Happy Arbogast Day Vera Sanchez!

We must take a short break from the IAHTKY cavalcade to perform an important Kindertrauma ritual. Today is Arbogast Day! Although Arby has pulled the plug on his superlative blog, it is still necessary that we take part in his “The One I Might Have Saved” thing-a-ma-bob to insure a rich healthy harvest of traumafessions this year. To activate the sacrament I must simply pick one horror movie character that dies on film that I’d rather have not die. Nobody readily appeared in my head but then I remembered that I had just viewed FRIDAY THE 13TH: PART 3 again and had decided that I love the character Vera Sanchez as played by CATHERINE PARKS. I’m going to save Vera! It’s a tough decision because her death is pretty awesome and it’s Jason’s very first kill wearing a hockey mask but the heart wants what the heart wants and all that jazz.

I’m sorry but I like Vera way better than that uptight final squirrel Chris Higgins. Vera’s just as easy on the eyes (though her red outfit is a little too match-y-match-y for my taste), yet she is much more aware of the feelings of those around her. She defuses nerdy Shelly’s advances in an understanding way and she’s quick to stroke his ego after they both escape the most dangerous three member gang in the world. Aw, she even looks genuinely touched when she come across a picture in Shelly’s wallet of him and his mom. Plus she’s endearingly flawed too; butterfingers drops the darn wallet in Crystal Lake! Now if I’m going to point Jason’s arrow elsewhere to spare Vera should I point it at Chris? I thought about that but no, the arrow must hit the eyeball of the bitch behind the counter at the grocery store wearing the pig T-shirt who has the gall to tell my Vera, “We don’t accept no green stamps.” Excuse me? Yep, that one deserves an arrow in both eyes. So, there we are done. “He who walks behind the rows” has been fed. Happy Arbogast Day everyone and Vera, don’t ever change!

Happy Arbogast Day 2011!

It’s the day after Mother’s Day and around these parts that means it’s Arbogast Day! This is the day we honor fellow blogger Arbogast of ARBOGAST ON FILM by taking part in his “The One I Might Have Saved” meme. It’s a kindertrauma tradition and it must be upheld even though this year I believe I may have figured out who the mysterious Arbogast actually is. I can’t explain how I came to this conclusion but I am now convinced that he may, in fact, be noted author Margaret Atwood working under a nom de plume.

Be that as it probably is, I’ve got Arbogast Day work to do. The idea behind “The One I Might Have Saved” is to write about a character in a film who you would have not die if you could and this year my pick was super easy.

I guess I should shout spoiler alert, but if you did not go see SCREAM 4 in the movie theater than really what kind of fan are you and do you even care? I can’t wait around here for everybody to see everything before I talk about it! Try to keep up!

With apologies to stalwart Kinderpal Chris who feels exactly the opposite way as I do, I have no choice but to save Kirby Reed (HAYDEN PANETTIERE) of SCREAM 4. Hey, did I really ruin anything? You don’t know how she dies or whether it sticks. This is a slasher series so it would be easy enough to recon Kirby back from the grave. If ROB ZOMBIE can breath life back into Annie Brackett for H2 I’d think anything outside of a decapitation can be bounced back from (and Michael Myers even once found a way to recover from that!). Sadly Kirby as a character faces something more deadly than on screen mutilation and that is slim box office revenue. SCREAM 4 was sorta a financial dud but nobody, try as they might, can blame me for that.

The reason I like Kirby so much is because I originally thought I was going to hate her and she totally won me over. I can’t resist a secret cinephile and I love people who just happen to know things and aren’t so insecure that they have to brag about it all the time. Kirby basically embodied all of the strong points of the original SCREAM characters and therefore to me comes across as more well-rounded than the lot of them. She also had a very progressive haircut, which makes me think she was far too clever to kick the bucket in the way that she did. That girl had sass without being an ass and I loved the way she shook that ice in her glass! Kirby fans know what I’m talking about!

Yes, frighteningly I am for once not alone. Go visit the IMDb message boards and look what’s brewing. Many people not only agree that Kirby is boss but also are quite convinced that she MUST be still alive. You may as well know that I just joined the Facebook page of like-minded individuals. Surely I am the oldest among them daydreaming that Kirby shall return from the ashes but who cares? You don’t stay young with exercise folks, you stay young through the magic of utter denial of reality. How do you think I still get carded? Fan-demonium is the fountain of youth!

