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Entries from September 2017

Happy Birthday to Us! It’s Kindertrauma’s Tenth Anniversary!

September 29th, 2017 · 25 Comments

We have to interrupt our regularly scheduled Friday afternoon movie puzzle because today’s the day we celebrate KINDERTRAUMA’s ten-year anniversary (actually, our true birthday is tomorrow but I won’t be here tomorrow- and if our site stats are accurate, neither will many of you). It’s not easy being a middle child running a horror blog because you’re always hyper aware of how much attention everybody besides you is getting but it’s also a blessing being a middle child running a horror blog because there’s a good chance that you learned long ago to appreciate the multitude of peaceful pleasures that hiding in plain sight brings. First and foremost, I am proud that we have attracted the most wonderful readers in all of the Internet; people who love movies and love sharing favorite titles with others but have little use for drama, circular arguments or foaming on a soapbox. I want to thank every commenter who has ever dropped by because you have always treated each other with respect and you have all added something personal to enrich and improve this joint. Thank you for every traumafession, “Name That Trauma!” and “It’s a Horror to Know You!” Thank you for every submission, collaboration, love letter to an underrated film, like, share and shout out too. Thank you to the people who lurk and enjoy and don’t say anything; I totally get you. This is a community project and we are forever grateful to have found such generous and positive kin.

We had some great times (like that time ROB ZOMBIE tweeted about us) and we had some not so great times (like that time this year when a corporate Borg approached us to do a KINDERTRAUMA TV series, acted like pals and pumped us for ideas and then sent us a predatory contract that would have them owning our name, concept and content past, present and future in exchange for zero credit, chump change and trickle down “publicity” and then when we wouldn’t sign they said, “Nobody owns the name KINDERTRAUMA! We can make this show without you and you’re just lucky we offered to include you!” and then we had to spend a pretty penny to get a trademark to protect ourselves and then they made the rip-off show anyway with a totally prosaic title and it sunk like a lead balloon because witchcraft is faster than karma). Those not-so-good times can get you down my friends. One day you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning to start on a new post or Photoshop meme and the next you’re pretty sure if you never lay eyes on a laptop again it will be too soon. In my Eeyore brain it’s not the good times that makes 10 years impressive, it’s the withstanding of the bad times but every time I was ready to throw in the towel I’d miraculously get a kind word and move on. Let me get corny- after the above mentioned debacle this year, I was like WILFORD BRIMLEY in THE THING hanging out under a noose when I got the below message on Facebook and it made me misty-eyed like the funeral scene in CANDYMAN

I had to share that because it makes me think we all must be doing something right. Now when I get that WILFORD BRIMLEY feeling (mostly when someone takes something I made, erases our name and posts it as their own), I just re-read that incredibly well-timed pat on the back from a stranger and it usually works. OK- now I’m starting to wish I hadn’t used up all those thank you’ s to you fine people in the first paragraph because I want to say them all again. I hope I covered everybody because you all rule. Oh geez, I forgot Aunt John! Do you know how much worse my punctuation would be without Aunt John? Do you know he had to teach me what little I know about Photoshop and that I have scant idea what’s going on in the backend of this site? Thank you, Aunt John! I owe you infinity beers. I highly doubt that we can do this for another ten years but no worries- something tells me that KINDERTRAUMA ™ is forever. Happy Birthday to us all!

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Tags: Kinder-News

Book Review:: Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction

September 28th, 2017 · 10 Comments

Help! I’m trapped inside a book and I can’t get out! On second thought, don’t help! I like it in here! I’m stuck inside GRADY HENDRIX’s PAPERBACKS FROM HELL and it has transported me back to my youth in the eighties when perusing the horror section of a book store was almost as fun as visiting the video store. My eyes are in their happy place; this is my zone. I spent years training my peepers to spot a horror spine from yards away. Like the Terminator, I scan for black backgrounds and red fonts! If these paperbacks are from hell why do I feel like I’m in heaven? Floods of memories keep surging back and just when I think a title has been overlooked, it appears a few pages later. I remember waiting for my mom at the pharmacy hypnotized by BRAINCHILD’s window cover that opened up to reveal the image of a family trapped in a cage while a nerdy overlord looks down upon them like a puppeteer. I begged my mother to buy it for me and she did. And yikes! There’s MICHELLE REMEMBERS, that book was the scariest because it really happened (right?) I wouldn’t dare purchase it but that didn’t stop me from reading it in the store. This is a veritable smorgasbord of unadulterated awesomeness!

