Several Serial Killer Films:: By Ghastly1

The Tenderness of Wolves (1973)
Neuer Deutscher Film fanatics rejoice, Ulli Lommel is here and he brought Rainer Werner Fassbinder along with him. Fritz Haarmann lives the dream life, not only is he a rapist serial killer of boys and young men, who lives in an apartment decorated with kitsch paintings of angels and filled with the rancid meat and moldering bones of his victims, in a highly chic bombed out part of the city, but he has a thriving business selling human meat to local establishments. Jealous much?

Angst (1983)
Loosely based on the life and crimes of Werner Kniesek, this Austrian film descends into the psycho psyche of a recently paroled killer as he embarks on a seriously sick and sadistic spate of slaughter in a manner quite unlike any other. Immediately after having been "rehabilitated" in one of the country's fine institutions, our "hero" who never stopped seeing red, descends on an isolated estate, where he proceeds to "work out his repressed emotions and meaningfully express himself" by exterminating its inhabitants for his own sadistic sexual self-gratification; all the while, treating us to reminiscences of his childhood torment and systematically laying out all of the fantasies he'd like to make reality; it's all heartwarming stuff really. Of course, I'm being facetious; this is a rough film to get through, the first two murders are actually unintentionally funny in my opinion but things take an abrupt and stark turn for the decidedly disagreeable with the killing of the daughter which is hard to watch, even for this jaded misanthrope. The film is masterfully composed and seamlessly shot with nary a nick in the narrative. Complimenting the camera work, Klaus Schulze's synthesizer soundtrack sends symphonic shivers scurrying up my spine, giving the impression these psychopathic sounds are driving the annihilative actions of the antagonist. Clearly auguring later "extreme" movies from western neighbors France, this film also really deserves to be mentioned alongside superlative cinematic treatments of stateside slaughterers such as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, though for my money, Angst is infinitely more artful and hermetically unparalleled.

Schramm (1993)
Coming two decades after Tenderness of the Wolves, a decade after the aforementioned Angst and six years after his notoriously nasty necrotic debut, Nekromantik, Teutonic auteur Jorg Buttgereit's sublimely surreal sadomasochistic sickie swansong character study collage of a sexually deviant serial killer's final seconds of survival is exactly what it's subtitle: Into the Mind of a Serial Killer suggests. Through a loose utilization of the reverse chronology technique, later popularized by the likes of Christopher Nolan, we witness the recondite recollections of one Lothar Schramm, the Lipstick Killer, as he lies sprawled out on the floor of his apartment in a pool of his own blood after cracking his skull open following a header off a ladder while painting over plasma stains in the parlor. What is great about Schramm is that it doesn't allow for any pop psychology answer to the perennially posited query, why? We are left with the patently pathetic personage of masturbating, penile mutilating Schramm himself; he was what he was because he was a loser, nothing more. That is the truly subversive substrate of this film, it's comment on it's own ilk.

Cold Light of Day (1989)
We now jump across the pond to Merry Olde for a little looksee at a lunatic Lustmord flick "For those too sensitive for this world" as the concluding tribute to the director's self-slaying friend states. The film is based on the escapades of "the British Jeffrey Dahmer", Dennis Nilsen and is shot in a queasy quasi cinema verité style, which adds inestimably to the grubby, grimy, grungy feeling of inhabiting Nilsen's flat, not to mention his life. Heads are boiled, bodies are stowed under floorboards and none are the wiser until Dennis formulates the fancy idea of flushing flesh down the loo. If I may be allowed a pun, that is when everything goes to shit; Nilsen is promptly arrested and confesses his misdeeds to his Albion accuser Inspector Simmons. As an aside and if I may be allowed one more pun, this film pairs well with the 1993 film, The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer starring Carl Crew as the eponymous Dahmer, which, while "fictionalized" sheds far more light on the character and motivations of it's subject and feels truer than 2002's Jeremy Renner vehicle, Dahmer.

