Hey! Kindertrauma has been nominated for a RONDO award for best horror website! You can vote for us HERE! And you don’t even need to fill out the whole form; you can just vote for us and split if you are pressed for time! Thanks to all who support us & keep ya fingers crossed!
Hey! Check out that shop-link up in the upper right corner of this here page! Now you can own tons of official Kindertrauma merchandise! Are you frequently accused of being unfashionable? Maybe you need a Kindertrauma T-shirt! Does your coffee taste gross? Maybe you need to drink it out of a Kindertrauma coffee mug! Is your refrigerator running? You better go catch it and give it some Kindertrauma magnets! What a great way to better your life and support poor people (who aren’t getting any younger) at the same time! There are currently three designs; one for every human mood! They make great gifts and the holiday season is approaching! Don’t be the last on your block to be Kindertraumatized! SHOP NOW!
We’re twelve (!) years old today! Thanks to all who visit us!
If you live in the lovely city of Philadelphia or are Philly-adjacent you should scrap whatever plans you’ve made for this Saturday night (November 18) and swing on down to South Street. I say this because KINDERTRAUMA and THE PHILADELPHIA UNNAMED FILM FESTIVAL (AKA PUFF) are teaming up to host a very special screening of CHRIS MOORE’s twisted shocker BLESSED ARE THE CHILDREN! You can read my full review of this fine flick right over HERE or just believe me when I tell you to do yourself a favor and go see it! This is sure to be a fun one to watch with a crowd and I think you’ll really dig the unique screening space at 327 South Street (right across from the good ol’ TLA Theater!) The movie starts at 8PM which means you can still go out afterwards and get drunk (but not if you’re driving). Check out the trailer below and be there (327 South Street at 8PM on Saturday the 18th) or be square!
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!
It’s a pretty good bet that I’m going to spend the entire day thinking about GEORGE A. ROMERO and the better part of the evening watching his remarkable, groundbreaking films. If a bomb dropped across the street it would be of secondary interest. Like many in the horror community I’m sure, I feel shell-shocked, it feels like a favorite teacher, mentor or spiritual Godfather has departed. I have never met Mr. ROMERO but he surely had a big impact on my life. I was born the year NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD was being filmed, DAWN OF THE DEAD rammed right up against my adolescence and DAY OF THE DEAD knocked me upside my teenage head. I don’t have any personal anecdotes to share about him but allow me to indulge myself with some memories of some of the many times he fueled my love and (and genuine fear) of horror films. (The following is in the order of my own viewings rather than when the films were released).
DAWN OF THE DEAD
Somehow I saw DAWN OF THE DEAD before NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD. It was in the earliest days of the VCR and nothing could prepare me for it. It certainly terrified me but it was also the coolest thing on earth! I was probably about 13 or 14 at the time and a big part of me was super ready for the entire world to drop dead and for me to live in a mall in which everything was free for the taking. You can probably see it coming a mile away these days but at the time, the helicopter zombie decapitation absolutely blew my mind and inspired many a rewind.
NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD
For (I believe) several years, early MTV showed NOTLD on Halloween night. I was addicted to slashers at the time but it made it very clear to me that black and white movies could be just as frightening as the then modern fare I was devouring. Geez, that little girl (Karen) in the basement! The echoing screams of her mother! It’s horror at its purest. In addition, NOTLD still has one of the strongest opening sequences I can think of and I feel right at home inside the screen having spent my earliest days on this planet right outside of Pittsburgh (shout out to Allison Park!).
I didn’t have HBO as a kid but my friend did and it was always a blast to check out salacious flicks like TATTOO and VICE SQUAD while guzzling sodas that don’t exist anymore and chomping on bags of garbage. I’m going to say that the ground zero of my puberty occurred sometime while watching KNIGHTRIDERS and leave it at that. This is yet another great example of ROMERO being completely original and marching to the beat of his own drum.