O.K. I sort of cheated and had my desert first by plowing through the entire tome taking in all of the incredible images. I couldn’t help it. Now I’ve gone back to read the text and it’s equally enjoyable. HENDRIX knows how to keep things flowing and bubbling with humor. This isn’t one of those crusty, dry academic nap inducers and there’s zero condescension. The author is genuinely smitten with the subject matter and swoons over the fact that many of the books presented knew no bounds or restrictions, that some of these titles’ very existence relied on their ability to shock, appall and push the envelope. Now I’m starting to worry that modern horror fans have all gone soft and square. Back in the eighties, we flipped the bird at propriety and horror books were widespread bonkers and routinely crazy in the coconut! What have we lost? I can only imagine what my sixth grade English teacher must of thought if she perhaps read a few paragraphs from that copy of THE INCUBUS she confiscated from me when I was supposed to reading A SEPARATE PEACE. I hate to sound like an oldster but surely there must be some giant generational difference between the teens that gobbled TWILIGHT and those of us who feverishly devoured THE SHOEMAKER in the high school smoking lounge.

Don’t worry this book isn’t all dumpster diving for depravity (that’s just the fun part), it’s also super informative and I know that because my brain had to dump a ton of useless information (the lyrics to every song in THE PIRATE MOVIE) to make way for fresh knowledge. You get a giant slab of the history of horror paperbacks from those Gothic novels with ladies running away from towers on the cover to those loopy splatter punks that were once all the rage. Graciously HENDRIX even goes out of his way to spotlight the incredible artist whose illustrations made such an impact. You get chapters on the rise of Satan (thanks, ROSEMARY’S BABY and THE EXORCIST), creepy kids (slap me five, THE OMEN) ornery animals (nice work, JAWS), real estate nightmares ( gracias THE AMITYVILLE HORROR and BURNT OFFERINGS), weird science (stay woke, COMA) and deliciously, so much more. It’s so super-stuffed I feel like I owe everyone involved more money.

Much of this splendor may not have been possible without the admirable efforts of WILL ERRICKSON purveyor of one of my all time favorite blogs TOO MUCH HORROR FICTION. Inexhaustible WILL has been absorbing dark fiction and dutifully collecting these beautiful covers for years and I am forever in his debt for turning me on to JESSICA HAMILTON’s ELIZABETH. TOO MUCH is an oasis on the Internet that runs on pure joy of its subject matter and if you haven’t been there, fix that. Most importantly, like this book, it’s a treasure trove that will surely introduce you to many offbeat obscurities that you may have missed before and spur further hours of additional reading. Which reminds me, I must get back inside that cozy book where I am safe from this world! I’m not even done reading it yet and I’m a hundred percent certain PAPERBACKS FROM HELL belongs on the bookshelf of every horror fan. The images are priceless, the text is intoxicating and it’s a book I know I’ll revisit again and again. It could be the best thing to happen to horror paperbacks since the ITC Benguiat font. Do yourself a huge favor and order a copy HERE.

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Tags: Book Reports

Name That Trauma:: Geoff C. on a Screaming Mother and a Skeleton Brother

September 27th, 2017 · 4 Comments

Hi Kindertrauma!

Love your website and have been enjoying your posts for many years. I’m finally going to submit my Name That Trauma that’s been haunting me for 40+ years. I was very young so some details may be inaccurate but I’m open to any suggestions.

A woman returns to her family home after being away for many years. The interior of the house looked vaguely gothic with two or more floors and big rooms. The mother and other family seem very hostile to the returning woman.The family members speak of her brother (or maybe father?) who never leaves his room and is never seen. A tray of food is delivered to his room every day and then picked up outside the door with empty dishes. There’s extended build-up and mystery about the never seen brother, climaxing with the woman finally entering his room where she of course finds his skeleton propped up in a chair. The mother (?) comes flying into the room after her discovery screaming “You must die! You must die!” while wielding a knife or ax.

