Traumafession:: Crafty Pants Carol on Bloodrage (1979)

Ok so Bloodrage (1979) had a very big impact on me when I first saw it. I was prob about 11 or 12 and when my sister and I would spend the weekend at our cool grandmother’s house she would always let us pick out whatever movies we wanted and then leave us alone with them and go spend the evening ordering things out of a catalogue. I don’t really remember what my sister would pick – but I usually picked a horror movie – and this was one of them. The main things that stuck in my head were the apartments in the movie and the whole 42nd Street atmosphere. And those images have swam around in my head for decades – leading to a near obsession with SRO hotels, NYC and sleazy 42nd street (oh and windows!!!).

But there was also some issues surrounding seeing the movie again that just made it all incredibly mysterious and alluring to me throughout my teens and 20s. I remember years later – when I was in high school – I really wanted to see it again and asked for it in every video store I went to but no one had even heard of it. Then one day I just happened to be in the neighborhood of my grandmother’s old house and went into the video store we rented it from and thought “this is where I got it – they HAVE to at least know about it!” I looked around and didn’t see it on the shelf so I asked for it at the counter and the dude looked at me like I was crazy – which made me want to see it like a thousand times more!!! Like it was some secret movie that no one knew about or would talk about! I think I half heartedly looked for it for the next decade or so -and then about 10 years later in the mid 90s I came across a copy of the VHS at Movie Madness in Portland while I was visiting my mom. I told her about how I had seen it when I was 11 or 12 and how excited I was to find it again and she sat down with me and watched it and about halfway through asked – with a bewildered look on her face “how old were you when you saw this???” And if you’ve checked it out since I uploaded it on youtube you’ll understand why. It’s full of hookers and sex and naked dancing ladies and killing hookers.

I did eventually live in an SRO hotel (just a room with a single bed and small fridge and TV where the bathroom and kitchen were out in the hall) and – big surprise – it was just like living anywhere else. It was even a house arrest hotel with petty thugs roaming the halls – and all I really wound up doing every night after a hard day of being a fry cook in a diner was watching 7th Heaven on crappy cable. I also eventually lived in NYC for a few years – but it was well after the sleazy 42nd street times. It was fun but nothing I’d ever want to do again. But I do still have mild obsessions with those things and sleazy 42nd street in general! It was seared into my brain by Bloodrage!!

And eventually I found a copy of the VHS on ebay and finally got it transferred to DVD so I could actually watch it again and then I forwarded the VHS on to the only person I know who both has a working VHS player and would appreciate the movie as the bizarro classic I think it is – Uncle Lancifer.

It’s actually still really hard to find too! It never shows up on youtube. So I’m proud to be the purveyor of filth and sleaze that is Bloodrage for anyone who’s interested.

Sunday Viewing:: The Addiction (1995)

The other night I found myself jonesing for some ABEL FERRARA. He does that thing where he makes movies about stuff he’s actually interested in rather than crap that panders to lame-o’s. I love when people do that. It reminds me of art! Our pal has plenty of masterpieces under his belt. DRILLER KILLER, MS. 45, KING OF NEW YORK…aces all. But do you know the movie of his I hold closest to my heart? Why it’s THE ADDICTION.

You should not be surprised by that because it stars LILI TAYLOR, is shot in black and white and is so morose it makes Eeyore look like RICHARD SIMMONS. It’s my favorite vampire flick besides THE HUNGER. Lots of folks tell me it’s an allegory for drug addiction but I think that’s only one casket at this mass funeral. FERRARA gets all up into humanity’s addiction to evil and he’s not afraid to point an accusing finger at the victims who stand back and allow or even invite evil to occur. I can understand this movie not being for everyone, it goes a little overboard with the quoting of philosophers and there are a few scenes that are truly barking mad. I don’t care though, because that’s what gives this strange movie is singular personality. In any case you have to witness CHRISTOPHER WALKEN’s delivery of the line, “You know nothing!” and the bit where TAYLOR, confronted by an image of Christ on a pamphlet, goes mega beserker equating goodness with slavery ripping off her clothes and screaming, “I will not submit!” Plus it’s chock full of New York night life and mid-nineties rap. Who isn’t craving some “I Wanna Get High” from CYPRUS HILL? You’re lying. Watch THE ADDICTION below, it’s regrettably not on DVD at least not in these parts.

