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...:::It’s a Horror to Know You!:::...

Rondo Rally!

April 1st, 2013 · 3 Comments

Here at Kindertrauma we are very honored to have been nominated for best blog in the 11th annual Rondo Hatton Awards! Why not pretend that we never had a post titled “Help the Leprechaun catch Jennifer Aniston!” and jump over HERE and vote for us! Even if voting is not your thing, checking out that ballot is a great opportunity to familiarize yourself with a bunch of stellar writers and blogs! We can’t possibly cover all of the nominees here, so allow me to spotlight a few fine folks who were generous enough to participate in our “It’s a Horror to Know You!” campaign! Good luck and congratulations to all these guys who were nice enough to stop by and share their expertise with us! It’s a horror to be nominated with all of you!

It’s a Horror to Know: J.M. Cozzolia of Zombo’s Closet!

It’s a Horror to Know: Christine Hadden of Fascination with Fear!
(And a special happy fifth Anniversary to Fascination With Fear!)

It’s a Horror to Know: John Squires of Freddy in Space!

It’s a Horror to Know: Brittney–Jade Colangelo of Day of the Woman!

It’s a Horror to Know: The Mike of From Midnight with Love!

It’s a Horror to Know: Jaako of Groovy Age of Horror!

And as always, everyone is invited to participate in It’s a Horror to Know You! Just respond to the questions as these folks have done and send your answers to Kindertrauma@gmail.com! We’d like to have the horror of knowing you too!

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Tags: It's a Horror to Know You! · Kinder-News

It’s a Horror to Know You:: Crankenstien of Theater of Guts!

January 31st, 2013 · 9 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Crankenstien of Theater Of Guts!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

Creepshow, I saw it at eight years of age at a friend’s house whose parents spoiled him with every ’80s toy imaginable (He-Man, G.I. Joe, Star Wars, Thundercats) and let him watch all kinds of craziness (Playboy Channel, Amityville Horror and we even watched Fulci‘s Zombie). There was some abuse going on in that household! After I saw Creepshow I couldn’t tell anyone in my family, because I didn’t want to spoil a good thing, but I had an underlying feeling of dread and couldn’t sleep. I would go over to his house thinking that Creepshow was a TV show and didn’t understand that it was an anthology, so every time it repeated on HBO I figured it was a new episode and kids in my elementary school would even lie to me and make up fictional episodes.

I had a mirror in my grandma’s bathroom that looked like the Jordy Verill one and thought maybe a creepy old farmer would appear in it and tell me to slit my wrists. I think that’s where my relationship of being repulsed and attracted to horrific movies came from.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

Under The Blossoming Cherry Trees (1975) directed by Masahiro Shinoda. I wanted to see it because it had the guy from Lonewolf and Cub. So I watched it late one night on Huluplus and did not expect to jump out of my skin! You’d never know how scary it is, because the frightening scene comes out of nowhere. Tomisaburo Wakayami the heavy set samurai plays a mountain man who’s beheaded his many wives and fears nothing except looking up when the blossoms begin to fall during the season, because anyone who does so will lose their mind! It was 3 in the morning when he finally looks above (in my house) while the leaves fell and as he lifts his head,he sees the most hideous demon riding on his back and I was so alarmed and freaked out, but tried not to react in the middle of the night and wake anyone up, the image was so strange that I wondered if I dreamt it. It was very disturbing and I don’t scare easily!

3. Name three horror movies that you believe are underrated.

The Incident (1967) directed by Larry Peerce. This isn’t technically a horror film, but is a subway terror film and pretty grimy, it still has yet to come out on DVD. Tony Musante and Martin Sheen are two punks that hold all these various characters on a New York subway hostage and berate and humiliate everyone, its gets really explosive and ugly. Ed McMahon, Beau Bridges and Brock Peters are some of the passengers and give it some kitsch value and The Terry Knight score, the guy who terrorized Grand Funk Railroad and held their records hostage is super creepy.

The Changeling (1980) directed by Peter Medak. I never hear anyone mention this creepy ghost flick with George C. Scott, who’s always a great addition to any movie for me. I was expecting to find it laughable and was genuinely freaked out by the poor ghost boy submerged in a death bath. It has a political edge too and a cover up of a murder that no one was supposed to figure out. The ghost led Scott to solve his murder and without the grief brought on by his own family dying in a car accident he never would have solved the case.