Divine Providence: A Very Brief Tribute to H.P. Lovecraft and the Films Inspired by His Oeuvre:: By Ghastly1

I feel like being topical so I want to talk about H.P. Lovecraft, seeing as how his name every now and again is resurrected in the public consciousness and now is one such time, thanks to a stupid tv show- I'm looking at you Lovecraft Country. I am a confirmed Lovecraftophile. Not so much in the sense that I like his stories all that much; I've read his collected works and my estimation of them is that they are okay, with Cool Air being my favorite. But that is neither here nor there. No, instead what I mean to say is that I am more a fan of the man himself more so than his stories and for all the reasons he is reviled today. I have read a few biographies of 'ol Howard Phillips, including the aptly named H.P. Lovecraft: A Biography by L. Sprague DeCamp, H.P. Lovecraft: Against the World, Against Life by Michel Houellebecq and the fantastic and authoritative I Am Providence: The Life and Times of H.P. Lovecraft by S.T. Joshi and found myself practically reading about myself. But being that this is a film website, I won't bore you with book reports and irrelevant autobiographical information. There have been quite a few Lovecraft films made over the years, most of which are dreadful. However, Lovecraftian themes have been a huge influence on horror with Ridley Scott's Alien and John Carpenter's The Thing being two of the better and more famous examples. Then there are Re-Animator and From Beyond which are enjoyable films in their own right but have little to nothing to do with the original source material. What I'd like to do is briefly highlight a few of the better but lesser-known films either more or less directly adapted from his works or which draw inspiration from them.

The Resurrected (1991) Probably the most faithful adaptation of a Lovecraft story made thus far. Dan O'Bannon followed up Return of the Living Dead with this adaptation of The Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Chris Sarandon plays Charles Dexter Ward a chemical engineer, whom after digging up some long buried familial secrets involving an ancestor engaged in necromancy and alchemy, begins to exhibit strange behavior indicating said ancestor may be making a surprise comeback. 

Messiah of Evil (1973) Lovecraftian overtones abound in this one. From death cults in seaside towns worshipping anti-human gods to racial and cultural degeneration to forbidden knowledge about the underlying madness at the core of reality shattering the thin veneer of normality and stability we laughingly refer to as sanity, leading to mental collapse and subsequent institutionalization. This is an ominous and oneiric surreal gem of a film heavy on atmosphere that features some genuinely unsettling sequences which will stay with you.

Night Tide (1961)​In a somewhat similar vein as Messiah of Evil, Lovecraftian influence of the Shadow over Innsmouth variety can be detected in Night Tide, though not quite so overtly. In this fantastic little film, Dennis Hopper plays a sailor lately arrived in a degenerate seaside​ town who falls in love with a woman who may or may not be a fish creature. If that doesn't pique your interest, I don't know what will.  

Day of the Triffids (1962) is a zombie movie...hear me out. By Mickster

On a whim, I decided to watch Day of the Triffids on Tubi TV (it is also on Amazon Prime). I watched parts of it about 17 years ago, so I wanted to see all of it. As I watched, I noticed that film makers must have been inspired by this movie. Specifically, directors of the zombie genre were clearly inspired by this film. Take a look at how Day of the Triffids compares to some zombie movies and a zombie show.

1: When Bill Masen (Howard Keel) wakes up to take the bandages off his eyes (he had eye surgery that kept him from viewing the meteor shower the previous night), he stumbles upon a seemly empty hospital that looks as though it has been turned upside down. This immediately reminded me of 28 Days Later (2002) and The Walking Dead (2010). Jim (Cillian Murphy) and Rick (Andrew Lincoln) both wake up confused in seemingly empty hospitals unaware of the devastation that has occurred, while they were unconscious.

