Streaming Alert:: Hercules (1983)

We’re talking about Netflix Streaming again so…woot. With so much super crappy stuff going on in the world it seems dumb to stay mad at Netflix, especially when they offer great spectacular entertainment like the movie we’re talking about today, the incredible HERCULES (1983). I must thank my golden pal Kate of LOVE TRAIN FOR THE TENEBROUS EMPIRE for today’s choice. It was Kate’s enthusiastic review (HERE) that convinced me that I had to check it out. Her always wonderful writing and choice selections of screenshots were convincing enough but the deal was set in stone when she informed me that this opus was directed by LOUIS COATES aka LUIGI COZZI, the man responsible for one of my starving eyeball’s favorites feasts STAR CRASH.

As Kate mentions in her piece, Italian director CAOTES/COZZI tends to deliver snuggable rip-offs of American hits. STAR CRASH butted in line behind STAR WARS; the sticky CONTAMINATION plopped down in place after ALIEN, and HERCULES swipes pies from both CLASH OF THE TITANS and CONAN THE BARBARIAN’s window. Talent borrows, genius steals and super geniuses steal and add Christmas lights and cleavage. If you want me to tell you the plot of HERCULES, have a nice wait. All I can say is that it offers the only satisfying explanation of the creation of the universe that I have ever heard and it supports my own personal theory that if there are higher powers at work, then they totally get off on sticking invisible “kick me!” signs on all of our backs.

Furthermore, I’ll take LOU FERRIGNO over ARNOLD any day of the week. They both look like clown-crafted, ready-to-pop balloon animals but only LOU has humanity in his peepers. I don’t even care that his voice is clearly dubbed in HERCULES, if I had my way, we’d all be dubbed. Hey, this is not a movie to turn towards if you are looking for master acting or lucid storytelling anyway. This is the type you just sit back and bask in the beauty of. I’m sorry but this truly is my idea of lovely, everything sparkles and glows and there are a thousand clashing colors and it’s like huffing at the trash dump and seeing rats as stallions and roaches as swans. It’s all swimming in makeshift extravagance and tin can opulence and fishing wire prosperity. If it doesn’t cure you, then you are not sick. Words, schmords, blorbs. It’s better to look at the pictures….

Name That Trauma :: Reader Stevil 1981 on a Toilet Paper Terror

Hi folks.

As with many “Name That Traumas,” I don’t remember a whole lot of the film that traumatized me but here it goes.

I would have seen this on U.K TV around 1987/88, and it definitely had a grainy, ‘70s look to it.

The scene that ran me out of the room was of a boy of around 13 going into a service station restroom. He enters the stall and a filthy hand reaches under the wall accompanied by a rough sounding voice (think, TOM WAITS at his gruffest) asking for some toilet paper. The boy is understandably reluctant but after a couple of requests he goes to hand some toilet paper to the filthy hand and is immediately grabbed and pulled under the wall.

I have been trying to figure out what this could’ve been for so long now and countless Internet searches have yielded nothing.

Hope somebody out there has some idea.

I would appreciate any suggestions as my memory is quite hazy and things may not have played out exactly like the scene described.


Stevil 1981

Traumafessions:: Reader Grimpressions on Why Me?

Some of the movies that scared me the most as a kid were made-for-TV movies based on true events. Sure many of them are corny and deviated from the actual facts, but as a kid most of the time I didn’t realize it. I was fascinated by the movies that had to deal with horrible accidents or people being disfigured. I don’t know if I was an insensitive little shit or if I just watched too much TV. One film I’ll always remember was WHY ME?

It aired a lot in the ’80’s, mainly on Lifetime. I remember the first time I watched almost the whole movie was particularly horrifying. I was at my cousin’s house during a summer afternoon while my Mom was working. My cousin, who was around my same age, just had surgery done to his eye and he had to wear a patch over it. I’m not sure who thought this was a good idea, but the patch his doctor made him wear was a skin-colored bandage. I guess from a distance it was less noticeable than a patch like a pirate would wear, but up close it was really off-putting to an eight-year-old kid. It looked like skin had melted over his eye. I shouldn’t have been scared of him, but I was.

So as I avoided hanging out with him during his recovery, I found other things to do like watch Lifetime with my Aunt. She was watching WHY ME? It was about a nurse who’s face was disfigured in a car accident. Here’s another situation where I shouldn’t have been scared, but I was. I remember it looked like skin had melted over her mouth after she had one of her operations to reconstruct her lips and it reminded me of my cousin’s eye so I couldn’t get away from it. I was also freaked out by one doctor’s drawings and I wondered why he wanted to make her look as ugly as his sketch. All of the medical jargon completely went over my head at the time and I didn’t realize that facial reconstruction was such a long process.

Watching parts of the movie on YouTube, I now realize that a lot of the plot is based on how controversial and groundbreaking the doctor’s procedures were. He wanted to use vaginal skin to repair the nurse’s lips. I was also pleasantly surprised to see BRUCE ABBOTT make an appearance as one of the patients.


