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Name That Trauma:: Asat on a Surprise Coffin Ending

June 25th, 2018 · 2 Comments

The mid-1980s was a gangbusters era for Trauma, what with the rise of mom-n-pop video-rental shops that knew better than to enforce strict policies about horror-movie rentals. But in addition to that, such places often had third-hand cassettes that Blockbuster woulda been ashamed to shelve. I am on a quest to turn up one such bomb. Keywords: foreign, gory, hypodermic needles, coffin, surprise ending.

Okay, here’s the expanded version: back about 1985, the local hole-in-the-wall video shop got a reputation for renting out “Headless Eyes” to kids under 18, and you were guaranteed some gossip at school if you were known to have watched it and thrown up…or watched it and NOT thrown up. Celebrity in high school is like that, remember? Anyway, some friends and I were determined to get in on that action, but of course the Friday we went looking for it, the tape was already out. Eh whatever, we settled on a box that looked to be of similar caliber. I really should have written down the name.

For starters, it was foreign. Italian or Spanish, and I don’t think the cassette we got was dubbed into English. Big deal, we weren’t watching for plot subtleties after all – this was supposed to be a test of our fortitude! And boy-howdy was it ever – it was like watching paint dry on a rainy day. Until the very end. And I mean the very, VERY end…the last second and a half of the film. See if you can guess how it ended.

From what we could piece together, the story was set in a villa/castle owned by some Dr. Jekyll-wannabe with a plan for an immortality serum or maybe just a process that would turn people into gorillas or something. That was this film’s claim to gory fame: it involved close-up shots of venous injections and blood spurting from incisions, supposedly “TAKEN FROM REAL-LIFE FOOTAGE”. This might have been quite traumatizing if the whole film didn’t look as though it had been filmed with the proverbial 16mm potato.

Anyway, the mad doctor’s plans come to naught and the film ends with him probably dead and his lovely young wife also a casualty of his attempts to meddle with Mad Biology. Her coffin is on a table and some guests/servants are mulling over how it’s gonna be a pain in the butt to bury her as the camera slowly zooms in on the coffin. The conversation drags on as the camera zooms and the focus-puller just barely manages to earn his day’s wage. Can you see where this is going? Off in the distance a telegraph can be heard….

BOOM! Coffin lid flies off and the bride flails about wild-eyed, revealing fangs or some such as the screen freeze-frames and the credits roll. SORRY KIDS, NO REFUNDS! BE KIND AND REWIND! Well obviously I’m not crazy about the prospect of sitting through that whole mess again, but I sure as heck would love to spring that finale on the guys again after all these years. I have little doubt they remember it – it was our own collective Ralphie-Parker-Ovaltine-Decoder-Ring moment. Not the usual kinda Trauma but more the end of innocence kind.

Again, it wasn’t a super-rare tape or this little shop wouldn’t have had a copy. It was definitely European and had the grainy look of a 1970s cheapie. I keep thinking it must have had a pretty good title coz I believe we just picked it on the basis of whatever was on the front of the case. Of course, it couldn’t have been as good as “Headless Eyes”, coz we knew we were settling for second-best at best.

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Name That Trauma:: Adam W. on Two Alien Terrors

May 8th, 2018 · 4 Comments

Hi Unk,

Longtime reader here, I love your site. It always brightens my day to read through all of the writing here.

I have a pair of film images that have been rattling around in my skull for close to forty years, and it’s now driving me crazy that I can’t figure out where they come from. I need help! Both of these scenes / images are from what I believe to be 1950s/early 1960s science fiction films, which I caught on some far-flung UHF channel.

The first scene is of a group of astronauts / explorers making their way through a mist-covered swamp on some hostile planet. At one point, they spot what appears to be an oversized, basketball-sized spider which proceeds to leap onto one of the men’s heads, killing him. I think they end up blasting it with a laser gun or something.

The other movie I am trying to place has a scene where a group of men (scientists?) are standing in front of some sort of alien hedgerow or wall. One of the men sticks his arm through the hedge/wall, screams, and then pulls it back out, his arm now completely frozen or turned to stone or something similarly horrible.

Can anyone tell me what movies these are from?

Thanks!

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Name That Trauma:: Gil on Two Horrifying Little Men

May 3rd, 2018 · 1 Comment

Hello,

I just stumbled across your site while researching “One Step Beyond‘s” “Reunion” episode and after reading your manifesto, it occurred to me that perhaps you could answer a question that’s bugged me for years. I remember as a small boy of seven of eight years old in 1972, I was living with my mother in my grandparents creepy old house on Ursulines Avenue in New Orleans. I saw an old black and white film which featured two really horrifying little men. They were either dolls or undead midgets. They would do their master’s bidding by stabbing their victims with long spike/needle-like daggers. I remember the little men would shrink back in horror from a crucifix, or anything that reminded them of the fact that they could never receive salvation. The master very nonchalantly informed onlookers of the little men’s fear.

I’ve never been able to find anything remotely about this film.

Can you help,

Gil

New Orleans, La.

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Name That Trauma:: Chris D. on a Firing Squad Execution

April 30th, 2018 · 1 Comment

Greetings Kindertrauma:

Was wondering if you could help, or if anyone out there might be able to shed some light on a snippet of a film that I saw on Channel 13 (Tri-State Area, some sort of TV special I think – not positive) ? Here’s my only recollection particulars:

There was this TV special on channel 13, with a guy who looked like Peter Frampton/Roger Daltrey – type who got executed at the end of the movie, on like this white and black checkered firing squad patio. It was some British type show. Any info or thoughts would be awesome….????

Thanks/Cheerio-

Chris D.

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Name That Trauma:: Brian N. on an Upsetting Table Setting

April 3rd, 2018 · 1 Comment

Howdy Kindertrauma!