2: After people who viewed the comet go blind, society begins to quickly crumble. This mirrors practically every zombie movie/television show. People have as much to fear from each other as they do from the triffids or zombies. The train station scene where Bill Masen saves the little girl Susan (Janina Faye) from a man after the train crashes illustrates this idea. This is shown again when Bill finds a group of drunken convicts having their way with some blind women. He has to rescue Susan and Miss Durrant (Nicole Maurey) from this disturbing scene. In 28 Days Later (2002), Jim rescues Selena (Naomie Harris) and Hannah (Megan Burns) from the soldiers who lured them to their base under false pretenses. During season 4, episode 16 of The Walking Dead, Rick rips out a dude's (Jeff Kober) throat with his teeth to save Carl (Chandler Riggs), not from zombies, but from a group called the Claimers. One Claimer was about to go all Deliverance (1972) on Carl, so Rick had no choice, but to go rippy rippy with his teethy teethy.

3: Sound attracts triffids the way sound attracts zombies. When Bill discovers the connection between sound and triffids, he uses the music in an ice cream truck to draw the triffids away from his group. Sound has been utilized as a tool for distracting zombies. Dawn of the Dead's (1978) Peter (Ken Foree) and Roger (Scott Reinger) use the department store music to distract zombies, while they explore the Monroeville Mall for supplies. Shaun (Simon Pegg) makes noise and runs from zombies in front of The Winchester to save his friends in Shaun of the Dead (2004). Unfortunately, jukebox music attracts zombies to The Winchester later on in the film.

4: Smart people try to solve the problem. In Day of the Triffids, married biologists Tom (Kieron Moore) and Karen Goodwin (Janette Scott, from the Rocky Horror Picture Show lyrics) spend most of the movie trying to discover how to destroy the triffids. At the end of the movie, they discover that sea water kills them. With this knowledge, the world is saved from those pesky triffids. In Night of the Living Dead (1968), the reporter on TV shares how to destroy the zombies (a blow to the head), so the general public knows how to protect themselves. In Day of the Dead (1985), Dr. Logan (Richard Liberty) attempts to train zombies to be non aggressive by using positive reinforcement. Remember Bub (Sherman Howard)? The company, Zomcon, utilizes domestication collars to turn zombies into house servants in the black comedy Fido (2006).

I rest my case. Day of the Triffids is a zombie movie even though it doesn't have zombies.

Eclipse Special:: Ben Sher on The Watcher in the Woods (1980)

I was lying on my parents' bed alone watching TV on a babysitter night. It's funny how, especially when you're young, you don't know when a movie is suddenly going to emerge and weave itself forever into the fabric of your life. Of course there are direct parallels with falling in love. The scrolling TV listings on the Prevue Guide said that some channel—it must have been either channel 5 (TV38 out of Boston) or channel 9 (WWOR out of New York)--was showing The Watcher in the Woods with Bette Davis. "Oh," I thought to myself, "that's the actress I love from Wicked Stepmother." The only time anybody has uttered those words.

I flipped the channel and saw Bette, looking surprisingly unglamorous without the blonde bob that she wore in her late '80s swan song. She was showing a little girl a music box and saying "This belonged to my daughter. I gave it to her for her birthday." Could there be a more perfect moment to suck a five or six year old boy into a movie and change his life forever? I love music boxes in movies, and I immediately fell in love with Bette's character's living room, with its old-fashioned furniture and gothic knick-knacks. Bette's living room was emblematic of Watcher's tone, with which I also immediately fell in love: different from everything around me in my day-to-day life, comforting in its cozy darkness, eerie but relaxing. No other movie has ever made me feel the same particular brand of contentment, although the Disney TV movie Child of Glass from the same period tries.