Name That Trauma :: Reader Keanu E. on Murderous Mall Mannequins

I have been trying to find the title of this made-for-TV movie since forever. I watched it in the late ‘90s although it could be early ‘90s, or late ‘80s even. I asked a friend who said the people at Kindertrauma usually can find ANYTHING. However I think this one might stump you as I have asked on every horror site known to man and nobody recalls it.

It was about a department store that may have been called “Boyles” which sold clothes, beds etc… So anyway these people get trapped inside and the mannequins in the store are trying to kill them! The opening of the movie has a man in the store basement that is impaled through the chest from behind by a CHARLIE CHAPLIN-looking mannequin holding an umbrella which he then opens.

I also remember two other specific scenes. At one point, a girl is tied to a pillar and has a very short amount of time to escape before a mannequin squirts acid onto her face from a crystalline decanter. There’s also a part where the people who are trapped have to jump across a row of double beds because the floor is electrified. There may also have been a back story about the store’s previous owner having a fat son who was bullied.

I can remember a lot of it so vividly but only one person on the entire Internet has described something vaguely similar and he never found out what it was either.

Can you help? This movie freaked the hell out of me.


Keanu E.

UNK SEZ:: Thanks for the challenging “Name That Trauma” Keanu! I foolishly thought that we had covered every possible mannequin trauma on these pages but this one sounds different! I did notice other folks wondering about this same flick online so I hope one of our readers can help! The mall setting means we can rule out previous mannequin traumas TOURIST TRAP & the short LIVING DOLLS! I hope we can find this one, it sounds cool!

Traumafessions :: Propagatrix on The Mystery of Chimney Rock (Choose Your Own Adventure, #5)

Remember THIS evil little nugget?

My particular trauma-trigger was the scenario in which the reader is confronted with a plate of cheese and crackers and the choice to eat them or leave them. My chubby cheese-loving eleven-year-old self naturally chose to devour the food…and when I turned to the page that revealed my consequent fate, I found that I’d been turned into a MOUSE.

Seriously, it was scarier than it sounds.



Official Traumatizer :: Tom Holland

Hey remember when we used to give out “Official Traumatizer” titles to worthy folks? Why’d we ever stop doing that? Was it because nobody cared? That’s no reason to stop doing stuff! With the remake of FRIGHT NIGHT right around the corner wouldn’t this be a swell time to send some gratitude toward the man responsible for writing and directing the classic original? I’d say so.


HOLLAND wrote PSYCHO II and what an incredible accomplishment that is. Personally I can’t imagine a better handling of the material and stand even more impressed knowing it was done under what had to be the most cynical of scrutiny. I’d like to strangle QUENTIN TARANTINO for stating that he prefers the second PSYCHO to the first on account of I wanted to say that myself. Sure, HITCH’s take is brilliant and genius and a cinematic landmark and all that but PSYCHO II is my idea of the perfect movie. People should rip it off more often. You guys know I love my semi-gothic, creepy-antique-y social reject films and you know that I love the type of movie where somebody may get a butcher knife crammed in the back of their skull till the tip of the blade appears in their gaping pie hole right? Well, you almost never see both of those wonderful elements in the same movie. Yes, a rich psychological character study with satisfying kills is doable. All you “Back Stories Ruin the Horror! “ people take a hike. HOLLAND adds many a layer to our understanding of Norman while maintaining apt space for sympathy and fear (or empathy and unease) to collide like gangbusters. Respect is paid toward the original while still moving forward into fresh territory. Good sequels are possible and I present you with this “Exhibit A.”


Aw, who doesn’t have a soft spot for FRIGHT NIGHT? From wolf toe to burnt-by -crucifix forehead it’s all about the love of the genre. HOLLAND probably had the most creative control on this picture, as both writer and director, and the outcome speaks for itself. Exemplary special effects, genuine scares and thrills, comedy that doesn’t make you cringe, a notable cast of players and bad guys as intriguing as the good. It’s no wonder this movie is so beloved, it’s got a rare adventurous spirit, it celebrates its rag tag eccentric’s foibles and as frothy fun as its willing to be, it’s not afraid to go dark and get its paws messy with real horror and even pathos. Admit it, some of it is rather touching. It’s a real shame HOLLAND wasn’t required (or pleaded and begged with) to participate in the sequel because FRIGHT NIGHT had the makings of an epic series of films. I know the HOLLAND-less FN:P2 has its supporters but to me, it’s quite the pale shadow.


If public perception of CHILD’S PLAY is that it is a wacky parody cheesefest of some sort then the public have not watched the original film lately. It’s mostly a restrained affair, all things considered, and boy does it know what to show, plus how much to show of it and when. The killer doll storyline is inherently humorous but that doesn’t dilute CHILD’S PLAY’s ability to hit the nail on the head expressing parental fears about the limits of being able to keep a child from harm and bad influences. From a child’s perspective, we’re talking Kindertrauma gold here. What child hasn’t had the horrific fantasy of their smiling toys coming to life and isn’t one of the scariest parts of growing up learning that some people may only pretend to be your friend? Chucky would go on to be a towering figure in the world of horror, but much of that is due to the fact that the first floor of his skyscraping presence is sturdy as hell.