Kirby needs to be brought back. She needs to now carry the franchise. I don’t care if Part 4 was a financial bust because I have a solution and it’s called make the next one cheaper. Why the hell did SCREAM 4 cost 40 million dollars to begin with? I just know it went to into the paychecks of the original stars and so I say drop em’! Who needs them? They’re just treading water anyway! They’re not Kirby. Holy crap, I just signed a petition to save her! This Arbogast Day won’t be about “The One I Might Have Saved!” This year is about “The One I WILL Save!” Kirby lives!

“She cared so much she offered up her body to the grave.”-OMD

NOTE: Arbogast Day is not Arbogast Day without visiting Arbogast! Go check Arby out HERE and tell him I said, “Thanks for Kirby-ing my enthusiasm!”

Happy Arbogast Day!

Another year, another Arbogast Day. For those of you who have not been reading kindertrauma since it’s inception way back in 1997, every year on the day after Mother’s Day we celebrate our ongoing obsession with fellow blogger Arbogast of ARBOGAST ON FILM. We do that by participating in his “The One I Might Have Saved” blog-a-thon that asks bloggers to write an ode for a film character whose death they’d stop if they could.

I personally love the concept behind “The One I Might Have Saved” because I love movie characters. In fact, I may even like movie characters better than “real” people (movie characters never smell and you can mute them.) Arbogast’s idea presents a great opportunity to talk about an aspect of cinema that should be discussed more often; how we connect to people through film on a personal level. Anyway, here’s my pick for 2010…


I can’t tell you the deep devastation I felt at the moment I first witnessed Bishop’s truly shocking death in JAMES CAMERON’s ALIENS. (Although his head would go on to do a cameo in ALIEN 3, that does little to weaken the blow.) Here was a character that I grew to love and feel great empathy for over the course of the film. ALIENS is a movie that’s difficult to take in lightly; it’s an expansive journey that registers as a full experience. By the time the credits roll you have spent some serious quality time with its characters and the investment truly pays off. In the case of Bishop, our perceptions of him change over of the course of the adventure (along with Ripley’s.) It’s important to note though that Bishop himself does not transform, it’s the audiences understanding of him which is altered.

Ripley (SIGOURNEY WEAVER) has proven herself a highly tuned moral compass in the first ALIEN. We trust her without pause to point out the bullshit and lead the way. Because of her negative experience with an android in the first film she takes a clear dislike of Bishop as soon as she learns about that part of his identity. The viewer is meant to hold him with suspicion as well, but we get an early glimpse at his mettle when he declares he prefers to be called the more self-respectful “artificial person” rather than a “synthetic.” Our hero Ripley may be prejudiced in the truest sense of word but give her a break, not every bigot has a 57 year coma for an excuse and she does convert her views based on the information she witnesses herself.

We are shown the worst of humanity in the form of the weasely, backstabbing opportunist Carter Burke (PAUL REISER). Bishop, who really does come off as a Zen-like holy man, is shown as his direct opposite. Bishop may be “programmed” to assist and care for humans but he’s also programmed for self-preservation. When mid way through the film he volunteers for a mission he’s unlikely to survive, there’s no question that it’s above the call of duty. Not to take anything away from the mostly courageous Marines that loose their lives battling the monster swarm, but as was proven in the first film, it takes more than firepower to survive in the ALIEN universe. Much like Ripley herself, Bishop is a cerebral entity first and an action figure second. He may not carry a weapon but he’s smart enough to be in the right place at the right time and he ultimately saves the day.

Like the Replicants in RIDLEY SCOTT’s BLADE RUNNER, Bishop forces you to contemplate what makes us human. Considering the behavior of the treacherous Burke we might even wonder if being “human” is anything to be proud of. There’s a nobility to Bishop that raises him above those who would call him “false” just because he is different. His sudden evisceration by the Queen Alien, though horrific, is not without its almost crucifixion like beauty. His “otherness” is eventually shown to be an integral strength as even after being torn in half he is still capable of lending Ripley and Newt a life saving helping hand. ALIENS is a rare action movie where a character’s actions actually mean something. Bishop allows us to see that being “human” may have less to do with how we are built and more to do with our behavior.