Obviously this sounds like Psycho by way of Burnt Offerings with a touch of Silent Scream but it’s none of those. I know several of the plot points sound like Hammer’s “Scream of Fear” but it’s not that either – though it’s entirely possible that I’ve mixed that one up with another movie or TV show. I saw the movie sometime between 1972 and 1977 (based on where we were living when I saw it) so I was no older than 7 and I’m sure my memory isn’t entirely reliable. I think it was in black and white but that might have just been our TV at the time. The “You must die!” part is what has stuck with me over the years. It’s so campy and over the top it’s hard to believe it’s not from some well-known movie.

Appreciate any help or suggestions from you or your readers!

All the best,

Geoff C.

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Tags: Name That Trauma!

Terrifier (2017) (Via PUFF 2)

September 25th, 2017 · 1 Comment

If your first thought after seeing the recent hit IT was “Gee, I wish that evil clown savagely mutilated more people” then DAMIEN LEONE’s TERRIFIER may be right up your blood strewn alley. The killer clown in this movie truly isn’t playing around. In fact, I think I might have even been offended by a particular obscenity he orchestrated but luckily I don’t mind being offended too much. It’s kind of thrilling to take the less safe path with horror on occasion and to find yourself worrying that the film will push its violence across the border of your comfort zone. There are no subtle chills or elaborate backstories in TERRIFIER, this is a stripped down, back to the basics stalk and slash, heavy on the slash. Old school gorehounds willing to overlook the absence of good taste (or even much of a plot) for a down and dirty haunted attraction type crawl, chock full of sometimes alarmingly convincing practical make–up effects should be particularly satisfied. It doesn’t exactly break new ground but it certainly seethes with genuine menace. Sweetening the pot further, TERRIFIER takes place on Halloween night and even though it’s not able to muster the autumnal ambience of your average HALLOWEEN sequel, I’d still recommend it as premium party viewing for folks looking to celebrate OCT 31st.

TERRIFIER’s formidable killer “Art” may look familiar to some as he has ravaged through LEONE’s earlier anthology ALL HALLOWS EVE (2013), both in a segment and the wrap around tale. LEONE not only wrote and directed TERRIFIER but also supplied the impressive make-up effects, which may explain why they are exhibited with such gruesome reverence and twisted glee. I have to say this clown is pretty darn nightmarish. His silent sneer and uncanny movements rather remind me of “the gentlemen” in the classic BUFFY episode “Hush” and I have to tip my tiny hat to DAVID HOWARD THORTON for his wickedly ghoulish performance, I also rather enjoyed the film’s lead JENNA KANELL (THE BYE BYE MAN) because she looks like STACEY NELKIN in HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH but talks like MIRA SORVINO in ROMY AND MICHELE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION. She’s put through the wringer in this movie and she’s easy to root for but I should warn you that this isn’t the type of movie that cares about heroic redemption and untapped powers within. If it has any message it is that you should trust your instincts rather than your friends when you surmise the clown waving at you is a murderous maniac.

If you live in Philadelphia, TERRIFIER will be playing on Thursday, September 28th at 9:30PM as part of PUFF (THE PHILADELPHIA UNNAMED FILM FESTIVAL) at the one and only Drake Building (more details HERE). Seeing this untamed horror movie with a screaming and squirming audience is sure to be an excellent way to kick off your Halloween season. I know you might be thinking that you’ve been killer clowned to death this year but in the words of one Dr. Loomis, “You don’t know what death is!” (P.S. I’m also hearing very strong word of mouth about TRAGEDY GIRLS, which is being described as MEAN GIRLS meets SCREAM and will be playing on Friday, September 29th at 7PM and will incorporate a prom theme party with shots for anyone over 21- and that means me – be there or be square!).

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Tags: General Horror

Name That Trauma:: Chris H. on a White Clad Figure

September 24th, 2017 · 4 Comments

Hey there KinderTrauma,

I hope this is the right way to reach you about a certain program I saw on TV that scarred me early on and I have been trying to uncover for close to 22 years.

