Trauma Solved:: RatSawGod on The Little Match Girl

Finally. I finally found it. It took almost six years, but I finally found my Little Match Girl.

In December of 2008 you published my original Name That Trauma involving my early 1970’s viewing of an animated version of The Little Match Girl that seriously wrecked my frail childhood psyche. With you published post I got a few helpful suggestions that, unfortunately, all came to dead ends. A few years of poking around the Internet proved fruitless. I was ready to give up the search.

I finally, FINALLY had a solid lead when someone uploaded an incomplete clip to YouTube that featured an animated The Little Match Girl with narration. The narrative sounded like it was another girl telling the tale, but at the end of the clip you see the narrator speaking… and it was a little boy. The clip abruptly ended there. I was floored! A boy! Could this be the version I had been seeking?!

I went back to and redid my movie search. Mercifully, I was able to find a DVD with the exact same boy narrator on the cover. The movie was The World of Hans Christian Andersen from 1971, which was a Japanese animated feature that had been dubbed and re-released here in the states. I ordered the DVD on the spot.

When it finally arrived I sat through the whole damn thing on the edge of my seat (though in truth the movie wound up being pretty terrible), then at the end of the movie came the telling of The Little Match Girl. It seems I had not gotten some of the details right; he’s actually telling the story to a cat and a crying child on the steps of an opera house (hey, I was a few years shy of ten when I originally saw this so give me some credit.) Still, this SEEMED like the version I saw. But I knew I could only be certain if the story ended with the reveal that the boy’s story had captured the attention of a huge crowd on the street.

The tale ended. It cut back to the boy telling the tale. But in this version it is thunderous applause that pulls the boy out of his reverie. And yes, YES YES that applause is revealed to be an enormous crowd on the street that had been listening. Like the intro to the tale I had gotten some of the minor details wrong about the tales conclusion, but I knew, then and there, that THIS was the version I saw as a child.

I actually exploded in tears. I had found it. At long last, I got to see it again.

Despite the fact the whole movie was pretty bad, they actually did a stellar job on The Little Match Girl story itself. It definitely holds up… turns out I also had good taste as a child. Who knew? Heh-heh! Anyway, I uploaded the whole clip to YouTube, which can be viewed HERE. See for yourself.

I wanted to thank Kindertrauma for getting me actively thinking about traumas from my childhood, which had made me more consciously aware of this formative moment from my youth. Even though The Little Match Girl seriously messed childhood self up, its message was so important and formative in making me the man I am today.

Very Appreciatively,


The Horror of…Wallpaper

It’s time to redecorate Kindertrauma Kastle and I’m thinking what this dump needs is some wallpaper. It shouldn’t surprise you that I plan to turn to horror films for inspiration. Here’s a list of some of the wallpapered flicks that popped into my head. (Image above courtesy of Disney’s Haunted Mansion)


First and foremost, let’s get this wacky masterpiece out of the way. It’s practically a wallpaper catalog and any wall not papered has some kind of painted mural on it. I love how ARGENTO uses this knotty black and white, migraine inducing background to convey that Suzy Bannion (JESSICA HARPER) is about to become entangled in a web of madness. Suzy’s pitch-dark locks begin to intertwine with the design and just as you’re thinking she might disappear, she turns a corner into another room and actually vanishes for a moment before resurfacing.


There are at least two cases of off-putting wallpaper in this DAVID CRONENBERG adaptation of the novel by STEPHEN KING. The first occurs as Johnny Smith (CHRISTOPHER WALKEN) has a psychic vision of his nurse’s daughter trapped by a fire in her cheerily decorated room. The juxtaposition of lulling imagery with the terrifying fire is positively kindertraumatic. Later, Johnny helps Castle Rock’s sheriff (TOM SKERRITT) solve a string of murders and eventually they are lead to the psychotic killer’s childhood room, which is papered in galloping cowboy heroes.

THE AMITYVILLE HORROR (s) (1979, 2005, 2012)

Everybody had horrifying wallpaper in the seventies. I know my parents thought paper plagued with puke-green bicentennial liberty bells was a good idea. The drab designs spied in the original 1979 AMITYVILLE flick may appear especially sickly today but they were pretty much garden variety at the time. 2005’s remake musters up a faux-tacky tribute that’s easy on the eyes but too over stylized to be convincing as a real home. Not surprisingly, one must turn to reality to witness true atrociousness. The Amityville house’s actual wallpaper as seen in 2012’s MY AMITYVILLE HORROR is far more maddening than anything ever attempted on the big screen.