Dr. Butcher (The Snuff Maximus Cut) My friend Skunkape who is a long time best friend, genius film maker in his own right and contributor to my blog brought to my attention that the dusty VHS cut of Dr. Butcher is a lot better than the newly restored Zombie Holocaust. Having just watched Holocaust and finding it pretty lame from what I remembered, I felt I should see what the deal was and check out the video version (he hooked me up with a copy). I have to attribute the Walter Sear score as injecting life into Dr. Butcher, it sounds like a hyper violent Atari game and is both laughable and disturbing, which goes well with the subtext of the film! It reminds me of the truncated versions of classics that would turn up in the 80’s and the foreign versions, which in many cases were better, for me its the complete opposite and even though I love Nico Fidenco, his score sounds totally phoned in by comparison.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

The Manitou (1978) directed by William Girdler. This one is notorious for being so ridiculous and out of control and it is, a classic bomb that I never get tired of watching, I could see it over and over and not get bored. Tony Curtis is so unhinged as a bad psychic down on his luck, the script seems like it was written by a third grader. All electronics and typewriters have their personal Manitou according to this film. Things that make absolutely no sense happen as Susan Strasberg, topless on a hospital bed in space, shoots lasers out of her fingers! John Singing Rock the Syrian Indian is the only one who can save the universe from a pint-sized, demonic bacne baby (hatched out of Strasberg‘s back). you gotta love that her father is the famed acting teacher Lee Strasberg.

To The Devil…. A Daughter (1976) directed by Peter Sykes. The first movie where Nastassja Kinski appears completely naked, but there’s no way to enjoy it because she’s like 14! Satanists are trying to get her to have the devil’s spawn, which looks like a goldfish inbred puppet that slithers around, looking like that wobbly octopus prize you used to find in a cereal box. Its’ pretty lame but very entertaining and anything with Christopher Lee is worth checking out.

Ilsa, Harem Keeper Of the Oil Sheiks (1976) directed by Don Edmonds. This one is wrong on so many levels but is a lot more fun then the first movie! It’s got all the giant breasted Russ Meyer women (Haji, Uschi, etc.) and its got the dude with the bizarre features from Slacker (Jerry Delony)! This movie is a hard sell for most, but if you are like me and constantly tuned into the mindset of a 14 year old watching late night Cinemax, just throw in some torture and campiness and you’ll be able to stomach some of the mayhem! There’s a weird kind of political jab against Arabs and the U.S. making secret deals, this was made by Canadians who were ahead of their time and the next sequel, Tigress of Siberia is awesome too!

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

1. F THAT S. The sadly gone but not forgotten radio show of Joe Preston (Thrones, Melvins, Earth). This radio show is amazing with some of the best soundtrack mixes and metal comps ever assembled, one episode was an all metal all/ pizza radio ad show and was incredible! Another show was dedicated to the death of his dog with all rare and haunting Morricone tracks. Joe is the reason I now know that the early Bee Gees and Scorps are worth checking out.

2. Netflix Retrieving Screen. This is my sister’s blog who is a great writer and a rock and roll drummer in a band with her husband, they are called Hot Hands. She is as obsessed with movies as I am.

3. Illogical Contraption Tumblr. I’ve contributed for these guys before and they are the funniest people on the planet, their non-picture blog has everything from alien conspiracy theories, metal and hardcore albums worth downloading and there’s so much talent goin’ on, they have a radio show now too. This one however is all pictures and there is some disturbing junk, but its a lot of fun, some of it is NSFW so watch out kiddies!

4. Dave The Spazz Radio. Here’s another favorite radio show that is just incredible. It has everything from the worst novelty songs to the greatest current garage bands, old country, old r&b groups and some of the best holiday themed shows of rare vinyl songs that Dave finds at different flea markets and puts on the turn table. There’s a couple of weird hillbilly episodes with guest record collector Greg Germani who stops by and plays the rarest zaniest tunes in the Chainsaw Massacre/ Motel Hell style.

5. Loogyhead on Redbubble. This guy has the most incredible designs on Redbubble and even though it’s pricey (25. w/o shipping), they are really worth it, especially for someone like me who loves cult movies but wants more of a choice then only uncomfortable black t-shirts that shrink after a while. I recently bought a C.H.U.D. one and want to get the Pray For Death one next!

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Tags: It's a Horror to Know You!

It’s a Horror to Know You:: Stexe of Futurechimp!

December 17th, 2012 · 2 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Stexe of Futurechimp

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

The Fly (1958), which I saw on UHF at the age of seven or eight. Specifically the spiderweb scene. I’d never witnessed anything so horrific. After the movie was over and I lay in bed that night, I stared up into the opposite corner of the room, where it was pitch dark, and projected a vivid image of a giant web. The spider descended towards me as I believed I was increasingly tangled in a constricting cocoon of bedsheets. I was scared, but at the same time it was thrilling.

This enjoyable, life-affirming kind of scared was very different from the disturbing-scary elements of 70’s TV wasteland that tormented my developing mind. To wit, the Fig Newton Guy:

And Blob, a character on a local Chicago kiddie show called “Gigglesnort Hotel”. Oh Blob, why did you ever have to exist?

And you, Spotmaker, get out of my dreams.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

The Innkeepers (2011)

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Witchfinder General (1968)

The Burning (1981)

Trick ‘r Treat (2007)

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Dracula vs. Frankenstein (1971)

Pieces (1982)

Humanoids from the Deep (1980)

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

Plaid Stallions

Secret Fun Blog

Laff in the Dark

Retrospace

My Etsy store

Sure I’m acting in my own interest, but where else can you find a Glow-CHUD? Or an Incredible Melting Man that actually melts? Or a Cthulhu bobblehead? Or a pig that spits air freshener if you get too close to it? All sorts of exclusive products I create in my garage that you won’t find anywhere else, yo.

