Blood, Candy & Tears

The ending of LUCKYEE MCGEE's MAY is enough to leave one of our dear readers (Gillig) in tears. I totally get that because between you and me and the lamp post, the ending of CANDYMAN has the same effect on me (Oh man, when everyone shows up to VIRGINIA MADSEN's funeral...hold on, I have something in my eye...) What about you guys? Any horror movie make you turn on the waterworks? If not, what movie brought you the closest to loosing it? How about that dog in FLY 2? I know that got some of you! Leave a comment, share, purge, heal..

Phantasm vs. Star Wars

Everybody knows that those little grave robbing critters from PHANTASM look exactly like those trash pickin' Jawa dudes from STAR WARS. Everybody also knows that STAR WARS came out in 1977 and PHANTASM came out in 1979. Some folks are telling me though that PHANTASM took several years to make and actually got to the miniature robed creatures first! Much like with every other debate that gets people all worked up and ready to blow things up, I like to take a "I could give a crap" stance. (Keep in mind, this is coming from somebody who knows firsthand that GEORGE LUCAS is a plagiarist on account of I invented the Ewok!) Can't we all just get along? To me STAR WARS and PHANTASM are two great tastes that taste great together just like peanut butter and jelly, LAVERNE & SHIRLEY and rainy days and nooses! Check these pix for more proof!

Horror Fans And The Movies That Love Them

Horror fans. Who and what are horror fans? Are they unhinged psychopathic time bombs who get a vicarious thrill witnessing pain being inflicted upon their fellow man? Are they ineffectual nerds who are preoccupied with processing their feelings of powerlessness in the universe by viewing assembly line murders? Are they simply antisocial misfits who misspell the word uncle and live in a make believe castle who waste time writing posts on blogs that sound more and more like rejected SEX AND THE CITY voiceovers? We may never know and I, for one, could give a crap. I'm just writing everything you are reading now to justify my posting of awesome gore shots from my current movie obsession CARL REINER's hilarious send up of not so modern education SUMMER SCHOOL!

That's right SUMMER SCHOOL! If you're asking yourself what the hell is a comedy like SUMMER SCHOOL doing on Kindertrauma well, have fun asking yourself that and let me know how that works out for you. I'm just writing about SUMMER SCHOOL because I love it and I love the characters of Chainsaw and Dave who just happen to be big time horror movie fans and adore THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE specifically. Plus, don't you know that SUMMER SCHOOL (pronounced "Summa Skule") stars SHAWNEE SMITH (1988's THE BLOB), DEAN CAMERON (BAD DREAMS), KELLY JO MINTER (A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET: THE DREAM CHILD) and features songs from sexy kinder-babe E.G DAILY (BAD DREAMS, ONE DARK NIGHT)? So here's to SUMMER SCHOOL and now lets take a look at those gore shots....

Pretty disgusting, huh? Boy this is a pretty lame post. How can I turn it around? I know, I'll make it a highfalutin list! We all love lists, right? Be they grocery, shit or even HALL & OATES' famous list of the best things in life (Your kiss is on that one!) Let's make a list of horror films that feature horror fans as characters shall we?

SALEM'S LOT: Little LANCE-Y KERWIN liked classic horror movies (The kind in black and white where nobody ever gets a shish kabob shoved down their throat or jumps out of a television to kill you) very much in this STEPHEN KING adaptation. It's a good thing he did too, ‘cuz it ends up saving his ass when he uses a crucifix from one of his horror models to scare away a pesky floating vampire kid!

THE FUNHOUSE: Remember Amy Harper's little brother Joey? (SHAWN CARSON) His bedroom was covered in memorabilia and he was so into horror flicks that he dressed up as a killer and stabbed his sister in the shower with a rubber knife. What a perv!

FRIDAY THE 13TH: THE FINAL CHAPTER: Tommy Jarvis was a horror fan and spent much of his time creating masks and elaborate special effects that were on par with the work of master TOM SAVINI! Good Job Tommy!

