Have you ever spent the better part of a day sobbing uncontrollably while throwing fine china against the wall because the multi-talented JOHN CARL BUECHLER (TROLL) never directed a movie based on a screenplay written by DON (CHILD'S PLAY) MANCINI? Well, stop doing that because such a film does indeed exist and it goes by the name CELLAR DWELLER. It just so happens to be the greatest horror film involving comic books that takes place in an artist colony that features JEFFREY COMBS ever made. I wrote about it way back HERE and I do believe my only major gripe was that the monster was too adorable. Anyway, today is the luckiest day of your entire life because our good pals over at the best TV station ever invented, COMET TV are showing it for free at four, HERE! I think we should ALL watch it but only after we've called our moms and wished them a Happy Mother's Day. Did I mention the ultimate, quintessential horror momma YVONNE DE CARLO is in this movie making it a perfectly fine choice for Mother's Day? She is! Happy Mother's Day!
I'm told you may be able to help me…
Do you know the name of this movie? I think it's a one-word title beginning with "D". 50's, 60's or 70's b/w. About radioactive waste off the coast somewhere in the British Isles. Possibly sunken in barrels. The people in the village get overgrown brows, and their fingers possibly begin to fuse. Babies born with defects. Some outside agency tries to convince them it's radiation but they're too superstitious to believe it? I think? I saw this at age eleven and it's haunted me since. It's not "The Giant Behemoth". Does it sound familiar at all? I developed a habit of brushing my fingers across my brow, just to check that it hadn't "grown over". Thirty-six years later, and I still do this.
UNK SEZ: Hey, I think I know this one! We had it at the video store I worked at and it happened to have a very unusual VHS box with its poster art image going sideways. I do believe you are looking for DOOMWATCH (1972). Check out its wikipedia page HERE and the trailer below and let us know if we got it right. Thanks for writing in (and the great description), DX!
This puzzle is exactly what you think it is! There are ten differences between the image above (A) and the image below (B). How many can you find?
The time has come for me to alert you dear people to the wonder that is PLUTO TV! PLUTO TV is an ingenious app you download for free and then all of the sudden you've got over 75 TV channels tap dancing for your entertainment. You can put it on your computer, Apple or Roku TV and/or gaming system and it's like getting free cable and yet it's totally legit. Of particular interest to Kindertrauma readers is a channel called HORROR 24/7 which shows horror movies around the clock! It's a cool mix of stellar titles (SILENCE OF THE LAMBS), fun cult flicks ( SUNDOWN: THE VAMPIRE IN RETREAT) and those weird cheap-o titles you've never heard of and would never pay to see but don't mind watching for free.
There's also a MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 channel and a RIFFTRAX channel in case you're too tired to ridicule movies yourself and a SHOUT FACTORY channel showing all of their cool fare. There's even a cartoon channel that sometimes shows TALES FROM THE CRYPTKEEPER! If you are into wrestling then it looks like you are in especially good luck (there's like, 5 channels devoted to that) and if you are the type who just wants to watch news, weather or even the view from a train gliding through Europe all day, they've got you covered on various other channels. In fact, I don't think I've even begun to explore all of the strange, fascinating corners of the PLUTO universe just yet. It's a lot to take in (as I type this I'm listening to my newest discovery, their irresistible 80's radio station).
If you're somebody who doesn't have or want cable, this is a godsend. I know these days people are used to being able to choose what and when to watch at all times but as somebody who can sometimes be cripplingly indecisive, I kind of like just checking out what happens to be on and discovering things I'd never pick out for myself (just like in the old UHF days). I get the sense that PLUTO TV is just getting started (they just signed a licensing deal with LIONSGATE, MGM and WARNER BROS. so expect even more top drawer titles soon) but as for now it's more than worthy of your attention for the awesome HORROR 24/7 channel alone. Check PLUTO TV out HERE!