Thanks for everything Kindertrauma, you’ve been an invaluable companion ever since you helped crack the case of my Name That Trauma long ago. I’ve been checking your site nearly every day since, and I hope you’ll keep on traumatizing for many years to come.

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It’s a Horror to Know You:: John Campopiano of Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary

December 3rd, 2012 · 5 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: John Campopiano of Unearthed & Untold: The Path to Pet Sematary!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

Pet Sematary

2. What is the last film that scared you?

Paranormal Activity 3

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Pumpkinhead

Halloween 3: Season of the Witch

The Brain (1988)

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Rawhead Rex

Rumpelstiltskin

Uncle Sam (William Lustig)

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

Retronaught

Bad Movies.org

VHS Preservation Society

Laser Disc Vault

Miko Hughes.net

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It’s a Horror to Know You: Frank Browning of the Liberal Dead!

December 3rd, 2012 · 2 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Frank Browning of The Liberal Dead! (Known Accomplices: Dr. Terror’s Blog of Horrors, Freddy In Space, Robocop’s Sad Side, Shit Movie Fest, Guts & Grog and Tales from the Batcave)

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

It’s funny that it wasn’t even a horror flick per se, but The Terminator (’84) used to scare the life outta me. Specifically the third act. After TerminArnold is burned up in the exploding truck, his endoskeleton is revealed. Made me flip shit when I was a kid. Especially the hallway scene when Sarah and Reese are trying to get into the factory and the stop-motion, limping Terminator is creepily moving toward them. BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!! Gives me Chicken-Skin (Goose Bumps) to this very day.

Honorable Mention: Child’s Play (’88) was the first actual Horror film that ever frightened me as a kid. I’m sure you get this answer quite a bit, LOL. I still remember the first time I watched it and I hate my cousin to this day for subjecting me to it. I got rid of my Teddy Ruxpin and my Cabbage Patch Doll (it was a boy one) after watching Child’s Play. But I made sure and sent them to a good home so they’d be happy and not seek revenge on me in the event they did come back to life. I guess they were pleased with my decision…

2. What is the last film that scared you?

The Fourth Kind (’09). I’ve always been a “believe it when I see it” type of person and cautiously skeptical when comes to things like Paranormal Beings and/or Aliens but this flick freaked me out. The Juxtaposition of real(?) footage to re-enacted footage really drew me in to the story. I had a terrible time deciding which side of the screen to watch most of the time. What really got me were the voice recordings where the Aliens(?) were talking. It shook me up.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Pontypool (’08): Love Love LOVE this movie. I never hear anyone talk about this film. Makes me sad. It just seemed so original and fresh to me. It feels very “Single Set Film” to me and I love that. I watched it for the first time at like 3AM (I must’ve been lonely) and I was captivated from the start. I think Stephen McHattie is a very talented actor and I’ve always enjoyed his films. The whole premise of the movie really fascinated me.

My Soul To Take (’10): This was the most fun I’ve had with a Wes Craven movie in a long time. I like the premise of the film a lot. I love the urban-legend-esque prologue to the movie. It’s silly but I also really like the end credit animation and music. It really stuck with me. It’s just a fun lil’ movie that I think should get a bit more recognition.

Splinter (’08): I thought this was a nice creature feature. I loved how visceral it was. I’d never heard of it before and discovered it on a day fueled by boredom and was very pleasantly surprised. I also really love the cast with Jill Wagner (of Wipeout fame) and Paul Costanzo (of Road Trip). Just a gross and fun time.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Feast (’05): As over the top gross and goofy this movie is, I love it. It’s good for a laugh. Surprisingly, I have a special adoration/weird fascination with many members of the cast, LOL. I recognized Balthazar Getty from Judge Dredd (’95), a personal favorite of mine, and was instantly entertained. I straight-up love Henry Rollins. No explanation necessary. Jason Mewes is a psycho (we actually danced together at the Monroeville Mall in Pittsburgh, PA). Krista Allen was the attractive girl that Jim Carrey approaches in the elevator in Liar Liar (’97). Clu Gulager was in the homo-erotic Nightmare on Elm Street and Return of the Living Dead. ‘Nuff said.

Galaxy of Terror (’81): One of the worst ‘Alien’ Rip-Offs of all time, the nostalgia factor on this movie goes a long way. I watched it with my dad literally 25 years ago when I was just a wee lad. We struggled for years to remember the name of this movie because we both have terrible memories. Thankfully for the internet, I found the title and was again able to see this treasure once more. It’s an awful movie LOL…

Night of the Lepus (’72): The nostalgia factor is also huge with this movie. I watched this movie with my grandmother (who tried to change TV channels with her calculator) every Saturday on TBS for the first 10 years of my life (or so it seemed). There’s just something about extreme close-ups of blood covered bunnies running in slo-mo that makes me giggle. Oh! And it has Star Trek’s Bones McCoy in it… Need I say more?

