she’s creepy. Strawberry blonde is just a polite way to say “borderline ginger” and ick, she’s all insecure and shy. Don’t you just hate people who don’t reek of their own self-satisfaction? Her house is a joke, her mom is a loon and her dad, somehow unclear about the sanctity of straight marriage, abandoned her ass years ago. She’s vulnerable, she bleeds and she’s all alone. What choice does the majority have but to take advantage of the situation and rip her to shreds? Remember, if you want to be all safe and snug in the majority you better be able to identify who’s NOT in the majority. Just look around for somebody who’s having a harder time in this world than you are and proceed to make their life worse.

Speaking of majorities, let’s say you gimme some of that old time religion (it’s good enough for me!) Please don’t be offended my devout friends, I know not all believers are hypocrites who wear the mask of God to do the devil’s work. Personally, I bring a basketful of faith with me to every funeral I attend. (Lye has many wonderful uses too but it’s not recommended that you throw into someone’s face.)

In Carrie White’s world we’re not talking about religion but the abuse of religion, the way religion is used as a tool to keep certain people underfoot. Momma White has a clear “don’t ask don’t tell” policy about telekinetic powers and the idea that Carrie is a sinner due to her sexuality is constant. Thanks to mom’s favorite book Carrie spends a lot of time in a closet. Yep, it may be more than strong female characters and campy dirty pillow talk that keeps the gays coming back to this STEPHEN KING story.

See what’s happening here? Maybe I shouldn’t have watched CARRIE right after I read about yet another bullied gay teen committing suicide. It keeps bleeding into my piece! On second thought, I doubt my timing was a random accident either. After reading about yet another bullied teen committing suicide some spark must have ignited in the back of my head that said, “Time to watch CARRIE!” BRIAN DePALMA’s eternal asshole roast always makes me feel so much better.

Not only does the majority of the cast deservingly die horrible deaths in CARRIE but it’s also just such a brilliantly crafted film. I swear the score alone makes me levitate. Is there even a weak link moment in CARRIE? I used to think it was the fast forward tuxedo purchase scene but I’ve come to appreciate that bit as a needed bubble of relief between the torturous Christ crawl beginning and the cathartic flaming blast of divine retribution close. When did this movie stop being a horror movie to me and start being my very own gospel? If Carrie White burns in hell then hell is located in my heart.

Back to teens gay or otherwise being bullied to commit suicide. Oh wait, I’m sorry one recent kid who killed himself was only 11 so he was not really a teen at all. Let’s just say kids, kids in our schools that go to our churches and live under our roofs killing themselves because we fail to instill within them the basic self love not to. Kids killing themselves because they live in a world where it’s acceptable to believe that some people have more worth than others, a world that tells them that outnumbering is the same as being right and that morality is measured by the pound.

Sorry, sometimes I forget my second class citizen status and I get all, what’s the word? Uppity. It’s only that I can see the graffiti on the wall from here. Eventually one of these bullied kids is not going to be satisfied politely offing themselves in a corner and are going to spin their torrent of rage outwardly. Then when enough of the “worthwhile” kids are lying in their own blood we’ll start that conversation again about the effects of violence in movies and video games. Frankly I’m sick and tired of my favorite genre being in the hot seat because a majority of people spoon-feed hate to their offspring for breakfast every morning. Hey, I don’t mind jumping off the sidewalk for your twin pod cloud car baby carriage but if we’re going to dumb down our entire culture for the sake of “the children” can I at least have some insurance that your lil’ entitlement dolls aren’t just more bigots in training?

NOTE: I have many friends with kids and I’m consistently impressed with the progressive values that they consciously instill in them. If you are a responsible parent, I’m not talking about you. In fact, I thank you and recognize you as THE MOST important factor in the solution to this fucked-up epidemic.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah CARRIE. Am I the only one (God forbid) that watches CARRIE as revenge porn? Scratch that, “revenge” is such an ugly word. I should say “retaliation” porn. “Retaliation” sounds more like designer perfume. Why does this movie that I found so frightening in my youth now only feel empowering? Even the film’s hand from the grave ending, which once upon a time nearly made me piss my pajamas, I now read as a triumphant promise that Carrie’s fury will remain long after her death. By film’s end Sue Snell, the lone survivor has amassed far more than the gruesome memories of prom night; she is now and forever acquainted with the depths of Carrie’s previously unacknowledged torment. (According to CARRIE 2: THE RAGE, Snell took that knowledge and put it to good use becoming a high school guidance counselor.) Sue Snell and her problematic empathy, whatever did Tommy Ross see in her?

