Name That Trauma :: Reader Beau K. on Loutish Lizard Licker

So when I was staying over at my grandma’s when I was about 8 or so, I stayed in their spare room, which had a TV (a luxury I didn’t have at home).

When everyone went to bed, I decided to take advantage of the opportunity… only for it to turn into a massive FML.

I switched onto a movie and the scene was as follows:

A teenage girl is hiding from a man/thing under a table in a diner. She’s with a companion (for the life of me I can’t remember if her companion was a human or a dog, that wasn’t the part that scarred me.)

The guy she was hiding from comes in and grabs her from under the table and takes her into his truck. So far, just your ordinary chase/kidnapping.

Then the guy who took her (who’s in the driver’s seat), grows a massive lizard tongue and licks her… and then I switched that shit off before I could see what happened next.

I need to know what movie this was from, so I can watch it, and find out what sort of lizard freak would do that to a girl…

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Beau K.

Kudos to reader jaakko for knowing this one comes from, of all places, HOWARD THE DUCK!

Name That Trauma :: Reader Erin M. on a Televised Alien Invasion

I remember watching a faux TV news broadcast that was live reporting the WAR OF THE WORLDS story — alien invasion, etc. This would have been in the late ’80s, maybe early ’90s. I remember that coming back from every commercial break, there was a disclaimer notifying the viewing audience that the news report wasn’t real. They kept “losing signal” or “losing contact” with their reporters in the field as things got more and more intense — I believe it ended with color bars or snow or something that made it look like the station feed was lost.

I was little — maybe 7 or 8 at the most — when I caught this, so it would have been ’88, ’89 maybe. Scared the bejesus out of me… even though there were the disclaimers, it was SUPER realistic and I was completely freaked out. I know there was a TV series around the same time, but I don’t think this was part of it, unless it was a special episode or maybe some kind of promotion for it.

Can’t find anything on this out there but would love it if you could help me identify it. My boyfriend has followed your site for years, and he suggested I reach out to you — I’m a librarian and I’m kind of embarrassed that my awesome research skills can’t dig anything up on this, so I defer to your considerable expertise.


Erin M.

UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! Special thanks to reader chopmeup for knowing it was WITHOUT WARNING!

Traumafessions :: Reader Matt on Scooby Doo ep. “A Tiki Scare is No Fair”

Hey Kindertrauma and friends —

My kindertrauma revolved around the horrific episode of SCOOBY-DOO (my favorite cartoon to this day) entitled “A Tiki Scare is No Fair.” As I was an anxious and nervous child who grew into a lovably neurotic adult, I can’t believe my parents even let me watch this show.

Between the ghost drums, the haunted island far away from home, the idea of being hunted down by a maniacal tiki monster, and the evil witch doctor himself, I could’ve bought stock in Depends.

However, the most harrowing and haunting scene for me is when the witch doctor is chasing Velma and she hides in a bale of hay to escape his clutches. And he looms and searches for her, stalking and waiting until she blows her cover with a sneeze. At least this is how I remember it.

Just wanted to share and see who else (if anyone) was caused any trauma by watching good old SCOOBY.

Much appreciation,


UNK SEZ: Thanks to JOHN ROZEM for the above tiki image! You can find more super cool SCOOBY location shots at his joint HERE!

The Perfume of the Lady in Black (1974)

I love when you finish a movie and the first thing you want to do is watch it again. FRANCESCO BARILLI‘s 1974 film THE PERFUME OF THE LADY IN BLACK (available on Netflix Streaming) is so stinking gorgeous that I begged for it not to end. If anyone ever asks me to list the most grossly underrated horror film I can think of, I now have an answer. I wasn’t too far into it when I decided that no matter how the tale turned out, I would be a happy camper due to its lush, nonstop beauty and fantastic score but as it turned out, the slithery story it spun ended up being truly satisfying to me. If you venture in with expectations of a Giallo mystery with systematic kills, you’ll get lost in the wallpaper but if you’re looking for a dreamy psychological character study that refuses to nail things down, it’s bliss. Try to imagine POLANSKI’s THE TENANT told with SUSPIRA-style visuals with a lead character as stagnantly brittle as JULIANNE MOORE in SAFE. Now imagine the perfect shade of blue.

Wispy MIMSY FARMER plays Sylvia whose sheepish existence is crumbling beneath her. A family photo blasts her childhood traumas into her waking life and soon she is being tormented by her younger self, the mother she may have pushed off a building, ma’s beastly lascivious beau and pretty much every lover, friend, acquaintance and neighbor in her life. Just forget trying to interpret what is “real” and what is a projection of Sylvia’s psychosis, her demons have already won and “reality” is a sinking ship. Sylvia’s inability to stop her past from bleeding into her present transforms everyone into the enemy and all are unanimously bent on (literally) consuming her. The horror present is sometimes devastatingly impalpable. There are scenes where Sylvia just pauses, takes in the surroundings she is alienated from and stands eerily baffled. Some horror fans may find the timidity pesky but it all builds up to a climax with razor sharp claws.