I get dizzy whenever I think about this movie. Some sort of effort must have went into making Cathy’s doll (that damned dirty rag!) look fetid and yet I’m sure nobody needed to alter the house’s existing wallpaper to insure it properly conveyed an overpowering presence of mold and mildew.


It’s probably best that only those who dig enduring craptastic nonsense check this one out. Truth is, I almost wrote a NTT for this title about a year after I saw it because I couldn’t, for the life of me, remember its name. Just about the only thing I did remember from this backyard flick was the opening scene’s alarmingly garish orange wallpaper. It tastes like my eyes are eating chalky Bayer’s chewable aspirin.


For all the relentless talk of ROB ZOMBIE’s white trash esthetic, he sure has some classy taste in muted wallpaper.


Let’s hear it for DERANGED’s dainty granny print.

PHANTASM & PHANTASM !! (1979, 1988)

I’ve always been envious of Mike’s outer space wall mural but a recent viewing of Part 2 reminded me that flick has some groovy looking walls as well.


Anytime is the right time to visit Garth Manor. How appropriate that this paper sports some golden mustard tones as the residents of Garth Manor are not unlike insects trapped in an amber past. I’m naming this pattern “Gilded Gork.”


I brought this one up in an old post entitled “Seven From The Seventies.” I don’t know what it is about this bizarre Belgian/Italian co production but it never fails to give me the creeps. Maybe I should place part of the blame on the fact that the flick takes the viewer to a castle in which the upholstery on the furniture fiendishly matches the disconcerting wallpaper. It’s no wonder that an evil succubus and Satan himself hang out in such a joint.


Yay! Delicious, lick-able wallpaper! BTW, JOHNNY DEPP can eat a bag of Snozberries. GENE WILDER will always be Wonka to me.

THE OTHERS “Luciferous” (2000)

If time heals all wounds, when am I going to get over the cancelation of THE OTHERS? If there is an alternate universe where this excellent supernatural series lasted more than thirteen episodes that is where I should rightfully live! This dimension is for the birds! In my favorite episode (which was originally aired out of order because this show can’t get a break) reluctant psychic Marian Kitt (JULIANNE NICHOLSON) moves into an apartment with elaborate green wallpaper that just happens to house a tiny nefarious demon that means to entrap her.


If MIMSY FARMER is losing her mind she’s certainly chosen the right environment to do so. Are you familiar with the art of Louis Wain? Wain painted cats and some believe that as he grew more and more mentally ill, his paintings became more and more colorful, intricate and psychedelic. On the other hand, it is also possible that his work simply became more experimental. Anyway, I bring him up because I think the colorfully intricate and progressive beauty found in TPOTLIB goes a long way to convey a mental state becoming less and less anchored in reality.


I might be cheating a tad here. I don’t believe the notorious visage encountered in THE HAUNTING actually appears in wallpaper but rather some kind of textured tile relief. Still, I’d me remiss not to mention it, as it is the king of decorative menaces. Director ROBERT WISE brilliantly utilizes the phenomena of pareidolia to lead the viewer towards perceiving a terrifying presence and perfectly captures that moment in fear when one looses trust of their senses.


No discussion of scary wallpaper can be complete without mentioning this classic short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Gilman who suffered from depression wrote this tale to illustrate to her doctor that productivity was more beneficial to her than the stifling rest he prescribed. In doing so she created something that operates not unlike the wallpaper the story centers upon, a seemingly infinite tangled miasma for readers to project their own psyches upon. There have been a few cinematic adaptations of this haunting work but I’m going to thrust upon you the 1948 radio version performed by AGNES MOOREHEAD because AGNES MOOREHEAD is the coolest.

TWILIGHT ZONE “Something in the Walls”

If you’re not a fan of ambiguity, this episode from the Twilight Zone reboot should do the trick. DEBORAH RAFFIN (GOD TOLD ME TO, THE SENTINEL) stars as a mental patient who will not tolerate patterns of any kind. That’s because once upon a time she saw a face in one and she’s rightfully fearful of the entity’s return.

THE PACT & DREAMHOUSE (2012, 2011)

Wallpaper figures prominently in the poster art for both a brilliant independent film (THE PACT) and a totally forgettable pile of Hollywood muck (DREAMHOUSE)!


Remember how this South Korean psychological horror flick had the most beautiful wallpaper based opening credits ever? As the print’s flowers dislodge and float about, we’re given an early warning of the fluidity of perception.