So where does the horror lie in CARRIE? This ship doesn’t sail by the power of our fears of not fitting in does it? That seems lame. Overzealous religious folks like Carrie’s mom are off-putting but they’re pitiable more than anything else. Maybe CARRIE works because it ignites the collective mob’s cowardly worry that someday they’ll pick the wrong witch to lynch and it is they who will burn. As far as I’m concerned Carrie White should be the patron saint of every bullied teen (or kid) out there. She may have ended up crushed beneath the wheel, but what religious figure worth their Red Sea salt doesn’t? Yes, she brings down a world of destruction but every decent Bible story ends the same way. I believe it’s truly tragic that the wonderful Miss Collins gets shortened at the hip but I can’t blame Carrie for her perceptions being a bit off. Having your dreams met with a bucket of pig’s blood is bound to distort your view.

I don’t (officially) condone violence as the answer to anything and I’m aware of the contradiction of pushing Kumbayah sentiments while watching P.J. SOLES’ eardrum get ruptured by a wayward (and pregnant with Civil Rights movement history) fire hose but sorry, I can’t help but get giddy when oppressors reap what they sow. Thank you Carrie White for getting me through the rough patches (no matter what my age) with your cathartic house cleaning skills. At this point, if you ever pop your hand out of the grave around me, I swear to God, I’m only going to want to shake it.

Tommy Ross, close us out with your awesome (and Carrie White approved) poetry!

“What are you going to leave for us,
you people in your cars,
spewing pollution into the air?
You people with heavy feet
trampling down the wilderness.
You people who peer into the back seats of our cars,
hours after you come out of the back doors of your motels.
Soon, all we will have is each other,
and that could be enough.
If you will let us have room enough,
and air enough, and peace enough
to love each other as you never could.”

Traumafessions :: Reader Zoë M. on Superman Short “Terror on the Midway”

Hey Kindertrauma! First of all, I want to thank you for solving my “Name That Trauma” a while back. (The answer was THE BONEYARD and involved a giant PHYLLIS DILLER monster) Well, now I’ve got an odd little traumafession for you in the form of one of the Paramount/Fleischer Superman shorts.

When I was a kid, my dad made sure to raise me on a diet of oddities and rarities; what this meant was that he made sure I was growing up with the same things he did. While I’m thankful for all the twisted things he put on play, I cannot deny that I’ve had a great deal of kindertraumas because of it (and I think I will relay more of these at a later date. In fact, it’s a promise.)

I’ve seen most of the Paramount/Fleischer shorts, definitely all of the ones produced by the Fleischer Bros. (they made the first nine out of seventeen that Paramount produced), but I think this one stands out for me in particular because my dad made a VHS of this short followed by MIGHTY JOE YOUNG (1949), so when I would reach for that tape I’d get a double dose of big gorillas.

Biased reasoning aside, there are a few reasons this film may be the most gut wrenching for me to watch.

Gigantic, which seems to be the name of the menacing gorilla, is SCARY, plain and simple. When he first busts onto the scene, everything and everyone stops dead in their tracks before scrambling like ants after he roars. His strength is also more than the average gorilla, easily defeating the 6 (or more) men that try to restrain him, followed by him throwing his cage cart at them. In fact, it seems like the only one who can subdue this creature is Superman… which is a little odd since based on all this, how in the heck did they get him into a cage in the first place? The only thing that was restraining him was a lock that a much smaller, cuter monkey released. Did I say cute? I meant stupid. Stupid, stupid monkey for releasing the world’s scariest cartoon gorilla.

If the visage of Gigantic doesn’t freak me out nearly enough, his theme song does me in. Although there’s a shocking cue when he shows his face, the shot where he’s starting to stalk Lois Lane is where his unnerving theme plays. It almost conjures up images of the dinosaurs trapped in tar towards the end of The Rite of Spring segment from FANTASIA, albeit a somewhat cheaper and grandiose piece of music by comparison. It is a grueling, haunting piece of music that frankly sends chills up my spine to this day. What a great theme for a terrible Gorilla!