This movie was a damn big deal in my house and my younger brother was an even bigger fan of it than myself. We collected horror movie posters at the time and that CREEPSHOW poster was certainly one of the most striking and I’ll always be obsessed with that little rat crawling through the ghoul’s burlap looking cape. CREEPSHOW is known for being a lot of fun but it sure as hell scared the bejesus out of me too. I will forever and always be freaked out by TED DANSON’s submerged gurgling undead voice when he returns to exact his watery revenge. I need to also mention that the cover of FANGORIA with E.G. MARSHALL’s bug filled face bursting on it is one of the best things ever and I still remember greedily reading that issue in our screened in back porch. The cover has separated itself from its staples but I still proudly own that poor mangled thing.
TALES FROM THE DARKSIDE
ROMERO’s creatively creepy anthology series always had a knack of appearing at times when my brain was most susceptible to its shenanigans. Its opening narration and theme music were like a dog whistle alerting me that normalcy was about to jump out the window and be replaced by total unpredictability. Would it be funny, scary, weird, thoughtful or confounding or all of the above? You never knew what you were going to get, you just knew it would be far off the beaten track and a freaky good time.
I felt exactly as weird and ostracized as Martin as a teenager but looking back, he probably had it more together than I ever did. I was a big new wave music fan around this time and was so happy when I bought a SOFT CELL album that included a 12-inch song entitled MARTIN written in tribute to the film. I actually saw it a couple of weeks ago at a record store and I’m now going to hit myself in the face for not picking it because it may be the perfect song to annoy the neighbors…
DAY OF THE DEAD
Ack! Between you and me and the lamppost, I may own a copy of DAY OF THE DEAD and I may think it is brilliant but I’ve only truly watched it from beginning to end once (as far as I remember). My little brother and I happily went to see a midnight showing of it in Texas when it was first released and it left me with such a dire, hopeless soul-killing feeling that I never dared to watch it again. Maybe I was having mental problems at the time but it really clung to me like a morose, unshakable grimy cloud. I hereby promise to force myself to break the curse and watch it again soon to see if it still murders my precarious sense of well-being.
Aw, here’s the perfect cure for DAY OF THE DEAD. I love this movie. Is it bad that MONKEY SHINES may well be my favorite ROMERO film? I can’t help it.I‘ve got a soft spot for psychological thrillers and an even softer spot for that adorable monkey, Ella. Listen folks, there are very few movies that properly capture the complexities of an animal’s personality or the intricacies of the loving relationship between a human and their pet. What ROMERO did with this movie and how he presents Ella is incredibly impressive. I don’t care if there was more than one monkey; this has to be one of the greatest animal performances of all time. Also the strong emotional tie that is depicted in this movie totally reminds me of how I feel about my cats and how my cats (surely) feel about me so…now I know the power of representation!
LAND OF THE DEAD (plus DIARY and SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD)
By the time LAND OF THE DEAD came out I was a full grown fully dysfunctional semi-maybe adult (sorta, if you squint your eyes). Frankly after my experience with DAY OF THE DEAD I had some true trepidation mixed with my excitement to return to ROMERO’s vision. I wasn’t disappointed and I remember feeling particularly anxious during its zombies on the waterfront scene. DIARY and SURVIVAL came out over the last ten years while we’ve been doing this site. They are certainly stranger, more idiosyncratic takes on the DEAD and whether you like them or not, they also feel more personal. I’m so glad ROMERO got the chance to really experiment in his sandbox and I admire him for not taking the easy, more commercial route. He gave us horror fans, SO MUCH (and he gave us so much even after he was royally screwed on his rights to his unfathomably influential first feature film). He cut his own path and told us things that only he could. He made real art that whispered truths about humanity and culture that we’ll be happily deciphering and unraveling for decades to come. He generously entertained us while making us think and if you don’t agree, well then I’ll just have to quote my pal Barbara, “You’re ignorant”.