Doesn't everybody know the story of The Watcher in the Woods? Carroll Baker and her famous musician husband move their daughters Jan (Lynn-Holly Johnson, who must have made a deal with the devil to make sure that this and Ice Castles played on the same networks on a loop throughout the '80s and early '90s) and Ellie (Kyle "Lindsaaaaaaaay! I need a robe!" Richards, who I gather eventually appeared on some obscure TV show) into a giant creepy mansion surrounded by woods. Bette Davis plays Mrs. Aylwood, the no-nonsense caretaker who lives in a cottage on the land, and has a weird fascination with Jan. "Are you kind?" she asks her the minute after she meets her, which is both weird and a really good question to ask new people. She's wise. Soon everything that I ever wanted to happen to me happens to Jan: She sees a mysterious light in the woods from her bedroom window while reading a paperback. She falls in love with a cute skinny '70s British boy. She finds a scary church in the woods. She encounters the ghost of a blindfolded blonde girl in a carnival funhouse. Meanwhile, Ellie becomes obsessed with the word Nerak, going so far as to give the name to her dog. Then she starts having visions and showing signs of possession! Jan becomes Nancy Drew, as all teen girls of the period did at some point. She is determined to find out the identity of the ghost girl in the mirror, and figure out why the woods glow. After she falls in a lake and Mrs. Aylwood saves her, she discovers that the ghost might be Mrs. Aylwood's daughter KA-REN. She went missing after a game gone wrong in said church, traumatizing all of her playmates who eventually grew up to be Jan's friends' parents. In 1980 doing something horrible to your childhood playmate and then getting punished by being in a horror movie when you grew up was very big.

It took me forever to see The Watcher in the Woods in its entirety because my TV viewings kept getting interrupted by issues like parents making me go to bed (I was lucky, I had a friend whose parents wouldn't let her watch it at all because they were Christian!). For some reason it never occurred to me to rent it. It seemed like a magical talisman that you had to stumble upon on a local network affiliate. Luckily, that happened constantly. So I ended up watching 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there, out of order. This weirdly worked for The Watcher in the Woods. I received the gift of walking in Jan's shoes, trying to solve the puzzle, beholden to chance. I remember once I was finally about to see the ending and find out what happened to KA-REN and my mother told me we had to go to her friend's house. I was livid, and as soon as we got there I said "YOU MUST SHOW ME TO YOUR TV IMMEDIATELY I NEED TO FINISH WATCHING SOMETHING! HURRY!" The ending did not disappoint. I think that the theatrical ending—where Karen's grown playmates can only bring Karen back by re-enacting their trauma and owning what they did during a total eclipse of the sun—is somehow more satisfying, evocative, and profound than the film's notorious alternate endings, where we see a gigantic grasshopper creature carrying Jan to The Other Side to rescue Karen from permanent limbo (that's still a kind of brilliant ending, too, and it's interesting how much Watcher foresees Poltergeist). The opening credits of Watcher were the last part of it I ever saw, and it was a huge deal for me. Finally, I knew everything.

Disney (and Watcher's filmmakers, director John Hough, writer Brian Clemens, cinematographer Alan Hume, musician Stanley Myers, and art director Alan Cassie) did something so kind by showing kids that that which is mysterious and scary can also be fun. They did us a favor by suggesting that the unknown could be exciting. I saw this movie shortly before I learned that in life safety is not guaranteed. Since then, I have been consistently amazed at how scary the world can be, how it can surprise you in the worst ways, and how the fear that it generates has absolutely nothing to do with the joy of horror movies. I am frequently disappointed by how much the dread of life's unknown future has nothing to do with the tantalizing possibilities of the supernatural. These days I often feel like Phyllis in Last House on the Left (one of the horror movies that most perfectly captures the feeling of real world, pleasure-less terror) running into Krug's machete right before she escapes from very different woods onto the highway. Given the social context that Last House was responding to, perhaps it makes sense that it resonates so much now. In this moment more than ever, I'd much rather be in the woods with Jan and Ellie, experiencing Watcher's masterful ability to keep you scared and safe at the same time.

That said, there's some seriously scary shit in The Watcher in the Woods. I consider Bette Davis to be a friend, guardian angel, and advisor in times of trouble, but damn that scene where the viewer takes on Lynn-Holly Johnson's point of view as she's drowning in the lake and Bette starts pushing her further down with a giant stick is chilling. She's trying to save her, but we don't know that! For years I would sometimes see that image and get spooked when I closed my eyes before bed. And then there's the narrative that you don't see in the theatrical version of The Watcher in the Woods: What happened to Karen before she was saved. I realize now that Watcher's horror is only safe if you align yourself with Jan and Ellie, as the filmmakers intended. When I was young, and knew less, it never occurred to me to align myself with Karen. But now I think about her, trapped in some other dimension beyond the realm of where she ever thought it was possible to go, separated from her loved ones, forced to rely on strangers to save her yet barely able to communicate with them. I wonder if maybe Watcher's scares are more adult than I realized.