Lastly, the chaos; Oh my god, THE CHAOS. The minute Gigantic comes out, there is no such thing as the word “calm” in that tent. Besides Gigantic, elephants, lions, and a rogue panther all smash and attack those in their way. Superman even gets attacked not a split second after changing into his costume by that rogue panther. HOLY CRAP! The escalation of terror is astounding and I absolutely love it. What, a gigantic gorilla with the face of Satan wasn’t enough? Okay, have a team of scared elephants. What, still not satisfied? How about the gorilla corners Lois, stalks her, AND THE TENT STARTS TO BURN DOWN.

Of course, Lois and Superman survive to have the usual exchange of, “And I live to see another day”, “Yes, thanks to Superman.”

GOD CLARK, way to rub it in. But in all seriousness, I love love LOVE this short. Well, then again I love the Fleischer Superman shorts, but this one sticks out to me for that Gigantic gorilla action with his scary ass song.

Thanks and best,

Zoë M.

Traumafessions :: Reader Heystu3 on the Tristar Pictures Unicorn (?)

My personal trauma, I’ve always felt, is pretty random and a little embarrassing…the Tristar Unicorn. At a young age, girls are encouraged to embrace the majestic image of the unicorn. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against unicorns, I had the Lisa Frank Trapper Keeper to prove it, but this one in particular never sat well with me.

I think what bothered me the most was the crescendo of music. It starts off nice and soft, and before you know it, you’ve got a mythical beast galloping toward you with the horn section blaring! This opening sequence bothered me so much that when my family went to see HOOK in theaters, I had to sit in the lobby with my mom until the the unicorn had run its course.

With such absurd fear, of course the inevitable ridicule ensued. My two older sisters would taunt me by humming the Tristar theme. All in all, let’s just say I wouldn’t be fazed if this horse went down NEVER ENDING STORY, Swamp of Sadness-style…perhaps then I could have watched a movie without an initial panic attack!

UNK SEZ: Wait a minute Heystu3! You have been running in fear of that unicorn for so long and you never stopped and looked behind you to see that it is only a friendly Pegasus! Unlike the monstrous and evil Unicorn, the winged Pegasus loves all humans and would never cause them harm!

Thanks for the trauma Heystu3 and thanks to ULTRA GROSS for the yummy unicorn meat!

Name That Trauma :: Reader Vince on Outerspace Stranger Danger

Hi there, I love your site and it’s great reading about the scares that other people got when they were kids. My little story is a bit different though, I was probably about 7-8 years old, and whilst a few other things did scare the hell outta me back then (CHUCKY) this experience showed to me that the world is a lot more real and frightening than some orange hair doll.

I can’t remember the premise of the movie, only that it was set in the future on a space ship, the crew was I think mostly if not, all male, this leads me to the scene that would make the world a whole lot more real to me at such a young age. There was a young man taking a shower, which was in a communal bathroom, you can see on his face that he is nervous and not comfortable with his surroundings, then an older man enters the room to shower as well. Now my memory is a bit hazy but I think I remember up until that point there was an uneasy one-sided sexual tension between the two characters, the older man wanting the younger one.

This all comes into fruition when he enters shower, then attacks and rapes the young man, now you don’t actually see the rape, just a cut to the outside of the ship and the screaming of the young man but it is clear enough what went down.

At that age I was learning all about “stranger danger” at school and that “bad things” can happen to you if your not wary about strangers, this brought home the point, after seeing this movie I was paranoid for a long time about men I didn’t know, each one of them could be JUST like the man from the movie. Real predators just waiting for their chance to get me cornered and do god knows what to me. It also made me realize that real life can be more sad and frightening than anything my young mind could imagine.

If anyone out there knows which movie I’m talking about it would be great to see what left such an impact on me as a kid.



UNK SEZ:: Vince, I’m going with 1990’s MOON 44 which was directed by ROLAND EMMERICH who later went on to do INDEPENDENCE DAY and STARGATE. MOON 44 stars such notables as MALCOLM MCDOWELL, MICHAEL PARE and FRIGHT NIGHT‘s STEPHEN GEOFFREYS. I’m not sure all the details fit perfectly but it sounds like a match to me. Check out the trailer below and tell us if it rings any trauma bells!