So at some point in the mid 90’s I was traveling with my dad on business and we were staying at a hotel for one night. He left early in the morning and I had the hotel room all to myself so I preoccupied myself by watching TV.

One of the first things I came upon was a movie/procedural TV show that seemed to be horror in nature, though I was too young at the time to make a clear distinction between horror and mystery thriller.

Anyway, the scene that freaked me out was of a long hallway, possibly a hospital or school building. Wandering the lone halls is a woman. I remember her wearing custodial garb, but I could be wrong. So as she is wandering, at some point, a figure clad in all white passes behind her from one side of the hall to the other. She continues to wander until the thing closes on her and she screams. The next scene is of detectives discussing the found body, noting that many or all internal organs had been removed.

The suddenness of the white clad figure and the grotesque method of killing really disturbed me, and I laid int that hotel room in terror until my dad came back hours later.

If anyone can solve this one, that would be great.

Thanks,

Chris

UNK SEZ: Chris! I’m thoroughly convinced you were exposed at a young age to the infamous night nurse scene from THE EXORCIST III (1990). It’s got to be it! You mentioned the white clothes, the hallway and the police investigation afterward. If it makes you feel better, this horrific scene has gotten the better of many a hardened horror fan. No wonder it freaked you out as a kid!

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Tags: Name That Trauma!

Kindertrauma Funhouse!

September 22nd, 2017 · 12 Comments

Ten images from from ten horror films! How many can YOU identify?

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Tags: Kindertrauma Funhouse

Name That Trauma:: Sean P. on a Corpse in a Window

September 21st, 2017 · 3 Comments

Hey guys,

I saw this movie as a kid and I’ve never been able to find it again. All I remember is that there is a woman and her family is trying to drive her crazy. They put a corpse in a window of the house directly across the street for her to see. Does this ring a bell for anyone?

Sean

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Tags: Name That Trauma!

For the Love of:: The Slayer (1982)

September 19th, 2017 · 1 Comment

ARROW VIDEO is really hitting them out of the park lately. I don’t think I’ve ever been more excited for a release than their new 2-disc (one Blu, one DVD) offering of THE SLAYER, which until now has only been available on hard to find VHS. I have an extended history with this movie. It was one of my very first horror rentals (from a kiosk in the mall) and it both stuck in my head and seemed to disappear entirely. For decades, no other video store I visited (and there have been many) ever seemed to carry it. I finally did find it on a double feature, big box with SCALPS but I still yearned to unearth the original version with the cover that enthralled me featuring a demon silhouette in a doorway framed by fire. Over the years I’ve spotlighted on these pages the multiple times this movie has appeared on YouTube only to watch it disappear in a puff of smoke shortly thereafter. Well, all those days of THE SLAYER being a slippery fish are now over. I’m happy for myself and I’m happy for all the fortunate folks who can now add this unique film to their collections.

I attempted to share why I’ve been intrigued for so many years by THE SLAYER in this full review back HERE (short version: I admit it has its flaws but the atmosphere of constant dread is memorably powerful). Today I’m going to focus on this new slobber-worthy Blu-ray. Let me tell you, it’s quite the revelation seeing THE SLAYER suddenly not look like it was filmed through a screen door. This is the visual equivalent to slurping down an oyster; your peepers can practically taste the salty ocean air while you take it in. In my previous review, I mentioned that in my head I like to think of THE SLAYER as a seaside sibling to favorites TOWER OF EVIL, THE FOG and DEAD AND BURIED and never has that coastal connection been stronger; I may have even been left with sand in my shorts. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not militant when it comes to upgrading physical media but in this case, it’s an absolute no-brainer. The difference between THE SLAYER on VHS and on Blu-ray is substantial. I’ll spare you the technical specs and just say I can now finally determine that hapless victim Brooke spends her last hours on Earth reading a paperback of TOM ROBBIN’s EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES; a crucial detail sadly indecipherable on VHS. She’ll never know how it ends!