-Ben Sher

40 Non-Horror Movies For Horror Fans

Man does not live on bread alone and horror fans needn't live on horror films alone. In fact, the Surgeon General has stated that watching non-horror movies may actually enhance a horror fan's appreciation for horror. That is why Kindertrauma's Unk has teamed up with Cinema Du Meep's Meep to bring you this here post of 40 Non-Horror Movies For Horror Fans. Let's start with Meep's picks as he is our very special guest!

ADAM (1983)

Television Movies aren't often thought of as powerful and haunting, but I'd attribute ADAM as one of the Movies that fucked my head up so much as a kid. They also released another kid goes missing flick WITHOUT A TRACE the very same year! I'm a parent now, and absolutely terrified I'd lose my kid in a similar fashion as ADAM. I also don't want to turn into the guy who became the host of America's Most Wanted. I want to pretend life is A-OK and stuff like this doesn't happen on a regular basis. Real life is the scariest of all. Also, Jobeth Williams is the 80's mom to us all.


Star Clint Eastwood and Director Don Siegel are mostly known for their Action outings together (COOGAN'S BLUFF, DIRTY HARRY, ESCAPE FROM ALCATRAZ etc), but they also managed to squeeze in the tale of a Union soldier caught in the world of possibly cuckoo young Confederate women. Horror fans may be creeped out by the Film's atmosphere and claustrophobic nature. Or the fact that a bunch of women together in a room almost always leads to some form of sheer terror!


Former Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis has made all kinds of Films since her initial Slasher run of the late 70's and early 80's, but she managed to shift her persona and still turn in another female in jeopardy performance. This time with a great twist. Blue Steel is one of the best Action/Thrillers of the 90's but it's also a great feminist Film. STEEL was Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, who has finally found footing in Hollywood and respect from her peers over the last few years with prestige Films like THE HURT LOCKER and ZERO DARK THIRTY. Horror fans aren't likely looking for a feminist take on a "Fill in the blank from hell" kind of Movie, but they will get the thrills they are looking for, familiar Horror tropes and the ever amazing Jamie Lee.


Two small town guys decide to pick up and go to Los Angeles after their peers graduate and then pile up a series of crimes and murder behind them. BOYS is mostly labeled and thought of as a Crime Thriller, but for me it's always been one of the scariest portraits of youth gone wrong. It opens with factoids about more well known serial killers, preparing its audience for what may follow, and that opener always scared the hell out of me as a kid. It's still effective. Director Penelope Spheeris is now best known for WAYNE'S WORLD, but she always had her finger on the pulse of what was going on in the culture, and in this case, what was creeping around, waiting to strike. Maxwell Caulfield (GREASE 2) will forever be dreamy, but he's totally frightening here.


The true story of Ruth Ellis, the last woman to be hanged in Britain during the 1950's, DANCE WITH A STRANGER is the story of obsession taken pretty far. Though it's ostensibly a British drama, this Film always had a positively haunting effect on me. A lot of that can be contributed to the performances of Miranda Richardson and a young Rupert Everett. Miranda especially gives a go-for-broke performance that alternates between being scary and sympathetic. She's a pre-Alex Forrest from FATAL ATTRACTION, but grounded in bit more realism. And definitely british!


James Spader has always been a favorite actor of mine, and here he plays a guy who falls for the wrong woman (played by Mädchen Amick). Though it's a Thriller, Horror fans may enjoy some of the nightmarish images Director Nicolas Kazan comes up with. Kazan, offspring of Elia, is mostly known as a Screenwriter and Playwright, and this Film has proved to be his last to-date Directorial effort, but he shows a real flair for creating a mood and vibe. You, along with Spader are seduced by Amick... not to mention her obsessive love of pearls... and then you are taken for a ride into the carnival the Filmmaker cooks up.