Sunday Viewing:: Don’t Open The Door!

Now I get it! DON’T OPEN THE DOOR is on my list of films I always fish for on YouTube and always fail to catch. Then the other night, there it was just staring me in the face like it was there all along claiming to have been posted more than a year ago. How is that possible? Turns out I have been searching for it with the year 1975 attached while the YouTube video says 1974. I guess that’s why it never got stuck in my net. Well, IMDb agrees with ‘74, I have no idea where I got ‘75 from and to make matters muddier the actual film sports ‘79 in its opening credits. Are we talking when it was made or when it was released? I’m confused enough to stop pretending that I have any concept of time in the first place. The important thing is that I got to see this movie again! DON’T OPEN THE DOOR was directed by the always interesting independent filmmaker S.F. BROWNRIGG whose first film DON’T LOOK IN THE BASEMENT (1973) haunted late night airwaves throughout my youth. I had seen DOOR once before on VHS and although the entire film hadn’t rocked my world, I was wowed by its climax which took place in a lighthouse-like crow’s nest cupola complete with colored glass windows. It stuck in my head.

But how did I forget the film’s opening credits? How? It consists of an assortment of creepy dolls standing in a black void and it is the swellest thing ever. Maybe I blocked it out because I wasn’t cool enough to appreciate the awesomeness yet. That must be it. Oh geez, I wasn’t ready for any of this movie back then! That was before I realized that the best plot in the world concerns a young lady returning to her childhood home where she once witnessed a parent being murdered. Why are movies ever about anything else? It also doesn’t hurt that our main lady (SUSAN BRACKEN) acts like a cross between NAOMI WATTS in MULHOLLAND DRIVE and a petulant LINDA BLAIR or that the entire film looks like the grooviest candy-coated art flick that CINDY SHERMAN forgot to make. I’m probably not the best person to speak on the subject of feminism because my favorite Spice Girl is Baby Spice (I know Sporty has better pipes but did she attempt an awesome ode to Carol Anne from POLTERGEIST?), but somebody really should write a term paper about how every menacing man in this movie tries to get our heroine to bend to their will only to get a full blast of her nuclear ire instead. Sure, madness is her only reward and that’s the same resigning towel THE YELLOW WALLPAPER threw in.

What on Earth am I talking about? I should say that there is a legitimate swampy ten minutes of redundancy that you have to drag yourself through to get to the glorious denouement but don’t cry during that part, just use that opportunity to make yourself a tuna fish sandwich. Put pickles on it, that’s what I did. If your refrigerator does not offer pickles, push it out the door and buy a new one.

Traumafession:: Bdwilcox on a Co-Worker’s Son Of Blob Kitten Calamity

If we accept the notion that kindness begets kindness, I suppose the adverse is true: trauma begets trauma. For example, upon hearing the expertly solved traumafession of my coworker Al*, another co-worker, Ben, shared his own traumafession.

When Ben was a wee lad, an unaffected youth, an unsullied stripling, little did he know that an innocent TV session would lead to a psychic wound whose scar has lasted well into adulthood. As Ben recounted this visual abomination, his eyes looked into the distance as if reliving that moment of terror, that feeling of isolation a child feels when witnessing pure horror. Like a pilgrim cleansing himself of past sins, Ben hesitantly recalled the imagery that had indelibly burned itself into his psyche.

It was a B-movie, a sub-par sequel that was more spoof than horror but, nonetheless, Beware! The Blob contains a scene that has scarred multiple generations of moviegoers. Sure, it had people devoured and digested left and right by a giant amoeba; this is traumatic enough by itself. But nothing, NOTHING, compares to that bastard blob’s ingestion of a tiny, defenseless kitten. NOTHING!