I’ve heard tale that some folks find THE SLAYER’s pace a bit too leisurely but I disagree, especially now that I’ve seen it in its full glory. The devil is in the details and the more you re-watch this well-crafted flick, the more you realize that it’s consistently dropping clues, foreshadowing future events and messing with your head with subtle shadows and meaningful cutaways. It’s like a puzzle that falls apart every time you’re just about to snap in the last piece. Furthermore, I think the film’s slinking patience only adds to its throttling final moments. It’s gear shifting personality makes it stand like a bridge linking grounded n’ gritty late seventies horror to surreal n’ unreal eighties fare.

Nearly as essential as the film itself is a brand new documentary entitled NIGHTMARE ISLAND: THE MAKING OF THE SLAYER. This documentary provides a treasure trove of trivia (as does the new commentary by director J. S. CARDONE, actress CAROL KOTTENBROOK and executive in charge of production ERIC WESTON). There’s been scant information available on THE SLAYER for decades and ARROW’s determination to fix that is downright heroic. Poor SLAYER was really handed a random and undeserved raw deal that so many less interesting horror films were able to avoid. It never got a proper distribution on screen or on home video and it does my heart good to witness that corrected. If you are familiar with the film you know that some of its most memorable scenes take place in a dilapidated theater. Happily that same theater has since been renovated and better still, was able to proudly host a screening of the film. How cool is that? Imagine watching a movie in the theater it was filmed in! ARROW not only gave this fine flick a leg up, it also saved a piece of this town’s history. What a noble deed especially considering the film’s modest (for now) fan base. Other supplements include a fun commentary with THE HYSTERIA CONTINUES, additional documentary shorts, trailers, stills, liner notes by the always insightful LEE GAMBIN and a reversible sleeve with classic and newly commissioned (and very cool) artwork. Geez, BLOOD RAGE, THE MUTILATOR and now THE SLAYER; I genuinely want to give the folks at ARROW a round of applause for going far beyond the standard catalog title puppy mill and kindly rescuing and nurturing such lovable and deserving strays. Bravo!

Recently I found out fellow SLAYER fan AMANDA REYES was able to get to see our beloved pet flick on the big screen! In order to do something constructive with my abject jealousy –I asked her if she’d be so kind as to report back on the experience and she sweetly obliged! Take it away, AMANDA

The Slayer on the Big Screen (Amanda Reyes)

I first discovered The Slayer sometime back in the early 1990s when I rented the infamous Continental Video double feature VHS, which featured this oddball flick alongside that other quirky slasher, Scalps. While I enjoyed both, there was something so nightmarish about The Slayer, and it quickly became one of my favorite horror films.

It may be important to serve up those original memories with a bit of context. Continental’s version of The Slayer didn’t have proper credits, nor did the film itself actually feature any recognizable actors. Because there was nothing particularly identifiable about anyone involved, it morphed into something akin to a supernatural snuff film in my fairly impressionable brain. I’ll admit it is almost a disappointment when I watch the film now and see that it was indeed made by real filmmakers! Almost. But that’s merely a quibble, as The Slayer has yet to lose its luster with me, and has aged quite well.

Since that first viewing, I’ve seen The Slayer in all kinds of incarnations, with credits, and without as I mentioned, but I never thought I’d have a chance to see it on the big screen. This past year, Arrow got together with Texas Frightmare for a once in a lifetime screening of the film. It was the first thing I marked off on my program for the weekend. I was excited to see what kind of remaster trickery Arrow did with this mythical terror tale, and I was thrilled that horror fans were given a chance to check it out in a far larger scope than we’d probably ever had the chance to experience before.

But that experience proved to be bittersweet. The Pros: The work Arrow did was amazing. No complaints. The film looks more gorgeous than ever, and while I love the graininess of my old VHS (which certainly added to the fear factor for me), I was finally able to see the real artistry that went into putting The Slayer together. Directed with a sure hand by J.S. Cardone (who would go on to make both good and not so good horror films throughout his career), the film has a real lushness to it that was lost in its original home video release. It’s colorful and drab, if you can imagine that, with exquisite sets, and a few absolutely unsettling set-pieces.

