Name That Trauma :: Fiji Mermaid of Sideshow Cinema on Auto Attackers

I have a vague memory of a made for T.V. movie from the ’80s. The opening really freaked me out for some reason, it’s still a scene I remember, but how precise my memory is I can’t say.

The beginning of the movie has a young mother with two kids, one is a baby I think, and they are driving through a bad part of town. The car breaks down or has a flat tire and she pulls into an empty, dark parking lot. After sitting there for a few minutes, a large group of thugs show up and attacks the family and starts smashing the car apart like the bullies did in CHRISTINE. I believe they end up killing the mom and the kids… what happens after that I have no idea.

If anyone can dig up a title for this and a clip even that would spectacular! Thanks!


AUNT JOHN SEZ:
I have no idea what this movie is, but I do know that Fiji Mermaid runs THE go-to spot for hard-to-find soundtracks over at the awesome SIDESHOW CINEMA.

Stream Warriors: Dagon & Dreams in the Witch House

A recent traumafession regarding DOLLS left me filled to the gills with love of all things STUART GORDON, what better way to celebrate than with a double feature of streaming, screaming, crafty LOVECRAFT-ian tales? Grab some tartar sauce the first course is DAGON!

DAGON (2001)

DAGON keeps on swimming upstream through the river GORDON in my head. It seems every time I plunge my noggin into its soggy clammy world, I feel a little more at home there. Based (mostly) on the LOVECRAFT short story “The Shadow Over Innsmouth,” DAGON delivers non-stop nightmare atmosphere but beneath the waves of horror rests a satisfying transformative hero’s tale dunked in GORDON’s devious dark wit. EZRA GODDEN plays Paul Marsh, a bespectacled and twitchy graduate of Miskatonic U., who we gather has difficulty steering a direct course in life. Waking from a prophetic dream he is thrown via shipwreck into a savagely slimy battle for survival in an increasingly surreal dismantled town inhabited by unfriendly fish folk. DAGON may be low budget and there are a couple of missteps into curdling CGI territory, but all in all it creates an impressively distinctive universe of its own.

EZRA is golden and a succinct successor to GORDON affiliate JEFFREY COMBS. There are long stretches of the film with zero dialogue but you can read every single thought on EZRA’s expressive mug. Also on hand is hypnotic BARBARA STEELE clone MACARENA GOMEZ (complete with CURSE OF THE CRIMSON ALTAR-style head gear!) who is somehow lovely enough to parlay tentacles into a fashion asset. A blasphemy is brewing inside me; could this, frog-warts and all, be my favorite GORDON film? Hmmm, usually my favorite GORDON film is whichever one I viewed last so I shouldn’t carve anything in stone just yet but on a visual, textural and even inspirational level, I think it just might be. Gory, strange, funny and beautiful in its own grotesquely fantastic way DAGON is quite the catch especially if you have the imagination to blur away its budgetary blemishes.

MASTERS OF HORROR: DREAMS IN THE WITCH HOUSE (2005)

EZRA GODDEN returns this time as Walter Gillman, a heartier Miskatonic student whose journey of the soul goes in the opposite direction as DAGON’s Marsh. You’d think it would be a good thing to discover a portal to another dimension comes free of charge in the room you’ve just rented, but don’t forget doorways to other dimensions go both ways. The last thing anyone needs while trying to study is the distraction of a pesky witch and her human-faced rat familiar, both of whom keep nagging you to kill your neighbor’s infant. DREAMS is one of the stronger entries into the MOH series and much of what comes across initially as amusing or comical is soon convincing as the nonsensical stuff of true madness. Again EZRA excels and is a joy to watch this time channeling just as much BRUCE CAMPBELL as COMBS. Here’s to hoping this guy returns to horror soon. He’s effortlessly entertaining and unafraid to respond the way any true man would when faced with the phantasmagorical…by screaming like a tween struck with Bieber fever. DREAMS is delightfully dismal with its baby in peril storyline but is buoyed, like DAGON, with flashes of winking absurdity too.

If you ever find yourself like I did having a STUART GORDON attack I recommend watching both these gratifying streamers back to back (DREAMS is also available on Hulu)! GORDON and LOVECRAFT are a notoriously exceptional pairing and the inspired troika making addition of GODDEN makes these two dips into the abyss all the better.

Name That Trauma :: Reader Sarah H. on Poisoned Ship Passengers

Hey Kindertrauma, I have a bit of a puzzler for you!

About 7 or 8 years ago, when I was quite young, I remember house-sitting with my dad while my aunt was in the hospital giving birth. My dad turned on a horror movie, and for some reason or another, I watched it with him, and it’s stuck with me to today! All I can remember is that it (at least the later part of it) takes place on a ship, where there is a fancy dinner where all the guests are fed rat poison. There is a montage of them choking up blood and dying, and later in the movie one of the characters (protagonist? antagonist?) is impaled by a hook violently and swings there, dead. The movie is quite darkly lit, if I remember, though some of these details may not be fact.