"There are 32 ways to write a story, and I've used every one, but there is only one plot â€“ things are not as they seem."
â€“ Jim Thompson, pulp novelist
The difference between Columbo and Murder, She Wrote is that in Murder, She Wrote the viewer tries to solve the crime while Jessica Fletcher does. But with Columbo the audience sees whodunit right at the start, and they watch Lt. Columbo try to figure it out.
Watching someone unravel a mystery can be entertaining, even cathartic. And the more personal the mystery is, the more dramatic it can be.
In INVADERS FROM MARS a young boy discovers his parents are not what they seem.
In I MARRIED A MONSTER FROM OUTER SPACE a young bride discovers her husband is not what he seems.
In THE PARENT TRAP two girls discover they are not what they seem.
One of the most sensitive types of secret is your own identity. Those stories involve some of the most upsetting secrets.
In THE 6TH DAY, Arnold Schwarzenegger's Adam (the hero of the story) finds out he is a clone.
In The Twilight Zone episode "The Lateness of the Hour" a young woman learns that she is an android. (It's somehow fitting that this is one of the episodes they shot on videotape.)
The clone/robot trope has been explored and executed to great effect on recent cable series like Westworld and Battlestar Galactica.
I most recently encountered a clone narrative in the newest RESIDENT EVIL movie. (Major spoilers coming, but you knew where this was headed…)
At the very end of RESIDENT EVIL: THE FINAL CHAPTER, Alice finds out she is a clone. This shattering plot-point is down-played. (Granted the series is known for its action set-pieces more than its character moments.) When the Red Queen informs Alice that she's a clone, Alice is comforted by this judgment: not only is she the best of all the clones, she is superior to the original Alice. (Oh, I get it! They're speaking metaphorically about RESIDENT EVIL movies. Each sequel is criticized for being a "clone" of the previous film. So now Paul W.S. Anderson is saying that this final installment is not only better than the previous sequels, it's better than the first film!)
I walked out of the theater (yes, I saw RESIDENT EVIL in the theater! I had to see it for a podcast) feeling like they'd missed an opportunity for bigger drama. Or at least an opportunity to give me the kind of clone-revelation-drama I seem to enjoy so much.
Thinking about clone narratives and how they figure into hero myths, I suddenly summoned a faint memory of kindertraumatic movie called ANNA TO THE INFINITE POWER.
I'd seen it once when I was 10, and it was one of those movies no one else remembers. (In the pre-internet days that made you the keeper of the flame, you alone had to keep the movie alive by remembering it.)
I got home and searched for ANNA on YouTube. There were only a couple of short clips. But those brief images were enough to flood me with those tingly kindertraumatic feelings. It's like when you were a kid and right before you lost a tooth you tasted the bittersweet flavor of your blood. Gross AND exciting!
I kept searching for ANNA online. (Ironically there weren't any bootlegs of this clone movie.) And then one day it turned up on YouTube, on a channel run by a guy whose content is predominantly videos of Thom Matthews. You can just tell, he's good people!
You can guess the film's basic premise: a young girl discovers she is one of many clones. Her entire childhood has been a lie. Who is she cloned from? Why do flickering lights give her headaches? What does any of this have to do with the Nazis?
ANNA is a special kind of science-fiction, where the low-budget and modest filmmaking somehow help it seem more real and relatable. (Kind of like how those videotaped Twilight Zone episodes don't seem like TV at all.) If the movie gets under your skin, it's not because of the special effects of grandiose cinematography, but because of simple themes
ANNA TO THE INFINITE POWER tackles all the big questions of a good clone movie: addressing ethics, technology and morality, all wrapped up in the soap opera of a pre-teen girl wondering if her family is her family as she confronts who she really is and what she is destined to become.
Throughout the movie there's a truly haunting song, which was composed by Paul Baillargeon, who wrote music for Star Trek. (Not the original series, but Deep Space Nine and Voyager. Those still count!)