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

The Liberal Dead – Of the fans, by the fans, for the fans. Myself and some very intelligent dudes, that I’m happy to call my friends, all contribute to this site. It’s great because you get so many different takes on so many subjects. Be sure to check out our podcasts!

Dr. Terror’s Blog of Horror – My Bro, Jimmy Terror, runs this site where he writes your eyes shut into the post apocalypse and prehistory of horror… He has a very fresh and informative view on new horror and a very nostalgia inducing take on classics. He’s also a connoisseur of the Giallo Film Genre. Good stuff.

Back online Back on Duty – Another Bro of mine, Eric King, runs this site. While not actually dedicated to horror films, he does cover them intermittently in a very honest and amusing way, usually implementing hilarious and sexually confusing GIFs. You just have to see it.

Freddy in Space – Yet another Bro, John Squires, runs this site where he discusses horror movies in detail. He also reminds us of all the horror related merchandise that once existed, which makes our inner children giggle…

Tales From the Batcave – A good friend of mine, Mitch Reaves, runs this site with his Double-Bacon Genius Burger. He looks at films, games and just about anything else that could interest a person. A good time will be had by all…

PLEASE NOTE: You can find my artwork and/or articles on many of the sites listed.

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It’s a Horror to know You:: Eric Weber of Yeti Hideout!

November 11th, 2012 · 3 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Eric Weber of Yeti Hideout!

What is the first film that ever scared you?

That would have to be Flash Gordon (1980). There are so many images in the film that can upset a six-year old brain. Where do I start? You have ugly, bug-eyed lizard people, a terrifying brainwashing session, a woman melting into a puddle of black goo and a tree stump ritual where men are forced to stick their arms inside and hope to avoid being stung by the creature stirring inside. Those are only a few examples.

The worst moment is the demise of Klytus, Ming the Merciless’ gold-masked henchman. Flash throws him onto a floor of knives, which results in a disgusting close-up of Klytus’ mask with his eyes and tongue oozing out. I can recall seeing this image on the theater screen and throwing my hands to my face in total shock. That image has never left my mind and continued to haunt me for many years after…not unlike a similar movie-going experience I related HERE.

What is the last film that scared you?

Images (1972) – Though it isn’t considered an official contribution to the genre, I think that this movie is the closest that director Robert Altman came to making a full-fledged horror film (with 3 Women from 1977 coming a close second). There is a pronounced feeling of true dread throughout the whole piece and the eerie, nerve-jangling and often experimental soundtrack by John Williams and Stomu Yamashta is unforgettable (I highly recommend seeking out the album for your collection).

It includes a great performance by Susannah York (which is alternately funny, sexy, insane, ugly and beautiful), a creepy and desolate Irish setting and some subtle, unsettling moments that will really stick with you. It would make a great double feature with Let’s Scare Jessica to Death (1971).

Name three horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Sole Survivor (1983) – I don’t hear this film discussed very much. A woman survives a plane crash and finds herself being pursued by odd, silent strangers. Definitely influenced by Carnival of Souls. There are some scenes that I have never forgotten.

Sonny Boy (1989) – This one is really unique. Sort of a mix of Pink Flamingos and Unleashed, a bizarre family kidnap a baby and raise it as an animal (which they turn loose on people they don’t like). Starring David Carradine in a female role (it’s never discussed whether Pearl is transgendered or an authentic female) and an amazing cast of character actors, including Paul Smith (as Pearl’s husband!), Brad Dourif, Sydney Lassick and many more.

Stage Fright (1987) – I had a lot of fun watching this. It’s really mean-spirited and the gimmick of the killer wearing an owl mask is pretty memorable. I love the cat!

Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Mountaintop Motel Massacre (1986) – I’m not sure why I like this as much as I do, but I revisit it frequently and enjoy it each time. Sure, it’s not great…and it’s pretty boring, but there are some scenes in it that really make me laugh. My favorite part is when Evelyn unleashes a jar of cockroaches into a tenant’s room and the guy doesn’t even seem bothered by them.

Nail Gun Massacre (1985) – I was kind of mesmerized by this. The killer looks pretty great and there is a brief bit with a white trash mom and her baby sitting in a cardboard box that inspired me to do a painting!

National Lampoon’s Class Reunion (1982) – Anyone under the age of thirty would probably consider this unwatchable, but this is a funny spoof of slasher movies with a great cast. The killer’s costume is pretty incredible and Zane Buzby has the role of a lifetime as the demonically possessed Delores Salk. Anne Ramsey also has a great bit as the school cook who has a memorable showdown with the killer.