Traumafessions :: Reader Smidget on The Stepford Wives

O.K. …when I was a kid I was terrified of THE STEPFORD WIVES movie. I think it really had to do with the fact that I was routing for her to make it through, and when I found out she didn’t I was like….UGH….but the scariest part for me was the all-black eyes!


I love this movie now, it’s a ’70s classic that SPEAKS VOLUMES about the ’70s and the E.R.A. Love it. Hated the remake. However, the original is pretty darn scary and creepy.

Name That Trauma :: Reader Karen B. on an Eyeball Entity

Dear Kindertrama,

I have a very clear memory of a movie I watched as a child. It may have been of a scientist tinkering with human nature, but my memory is that a man, having a severe itch on his shoulder, scratches and scratches and then one day he wakes up, looks in the bathroom mirror, and an eyeball has popped out on his shoulder. Eventually, an entire head grows out of his shoulder, and by the end of the movie the entity and the man literally split in half into two separate people.

I can’t say that this traumatized more than it fascinated me, as I watched it at least a few times. Do you guys have any idea what movie this is? Thanks for any help.


UNK SEZ: I think I might have this one Karen! I’m guessing it’s 1989’s HOW TO GET AHEAD IN ADVERTISING!

P.S.: Thanks to CLASSIC-HORROR for sending you our way!

Traumafessions :: Reader Mike on Sesame Street’s Nosy Shapeshifter

As someone who was scared of EVERYTHING as a kid and is trying to pick up the pieces of his broken psyche as an adult, your site makes me feel not so alone. Serious time-suck, but oh so worth it.

I didn’t like to be scared as a kid. I hated roller-coasters and as for scary movies, their trailers (the usual suspects: BEYOND THE DOOR, MAGIC, PROPHECY) were traumatic enough. Naturally, not being exposed to the hard stuff let scares sneak in via seemingly innocuous carriers. Like SESAME STREET.

What is it about SESAME STREET? Parents of kids of my age used it as the ultimate babysitter and yet, there seem to be an endless store of stories of kids who were terrified by something they saw on this “explicitly for kids” show. For me, it happened one day when I was watching the T.V. alone (thankfully; if my older sister ever found out I would have been doubly traumatized, triply so if she told my cousins who LOVED to torment me with dumb stuff I was afraid of). All of a sudden this weird animated filler comes on. A woman’s head appears in profile. Her nose starts changing shape. This is accompanied by a LOUD and SHRILL squeaking sound every time her nose changes shape. I think that was it, as I bolted from the living room and cowered in my bedroom, my undeveloped brain unable to process what I had just seen.

I got kind of reactionary regarding SESAME STREET after that. I remember after that seeing my sister watching it and dismissing it as “for babies!” I think she knew something on the show had scared me, though.

For the longest time, I thought this was some weird hallucination until I posted about it on an Internet messageboard. A woman who had also been frightened by the clip confirmed seeing it as a kid, and again on Youtube. She said it was taken down and was glad because she still found it disturbing. I, however, am disappointed that I didn’t get the chance to see this again, having faced so many other childhood fears. It does leave me wondering why they dropped this random bit of randomness into a nominally educational show. What was it supposed to teach kids?

As for me nowadays, I realize most of the scary movies from when I was a kid…really aren’t all that scary. I still hate roller-coasters, though.


UNK SEZ:: Thanks Mike! I wish I could find the clip you speak of but I guess your friend was right when they said it was taken down! I did find the animated SESAME STREET clip below though, I hope it will do for now. Let us know if that shapeshifting nose clip ever appears again!


Hold on to your lunch. I have to talk about stuff occurring that is not horrible and depressing and, in fact, makes me happy. I know, the thought makes me uncomfortable too. It is all very unseemly but we can get through this bubble of non-hell together. Soon things will be back to the normal drudgery I promise. I feel so jolly right now that I’m convinced a car is being manufactured somewhere in the world that will ultimately crash into and kill me. You know how the universe works.