As if the above three slabs of awesome were not enough, HOLLAND had his hand in two of my favorite trash treasures… CLASS OF 1984 and THE BEAST WITHIN. He wrote the little seen and underloved home invasion flick SCREAM FOR HELP (1984) (which was directed by DEATH WISH’s MICHAEL WINNER and is tons of tacky fun), he directed CLOAK & DAGGER which inspired a traumafession HERE and his output includes two above average/serviceable STEPHEN KING adaptations with THINNER and the T.V. miniseries THE LANGOLIERS.

Speaking of television, HOLLAND was behind the classic made-for-T.V. movie THE INITIATION OF SARA, directed THE STRANGER WITHIN (which we received a traumafession for HERE) and has put his stamp on stellar episodes of TALES FROM THE CRYPT, AMAZING STORIES and a very Kindertraumatic killer clown episode of MASTERS OF HORROR entitled “We All Scream For Ice Cream” (review HERE.)

As an actor, TOM HOLLAND is the only person on Earth who can lay claim to performing alongside both INGRID BERGMAN (A WALK IN THE SPRING RAIN) and master thespian VICTOR CROWLEY (HATCHET II). I started this post to spotlight HOLLAND’s artistry and position as a true traumatizer, but I have come to realize that he is the CHUCK NORRIS of horror. Dude even got some training from BRUCE LEE and took on THE INCREDIBLE HULK (Okay well, he didn’t actually get to fight the green one in the season two episode “Another Path” but almost!) There are careers and then there are careers. He may not be the household name that some of his contemporaries are but one thing is indisputable, TOM HOLLAND has had a hulkian effect on cinema and consequently, the pages of Kindertrauma.

Kinder-Spotlight :: Inside

What’s this? Two Sundays in a row without Kindertrauma’s “Stream Warriors” feature? What gives? Well we are still nursing the wounds inflicted upon us by Netflix’s sneaky price increase. We had forgiven them for destroying bricks and mortar video stores but this new bait and switch is just too much! Someone has gotten too big for their britches! Why should we use coveted Kindertrauma real estate to promote those cheap ingrates when it can be better utilized by wonderful sponsors like Intel and Toshiba? Yes, the following is a sponsored post, paid for by Intel and Toshiba!

Are you sick of passively streaming dullsville movies on Netflix and have you ever asked yourself why the heck can’t I get involved with the events that happen in the film I’m watching? Do you wish to be a participant in something new and exciting rather than just an observer? You’re prayers have been answered and not by Netflix either, they have been answered by the good folks at Intel and Toshiba.

Starting tomorrow YOU will be able to take active part in a movie! INSIDE is a film that stars EMMY ROSSUM and is directed by the guy who did DISTURBIA (DJ CARUSO) and another person called YOU! Folks will get a chance to alter and experience INSIDE as it happens thanks to the help of social media favorites like TWITTER, FACEBOOK, and YOUTUBE! You can learn more HERE and from the embedded video below.

Name That Trauma :: Reader Lizzie C. on an Illuminated En Masse Abduction

I absolutely love your website and have been visiting it daily since I discovered its existence! I’ve been knocking around the idea of sending in my own Name That Trauma for quite some time now, but I had always held off on it because I’m not sure how solid my memory of the scene I want to reference is, and also, I’m not entirely sure it wasn’t just some crazy fever dream. But I decided, what the hey, I’ll just submit it for some peace of mind and if someone knows what I am talking about, I will have ended a many, many years long mystery, which will be a relief!

I remember being 8 or 9, and I want to say the movie had to be from the mid-to-late ‘80s or early ‘90s. I remember that there was a class of children who made lanterns as a project and they were going on an evening parade to show off the lanterns to their parents and families. They went over a hill and disappeared on the other side. I remember being extremely creeped out by seeing the lanterns going over the hill, just little lights in the darkness, and you could barely see the children. There was a boy who was in bed when this happened, and he was watching out of his bedroom window. I think he had gotten in trouble or had not completed the project or some other thing, so he was not at the parade. He watched through those curtains with horizontal slats in his bedroom, and he saw the kids go over the hill and then saw a bright flash of light…he didn’t know what had happened, but it was at that moment when the kids went over the hill that they all disappeared. Which makes me want to believe that this was some kind of alien abduction movie, or some other sci-fi flick. But that one scene is all I remember of this movie because it made me horrified to go outside in the dark – I might suddenly disappear like the kids in the movie, you know!

I apologize if it is a really well-known movie (or, for that matter, if it is not even a movie, and just something that I dreamed). I will feel stupid. But I do not typically watch alien movies or sci-fi movies…I’m much more into slasher flicks and survival horror. So forgive me if this is a common film…it just isn’t in a genre that I usually watch!

If anyone has any ideas about what movie this might be, I would be so grateful! And please keep in mind that it was fifteen years ago and my memory of the scene may be shaky; so take my synopsis of the scene with a grain of salt. I’d appreciate anything that sounds at all similar, just for the leads, and who knows, it might be right!

Thanks so much for your help!

Lizzie C.