Send us to five places on the Internet!

gamebooks.org – An extensively researched website that is the ultimate guide for interactive fiction, i.e Choose Your Own Adventure. The site has a lot of great information and scans of all those great covers like The Cave of Time, The Mystery of Chimney Rock, etc.

edwardgoreyhouse.org – The official site for everything Edward Gorey. He is truly missed.

hillyblue.blogspot.com – My partner’s blog which includes scans of vintage magazines, fun topics such as a countdown on the cutest guys from the Friday the 13th films and impressive, home-made video homages.

susantyrrell.com – The official website of my friend, actress Susan Tyrrell, who passed away in June of 2012. I corresponded with her for over ten years and I think about her everyday. An amazing and truly original person.

collectorsweekly.com – An amazing website that showcases unusual collections of antiques, oddities, etc. Runs the gamut from Mexican B-movie posters to the abandoned suitcases of insane asylum patients. A must.

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It’s a Horror to Know You:: Kyle Kuchta of Fantasm: Season of the Con!

October 22nd, 2012 · 3 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Kyle Kuchta of Fantasm: Season of the Con!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

The first film that ever scared me was Child’s Play when I was about 8. Well, I guess I never saw the movie, but Chucky scared the hell out of me. I remember having a dream where Chucky was going to kill me, but then Beavis and Butthead saved me. And then I remember going to a Haunted Hayride where they were showing the Boogeymen: Vol. 1 documentary before the ride, and I was convinced that Chucky was going to be in there, and I started crying. Years later, I’ve only seen the first Child’s Play and Seed of Chucky. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

It would probably be Session 9. Honestly, that movie freaked me out beyond anything I thought could. I still regard it as the scariest film I’ve seen. I also am a wuss sometimes, so people get disappointed when I show them. But I think it’s great. Ti West’s The Innkeepers spooked me quite a bit, too. For whatever reason, I thought it was a good idea to watch at night by myself. I’m also one who gets VERY scared of sounds more so than images, so when the disclaimer comes up about watching it with loud volume, I was already tense. So I spent that film with the volume remote in hand, and it was probably the only film in a while that I had paused because I was scared.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

1) Tourist Trap: One of my all time favorite horror films. That score, those mannequins, it had everything I wanted in a late 70s horror movie. It’s SO damn creepy. Why did I want THOSE things? I don’t know, but it was AWESOME.

2) The Signal: I was absolutely blown away by this film, and I wish that other people knew more about it and/or would give it a chance. I’m a fan of anthologies and, while it wasn’t necessarily an anthology, the “transmissions” were a nice touch, and a great way to not just make it another crazy-zombie-possessed human movie. I dug it.

3) Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon: While it may not be so underrated in the horror community, I can’t help but add this gem to my list. Any time anyone asks me to recommend a horror movie that’s “not too scary,” whatever THAT means, I suggest BTM. I actually recommend BTM for almost everything. I saw this film at a used video store for $4, and I wasn’t sure whether to be sad that this DVD was regarded as a lower price used DVD, or happy that someone was going to buy it for cheap and love it as much as I do.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

1) Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth: This chapter in the Hellraiser series gets a lot of shit, but I absolutely love it. I think it’s so fun, and the cenobites are some of the BEST. They’re so ridiculous I can’t help but to enjoy myself every time I watch it. All I ever wanted was that cenobite sculpture. Actually, nah, that’s probably a horrible thing to have.

2) Shakma: My biggest regret was not having Amanda Wyss sign my Shakma VHS. I love watching this because I’ll start the movie, and it’ll be awful. And then it’ll keep going and keep being awful. And then when I have 30 minutes left I’ll be yelling at my TV for the movie to be done, like that’s going to change anything. It’s sort of an amusingly vicious circle I submit myself to, but I can’t help it. Shakma is outrageous.

3) Ticks: Growing up in East Lyme, Connecticut, we had to be very aware of ticks because Lyme disease could cripple you, or whatever Lyme disease does. So ticks always BUGGED me. Lololololol. But seriously, the fact that this movie has Seth Green, Alonso Ribeiro, Clint Howard is reason enough to watch it.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

1) Fright-Rags: Some of the best shirts a boy like me could ask for.

2) Outside the Cinema: One of my favorite podcasts.

3) VHShitfest.

4) Death Waltz Recording Company.

5) Fantasm: Season of the Con: My upcoming documentary on horror conventions.

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It’s a Horror to Know You:: Troy Z (Stickmann) of Nature Trail to Hell in 3-D!

October 14th, 2012 · 5 Comments

Hello TraumaTots! Allow me to introduce myself by directing you to my limited-run blog in which I, as a designer of Themed Retail and Entertainment venues, develop concepts for a theoretical spookhouse based upon Weird Al Yankovic’s song “Nature Trail to Hell.” Start HERE to get the introduction and start the walkthrough via the “Newer Posts” link throughout October 2012.

I would like to start out by giving thanks to our hosts at Kindertrauma for solving one of my own nettlesome Name That Trauma questions and for being my very first Twitter Follower! Prepare for me to yammer on.