Anyone have any idea what movie this is?

Thanks!

Sarah

UNK SEZ: I think I know this one Sarah H.! People drinking rat poison on a boat sounds a bunch like 2002’s GHOST SHIP to me! Check out the video below!

Traumafessions :: Reader Richard D. on Wayland Flowers & Madame

Hi there,

When I was growing up nothing terrified quite so much as WAYLAND FLOWERS and MADAME. In the late 1970’s, she was on T.V. all the time and I just could not bear to watch her. Ventriloquist dummies are creepy at their best, but with her huge pointy chin and gaping mouth, she looked like she was going to devour WAYLAND FLOWERS‘ head. My wife hated her just as much as I did … you can see why we were destined to marry.

Here’s a clip of her in the REDD FOXX movie NORMAN, IS THAT YOU?:

Name That Trauma :: Reader Eli on a Boy & a Space Blob

Hi there,

While my movie is not ghost or witches scary, it creeped the hell out of me as a kid. But I cannot find it anywhere. All I can remember is a young boy on a space ship kind of thing and there is a giant blob type being that looks like a Jabba the Hut, that either the boy or another blob boy keep calling “Uncle” in a really creepy voice!

Thanks!

Eli

Jaws of Satan (1981)

I have to stop listening to other people because I almost lived a life with no JAWS OF SATAN in it. A cursory scan of other folk’s reactions to the film had me wrongly assuming it was just another bad movie. You know the drill, “Some movies are so bad they’re good, not this one! This one is so bad, it’s just bad.” First of all, I’ll be the judge of that and second of all, wrong. JAWS OF SATAN is not just another bad movie; it is a perfect amalgamation of everything that makes movies not good. I also find it highly entertaining and worth my time because there is never a second of it where it is not doing exactly what it shouldn’t. I stand a bit amazed, here is a film that wasn’t satisfied with being simply a failure of a Satan film, it had to take a crap in the animals run amuck cage too. Just think about the title for a moment, it tells you everything that you need to know.

A snake attacks a couple of men in the cargo area of a train, which naturally causes the entire train to quietly come to a halt. (Don’t worry, a “train wreck” of another kind is imminent.) It’s no ordinary snake because it is…Satan! The Satan snake is on a mission to kill a priest because well, priests burn brighter in hell apparently and this priest is extra special because he comes from a family of druids who kill snakes, so there’s that. Maybe the less we get into that swamp the better, the point is the snake who is Satan hates the priest and wants to bite him and chase him around a graveyard. (Silly Satan, you don’t have to chase priests these days, you can just sit back and they’ll come to you!) I’m not sure what will happen once the snake catches the priest but in the meantime other snakes are getting rowdy and biting non-priests all over a small town in Alabama.

Thankfully Dr. Sheridan is on the case and don’t assume like other people in this movie do that because I said “Dr.” that I’m taking about a boy either because Dr. Sheridan is A GIRL! (Did you just spit your coffee out in shock? Sorry.) Yes, Dr. Sheridan (GRETCHEN CORBETT of LET SCARE JESSICA TO DEATH) is a new type of woman who is a professional doctor and don’t you forget it! She’s a real poster girl for women’s lib too especially when after two people are bitten by snakes she exclaims, “It’s an epidemic and I can’t cope with it!” and then a snake shows up after she takes a shower and she calls a guy on the phone she just met to run over to her house to shoot it and then she breaks down crying hysterically and has to be slapped in the face before he sleeps with her and she makes him breakfast and then midway through the film for no reason whatsoever another guy on a motorcycle forces her car to the side of the road so he can make her fellate his hand gun until she is rescued by….a priest? No, a snake!

Considering the non-stop pilfering you’d think we’d end up with something that resembles a movie more than this mush but nah. We have a mayor who wants to keep the snake issue under wraps so as not to wreck the grand opening of a fancy dog racing track, a coroner who eats chicken right next to a corpse and ye old “It was only a cat!” routine. It’s like a who’s who of movie clichés. I don’t want to complain too much about the clichés though because it’s when then the movie decides to get creative that it really humps the daggit. As dumb as everything is throughout the course of the movie (the list of offences goes on and on) it’s toward the end when we really fall into an almost abstract experience with weird shoehorned dubbing, people appearing in two places at once or out of nowhere and a climax that plays out like a battle between man and mop handle. Did I mention that Satan snake likes to stand straight up on his tail? Adorable much?

There’s one great shot of Father Farrow (CREEPSHOW’s FRITZ WEAVER) strolling past a gnarled tree but most of the film looks ho-hum which is astonishing considering the cinematographer is DEAN CUNDY who you might remember from such films as every movie I ever loved. (HALLOWEEN, THE FOG, THE THING, PSYCHO 2 etc.) Personally I’m comfortable throwing all the blame on director BOB CLAVER’s lap on account of he went on to poke eyes out and scramble brains via television by directing two of the most lunatic series in the history of forever, SMALL WONDER and OUT OF THIS WORLD. Besides being hilarious as hell, one of the other things going for JAWS OF SATAN is that it marks the debut of CHRISTINA APPLEGATE as a tyke who gets locked in a closet with a snake at a dog race opening. Aw, how can you not like APPLEGATE after growing up with her as Kelly Bundy? Her real life mother NANCY PRIDDY even portrays her mom in the film. PRIDDY is apparently responsible for a well regarded psychedelic folk album and sang back up for LEONARD COHEN!