The image of the tiny, curious kitten pawing at the amorphous blob was truly dreadful. But the imagery that Ben recalled (with much trepidation) was the blob escaping out the window with the kitten ensconced within its gelatinous mass and only its tiny tail still visible. Could there be anything more evil than a blob that eats kittens? Cute, roley-poley, bobble-headed kittens who like to play with balls of yarn? Adorable fuzz-balls that attack your feet under the covers and chase the occasional house spider? Purring little poppets that flop over and snooze at the drop of a dime? Damn you blob! Damn you! Eat me instead! Leave the kittens alone!

But I digress. After Ben told us of his hidden trauma** and his catharsis was complete, I asked him if I could share this soul-searing imagery with the wider Kindertrauma audience and he kindly said yes. Thanks, Ben!

* Thanks, Kindertrauma! BTW, that’s Quatermass…without the “r”.

** Still less traumatic than cat juggling, though.


UNK SEZ: Thanks for spreading the trauma Bdwilcox and thanks for the traumafession co-worker Ben! Hey, look! I found SON OF BLOB (AKA BEWARE THE BLOB!) in full, hanging out on the Youtube! I was just going to post the trailer but it’s far better to watch the whole kitten Kaboodle!

Three Underrated Flicks From Reader Mathew A.

Hey, Kindertrauma pals! Long time fan… I check your site almost daily. Just thought I’d share a few underrated (in my opinion, at least), rather obscure films I’ve seen recently.

1. Mirror, Mirror (1990)

Wow. This one. The cast tells you all you really need to know- Karen Black, Yvonne De Carlo, William Sanderson, Stephen Tobolowsky, RAINBOW HARVEST (not kidding…total Wynona Ryder knockoff)… Need I say more?

Fine. Here’s the plot (per IMDb): “Shy teenager Megan moves to a new town with her widowed mother and quickly becomes the most unpopular girl in high school. But when she starts to communicate with a mysterious mirror, her tormentors begin to meet with a horrifying series of ‘accidents.’ Is the mirror a reflection of Megan’s own inner demons… or has she unwittingly opened the doorway of the damned?”

Alas, it looks like this one’s no longer on YouTube, but at least check out the trailer and tell me it’s not the most perfect time capsule of late ’80s/early ’90s horror.

2. Tainted Blood (1993)

This one, on the other hand, is definitely still on YouTube, where you can catch it in all its early ’90s, made-for-tv glory! Once again, I’ll let the cast speak for itself- Raquel Welch, Alley Mills, Joan Van Ark (!!), Kerri Green (from Goonies, duh), Natasha Gregson Wagner

Synopsis (per Amazon): “When a dedicated investigative reporter tries to find the teenaged twin of a homicidal maniac she enters a dark world of insanity and danger.”

Definitely more of a thriller than horror, this one still gets bonus points for showing multiple scenes of Joan Van Ark smoking, drinking, and even smacking her daughter around! It’s the simple things in life.

3. I’ve Been Waiting for You (1998)

Another made-for-tv gem, this one tried hard to cash in on the late ’90s teen scream fad (Scream, IKWYDLS, etc.). Like IKWYDLS, it’s even based (loosely, I assume) on a novel by Lois Duncan.

Per Amazon: “Someone is stalking teenagers in this picturesque New England town. A high school senior is mysteriously murdered and more teens fall victim to grisly accidents. Classmates blame Sarah (Sarah Chalke), the new girl who recently moved with her mother, Rosemary (Markie Post), into an old house believed to be haunted. The legend is that 300 years ago another girl named Sarah had lived in that same house and was burned at the stake for suspected witchcraft. With her dying words, she cast a curse on the town and vowed to come back to destroy the descendants of her killers. Now, the town’s teens believe the new Sarah is the evil reincarnation of that witch. As the body count rises, Sarah must fight for her life and discover who the real killer is.”