SCREAM: Randy Meeks (JAMIE KENNEDY) watched so many horror movies that when the time came for all his friends to be murdered he believed that actual real life would echo the structure of one of his favorite films and guess what, he was right!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME: Creepy Alfred may not have been that into horror cinema at all but he certainly liked to create fake decapitated heads in his spare time. He could also make really great MELISSA SUE ANDERSON masks which if you think about it would really come in handy if you were dressing up as Mary Ingles for Halloween!

THE BLOB: Little Kevin Penny just had to see GARDEN TOOL MASSACRE, "a standard slice and dice" that featured a killer in a hockey mask who killed camp counselors. Somewhere out there adult Kevin Penny is nursing the wounds of having to endure GARDEN TOOL MASSACRE's remake!

FINAL EXAM: Not so final boy Radish (JOEL S. RICE) decorated his dorm room with posters from THE TOOLBOX MURDERS and THE CORPSE GRINDERS, but unfortunately his knowledge of horror did zero to help him survive an identity free slasher on campus.

FADE TO BLACK: Lonely cinemaphile Eric Binford (DENNIS CHRISTOPHER) likes to dress up as his favorite movie icons including DRACULA and THE MUMMY among others when he murders the bullies who torment him. Look out young MICKEY ROURKE! That dude means to kill you!

SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE: Munchkin Ana Torrent becomes so obsessed with JAMES WHALE's FRANKENSTEIN and particularly the scene where the monster accidentally drowns a little girl that it alters her view of reality entirely.

6 FILMS TO KEEP YOU AWAKE: A REAL FRIEND: Speaking of loosing a grip on reality, teenager Estrella (NEREA INCHASTI) much like Chainsaw and Dave from SUMMER SCHOOL idolizes Leatherface from TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE to such a degree that she imagines that the goofball is her B.F.F.! With friends like that, who needs enemies who are still breathing?

FRIGHT NIGHT: Reluctant vampire hunter Charlie Brewster (WILLIAM RAGSDALE) is a horror fan whose favorite show just happens to be hosted by legendary horror star Peter Vincent (RODDY MCDOWALL)

So what says yooze guys? Can you think of any more movies, horror or otherwise, that feature horror fans as characters? Contrary to popular belief, my brain can't come up with everything! Help an Unkle out! Remember, mind over matter!

Kinder-Link :: Mystic Places & Max Jenke

Do you remember those creepy TIME-LIFE series of books like MYSTIC PLACES, MYSTERIES OF THE UNKNOWN and THE ENCHANTED WORLD? I actually have a couple of those volumes that I've found over the years second hand. I had forgotten all about the weird commercials for them though, that is until your pal and mine Jeff Allard reminded me on his blog. They used to play those things all the time and it seemed they were particularly shown late at night. Watching them again after all this time, I find I can still almost recite them word for word. If you're in for a slice of nostalgia with a dollop of observational wisdom, as always, I recommend DINNER WITH MAX JENKE where it's routinely served. Jeff's post had me longing for the days when there was more than cosmetic ads and celebrity gossip shows on late night T.V. and the biggest thing I presumed to be threatening my safety was little green men. JUMP TO JENKE.