All in all, this movie does deliver on the bad movie front in spades. There’s always something perplexing going on and the snake-eye view cemetery chase is an absolute ridiculous must see. This movie ssssssssucks but if you have a taste for terrible, you really couldn’t beat it with a stick.

Traumafessions :: Reader James K. on The World Beyond

I too was traumatized by THE WORLD BEYOND (THE MUD MONSTER movie) when it aired on television, my Dad forced me to watch it. I was scared to death after that of mud – which was a problem because we had a cabin with a long MUDDY path that went to my Uncle’s cabin. I had nightmares for years. In fact, I recently had another mud monster nightmare… and I’m now 36 years old. I purchased a copy of THE MUD MONSTER movie a year ago with the intention to watch it — I’ll get to it some day.

Stream Warriors: Rockula & Vicious Lips!

UNK SEZ:: Only two stream warrior selections this week because trust me you will not want to see more after you are done with these two anyway. Also as you read this, myself and Aunt John are on a much needed vacation whooping it up like rock stars at a monster mania convention and by “whooping it up like rock stars” I mean embarrassing ourselves publicly and destroying our good names with behavior not befitting people half our age.

ROCKULA (1990)

I know you’ve seen this one on streaming and told yourself that you are not willing to stoop to such a degree just yet, but I am officially giving you permission to take the plunge and blame the after effects on questionable advice from me. C’mon you know you want to see it, ROCKULA stars DEAN CAMERON of such hits as SUMMER SCHOOL, BAD DREAMS and the exceptional SKI SCHOOL. If I had my way DEAN CAMERON would star in everything but since that is unlikely to happen we are left with only the stuff of reality and that means ROCKULA! How this movie never became a cult staple the world shall never know. It was directed by LUCA BERCOVICI the man behind the original GHOULIES and the so-so-so severely underrated hilarity machine THE GRANNY (1995) and it’s roster of bow-worthy greatness includes DEAN, TONI BASIL, THOMAS DOLBY, BO DIDDLEY, BAD SANTA’s TONY COX and the person I’ll never shut up about SUSAN TYRELL. It’s fun, it’s weird and it boasts both wretched tunes and vampires. It’s stupid true but without stupidity there can be no joy. Stupidity is the main ingredient of joy.

VICIOUS LIPS (1988)

I’m not entirely sure it’s possible that anybody could sit through this entire movie beside myself but I shall direct your attention to it anyway. Directed by ALBERT PYUN who has helmed both above (THE SWORD AND THE SORCERER) and hilariously below (ALIEN IN LA) par trash, VICIOUS LIPS is a sense shredding onslaught of concentrated eighties junk culture crapitude that kinda sorta rules. The more you try to understand it, the more you’ll hate yourself so just sit back and get clobbered by this nearly incoherent and certainly pointless tale of an all girl rock band stranded on the set of UNION OF THE SNAKE while being chased by ELM STREET-inspired mind demons. I assure you that you will hate yourself vehemently at least once while watching this cotton candy haired patience-pusher and that’s part of the decadent fun. One fragment of this theoretical movie that does not fill my heart with vague shame is the fact that its songs are sung by should-have-been SUE SAAD, the woman responsible for singing the best theme song ever recorded “Looker” from LOOKER and also the second best song ever recorded “Highwire” which is also from LOOKER. I wish I could tell you LOOKER was streaming, but it’s not.

Two count em’ two streaming musical wonders with vague connections to horror. One will make you happy, one will make you saad. Both will make you feel as if you are loosing your mind!

Name That Trauma/Traumafessions :: Reader David O. on It! aka The Curse of the Golem

This one has been bugging me since I was very young and I haven’t managed to track it down. If anyone can help it’s the Kindertrauma readers. I first saw this movie on T.V. in the early ’70s. It was black and white, possibly British, or maybe it just had British actors, and involved a large, scary statue that came to life and killed people. I remember it being a really ugly statue, possibly part-man, part-something else. I seem to recall that the statue killed one man by shoving an umbrella down his throat (creative, I must say). There was the usual police investigation, etc. etc. and it seems that the statue would be near the murdered person, but of course no one thought twice about it.

God I hope I didn’t dream this…

David

AUNTIE SEZ: After receiving Dave’s initial email, he followed up with this:

I actually found my own answer! The movie is called IT! and it’s from 1966, starring RODDY McDOWALL. The killer statue is a golem, and I’m starting to doubt that the umbrella death ever happened as I can’t find evidence of such a brilliant demise. Perhaps my perverse little mind created that part…

Thanks all the same!!!