Here goes. I wasn’t going to say anything but then I realized that not everybody is on the Twitter so they may have missed this slice of cosmic fortune. See that new Halloween header at the top of the page? See that ROB ZOMBIE quote up there? I didn’t make that up during a late night drinking binge as you might suspect. That’s the real deal. Yes, ROB ZOMBIE tweeted about good old Kindertrauma! He came upon my impassioned H2: Director’s cut review and he appreciated my appreciation. Is that not gold?

I know there are both crab trees and Evil-lyns out there thinking, “Sure he likes your review because you love his movie!” to which I say, “Oh, you poor sad, misguided…dumb-dumb. It’s not about the love, it’s about the understanding.” ROB and me are now super best friends forever and you’re just going to have to get used to it. Your jealous scorn only tightens our bond.

Seriously though how cool is that? How satisfying to know that my ramblings reached the one who inspired them. I’m just sad that I’ve already written two reviews for H2 because frankly I’d like to write five more. Maybe I will.

I wonder what the hell my horoscope predicted for last weekend. Did it say, “You are about to encounter greatness” or “Your self delusions are about to hit a fever pitch.”? You see, I also encountered the one and only JENNIFER RUBIN! I’ll let that ferment in your brain a tad.

Yes! Aunt John and I went to the fanciest town in the universe, Baltimore, to hob knob with the rich and infamous last weekend at a MONSTERMANIA convention. We finally got to meet the Miss Yvonne of our playhouse AMANDA BY NGHT in person for the very first time. If you follow kindertrauma you’re surely familiar with Amanda from her multiple Funhouse hosting stints, her informative comments and her non-stop enthusiasm. I have to thank Amanda for showing A.J . and me around and introducing us to her cool friends including but not limited to DANIEL FARRANDS who did such an incredible job with that NEVER SLEEP AGAIN : THE ELM STREET LEGACY documentary ( if you haven’t seen it yet change that.) It was a stellar weekend and a great time was had by all.

That song you hear growing louder in your head is Lakme because this trip to glamorous Baltimore was fate’s way of bringing JENNIFER RUBIN and I together at last. O.K. I know this picture is weird and it looks like RUBIN is a lifeguard who drug a drowned victim out of a swamp but what can I do? God was obviously watching both Howdy Doody and NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD when he decided to invent me.

See in this picture I’m reserved and relatively normal but hours later I’ll bump into RUBIN in the hotel bar and tell her everything that has always needed to be said. Things like you are a way better actress than that too cool to show up for an ELM STREET 3 reunion PATRICIA ARQUETTE and that BAD DREAMS is better than all but two of the ELM STREET sequels. I stand by both of those statements. Luckily AUNT JOHN caught the legendary meeting of JENNIFER RUBIN and UNKLE LANCIFER on video and the clip is below…

All right, that’s it. Enough about me and my frenetic mania that will soon inevitably come to a crashing halt. let’s see what’s going on around the interwebs…

B-SOL of VAULT OF HORROR saw the new I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE remake and his thoughts are HERE!

VICAR of VHS caught ATTACK OF THE BEAST CREATURES which I’ve always wanted to check out and have neglected to HERE!

My pal Christine from FASCINATION WITH FEAR goes a little psycho HERE!

ARBOGAST does something beautiful with graveyards HERE!

Funhouse winner BILLY V. suggests you get right over HERE!

ZOMBIES ARE MAGIC talks about one of my favorite movies HERE!

NOW KINDLY UNDO THESE STRAPS cracks me the hell up HERE!

And last but not least AUNT JOHN insists that I show you the ad below…

Name That Trauma :: Reader Ruth M. on a Ceiling Crawler


When I was little, that was early-mid ‘80s, I watched a trailer that traumatized me for years. I am Spanish but I remember it must have been either an American or English film. The images I still remember were of a blond woman under a tree with somebody else and then there was someone in a room (blond woman probably) and I remember she looked up and she saw a very pale woman with black hair on the ceiling, she either appeared there or was crawling on the ceiling.

I remember something like “The Lizard Woman” was mentioned in Spanish. Sorry it is such a brief description but I must have been 7 years old or so…even though that pale woman still haunts me I tell you.

P.S.: Also I remember the trailer had a very ‘70s soundtrack so it could have been a trailer of a late ‘70s flick.

Thank you,

Ruth M.