The title, tone, lack of availability and its defiance of categorization all probably helped to conceal this film from a proper audience, but I think a generation now more accustomed to art house horror hybrids courtesy of folks like DAVID LYNCH and films like DON’T LOOK NOW, JACOB’S LADDER and BLACK SWAN won’t have too difficult a time swallowing this pill. PERFUME also cleverly references ALICE IN WONDERLAND which is a lovely touch. Sylvia’s mischievous and deadly (at least to cats!) awoken inner child not only resembles and reads from the book ALICE but she also leads Sylva through the looking glass and down a fathomless rabbit hole in her mind. Finally it is Sylvia who is serving rather than being served at a (real or not) gruesomely mad tea party. Anyway I cannot recommend it more highly. It’s one of the best Italian horror films I’ve ever seen and I would not only push horror fans toward it but also anyone who appreciates film. Its detractors can go ahead and claim it’s slow and confounding, personally I devoured every enigmatic second.

Name That Trauma :: Reader Ben S. on a Mom, a Monster & a Jewel

First of all, thank you for your wonderful site! It’s like catnip for me.

I’ve been reluctant to submit this “Name That Trauma!,” because my memories of it are so bare bones and fragmented, and I’m not sure if I’ve made up parts of them (just like any good trauma!) But I figure that if anybody can help me find this movie, it’s somebody on your site.

I’m pretty sure that it was on HBO in the late ’80s or very early ’90s. It was in the afternoon, so it probably wasn’t rated R. I remember imagery of a mother and her baby in a house, a large diamond or other clear magic jewel (very SUPERGIRL-y), and a monster. In particular I remember a shot of a big, monstrous arm/hand with claws. The monster might have been after the baby or the diamond, or both?

Also, I think that there were shots taken from the monster’s point of view, and in these shots everything was bathed in greenish-yellowish-brownish hues. I remember looking it up in TV Guide and seeing that its genre was listed as “fantasy,” but I somehow forgot to retain (repressed?!) the title! Kindertrauma, can you help me?

All my best,

Ben S.

UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! By Reader Ben S. no less! Turns out this trauma comes from 1982’s TIME WALKER!

Name That Trauma :: Reader D. on a Swarm of S-L-U-G-S!

Hey, Kindertrauma!

Hope you guys are doing OK. Just wanted you to name this movie that traumatized me as a child, to the point it made me feel amazingly disgusted by the sight of slugs.

I can’t for the life of me remember what was the name of this movie, all I remember is that there was some night scene where some janitor (a woman) was paralyzed, laying on the floor, and something forced her mouth wide open… and from the corners of the hall she was lying, a HUGE amount of slugs started to crawl over her…

slower and slower…

to the point they start crawling on her body…

with her jaw, WIDE OPEN


I was probably around 8-9 at the time… I cannot unsee that scene ever since.

Could you guys name that movie? I’d really appreciate it!

Keep up the great work!



UNK SEZ:: All I can think of is SLUGS (1988) but does it fit? I know snails chomp on a chick in FULCI‘s AENIGMA (1987) and I know that slug like creatures attack in NIGHT OF THE CREEPS (and SLITHER) but all I can think of is SLUGS which seems way too easy. Anybody have any other guesses?

NOTE: Top slug image is from the SHAUN HUTSON novel SLUGS and comes courtesy of the ever excellent TOO MUCH HORROR FICTION!

UPDATE: NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! Thanks to reader visitedbyvoices for naming it with AENIGMA! Per a follow-up email from Reader D.:

Hey Aunt John!

First of all, I wanna thank you for posting my Name That Trauma! 😀

As for the leads, “Squirm” looked pretty damn close, but I’m gonna go with visitedbyvoices‘s one, “Aenigma”… I’ve watched that scene over and over again, while trying to remember what I’ve seen like, 20 years ago, and I have to say it has to be that movie!

Although those are snails and not slugs, and the woman doesn’t look like a janitor at all (don’t ask me why I remember the scene like that, I’ve no clue lol), it’s a night scene, she’s paralyzed and those fuckers pretty much covered her entire face, killing her!

Thank you so much for solving my childhood greatest mystery! I really, really appreciate it!!