It is also competently acted by a small but interesting cast of unknowns. It’s one of the few slashers from the heyday of the genre that features mature characters with grown up careers and adult problems. There’s an actress, a commercial director, a doctor, and an artist. They look to be somewhere in their early thirties, and I appreciate being able to see a slasher film now where I can see myself (which only ups the terror in some ways). The protagonist, Kay (Sarah Kendall) suffers from an instability that comes from life long woes, and not just teen angst, playing heavily into what I find so timeless about her horrifying ordeal.

But let’s get to the bittersweet part. The Cons: Living in a post-MS3K universe has its disadvantages. All movies are up for so-bad-it’s-good-grabs, but that doesn’t mean that every film, even those released in such a maligned genre, are ripe for picking on. The Slayer is certainly humorless, and looks like it was made sometime in the late 70s – early 80s, complete with the requisite fashion and moustaches, but does that make something funny? If you have to think about that answer, then you may need to check your misplaced sarcasm at the door if you are going to truly get something out of this wonderfully creepy film.

The audience at the screening was, frankly, abhorrent. They laughed at unfunny moments, and acted like they were smarter than the film (the guy in front of me kept cartoonishly shrugging his shoulders and pointing to the screen in case we didn’t get that point). Other people were eating loudly and talking through its entirety, laughing whenever the audience keyed them in on some joke that wasn’t actually there. Afterwards, I got on the elevator and a woman said to her friend, “That’s a movie I don’t mind talking through because no one liked it.”

Ex-squeeze me?

This is all to say, yes, not every film is going to work the same way for everybody. Personally, that’s something I love about horror… it’s so subjective. My Slayer is your Frankenstein, and that’s cool. But, there should be some modicum of respect for those around you because you know, that person next to you might actually be enjoying the film. In the end though, the screening only served to make me love the film more. Both Arrow and Vinegar Syndrome, who aided in the remastering had tables at the convention, and were truly ecstatic that I enjoyed the hard work they put into making this the best release The Slayer has ever seen.

We live in a time where the word on the street proclaims that physical media is dying, yet, we’ve got great little companies putting heart and soul into their DVD and Blu-Ray releases. And I’m tickled that we can see these movies outside of the pan and scan treachery that had previously kept them from joining the classic status they so richly deserve. The Slayer is certainly a so-good-its-great movie, and should be embraced by any self-respecting slasher fanatic! Yeah, says me!

Thanks Amanda, you’re the best! Speaking of lovingly celebrating worthy titles deserving of a bigger audience, SCREAM FACTORY just released a Blu-ray of the fantastic TV movie THE SPELL (1977) starring LEE GRANT! Even cooler, they got Amanda to lend her unrivaled TV movie expertise for an exclusive commentary! You can get yourself a copy of THE SPELL HERE and don’t forget to make an appointment with THE SLAYER HERE!

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Tags: General Horror

Name That Trauma:: Bee on a Creepy Scribble in a Mirror

September 18th, 2017 · No Comments

Hello!

This is what I can remember about a movie that freaked me out when I was 7 years old. I saw in on TV, in Spanish… so, that may not help.

A brother and his sister are in the attic (?), laying on their stomachs, maybe in front of a mirror, drawing a squiggly version of this (which in my memory is way creepier and looks less like a confused, thin, Minion) with red crayons, chanting something along the lines of “Momma gay, give us your power”. (Momma gay, dans tu poder.)

The girl is sleeping and the brother places a hand held mirror in front of her face, which reveals the picture they drew. In what I assume was the final scene, the family is going somewhere, you have an eagle view of a yellow (?) car driving up the highway, among trees, and you hear the piercing scream of the girl, inferring she caught her reflection in the rearview mirror.

I’m 32 now. I remember I spent a week avoiding mirrors, and then only allowing certain parts of my body to be reflected, only a leg, or a hand at a time; running past mirrors, washing my hands with my eyes closed, opening my eyes real slow when I felt brave… And I’ve been looking for this movie, while not always wanting to find it, ever since.

Does it ring a bell?

Bee

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Tags: Name That Trauma!

Name That (Free on Tubi TV) Horror Movie!

September 15th, 2017 · 15 Comments

Here are ten images from ten movies that you could be watching for free on TUBI TV right now! How many can you identify? Check out TUBI TV HERE!

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Tags: Kindertrauma Funhouse