Hey, this isn’t wallpaper! It’s a frickin’ carpet! Oh well, I don’t care. The pattern is used to reflect a disoriented, ‘lost in a maze’ state of mind and so I’m including it. But now having flipped the subject onto the floor it’s surely the time to stop. Some of the patterns we looked at were featured in films by random chance and some were surely painstakingly thought out choices by a filmmaker who wanted to express something specific. The important thing is that while we were discussing all of this Kindertrauma Kastle has been freshly papered! We have chosen to plaster the walls with images of great Philadelphians! There’s nothing more relaxing than sensing a hundred or so dead eyes following you!

Name That Trauma:: FunkyPhD. on Slimy Goo in the Center of the Earth

I remember being terribly frightened by a movie in which people went to the center of the earth, only to be inundated with a slimy, white goo coming down from the walls and the ceilings. It’s not the 1959 Journey to the Center of the Earth, for I saw that a few years back and there was no slimy goo. Can your readers help me?


UNK SEZ: Thanks for writing, FunkyPhD! If it’s not JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH, my second guess would be 1976’s AT THE EARTH’s CORE. Check out the trailer below to see if it rings any bells.

Hmmmm, I just did a quick scan of the DVD and didn’t see much in the way of slimy goo so if any of our readers have another idea, please share it!

Name That Trauma:: Chris B. on a Blood Dripping Pipe Slasher Death

Hey Kindertrauma!

I need some help finding a crummy slasher movie.

I saw it on TV in the late ’80s or early ’90s, probably on USA Saturday Nightmares or Commander USA’s Groovy Movies.

The only bit that really stuck with me was a stalking chase sequence along a row of bushes or hedges. I think the victim (not sure if it’s a boy or a girl) was hiding up against the bush when the killer stabs them with a long pole all the way through both the bush and the victim’s body. Then there’s a nice closeup of blood dripping out of the pipe – that’s the part I REALLY remember.

Sorry I don’t have any more to work with. And Thanks!

Name That Trauma:: Kristine B. on Cannibalistic French Delicacies

Hello, once again I have a puzzle for you. My sister is trying to remember a possible French film about a post war world where people are sold in butcher shops. She thinks it may have been a French one and it had subtitles as well. She thinks it may have been called “Delicacies” or possibly something of the sort. Any help would be great thank you.

UNK SEZ: I’ll bet the farm that’s 1991’s DELICATESSEN! I guess it didn’t hurt that your sister provided half of the title! Oh well, we now have the perfect excuse to watch the trailer! Thanks, Kristine!

Name That Trauma:: Marcie G. on a Book Her Older Sister Owned

Hello kindertrauma,

I was wondering if I could get some help finding a the title of a book my older sister owned.

She had this big collection of horror/ mystery/ slasher books mostly by Stephen King in her room and when I was a kid I would sneak into her room and skim them. This book wasn’t written by Stephen King though. It was entirely different and it kinda freaked me out.

The book itself was about two kids. A boy and a girl I believe. They were living with their grandmother in what I think was a village in Eastern Europe.

I say that only because the grandmother is described as kind of a babushka lady. I’m not exactly sure when it took place but by the description of the grandmother maybe early 20th century because the children remark that she still dressed in old fashioned long skirts. The grandmother is described as disgusting by the boy because she goes to the restroom wherever she stands, but thinks it’s okay because she’s wearing the long dress.

The other character I remember is called the hair lip girl. She’s really mean to the kids but also is really their only friend in the village. She feels that she’ll never find love because of the way she looks and has sex with all the boys in the village to fulfill her desire for love and acceptance. I think I remember her admitting this to the kids when they stumble upon her and a village boy going at it behind some bushes.

At this point I skipped to the end because I was really confused about what I was reading.

At the end of the book, soldiers invade their village. The children’s grandmother is killed and they go in search of shelter or survivors. When they search for the hairlip girl they find her dead on her bed with a morbid smile on her deformed face. I think the kids gather that she was raped to death by the soldiers.

After that I couldn’t read anymore and I high-tailed it out of there! I was probably about 11 or 12 at the time and I’m kind of ashamed to ask my sister what the name of the book was, so I was wondering if anyone out here could give me a hand.


Marcie G.