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

Geez, what DIDN’T scare me as a child? Kindertrauma is peppered with evidence of the detritus of my blown prepubescent mind. Not only simple commercials for horror movies (or even certain Disney adventure films — looking at you, RETURN FROM WITCH MOUNTAIN and WATCHER IN THE WOODS) would have me running up to the television to switch channels (this was before the preponderance of remotes, whippersnappers), but even the taglines for their print ads could generate fear. However, I can credit a specific movie as being a distinct turning point in my outlook towards the horror genre:

POLTERGEIST (1982)

Let’s establish something from the get-go: The Clown’s off the table. We are not to discuss it. Fuck That Clown, all that it is, all it represents, and the shadow it leaves behind in the human psyche.

What’s more important about this movie and what really resonated with me, and even though I couldn’t put a description to this sensation at the time, is how elegant the Spider Skeleton Ghost that guarded the door to the children’s room was. The ethereal translucency, the emaciated proportions, its haunting lowing; it all had the hallmarks of a devotional pietà that I knew others would consider obscene had I voiced it as such. I would thereafter surreptitiously scour special effects books at the bookstore and monster magazines on the shelf to catch another glimpse of this creature, and, in doing so, I realized I was more amenable to finding allure in the repulsive. Stolen peeks at gory heavy metal album covers, protoGoth imagery and underground comix would soon usher me in to the tastes of my teenage years, tastes that are fondly remembered as when I first could selectively develop my inclinations on my own accord.

I also credit “Poltergeist” as the first film in which the sterile artificial suburban landscape of which I was so familiar actually seemed as if it had the potential for magic. Up to then, the haunted house archetype to me was the stuff of purple-hued Victorian mansions depicted in children’s books and, ultimately, the property of Elsewhere. After June 1982, the prospect of corpses boiling beneath the foundation of the tract home in which I lived seemed plausible.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

INSIDIOUS (2010)

As much as everything terrified me as a kid, it takes a lot for a movie to actually scare me now. You can readily upset and disturb me sure enough, but to genuinely spook me takes a certain alchemy. I’m a fan of supernatural-themed premises, but being such a skeptic, I reflexively keep treating them as part of an unexplored manifestation of physics and even bureaucracies that mankind has not yet catalogued. As such, I keep relying on mentally seeking out the mechanisms that would be a solution to any supernatural problem in a narrative. This movie is the first in a long while where I just let that slide in order to be part of the ride.

I don’t recall anything in INSIDIOUS literally jumping out at you; it’s all either slow reveals or sudden revelations of specters standing still as though simply casually declaring their existence and vague intentions is enough to alarm you. And it worked: I’ve got a line-of-sight on everything in my dinky studio apartment, but my first bedtime after seeing this movie in the theater was the first time since I don’t know when that I would consider the shadows hiding presences.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated

NIGHTFLYERS (1987)

I admit, this perhaps could be an entry under the “Against Your Better Judgment” category due to its suspiciously on-the-nose Nostalgia Bomb appeal to my age group for its 80s stylistic touchstones: Neon Katakana, Hair Mousse, and Shoulder M’Pads. But, c’mon, it’s got a Killer AI, a Space Zombie, and TechNoir Deco Cathedral interiors, how could I not like this? It’s the Gothic Haunted Castle in Space trope that predates EVENT HORIZON. Given that level of prescience, taking another look at the credits after all these years it makes me wonder if anyone involved went on to do bigger and bet HOLY BALLS GEORGE R. R. MARTIN WROTE THE STORY FOR THIS? Why is this film not being pushed out as a Blu-Ray based on his venerable name alone?

Part 1 can be viewed HERE.

MONSTERS (2010)

The final six minutes of this movie are what validated the entire film for me, in particular the first pre-credits minute. Up to then, I felt it was a serviceable, if dull, monster movie, or a serviceable, if dull, date movie, with some redeeming and distinctive sequences (the reveal of what the “fin” in the water was during the boat-traveling part of the journey is particularly inspired). However, when the monsters cut off the climactic attack on the gas station to mate, the protagonists, just as I as a member of the audience did, gaped and marveled believably despite their moments-previously adrenalized terror. It was such an unforeseeable nature-documentary moment that is a game-changer for monsters and their portrayal. At that point, these creatures are now seen as just another animal on our planet. Although they are genuinely and thoroughly dangerous animals, there is now a reassuring familiarity to the literally alien.

The director and editor have to be given credit for the notion to separate the out-of-sequence first minutes of the movie from the climax. By culminating the movie with the moment where Samantha has a revelatory decision brought out by this unique witnessing, the makers of this film benevolently give these characters, and you as the audience, the peak experience that one would want to be remembered about oneself, just as all the corpses that were encountered along the path of this journey would wish to be remembered.

TIDELAND (2005)

Wait, what? This isn’t a horror movie, you’d say. Watch it again: It’s a crypto-horror film. It isn’t until about five-eighths of the way though the movie that it suddenly hits you that a checklist of horror movie benchmarks have been achieved: dutched camera angles, corpse desecration, the creepy backwoods family with a talent for taxidermy. The fact that the events are seen through the eyes of an innocent little girl oblivious to both danger and normalcy is what occults the horror, and compounds it all the more.