The Funhouse


THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE is a hard act to follow. Although there are some legitimate duds in TOBE HOOPER's resume (SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION), most of his output gets unfairly shirked when compared to his early masterpiece. 1981's THE FUNHOUSE in particular gets short changed. Often lumped in with the cash-in slashers of the same year, it's actually an exuberant collision between classic monster tropes and the splatter body horror of its day. Dismissing the winking (literally) homages to HALLOWEEN and PSYCHO in the films opening sequence as brain-dead wheel spinning, most audiences where blind to the originality that was to proceed.
ELIZABETH BERRIDGE plays Amy Harper, a young woman on the verge of adulthood. She's leaving behind the childish ways of her youth represented by an obnoxious younger sibling (SHAWN CARSON). With the aid of a small lie, she plans to attend an ominous visiting carnival against her parents' approval. What she's really toying with is the idea of losing her virginity, not exactly a novel concept in the realm of '80's horror geared toward teen audiences, but the price Amy pays for opening her Pandora's box is.
Although the likable enough Amy is clearly our final girl from the get go, the way she is represented is unusual. Her first scene is a nude one and we are shown early on a harsh glimpse at her caged anger when a prank is played. Next we are shown an unflattering Polaroid that her brother has taken of her mid-scowl while the audio from THE BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN plays in the background, declaring simply "She IS the Bride of Frankenstein!" Amy is smugly dishonest and although coy about the possibility of sex, she's not exactly nixing the idea either. This is a far cry from the stalwart Girl Scouts and lovable tomboys we're used to. Amy is not the golden girl, she's not a pillar of truth, she skates gray areas that are in fact, closer to real human behavior.
Upon arriving with her friends and a suitable beau to the traveling show, Amy is accosted by an old crone who repeatedly warns, "God is watching." (Would any good horror movie be complete with out the aged doomsayer?) The night is alive with excitement and every other scene explodes with the colors of a smashed gumball machine. Amy is feeling freedom and perhaps the power to fulfill her wishes. She is at the high point of her life, too young to give a shit, but old enough to have real adult fun.
Having an excellent time walking the line of innocent amusement and irresistible attraction to life's grittier side, Amy and her friends decide to stay over night within the titular funhouse. This not only gives them a chance to get down to that sex business, but to also witness prostitution, premature ejaculation and murder. They also make the mistake of swiping some cash from the till and discovering the secret inhabitant of the ride, the yin to Amy's yang. If Amy is "the Bride," than he is her groom. He's even wearing a FRANKENSTEIN mask in case there's any confusion. Unfortunately his fantasy horror mask hides an even more horrifying reality. He is a physically deformed representative of adolescent sexuality, a hideous monster that can't be easily controlled.
Once the cat is out of the bag, there is no turning back for Amy or any of her friends. There is no returning to the innocence of youth. This is beautifully illustrated when her parents come to fetch her younger brother who has also been up to curiosity inspired mischief on the fairground. Watching from an upper fan enclosed portal, Amy screams for their aid to no avail. She might as well be screaming through Alice's looking glass from another dimension. Her parents extract her brother from the nightmare and exit oblivious. Apparently her sibling's youth makes him savable and eligible for protection.
More subtly than in most slasher films, Amy's pals fall and die according to their now unusable usual survival techniques. Buzz's muscular heroics are a no go. Liz's attempts to use her beauty are a failure, and Richie, a tricky prankster, is off-ed by a regrettable misread of information (and an axe). Did they get off easy next to Amy?
Amy does indeed survive the night, but the victory is hollow and she appears more damaged than relieved. It's not moxie, but dumb luck that allows her to live. She does not turn into LINDA HAMILTON at any point of the film. She escapes the machinery of life's funhouse simply because the monster was just slightly a bigger loser than she...

Obviously death would never be the outcome for our Amy in THE FUNHOUSE. Instead she is awoken into the world that HOOPER has been rubbing our noses in ever since we arrived on the scene. Rather than spooking us with images of murder and mayhem, we have been treated to body mutation, both human and animal, and mounds of aging twisted flesh, the real horror of mortality and age. Happy clown faces, images of childhood crack, peal and mockingly laugh. This ride has been going on forever. Something wicked does indeed, this way come... 

As Amy leaves the funhouse she passes the old hag who repeats, "God is watching." This God, rather than inflict moral punishment on Amy for discovering her sexuality, has something else in mind. He's going to take away her youth and shove her on life's conveyer belt toward old age and death. Amy's discovery of sex puts her in the same boat as the fleshy strippers that "wiggle" for the crowds and the aged bloated psychic (SYLVIA MILES). What Amy is really discovering about her body and this mortal coil, is that there's nowhere to go but down.

Poltergeist 3

    This post is part of FINAL GIRL's


        In which participants:

          "write about something in the world of film that fills you with complete and total unbridled fucking retarded JOY."