Traumafessions :: Reader Kelley J. on The Dark Secret of Harvest Home (1978)

First of all, I love your website. It’s a walk down a dysfunctional, horror-infused memory lane. I was surprised to see that you haven’t reviewed the late 1970s made-for-TV adaptation of Thomas Tryon’s Harvest Home. It was called “The Dark Secret of Harvest Home” when it aired on the small screen. Bette Davis scared the living hell out of me as the Widow, back in the day. This flick had it all, a secret society, bizarre fertility rituals, an unusual way to guarantee that next year’s corn crop will be a success, murder, suicide and a kind of Stepford Wives mentality among the women of this deceptively peaceful village.

Kelley J.

UNK SEZ: Thanks Kelley! I agree with you, there’s not enough HARVEST HOME around these parts and I too am surprised that we have not covered it more extensively on these pages. I’m just going to place the blame on dopey UNIVERSAL for never properly putting TDSOHH on DVD and for releasing it on VHS only in a highly edited form. Luckily I found the entire miniseries on YouTube. The picture quality is for the birds but it’ll just have to do for now!

Sunday Viewing:: Ghost Story’s House of Evil and Doorway to Death

Ever since our pal Crabbymoon identified a recent NTT as an episode of GHOST STORY aka CIRCLE OF FEAR, I’ve been on a binge-mission. I had started the series on YouTube years ago but it disappeared as soon as the universe discovered I was enjoying it. Thank Goodness Crabbymoon rekindled my interest because a recent Google dig unearthed the series in its entirety, looking far sharper than it had before. (You can view the entire series HERE and I’d suggest doing it pronto because something tells me this ship is sailing soon.) Not every episode is a goldmine but there are more than a few standouts and even the lesser offerings are laced with super potent LSD (Lurid Seventies Décor). I haven’t watched them all yet but allow me to spotlight two segments, both directed by DARYL DUKE (THE SILENT PARTNER).

HOUSE OF EVIL is a must see. Written by ROBERT BLOCK, it stars a young JODIE FOSTER as Judy, a deaf-mute girl who discovers she can communicate telepathically with her grandfather who happens to be played by MELVYN DOUGLAS. It’s a sweet set up until you learn that grandpa dabbles in black magic and his inheritance is hate. DOUGLAS and FOSTER are not surprisingly both phenomenal. There’s a scene involving grudge-gramp instructing unsuspecting Judy on how to make voodoo dolls out of raisin cookies, tooth-picks and swatches of stolen clothing and there’s something truly mesmerizing about its patience and the weaving of Douglas’ voiceover with dreamily random piano cords. It doesn’t hurt that this supernatural tale takes place in a slightly remodeled version of the BEWITCHED house.

DOORWAY TO DEATH is a later episode written by HAMMER regular JIMMY SANGSTER during the shows retitled CIRCLE OF FEAR second season. This is the first episode I ever saw and it remains hard to beat in my book. SUSAN DEY, LEIF GARRETT and DAWN LYN (Dodie!) are siblings who have just moved into an apartment building in San Francisco. This is a rather unusual ghost story as the younger kids explore the third floor they encounter a room that leads to another dimension where a seemingly nice man spends an inordinate amount of time chopping wood in the snow. It turns out his axe has chopped more than just logs and the silent apparition has his eye on DEY as a replacement for the wife he killed. As with HOUSE OF EVIL, director Duke brings a lyrical dreamy quality to the story while never letting up on the suspense. So far these two kindertraumatic episodes are my favorites but I’m keeping my mind open as other installments include the likes of JANET LEIGH, KIM DARBY and PATTY DUKE. Back to YouTube for me.

Traumafession:: Casper on Mercedes McCambridge in Two for the Money (1972)

Dear Kindertrauma,

I am writing this trauma on behalf of my father who shared with me a piece from one of his haunting childhood memories. He could not remember the film’s title rather only the singsongy words spoken by the film’s antagonist. With some tireless Googling of what little information he could provide, we finally identified a scene from the 1972 TV movie “Two for The Money” which featured Mercedes McCambridge as a psychotic knife-wielding killer. She shrills out the memorable line “WITH A HEY NONY, NONY, NONY, MEN WERE DECEIVERS EVER, WITH A HEY NONY, NONY”. This stuck with him over the years and still makes the hair stand straight up on his arms.

After identifying the movie and skipping forward to the nightmarish scene which occurs at the end of the film (available on YouTube HERE @ 1:01:00) we searched through McCambridge’s career only to find out she voiced the Demon in “The Exorcist”. What a creepy old bat!

Anyway, I hope that some of you will remember this one and enjoy it just as we have.