Runners-Up: IN THE MOUTH OF MADNESS, PRINCE OF DARKNESS, DARKNESS FALLS, HOUSE, THE FRIGHTENERS, FRAILTY, and NOCHNOY DOZOR & DNEVNOY DOZOR.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

I’ve got some caveats to establish before we discuss these: when I declare that these are against one’s better judgment, it’s the judgment I perceive that would come from others toward the media itself. I can watch these repeatedly and guilt-free, but I would be hesitant to recommend these to you even if I did have an inkling of your sensibilities. These suggestions here can be a bit, shall we say, “challenging.”

TRASH HUMPERS (2009)

Know that this is a compliment when I declare that this movie should never play in theaters, but rather that it should be copied onto blank videocassettes and left innocuously and anonymously at bus stops. I’m sure this distribution strategy may have been considered by the filmmakers, but this would most likely have gotten the police involved and in an arrest-y mood.

As this literally edited-on-VCR film starts, you don’t know if the trio you see are anything more than just some bon vivant pranksters killing time. It isn’t until some time with a doll found at a playground that the tone shifts abruptly to the potentially malevolent. Suddenly, the whole scene around you smells of danger, the Underground, and viewer complicity.

Detractors of the “Found Footage” style have legitimate complaints; one being that the net result is far too polished. This, I testify, is what the real deal should look like: meandering, repetitive, discordant, and absolutely devoid of the input of Focus Groups. For example, the repeated shrill cackling of the lady Trash Humper character is a chore to endure, but to subject it to “notes” and trim any of it down would be to undercut the rawness and believability of the content. It’s the most disturbingly transfixing movie of that year.

TETSUO: THE IRON MAN (1989)

Years ago (decades, now? Holy shit!), after a couple of my college-age friends and I watched this, we pulled the rental VHS tape out of the VCR and decreed, “This Never Happened.” Indeed, this flick is just a hot mess of Body Horror imagery, but there’s something gleefully adolescent in me that just giggles appreciatively at the industriousness of a guerrilla camera crew piloting a fifteen-foot-tall Cybernetic Dong Monster through a Japanese suburbia.

ENCARNAÇÃO DO DEMÔNIO (Embodiment of Evil) (2008)

I loves me some ZÉ DO CAIXÃO (“COFFIN JOE“), and I‘ve got the coffin-shaped DVD Box Set to prove it. There’s just something so extra appealing to me that a villainous character in a movie can revel in murder, menace, misanthropy, and misogyny, and through the mores of his Catholic country locale, provide further heretical shock by eating meat on Friday! And force you to eat meat on Friday!

ENCARNAÇÃO DO DEMÔNIO continues the tone of the ZÉ DO CAIXÃO sequels with its requisite bong-hit philosophizing and camp bombast while constructing fresh new setpieces that recall classic Exploitation Cinema. A particular scene involving an abducted female cop, melted cheese, and a rat seems to be JOSÉ MOJICA MARINS air-poking at the censorship board and cackling “Does this bug you? I’m not touching you!” and all we as the audience can do is slow clap and say, “Well played, sir.”

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

FEZ-O-RAMA — Handmade fezzes featuring everything from Cthulhu to Samurai Monkeys. If you’re not clicking that link after I tell you the combination of words “Samurai Monkey Fez,” then there is just no help for you.

CINEMA SUICIDE — Discusses Movies, Literature, Television, Grand Guignol, and a spattering of Metal. That’s right, Metal is measured in Spatterings.

MIRACLE FISH — I saw this as part of an Oscar-nominated Short Film Festival a few years ago and I was completely absorbed because it made me realize how crucial an announcement of a genre instills the comfort of familiarity, and how the lack of it brilliantly sets you up to have the rug pulled out from underneath you. As you watch, you don’t know if this is a Family Drama, a Coming-Of-Age Story, Child’s Fantasy, Sci-Fi, or Horror, because certain scenes present compelling arguments. You don’t know just how wound up you are until the climax. So I ask you to go into this as cold as I did, to see if the absence of genre expectation impacts your viewing experience. Wait ‘til it’s dark, load the video link and hit Fullscreen HERE.

HAPPY PENCIL — Atmospheric artwork displayed at an atmospheric website that feels like one of the Rabbit Holes of the Internet.

MARS RISING FILMS — YouTube videos from a charismatic team. I’d recommend them even if I wasn’t “Dr. Disemboweler” in one of their short films. Subscribe!

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It’s a Horror to Know You:: Jay from Hallowaltz Blog!

October 8th, 2012 · 15 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Jay from Hallowaltz blog!

Hey guys. Happy 5th birthday! Keep up the great work.