FOUL PLAY (1978)

And... I'm... ready to take a chance again... Ready to put my love on the line with you... So, yeah, in a way, Horror fans may already be terrified by the thought of a Barry Manilow song over the credits, but there it is. I'm personally a big fan of Barry as well as this Film. Sometimes the best kinds of Movies come from unexpected places and I would certainly count FOUL PLAY as one of the most random Movies ever. This one throws everything at you, and done in a very skilled and playful style. Horror fans will definitely enjoy the nods to Hitchcock and more surprises I won't spoil here.


Ah, The Independent Cinema movement of the late 80's and early to mid 90's is something I really miss these days. This Canadian effort really came out during the height of it all. What Horror fans don't know is that in addition to being a quirky Comedy & Drama, it's also a Movie about a string of murders with a serial killer lurking around Montreal. I guess the title should have given it away to me when I first saw this at the Angelika Cinema in New York City when it came out, but I was sure surprised. It's fun to watch Movies juggle a tone so much. Very few can pull it off so well like this.


The poster for MIRACLE MILE has a critical quote on it that tells you to be prepared to be blasted into the back of the Theater. And yes, MIRACLE does that in it's own way. This is a story of an ordinary guy (Anthony Edwards) who looks for the girl (Mare Winningham, sporting the worst haircut I've seen on an 80's chick) he had a really good first date with, on what he believes will be the last night of existence since a nuclear missile is headed their way. This Movie really will do a number of you and will likely crack the most cynical of people and break your shit down. I'm still not sure if I ever recovered. Those of us who lived under the threat of an impending nuclear strike throughout our childhoods are probably forever messed up anyway.

I love Teen Comedies a great deal and I even love the ones that seem to be either hated by critics or the ones that have been run over by time. MORGAN STEWART is a standout for me not only because it's good hearted and fun in a light 80's sort of way, but it's central character is Horror Movie obsessed. Of course you have to see it. You, like Morgan, have posters of your favorite Horror Movies, likely collect Movie artifacts and would totally jump at the chance to see George Romero at the local mall if he was signing a book. Morgan also meets cute with a girl on the line to see Mr. Romero, and then takes her out on a date to see a midnight show of ATTACK OF THE KILLER TOMATOES. Isn't that the most adorable thing ever?

RIVALS (1972)

The bonds between mother and son are sometimes very powerful, and this Movie from the early 70's fully realizes that and goes to some pretty dark places. Ethereal Joan Hackett and Scott Jacoby (BAD RONALD) play mother and son, and Robert Klein is the boyfriend who gets in between their eternal bond. The jazzy score also ratchets up the tension as things spiral out of control later in the Film.

SAFE (1995)

Julianne Moore is an 80's housewife (she aerobicizes to Madonna!) who comes down with an unexplained illness and increasingly gets more and more sick. Todd Haynes' Film skillfully doesn't offer any clear cut answers but instead pits you into this woman's world and you feel as hopeless as she does as things grow worse for her. Sometimes terror comes not from a masked maniac or a creature from beyond but from the world we industrialized around us, the things we can't see and god knows what else. You are anything but safe even if you think you are. The thought of what might be out there is sending chills down my spine right now.


This is the Movie that made me Cajun-phobic. Is that a real thing? Seriously I am. Thanks Walter Hill. Thanks a lot. I know you produced ALIEN and did some great Films, but this one scares me more than most Horror Films. I mean it. And Scream Factory put it out on blu-ray recently. See it!

STAR 80 (1983)

Dorothy Stratten was a playmate, an actress and a gentle soul who unfortunately had the worst of luck. She fell in love with absolutely the wrong man. Paul Snider> was a jealous person who controlled Ms. Stratten, and couldn't deal with her success and the love and lust everyone seemed to have for her. Her story ends tragically as most of us know, and Bob Fosse's Film really digs deep into their story, especially it's tragedy (he even shot in the same house where the murder-suicide took place), and you are front and center for it. I honestly can't think of many people as scary as Eric Roberts portrayal of Mr. Snider.