I’ve solved all of my childhood mystery movie memories — save one — and it’s perplexed me for years! Here is what I can recall:

The scene takes place in a bar/restaurant. Some people are sitting around a table, and there may be some sort of aquariums (?) in the background. A man or men walk up to their table and it’s a little tense. What really scared me, though, is what was on the table. There was some sort of centerpiece that frightened my young eyes. I’m not sure it was meant to be scary, but it was to me and has remained the centerpiece of this movie mystery memory for over 45 years. I’m not sure if it was a movie or TV show, but I know I saw it on TV, not in a theater.

I would’ve see this sometime between 1969 and 1971, when I was 4-6 years old. Thank you for any help you can give me! It’s been a looong, frustrating trip trying to solve this one.

Brian

P.S. There is an early 70’s anthology that has vampires in a restaurant, but that’s not it.

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Name That Trauma:: Amanda M. on a Sterile, White Prison Cafeteria

March 27th, 2018 · 3 Comments

One of my early traumas comes from a snippet of a movie I don’t know the name of. My cousin was watching this movie one day and I walked in and caught a scene that’s stayed with me ever since (I was in my single digits I think). There was a man surrounded by a lot of tubes or pipes or something. He screamed, then the movie cut to a scene in a sterile white prison cafeteria. All of a sudden a bunch of blood and guts comes falling through the ceiling. That’s when I noped out of the room, so I never caught what the movie was. Can you help me? I’d really appreciate it.

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Name That Trauma:: Vojta on a Creepy Creature Sitting at a Desk

February 20th, 2018 · 3 Comments

Hello there,

My name is Vojta, 25 years of age and I’m from Czech Republic. A friend of mine recommended me your site and told me, that you could – perhaps – help me.

I’m struggling with finding this movie for a really long time now. I literally had nightmares and trauma still many years afterwards. I couldn’t fall asleep at nights as I was seeing the scene right in front my eyes. Actually, I still do and I would be so very grateful if you’d know this movie and help me out from my 15 years of misery, haha.

Alrighty, so this is what I remember…

The camera is looking on a staircase in quite a big and spacious family house with a door above it. When the door opens, a mother with their children (or maybe just one child) walks out the door and they all look frightened, looking around and so. Under the stairs there is an office desk with a chair behind it turned backwards to the table/camera. Then, they slowly go down the stairs, being as quite as possible. When they reach the desk, the armchair starts turning and there’s sitting this creepy man/creature.. (sadly I can’t describe him much).

That’s all I remember, because then my parents turned it off.. It wasn’t later than 2005, I think.

If you know this, again I would be so grateful.

Have a great day,

Vojta

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Name That Haunted House Movie!

February 2nd, 2018 · 24 Comments

Hey! WINCHESTER opens today and the screenplay was written by my very own brother so make sure you go see it! In the meantime, below are images from twenty haunted house flicks. How many can you identify?

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Name That Trauma:: Scott P. on Multiple Monsters in an Old House

January 29th, 2018 · 9 Comments

Scott P: Not my trauma, but one of my favorite musicians ( Ginger Wildheart ) was asking about this on Twitter, & I suggested he come here to see if any of the experts can crack it. In case he didn’t see that Tweet, I thought I’d send the details he mentioned :

Trying to remember a movie where there are monsters inside of an old house. Some are tall, some are hunched deformed things. It was made in the last decade. The action kicks off in the kitchen, and culminates in a tall creature chasing a woman down the hall, while a hunched over goblin thing sits in the corner.

It was not a found footage film. I think the premise of this horror movie was a house built on top of Hell, or something.

These monsters all looked different from each other. Different shapes, sizes and looks. Some of these monsters weren’t remotely human shaped.

It was a small budget movie, not much promotion. I think it was American, but had more of a European horror than a 50’s B-movie feel. It was an indie flick, similar vibe to Digging The Marrow, looked fairly expensive too.

Any chance we can figure this out for him? Thanks!

~ Scott P.

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Name That Trauma:: Koddie K. on Jacuzzi Murders and More

January 22nd, 2018 · 10 Comments

Hey, I’m looking for titles from a few movies. I’ll try to be as specific as possible. Hope you can help me.

Movie number 1

Horror film from the ‘80s, I think. It’s about a troubled boy who has to take his medication on time to make sure he doesn’t go crazy. His parents go away for the weekend and his mum insists on taking his medicine. He invites some friends from school to have a party. His ex is also at the party and tries to persuade him to give it another go but he has a new girlfriend now. She is also at the party but she’s kinda new so nobody really knows her. One couple goes in the Jacuzzi and the guy goes back inside to get champagne or wine and the girl gets killed in the Jacuzzi. Apparently this ‘new girlfriend’ is a lot more crazy than the guy poppin’ pills. In the end she seems to be the killer.

Movie number 2

Horror/thriller from the ‘90s, I think. A group of people bury some guy with his face down cause he should go straight to hell. The wife of this buried guy is out for revenge and kidnaps the child of one of the relatives of the people that killed him ‘cause apparently she is the last one to still be alive. The child is kept in some kind of dungeon underneath the house. The mother does a neighborhood questioning and ends up with the wife of the buried guy but of course they don’t know right away that she has the child locked up.

Movie number 3

Horror film from early 2000s, I think. Some people end up at some kind of farm in the middle of the night, the guy gets out ‘cause he sees someone running around, and pretty much right away he gets shot by a shotgun (it reminded me of the movie PLAGUE TOWN a little bit but that’s not the one). Two of the other guys run off since their friend got shot, the killer hunts them down and finally they come across some cabin and hide there. Pretty quickly they find out that the cabin belongs to the killer. I believe it was raining a lot and the killer wore a raincoat.

I hope you can help me in my search, thanks in advance.

Koddie K.

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