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Entries from April 2015

Traumafession:: Raul F. on The Sentinel (1977)

April 9th, 2015 · 5 Comments

One night, in the early ’80s, I woke up in the middle of the night. I was 12 or 13 years old and I couldn’t go back to sleep.

I didn’t lie in the dark for very long before turning on the TV. I had an old 13 inch color TV in my bedroom, and it took a couple of seconds to warm up before the picture came into view. The picture faded in from black, and suddenly, I saw these people, deformed and missing limbs, crawling closer to my TV screen. I immediately turned the TV back off and left it off. I lied back down, freaked out by what I just saw.

As time passed, I couldn’t get the image out of my head. I looked at a TV schedule for the title of what I saw, but we were on to the next week, and in the pre-internet days, that meant I was out of luck.

Cut to 12 years later, I was working at a video store, straightening up the horror section, when the thought of that night popped into my head. The memory came to me like an old friend, and as I stared at the colorful VHS boxes that surrounded me, I knew the answer to my mystery was within reach.

I started taking home 5 or 6 horror movies a night, every night. I would say I watched and fast forwarded through 50 or so movies spread over a couple of weeks before finally finding it. That sounds like a lot, but the victorious feeling of solving my 12 year old mystery made it worth every second.

The movie was “The Sentinel” from 1977, as I’m sure many of you already guessed, and towards the end of the movie, those freaky, limbless people came crawling out of the darkness and toward the leading lady, as well as myself.

I couldn’t believe that I found it, and there was a bit of post mystery-solved depression, I must admit. But now, video stores are gone and Kindertrauma is here, and none of my horror movie mysteries will take 12 years to solve again.

Raul F

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Tags: Traumafessions

DVD Review:: Animal Apocalypse (Featuring Nightwing!)

April 7th, 2015 · 3 Comments

My dreaded birthday rolled around again a little while back and all I could think to want was some Amazon flavored credit to put to use filling the unsightly holes in my DVD collection. Imagine if you dare, an adult human in this day and age living without a physical copy of the 1992 LAMBERTA BAVA-directed JOANA PACULA thriller BODY PUZZLE; it’s enough to make your heart sob. OK, maybe that one is more gravy than essential but really all I’m asking for is a functioning video store within arms reach at all times- is that so wrong? Regardless, I am happy to say I was able to spackle a crack that has been bugging me for years with the acquisition of a 4-movie set aptly titled ANIMAL APOCALPYSE! It’s one of those modestly priced MILL CREEK numbers with zero frills, no bell in sight, an absence of whistles and an instantly dated cover but guess what? It’s secretly hiding a snappy and highly coveted by me, widescreen version of ARTHUR (LOVE STORY) HILLER’s 1979 killer bat opus NIGHTWING!!

Yay, I soooo need that! First of all, in my head, it’s the unofficial companion piece to my beloved PROPHECY and secondly I cherish and value it as an important stepping stone in my love of the genre- no matter how hard folks try to convince me it stinks (see also THE HEARSE). I wrote a review for it way back HERE and by reading it, you can see that I’m totally aware that NIGHTWING can be truly long winded and boring at times but is beautifully photographed, has an awesome score, features the irresistible duo of KATHRYN (THE SENDER) HARROLD and NICK (DEATH SHIP) MANCUSO and boasts at least one super exciting scene in which a man cowardly drives over his wife’s head in an effort to save himself. Plus it just takes me back; NIGHTWING will always be bigger in my head than it actually is in the real world and that’s fine by me because I live in my head and not the real world anyway.

Truth told, NIGHTWING has been available on Amazon as one of those made on demand DVD-R doohickeys but I gotta say I’m intuitively suspicious of those things. To be recordable, aren’t they missing some layer that makes them more permanent? I have no idea what I’m talking about and here I am spreading rumors. Oh well, suffice to say the DVD-R version is more expensive and has less content. ANIMAL APOCALPYSE comes with three other free movies and free is a good price for them because they’re not so hot. There’s BATS: HUMAN HARVEST the sequel nobody wanted to 1999’s BATS, FATAL CONTACT: BIRD FLU IN AMERICA an ABC TV movie that’s mostly just depressing and finally SyFy Channel’s KAW (2007). Hey, I actually kinda liked KAW, it has a decent cast with SEAN PATRICK FLANERY, STEPHEN McHATTIE and recently deceased, legendary THE BIRDS star ROD TAYLOR and I thought the effects were pretty cool.

I admit I’ve got a soft spot for cheap-o compilation sets in general but really this bundle is all about NIGHTWING. If you’re a fan too, this is an affordable and decent enough looking option. It’s not anywhere near the HD realm but it’s certainly way beyond crusty old VHS. Why, just check out these picture post card screen shots:

NOTE: And please remember that NIGHTWING, like all killer bat movies, is a goof. In real life bats are super nice and helpful and adorable. They do a zillion times infinity less damage to the world than humans do and are basically flying kittens. There’s a big stupid speech in NIGHTWING that tries to persuade you to think that bats are evil or something so don’t listen to it. Bats are the best and I’ll have you know that in any scenario that concerns bats vs. humans, I’ll be on team bat.

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Tags: DVD Review · General Horror · I Have No Idea What This Is

Name That Trauma :: Raul F. on a Quickly Cancelled Monster Show

April 6th, 2015 · 4 Comments

I need confirmation of a little kid memory. There was a show I remember as “Monster Story” from the early ’70s. The title is probably wrong because I have researched it and found nothing. Then again, it could have been a show that was cancelled quickly and I just happened to see it. I’m pretty sure it was an anthology show and probably not on NBC, since I remember it as another network’s answer to “Night Gallery“. That leaves CBS or ABC in prime time, around 1972 or 73, if I am at all correct.

I don’t remember any details of episodes or even if there was more than one, but for some reason, a TV horror anthology called “Monster Story” sticks with me. Anyone?

Raul F.

UNK SEZ: Thanks for writing in, Raul! If you switch out the word “Monster” with “Ghost” you’ll end up with the excellent anthology show GHOST STORY which premiered in exactly 1972! After 13 episodes GHOST STORY changed its name to CIRCLE OF FEAR and lasted nine more episodes. I am happy to tell you that currently all of the episodes are available on YouTube and you can read about a few of my favorite episodes HERE. I hope I’m right, if not, the show is still very much worth checking out!

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Tags: Name That Trauma!

Sunday Viewing :: Grizzly 2: The Concert (1983)

April 5th, 2015 · 3 Comments

Don’t feel bad if you don’t have the patience to watch this unfinished work print of the ill-fated sequel to 1976’s GRIZZLY in its entirety; I know I didn’t! I gotta feature it here for Sunday viewing anyway on account of it so blows my mind. You see, poor GRIZZLY 2: Grizzly On The Move never got a break and ended up in a trash heap even though its jaw-droppy cast would have eventually insured it some kind of cult classic if it had only been finished and released in some way. Seriously, this concert attending bear hangs out with DEBORAHs (RAFFIN and FOREMAN), LOUISE FLETCHER, LAURA DERN, GEORGE CLOONEY, CHARLIE SHEEN and even HALLOWEEN’s CHARLES CYPHERS! What in tarnation? The mind reels!

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Tags: Stream Warriors · Streaming Alert! · Sunday Streaming

Creepy Crawly Funhouse

April 3rd, 2015 · 12 Comments

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Tags: Kindertrauma Funhouse