Keep up the excellent work! 😀

Kind regards,


Don’t Be Afraid of The Remake: Ten Other T.V. Movies Ready For the Big Screen

With a big budget remake of DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK opening this Friday and talks of KOLCHAK leaping to multiplexes in the near future, it seems the remake machine is wising up to something many of our readers have known for a long time; that some of the best horror tales in existence spawn from the small screen. I present to you now a list of ten other T.V. movies that I think might deserve a big screen treatment, Be warned I left out STEPHEN KING classics like IT & SALEM’S LOT because nobody needs my nudging to remake KING and I skipped over some of my absolute favorites like SATAN’S TRIANGLE, BLACK NOON, DYING ROOM ONLY and MANY MORE simply because I either could not convince myself that they could be done better or I wasn’t sure modern audiences would know what to do with them. There are so many great T.V. movies that a list of ten was not easy to compile so if I’ve left out any of your favorites, feel free to sing their praises in the comment section!


I’m just going to get this one out of the way right off the bat. I’m not sure if it should be filed under horror, action or romance but I do know that its fans are some of the most passionately devoted out there. A story involving a giant sea turtle may be a hard sell in this cynical age but it may also be exactly what the doctor ordered if the correct tone is established. In fact, if done right it could appeal to a wide variety of ages. The original T.V. movie did indeed receive a theatrical release in foreign countries so perhaps TBD’s leap to the big screen is not nearly as farfetched as one might think. Screw AVATAR sequels, JAMES CAMERON should be all over this epic oceanic lovelorn adventure.

9. DUEL (1971)

I pity the fool who tries to follow in STEVEN SPIELBERG’s footsteps but if it’s ever going to be attempted this is a good place to start. The original was so well received that it graduated to play in not only European theaters but in US theaters as well. An update could add a class war element with the main character being a snooty modern urbanite and the phantom truck driver being a faceless good ol’ boy/ mudflap girl enthusiast. In any case, car movies tend to do well at the box office, so jack up the stunts and let her roll.

8. MR. BOOGEDY (1986)

This family friendly, haunted house comedy is a no-brainer. Go gross, go goofy, go 3-D, rake in the dough and leave BEETLEJUICE in the dust. Many folks have fond memories of the original but even kids unfamiliar with the title would be chomping at the bit to check out this funky phantom. Clueless Disney owns the rights so don’t hold your breath but the original led to BRIDE OF BOOGEDY, so I see major franchise potential. C’mon on Disney, this is your chance to make up for lousing up THE HAUNTED MANSION to such a vile degree!

7. HORROR AT 37,000 FEET (1973)

This movie may be hokey but there’s no reason why the remake has to be. In fact, I think this would be a great project for my pal and yours JOHN CARPENTER. Think about it, the story involves a plane carting ancient druid stones that ends up being threatened by its supernatural cargo. It’s basically PRINCE OF DARKNESS in the air! The endangered are small group of people from all walks of life and who has more experience directing folks thrown together and forced to battle side by side against an unknown foe? (Think THE THING, THE FOG, ASSAULT ON P13, etc…) CARPENTER can upgrade the scares and the believability and he’d have a blast getting all metaphysical explaining the cargos power with his very own screenplay (which he’ll surely credit to a fictional entity.) The story even has a dog in it and I know he has worked with canines before!

6. THE SPELL (1977)

There was many a copycat in the wake of the success of CARRIE but this one offers several unique wrinkles. THE SPELL’s vengeful conjuring teen is overweight and not only has a “perfect” sibling but also a hyper critical mother hiding her own powers that she must battle as well. It would be easy as hell to slap this story into a contemporary setting and touch upon current topics of interest like high school bullying and the pressures on teen girls to conform to a certain body type. STEPHEN KING’s novel CARRIE features a plump protagonist, since none of the official adaptations of his work has yet had the nerve to feature this element, here’s a chance to rectify that slight.


History has shown that possession movies, particularly ones based on “true” stories tend to fill theater seats. This tale that takes place in Brookfield, Connecticut where yours truly once resided, is ripe for the picking. Of course you might have some trouble securing rights from the folks who it actually happened to who say it’s all a sham but perhaps they could be quelled by a DVD exclusive documentary focusing on their side of the story. All I know is this movie and the corresponding book “The Devil in Connecticut” scared the living crap out of me once upon a time and that some of the details (the demonic old man with hooves and a charred plaid shirt) true or not, still give me the heebie-jeebies.

4. BAD RONALD (1974)

I don’t know about you but I can’t get enough of BAD RONALD. There’s only so much that can be done on television, so here’s an opportunity to delve even deeper into the psyche of this intriguing character. How about using HEAVENLY CREATURES as an inspiration and showing on screen, in detail, Ronald’s elaborate fantasy world? Nerdy outsider characters seem to be all over the place these days, so how about giving us one who is actually interesting?

3. DON’T GO TO SLEEP (1982)

A little girl comes back from the dead to convince her younger sister to kill the rest of their family. Hey, we need more killer kid movies because nothing is more entertaining! It’s fool proof really because if it fails to convince it will still be funny as hell. The story of course will have to be updated with fancier kills. Has the electric pizza cutter been invented yet? This remake will also get extra points if it casts VALERIE HARPER in the role of Grandma and retains the haunting signature closing shot.