NOTE: At the end of the movie we are shown Bishop’s remaining torso being put into sleep along side survivor Cpl. Hicks (MICHAEL BEIHN) so maybe I just wrote this whole thing about someone who didn’t die at all. Oh well, he got torn in half for crying out loud, isn’t that bad enough?

NOTE 2: Aunt John is at sleepaway camp and can’t add his “The One I Might Have Saved” to this year’s addition, but I can tell you whom he would have chosen anyway. He was very upset by Megan (GRETA GERWIG)’s death in THE HOUSE OF THE DEVIL. He thought the movie really lost something when she died.

NOTE 3: Check out many more “The One I Might Have Saved” tributes at Arbogast’s wonderful blog HERE and have a Happy Arbogast Day!

Happy Arbogast Day!

Was it really a whole year ago that we here at Kindertrauma declared that the day after Mother’s Day will forever hence forth be known as Arbogast Day? Check your calendars kids because yesterday was indeed Mother’s Day and that means you know what today is… Arbogast Day!

Arbogast Day celebrates all that is fellow blogger Arborgast of the stellar blog ARBOGAST ON FILM. We are not the type to let a restraining order or two cramp our style either. How does one celebrate such a day you may be asking yourself? One way is to spend a moment or two reflecting upon what Arbogast may be doing at this very minute. Is he writing? Is he painting a portrait? Could he be taking a bubble bath or is he more of the shower type?

Another way to celebrate Arborgast Day is to take a cue from the type of post that made him our hero. Arbogast coined the phrase “The one you might have saved,” when he waxed philosophic about the horror film victims that maybe should have lived. Of course horror films need their dead folks, but we all have a favorite character or two that we find it painful to say goodbye to. With that in mind both Auntie John and myself have selected our own personal choices of film characters that we wish could have lived. (It is our plan to do this every year on Arbogast Day until such time as we forget to or the world ends.) Check our choices out, tell us what yours are and make sure you stop by and visit good ol’ Arbogast HERE!

Aunt John’s choice:: THE BAD SEED’s RHODA PENMARK

They always say it’s a real tragedy when a young life is cut short. Your Aunt John says it’s an even greater tragedy when the work of a murderous child is cut short. Had Rhoda Penmark not gone out in a well-lighted blaze of glory at the end of THE BAD SEED, she was to have gone sun bathing on the roof with her frumpy neighbor and pretend Aunt, Monica Breedlove. Based on the final bedtime interaction between Rhoda and her father, the pig-tailed psychopath was set to inherit a lovebird named Sweetsie in the event her Aunt Monica ever died or went away. Rhoda Penmark was a take charge little girl who made things happen, and had she survived that lightening attack on the dock, she would have made that date with Aunt Monica. She would have also facilitated some tragic slip and fall for the bombastic Breedlove and snared herself a lovebird in the process.

It should be noted that Rhoda escapes unscathed in both the novel and play formats of THE BAD SEED; it is her wishy-washy mother that does not survive her suicide attempt. Alas, it appears my poor Rhoda was a victim of the oppressive Motion Picture Production Code (a.k.a. the Hays Code), which forced filmmakers to adhere to the adage “Crime does not pay.” I can only reckon that this Victorian approach to film making also dictated the goofy curtain-call tack on in the closing credits in which PATTY McCORMACK politely curtsies for the camera. If you’re gonna kill the kid, don’t rub salt in my wounds and trot her out like a show pony three minutes later. In killing Rhoda, they also killed off a potentially lucrative franchise. It’s a damn shame that we have to live a world where the kid from PROBLEM CHILD can land a two-picture deal, and all McCormack received was a playful spanking from NANCY KELLY. Where is the justice in that?

