In my new library/office/den/tree fort, my movie watching set up is currently exclusively VHS. Don't cry for me, I've got boxes of tapes to reacquaint myself with. Of course, number one on the playlist is SCREAMS OF A WINTER NIGHT which is pretty much the ultimate movie for grainy, washed out VCR play! Yes, I'm pushing this movie yet again! Why else do you think I was put on this planet? Check out my cob webbed covered full review HERE! And behold the murky madness below!
Next week is friday the 13th! Yet something tells me that all I'm going to care about on that day is INSIDIOUS 2! So let's get our FRIDAY THE 13th itch satisfied today! Below is a word search containing names associated with the original 1980 film. How many can you find?
In addition to the Traumafession I just shared, I am looking for the title of a film short trauma, also shown frequently on HBO, during their Short Takes (or, "Something Short and Special", depending on the era).
It involved a boy who would wade in a lake near a golf course, retrieving and reselling golf balls. Some teenaged hippies came by and started hassling him, and threw his boots (that he had left on the shore) into the lake. Later, he came back and the hippies were hanging out and laughing with their friends, sitting on the grass. The boy put their car into neutral and pushed it down the hill, into the lake. The boy then later seemed to feel bad, almost on par with "The Boy Who Loved Deer".
It was the bullying by older kids that scared me about this short, as I was sometimes picked on. Does anyone else remember this? Was it an episode of Inside/Out (which has been unfortunately pulled from YouTube)?
Dustin in Minnesota
It's been a while since I've contributed here, but I have a great traumafession to share.
When I was in junior high school, HBO frequently aired their "Video Jukebox" program. One of the videos they would sometimes show was "Demon Alcohol" by The Kinks.
That video scared me! I had never yet at that point tried alcohol, and I was afraid to, thanks to all of the after school specials and educational propaganda they fed us during our health class. Yet watching this video, with Demon Alcohol's sinister laughter scared me that I would somehow become an alcoholic.
The video scared me of what might become of me if I ever dared to drink. On an ironic note, the health teacher I had with the anti-alcohol scare tactics later worked in a liquor store after retiring from teaching. Also ironically, I might have to watch this video sometime while enjoying a Guinness (in moderation, of course)!
Cheers (and fears),
Dustin in Minnesota
I can't really call this a Traumafessionâ€”more like a… Frissonfession. The experience sent me over the moon for horror filmsâ€”gooseflesh, thrills, excitement, abject giddy fear. All I can say now is, "Thank you, Jose Ferrer!"
I speak of the little-seen PBS documentary from 1983: The Horror of It All. I saw it when it was first broadcast, before I could recognize Roger Corman's face, or Dana Andrews' face, or Robert Bloch's face. Just a bunch of old guys talking about old horror movies, as far as I could tell at twelve, while Ferrer's mellifluous, dead-serious voice narrated. (At one point, he pronounces the name of the somnambulist ghoul in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari with some weird Italian accuracy never intended in a German Expressionist filmâ€”something like, "Chay-sa-rray," with a quick rolled R. I always pronounced "Cesare" like the salad.)
I made sure to videotape this sucka. And I watched it over and over again. It offered my first glimpses of The Cat and the Canary, White Zombie, The Bat Whispers, Curse of the Demon, Black Sunday, Svengali, The Body Snatcher, The Golem, and Nosferatu. I had never seen Nosferatu. Who was that bald-headed freak who could lift up like a crossing gate arm from a coffin in the hold of a ship? I literally could not bear a sustained look at Max Schreck with those rat ears and long-nailed phalanges and monolithic black overcoat; and yet I paused the tape at the moment of his appearance in the arched door frame and willed myself to stare at him poised to feed on Hutter cringing like a little child in his bed. The image broken and distorted by the paused tape made it even worse, a portent of the creepy effectiveness of fractured videotape images in faux-found-footage movies. I left it on pause and walked between my bedroom and the bathroom, quickly crossing the living room where the TV held the terrible image of Nosferatu, jerking slightly through the tape's interference. (And because of the pauper budget of PBS, they had access to only twelfth-generation prints of the films, resulting in soft, scratched images that somehow made the indistinct monsters more terrifying.)
The documentary opened with footage of performers preparing to scare the crap out of patrons at the Haunted Mansion on Long Branch Pier in New Jersey, going through some kind of pep talk like football players before a game. And then a short montage of people in ghoul make-up lunging from the shadows of the mansion like the faces in the opening credits of Night Gallery. (The Long Branch Haunted Mansion would only exist for a few more years; it burned down in 1987.)
This was my world, and if only old men had authority over it, as it seemed by the number of them being interviewed for this program, then I would await my dotage with the enthusiasm of Ernest Thesiger.
I'm sorry Kids! I'm so behind! I was all telling myself how I was going to do stuff today like write a post and it turned out to be a big giant lie. I'm not going to do anything today! Kindertrauma Kastle just got a beautiful new gold bar and now I'm going to sit at said bar and drink a cocktail! Do you blame me? My only worry is that one of you fine folks will not have anything to watch today. That idea kills me! That is why I'm going to suggest that you check out one of my favorites NIGHT OF THE EAGLE/BURN WITCH BURN below! If you'd like to read more about it just jump back to the old review I wrote for it once upon a time when I was less lazy HERE! Cheers!