This one’s also on YouTube, but in parts (ugh). It’s not bad! It has a definite R.L. Stine/Christopher Pike feel to it, and as long as you don’t need heavy doses of gore to satisfy your every need, this one is a pleasant time waster. Also: IT HAS A BITCHY SOLEIL MOON FRYE IN IT. There ya go.

~Matthew A.

Kinder-Link:: Horror at 37,000 Feet Party at Made For TV Mayhem

UNK SEZ: I hope everybody packed a lunch today because we are taking a field trip over to MADE FOR TV MAYHEM where our old pal AMANDA BY NIGHT is hosting a party celebrating the highly anticipated DVD release of the TV movie classic HORROR AT 37,000 FEET (Kinder-review HERE)! In celebration, Amanda has compiled a fantastic list of ten of her favorite TV movie OMG moments just for you! Please hand me your parent-signed permission slips as you get on the bus and no monkey business! Stop singing “One hundred bottles of beer on the wall”! We’re HERE!

Name That Trauma:: George H. on Hapless Helicopter Help

Hi, I love your site and you have helped me to i.d. numerous kid traumas lost to the sands of time even with the Internet. I have one left.

I saw this movie on free T.V. in the NYC area in the mid-to-late ‘70s/early ‘80s as a kid on the weekend. I remember the ending only. Basically, it’s two men (prisoners or soldiers) struggling to make their way through the jungle to an escape army helicopter as they are pursued by the enemy. The prisoners are worse for wear as the helicopter lands with a soldier or two getting out to provide cover fire for the escapees. The returning fire proves overwhelming and the chopper leaves without being able to pick up our heroes. The movie ends with a freeze-frame of the men’s faces.

Does anyone know what the name of this movie was? Over 35 years later, I still remember this downbeat ending.

Thank you,

George H.

Sunday Viewing:: Bloodrage (1979) Presented By Crafty Pants Carol

Today we have an especially special rarity thanks to our good pal Crafty Pants Carol! It’s Bloodrage (1979) (not to be confused with that OTHER BLOOD RAGE from 1987). It’s directed by JOSEPH ZITO, the underappreciated dude who brought us THE PROWLER and FRIDAY THE 13th PART 4: THE ALMOST ENDING. It’s about a misanthropic ne’er-do-well who finds himself killing hookers so you might want to ask yourself, “Do I mind movies in which many prostitutes are killed?” before you watch it. Personally, I think hookers are fascinating and should not be murdered but I also take into account that the psychopath in this movie works at a YOO HOO bottling plant and I can’t honestly say how my own brain would handle that. I might quit before I killed a hooker but who knows, maybe not. The most important thing is that this movie is filmed in New York in the late seventies and it’s totally worth it for the seedy atmosphere and all the mesmerizing secondary characters that inhabit its raunchy halls. That reminds me, I’m sad to say a nice non-hooker doggy also gets killed which I wasn’t happy about but thankfully a cute kitten poster is prominently displayed in many scenes to balance out that atrocity.

Also windows! So many creepy windows! At the risk of sounding like a peeping Tom, I think windows in movies are the coolest things ever because it’s like a frame within a frame. While the viewer is watching the screen, the character is watching the window and its like some kooky mirror effect like you’re trapped inside a M.C. ESCHER print on some stoner art student’s dorm room wall. Anyway, I love this movie! It stinks on some level because it’s partially ramshackle and clearly some important scenes were never filmed and we just have to deal with dialogue band-aids to hold the thing together but then again, it has a very convincing nihilistic flavor that would make it snuggly bedfellows with HENRY: PORTRAIT OF A SERIAL KILLER , CANNIBAL MAN & THE KILLING KIND. I’m not proud to enjoy a movie with such a high dead hooker quotient (yeah, right) and yet I must acknowledge the fact that BLOOD RAGE is a success in expressing a completely horrific and dismal atmosphere and there’s no better time or place to capture it than when and where it does. I’m also allowing it extra points for making me want a HEAVEN CAN WAIT poster because I don’t even like that movie.