If cheap-but-effective science-fiction isn't enough to get you on board, I have two words for you: Mark Patton. That's right, Anna's brother is played by Jesse Walsh from A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 2: FREDDY'S REVENGE. (Apparently Mark Patton is also drawn to stories about characters struggling with their identity!) His presence adds a certain kind of non-star star-power. You know what I mean? That pleasant familiarity of seeing an actor who you only know from one role. It reminds me of the delight I've experienced when Marilyn Burns shows up in a movie that isn't THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, it's like you've just run into an old friend.
Maybe I'm drawn to these melodramatic clone revelations because it's a far-removed story premise that could never happen to me. Or maybe, deep down I'm afraid it could be my secret origin. Either way, you should watch ANNA TO THE INFINITE POWER while it's still on YouTube (HERE).
And If you're looking for a double-feature, Hulu's streaming an episode of The X-Files that is said to have a suspicious number of similarities to ANNA. Season 1, episode 11: "Eve" (HERE).
If the good folks at Tubi TV are going to provide me with FREE entertainment then I think it's my duty to pay them back by spreading the word. Here are ten images from ten horror moves currently available to view for FREE on Tubi TV. How many can you identify? Did I mention you can view Tubi TV not only on your computer but on your Roku and Apple TV? Check it out HERE!
Hey, you can be watching MICHAEL MANN's flawed but forever fascinating THE KEEP (1983) for FREE right now! I've given up hope that THE KEEP will ever make it to DVD and I (sobs in hands) lost my precious VHS tape years ago (a widescreen version that a friend copied from laserDisc!) so this is a rare privilege as far as I'm concerned. Read my old review HERE (which was once recommended by THE KEEP's very own author F. PAUL WILSON!) and then go investigate my new favorite joint called Tubi TV right HERE.
Tubi TV is basically like Netflix except for the fact that you don't have to pay a dime. It takes about one minute to sign up (just register with an email) and then you are free to watch a very impressive selection of films with a few harmless ad views as your only payment (I'd list some excellent titles but I'm saving them for future posts!). I love this. I love FREE. I haven't been collecting movies on DVD and VHS for the last 30 years so that I would end up paying to stream (I know original content has made Netflix, HBO and Hulu nearly indispensable but I piggyback off of a generous relative's accounts for those). Last night I watched the coolest movie called OUTLANDER (2008) during a fit of insomnia and it seemed like the greatest gift in the world. It's about a futuristic dude (JAMES CAVIEZAL) whose space ship crashes in Iron Age Norway with an alien creature on board and so he has to team up with Vikings to destroy it. Have you seen this? It's awesome! It's like ALIEN 3 meets THE 13th WARRIOR meets THE TIME MACHINE meets THE RELIC meets HIGHLANDER meets PREDATOR meets ARMY OF DARKNESS. It's so epic and so geeky and so hauntingly beautiful in places and I only wish I had a toy of the alien creature to pet. Anyway, as God is my witness, I will never pay for streaming again! Trust me; go get you some Tubi TV…now!
Hi at Kindertrauma-
I watched these movies when I was little but turned off the TV and walked away immediately after these scenes. I watched these on basic cable in the early 90s…
-two teenagers making out in the hospital and their tongues become attached
-possessed girl gets needle from under bed and pushes in little brothers belly button while sleeping
-haunted painting of graveyard changes as the story unfolds old man comes out of grave and later on is buried again? Paintings are on a wall along a staircase. Might be from the 50s… or 70s…?
Thank you! : )
UNK SEZ: Thanks for writing in, Maggie! I may be able to help you with that last one! A haunted painting of a a graveyard that changes sounds a lot like the pilot episode of NIGHT GALLERY entitled "Cemetery" starring RODDY McDOWALL. You can read a classic traumafession of that very episode HERE and watch the episode itself right around HERE. As for your other two NTT's, I'm hoping one of our knowledgeable readers can help!