The truth hurts but it must be said, nobody cares about the first two stories in this trilogy. The best idea would be to make this an all-Zuni doll affair and return to RICHARD MATHESON’s original story title “PREY.” The Zuni fetish doll is a sleeping giant of a horror icon and if Chucky can run for five films and counting, I think little Zuni has the potential to follow suit. By the year 2022, I personally require a Zuni vs. Chucky movie!


Now this one comes with a genuine, pre-existing fanbase. It hardly matters though because how can you beat that title? What horror fan would ignore such a thing on a marquee? They’d have to be thick! Also, here’s a chance to make something specifically for the Halloween season. My advice would be, amp up the atmosphere a couple notches, pour on some extra blood and just sit back and let the story do the rest. How could it not work? Furthermore this classic tale would offer some seriously meaty roles for actors who were up to the challenge. What A-lister in their right mind would pass up the chance to play a mentally challenged person or an unstable mailman? Both roles are Oscar bait! I’m thinking CILLIAN MURPHY as Bubba and MICHAEL CHIKLIS as Otis and maybe KATE JACKSON as Bubba’s mom as a nod to THE SCARECOW AND MRS. KING. What? Why are you looking at me funny? It needs to happen yesterday. Jeez, give me 20 million dollars and I’ll make it myself!

So that’s my ten and I overlooked only a couple hundred. I wouldn’t talk T.V. movies without asking T.V. movie gal pal Amanda by Night for her two cents, so for ten more T.V. movies that deserve big screen makeovers jump over to MADE FOR TV MAYHEM and check out Amanda’s top ten picks HERE!

Name That Trauma :: Reader Josh D. on a Wedded Witch

I was reading a post about the burnt Spider-Man, which reminded me of another movie around the same time that was very traumatic, to me at least, I was eight at the time. A man was married to a woman he believed to be a witch, or something along these lines, and he spends the movie trying to prove to others that she is, in fact a witch.

The scene that was so terrifying to my eight-year-old brain was the man walking into an upstairs room walking up on a rocking chair, in the same vein as PSYCHO, thinking he is approaching someone else, turning the chair and finding his witch/wife sitting there instead. He is startled to the point of backing himself out of a window and falling to his death.

Thirty years later and the images are fuzzy, but they gave me nightmares at the time. I thought ROBERT CONRAD played the unfortunate husband but a glance at IMDb didn’t uncover anything.

Josh D.

The Reef (2010)

They say sharks need to keep moving in order to survive but sometimes the best way to move forward is by going backwards, breaking things down, simplifying and focusing on the essentials. Shark movies seem to be getting more outrageous and ridiculous with each passing year (thanks Syfy Channel!) but THE REEF defiantly swims against the current campy stream. Directed by one of the fine folks (ANDREW TRAUCKI) responsible for 2007’s excellent shock-crock flick BLACK WATER, THE REEF is a streamlined, straightforward jaunt unhindered by the typical needless ornamentation. Much like BLACK WATER, one of the ways THE REEF separates itself from the pack is by refusing to rely on CGI and by utilizing actual real live sharks. The result is hyper authentic and hyper engaging. No computer-generated cartoon can compete with the freaky mug Mother Nature slapped on these deadly fish. Maybe sharks are misunderstood but I think it’s okay to be leery of a creature who might chomp all your limbs off and then use your face as a palate cleanser.

The plot is this: Some people are on a boat but then it tips over so they decide to swim for shore but it’s really difficult on account of the relentless shark(s?) trying eat them. Suddenly life’s usual quandaries seem quaint and very far off in the distance, sort of like the dry land that will prevent them from being din-din. TRAUCKI really has a talent for capturing the beauty along with the danger of the untamed world and he’s careful not to shirk on characterization either. We don’t know an extensive amount about the victims here but they seem like people amiable enough not to deserve being chewed apart while screaming for help that will never materialize.

It’s safe to say that JAWS is in no danger of being dethroned as the ultimate shark movie but THE REEF is more than another also-ran as it truly delivers the suspense. It was certainly not necessary for me to keep my legs on the couch while watching this, but I found myself doing so anyway and that should tell you something. Like much survival horror (OPEN WATER, FROZEN) this tale is bound to work more for those cursed with the unfashionable ability to put themselves in other people’s shoes.

TRAUCKI is quoted as saying, “Reality is far more intriguing than fiction” and THE REEF (which is based on a true story) backs his theory nicely. I’m not sure I enjoyed this film as much as I did BLACK WATER but it’s gratifying to see a filmmaker taking the subject of man vs. beast (or vs. nature, or vs. shitty luck) seriously.

THE REEF is now available on Netflix Streaming.