Unkle Lancifer’s choice: BAD DREAM’S LANA

After much thought my “The one you might have saved” ends up being the character of Lana from 1988’s BAD DREAMS. I tried real hard to think of a super plucky or noble character from a classic film, but any answer other than E.G. DAILY ‘s Lana would be a complete lie. Why should I pretend to love Crêpe Suzette when I am always so darn hungry for meatballs? Lana’s death is a real shame for many reasons. First off, who wants to see anything bad happen to adorable E.G.? I also gotta admit I love Lana for being such a shivering Chihuahua basket case. I know you are only supposed to like strong willed characters who know exactly what they are doing at all times and always say the right thing, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that I just don’t. Human strength is boring as hell; give me a train wreck any day of the week. Mental patient Lana hides behind her hair and drips pathetic, over sensitivity all over the place like a pelted martyr. That is why I LOVE HER.

Watch what happens when lil’ Lana tries to reach out to self obsessed final squirrel JENNIFER RUBIN

She’s Carrie White without the chance of telekinetic redemption, a doormat with a punching bag for a heart. She’s also the first victim to kick the bucket. She shows up, whines a bit, has a momentary flash of hope for the future, has said hopes trampled on and then gets drowned by RICHARD LYNCH. Misery, false hope and then death, now there’s a character arc I can believe in.

I would have loved to see Lana stick around longer, not to watch her lace up army boots and kick ass but to maybe just be a rock of Gibraltar sidekick with a few hidden talents up her sleeve. I mean, c’mon BAD DREAMS you could have at least had E.G. perform a theme song over the closing credits! Oh Lana, we hardly knew ye and perhaps due to your galactic vulnerability, you actually are BETTER OFF DEAD, but let me tell you, the movie BAD DREAMS would have been better off with a double dose of E.G. and a lil’ bit more of that sacrificial Lana.

A video that sports not only E.G DAILY but fellow “One I might have saved.” AMITYVILLE 2: THE POSSESSION‘s DIANE FRANKLIN? How appropriate is that for Arbogast Day?

BY THE BY: Every Arbogast has his day, but the night belongs to Amanda! Check out Kinder-chum Amanda by Night‘s up to the minute report on made for television remakes HERE!

Arbogast Day

We here at Kindertrauma admit to a stalker-like fascination with the enigma wrapped in a riddle, bound with an elastic question mark and sealed with a “what-now?” known as Arbogast. His no-holds barred, unfiltered musings on the world of cinema has your Unkle Lancifer imagining the man of mystery looking like CHANNING TATUM yet having the mind of STEVEN HAWKINGS. On the other hand, Aunt John spends a lot of time (in the bathroom) fantasizing that he looks like STEVEN HAWKINGS, but with the mind of CHANNING TATUM. To each his own. Anyway, our love for Arbogast was tested the day he tagged us for an Internet parlor game that, to be kind, makes a Jenga tournament seem entertaining. Oh well, in the interest of not burning bridges with an evil mastermind who could crush us like bugs, we relented and grabbed the nearest book that was not a GERI JEWELL biography and did as we were told.
On page 123 of the NECRONOMICON, the 3 sentences after the fifth are as follows…

No grain, no tree, no plant grew. The ancient Ones were Masters of Spaces now unknown or forgotten, and all was CHAOS. MARDUK was chosen of the Elders to fight KUR and wrest power from the Great Sleeping Serpent who dwells beneath the Mountains of the Scorpion.

Hopefully we didn’t just open a portal into hell.

One thing that Arb-y has been doing lately that is not annoying is waxing philosophic about “The ones they might have saved,” characters in horror movies that for some unexplained reason you did not want to see die. Is there such a thing? Why it appears there is, and we thought since we were celebrating Arbogast Day (which always falls on the day after Mother’s Day) that we would join in this discussion, so without further adieu, here are our picks for “The ones they might have saved“…
Aunt John sez:My favorite character in any horror movie is that little kid in the sleeping bag in THE PROPHECY. I really don’t like what happened to him and think he should have been spared this indignity:
Unkle Lancifer sez:Anne Ramsey’s Elvira Parker was a fascinating character that I was looking forward to catching up with in the inevitable sequels to WES CRAVEN‘s tour de force seething indictment against technology DEADLY FRIEND. Those dreams were dashed when this occurred…
deadly friend
P.S.: In non Arbogast Day news, your Unkle Lancifer and Aunt John are interviewed over at one of our favorite sites (besides Arbogast’s) DVD PANACHE. The interview was taken long before Arbo-gate ’08, so you will find us in good spirits looking forward to a year free from being “tagged!