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

Definitely Cujo. There was a time when I was a kid when I wanted to see every movie based on a Stephen King book. I was too young to read his books and understand what they were about, and honestly I didn’t even really understand who Stephen King was.. just that movies that had his name in them were cool. My dad had a bunch taped off tv and as long as he was around I was able to watch them with him. Of course there were some like The Shining or Dead Zone that had to wait til I was older to understand, but for the most part I had sat through almost all the late 70s and 80s King flicks. I actually loved Maximum Overdrive so much that I had my dad paint red spots on the front of my Matchbox trucks. I loved the troll from Cat’s Eye, the werewolf in Silver Bullet, everything in Creepshow, Running Man, Firestarter, hell even Mr. Barlow and the Glick boys in Salem’s Lot didn’t scare me (and they do now).. and then we watched Cujo. I made it about halfway through and then the dog goes apeshit crazy. I had never seen anything so scary in a movie before.. a filthy, drooling, blood covered, rabid, insane, St. Bernard who barks at telephones, slams its head into a car, and attacks a mother and her son. I think it was the scene when Dee Wallace gets bit in the leg when my dad had to turn it off.. at that point I had run out of the room. For a long time.. probably til I saw Texas Chainsaw Massacre, it was the scariest movie I had ever seen.

There were two other random scenes of childhood trauma that I thought were worth mentioning. First was the coat room scene in Lady in White where the boy sees the murder of the little girl ghost.. that creeped me out. The second came to me when I was thinking of what to write about.. I remember being really freaked out from a scene in The Funhouse. its when the kid brother is headed to the fair and some random guy in a van pulls up, asks the kid if he wants a ride, and then pulls a gun out on him and starts laughing. I think at the time that tapped into that childhood fear of “strangers” and that there are people out there that are going to kidnap you and kill you.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

Inland Empire and The Poughkeepsie Tapes definitely disturbed me, but Paranormal Activity 2 left me feeling spooked.. enough that it was still in my head when I went to bed. Open Water was another one in recent years that scared me good.. for whatever reason I was nervous to walk to my local bar after watching it.. and I don’t even live anywhere near water.

3. Name three horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Eaten Alive – I love this movie.. everything.. the lighting, the insane characters, the insane music, the hotel set.. and that bleak, strange feeling of madness that I get while watching it. I watch it once a year and it never grows old. I’ll never understand why some fans of Texas Chainsaw Massacre don’t enjoy this movie.

Deranged – Probably the most accurate in the retelling of the Ed Gein murders. Roberts Blossom is fantastic in this one.

Pigs (AKA Daddy’s Deadly Darling) – A strange movie about a woman who escapes a mental institution and begins killing men that remind her of her father who raped her. She takes refuge at a farm where a man feeds her victims to his pigs. The only dvd I’ve seen is from Troma.. and the print they transferred it from is really rough.. but Grindhouse Releasing is working on giving it a solid release.

Some underrated Halloween flicks..

Lightning Bug – Since its October I wanted to try to include some Halloween themed movies.. this one is a must see. I’m surprised it really doesn’t get mentioned much.. and I’ve never seen it on a Halloween movie list. Buy, rent, or download this movie this October. You will not be disappointed.. Laura Prepon’s character “Angevin” is a horror nerd’s wet dream.

The Roost – Ti West’s killer bat/zombie flick. Sure its no House of the Devil, but if you can manage the slower pace I think this one delivers the goods. Love the grainy film and creepy atmosphere.

Rob Zombie’s Halloween and Halloween 2 – Not necessarily underrated as much as they are both hated. John Carpenter’s Halloween is my favorite movie, and Rob’s two are right up there with it. Love em both.

Murder Party – A funny, weird, horror/comedy flick about a guy who goes to the wrong party on Halloween.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Halloween 5 – It sucks.. it sucks bad, but it always manages to find its way into my dvd player ever October.

Frogs – I’m not ashamed of this one.. always takes me back to being a kid and thinking reptiles and amphibians were the shit.. and they still are.. especially when they’re killing people.

Any Herschell Gordon Lewis gore film – Blood, guts, blood and more blood. Story or plot? Who cares?

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

VHS Wasteland – Always fun looking at old worn vhs cover scans.

Countdown to Halloween – Starts every October 1st with links to tons of Halloween related blogs.

Hallowaltz – My blog of Halloween pictures that I’ve taken

Pumpkinrot – Daily updated blog of all things Halloween. And he makes some amazing creations.

Judith – A short fan film shot at the Myers House In North Carolina.. and you can watch it for free!

Happy October!

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Tags: It's a Horror to Know You!

It’s a Horror to Know You:: Jake Banzai of In Defense of Bad Movies

October 6th, 2012 · 2 Comments

It’s a Horror to Know You: Jake Banzai of In Defense of Bad Movies!

1. What is the first film that ever scared you?

The Exorcist.

2. What is the last film that scared you?

The Marble Hornets series.

3. Name three Horror movies that you believe are underrated.

Halloween III: Season of the Witch .

The Devi’s Rain.

Motel Hell.

4. Name three horror movies that you enjoy against your better judgment.

Leatherface – Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.

Blood Freak.

Night of the Lepus.

5. Send us to five places on the Internet!

Living. Dead. Girl.

Trash Film Guru.

HOGMAUL.

Real Queen of Horror.

Lost on 42nd Street.

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Tags: It's a Horror to Know You!