            I'm not sure I know what this "joy" thing is, but I do know that you're supposed to say "mentally challenged" rather than "retarded" and "whoopee" instead of the "F" word! Wait a minute, that sounds kinda douchey, perhaps I missed the point of this whole thing! Actually I know exactly what my pal Final Girl, aka Stacie Ponder is talking about. You see, all us folks who write about movies sometimes we forget that we're supposed to sorta LIKE movies a little bit. It seems we're kinda busy trying to be know-it-alls all the time and that we forget what it's like to just enjoy the stuff. Anyone can sit back and judge and critique but you know what? It's super fucking hard to make a movie and it's not something any retard can do. Movies are amazing things and they can change the way you think about stuff and they can take you away from all your worries almost as well as alcohol can, but without that whole waking up in an alley with a missing shoe problem. We tend to fold our arms and say, "Show me!" to the screen rather than putting a little effort forth and trying to understand what the filmmakers were trying to do and that's OUR loss. I'm not saying that there aren't lousy movies out there, but let's be honest, there are way more lousy audience members.

              So to quote one of my favorite lines from the unloved DEMI MOORE vehicle MORTAL THOUGHTS "Where is the joy?" Well for me the joy is in perfect moments in not so perfect movies like MORTAL THOUGHTS. Stacey's gauntlet toss had me thinking "Here is the perfect time to defend one of my favorite flicks that everyone hates!" Would it be CATHY'S CURSE or THE ATTIC? Honestly, both of those movies just seemed too big for me to tackle in my post Saint Patrick Day's haze.

                Then it came to me, POLTERGEIST 3! How I love it! And not even because it's a freaky failure or because there's big hair and awful GOLDEN GIRLS style pastel clothes and truly shitty dialogue. I'm just amazed that it exists and I can watch it everyday. I think it's just weird as hell and strangely moving and there's a real yucky death vibe in there. It's just so damn DIFFERENT from everything else. I love that none of the effects were done in postproduction. I love the corny mirror tricks. I love director GARY SHERMAN(DEAD AND BURIED). I love NANCY ALLEN. Holy shit, I may even love the intolerable Scott (KIPLEY WENTZ)!

                  I love it so much more than I could ever love a "good" movie. Honestly, you really don't know what love is until you figure out how to love imperfection...I think Jesus told me that, pass it on. So there I was ready to write my review and I remembered THIS FANTASTIC POLTERGEIST 3 SITE! I thought I'd just check it out for last minute inspiration, but once there I said to myself, self I sez "HERE is the joy... This is joy in all its fucking retarded glory!"

                    Webmaster David Furtney who is well aware of P3's considerable faults is infatuated and madly in love with P3 to a degree that should be envied by filmgoers everywhere. Let me go one further, as a human being on this planet consider yourself lucky if ANYONE ever loves you with a fifth of the devotion that David does his P3. When I saw that he even linked to an online SPEAK n SPELL game I nearly choked back tears. My "Don't be a douchbag day" dreams had been answered!

                      I can't tell you that POLTERGEIST 3 is a good movie, but I can tell you what love is and if you don't recognize it when some one is pointing it out to you as plainly as I am here, then you my friend may be ever so slightly douchey. So rather than post a review, I suggest we all check out DAVID'S SITE, maybe it won't change your mind about POLTERGEIST 3, but I think it may remind you of a similar movie that you have in your collection; one that you may not be exactly proud of, but that you turn to now and again when you want to remember what joy is.

                      South Park: Imaginationland


                       Even if you are not a regular fan of SOUTH PARK, you doubtlessly are a fan of someone or something that makes a cameo in SOUTH PARK IMAGINATIONLAND. Freddy, Pinhead, Jason, THE PROPHECY's ManBearPig, CLASH OF THE TITAN's Medusa and even every nerd boy's wet dream, Retro-Cylons (!) can all be spotted. Those are only a handful of the trauma-inducing icons that appear in the special three-part ,epic mini-movie. I'd reveal more, but the less you know the better about this colorful collage/map of the inside of your pop-culture-fried brain that's guaranteed to push your DVD player's "pause" button to its limit!