Freewheelin' and fun Teen Comedies are a staple of my youth and those of us who enjoy them know that SUMMER SCHOOL is one of the very best of it's kind. What it also has is the characters of Chainsaw & Dave, who, like some of us, are also Horror Movie fanatics and like to live out some of their Favorite Movies with gory special effects and goo. Now this is the best possible way to study and learn, right? I so wanted to go to a High School where THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE is played in class. Why couldn't I have been as lucky? Even if it meant I had to go to Summer School it would have been worth it. The special efforts gore in this Movie are top notch and are on par with the best Slashers of it's time.

3 WOMEN (1977) & IMAGES (1972)

Robert Altman isn't really known as a director of Horror, but he came as close to them as possible with 3 WOMAN and IMAGES from 1972. Both Films have a mood and vibe that are very much in the Horror vein, and you're not quite sure what is going to happen in either. I find myself spellbound when I watch both and Horror fans may be satisfied with that and also get exposed to the unique and very distinct Altman touch. IMAGES also has a great eerie score by John Williams.

ZAPPED! (1982)
Scott Baio is pretty much the boy version of CARRIE in this lighthearted and THC-enhanced homage to the De Palma Film, but here with a complete PORKY'S aesthetic. I always go back to ZAPPED! because I get all that Telekinesis fun and I don't have to be worry about being bummed out that it's central character dies tragically after all the Prom mania. Plus the scene where Scott Baio frightens his religious mom with moving his creepy ventriloquist dummy (perhaps a nod to MAGIC?) with his mind is worth the price of admission alone.

Unk Sez: Thank's Meep! Those are all great choices and now I've got plenty of homework to do. Folks make sure you visit Meep HERE and "Like" the Cinema Du Meep Facebook HERE for plenty more cool stuff!

All right, now here come my picks:

In Cold Blood (1967)

Richard Brooks takes on Truman Capote's groundbreaking true crime bestseller and the result is a challenging and unforgettable viewing experience. Somehow both hyper-realistic (many of the actual real life locations were used) and sublimely poetic (the cinematography astounds), In Cold Blood may be shot in black and white but its presentation of real life horror is anything but. As uneasy as it may make the viewer, In Cold Blood dares us to accept the humanity of two killers (Lost Highway's Robert Blake & The Walking Dead's Scott Wilson- both remarkable) before exposing us to their inhuman acts against an unsuspecting family.

The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

What's more horrifying than a couple dozen camp counselors being hacked to pieces? I'd say a full school bus of children sliding onto a frozen lake, smashing through the ice and slowly submerging towards certain death. Atom Egoyan's adaptation of Russel Bank's novel of the same name explores a town's grieving process after loosing nearly every child in their population to such an unthinkable tragedy. Alien's Ian Holm is impeccable and Dawn of the Dead (2004) star Sarah Polley's reading of the tale of the pied piper ensures that you will never think of it in the same way again.

Shadows and Fog (1991)

Woody Allen's love letter to German Expressionist filmmakers like F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu) is as nightmarishly paranoid as it is visually stunning. Any horror fan worth their salt should feel right at home amidst the moody black and white cinematography but if by any chance they should happen to miss their comfort zone Donald Pleasance (Halloween), Kathy Bates (Misery) and Jodie Foster (Silence of the Lambs) appear as familiar markers in the mist.

Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977)

Diane Keaton plays a teacher of deaf children who explores singles bars and brings home a final scene so disturbing it puts many a horror movie's finale to shame.

The Rapture (1991)

Sharon (Mimi Rogers) wonders if anything can be worse than working in a cubicle by day and engaging in empty sex at night. She then discovers religion and realizes the answer is YES! Prepare to go where no movie has gone before and to endure an unfathomable act as she travels from following blindly to demanding answers from the big guy upstairs.

Death Becomes Her (1992)

It would be easy for horror fans to dismiss this flick thanks to its baggage laden stars or be put off by the campy comedy that abounds but this morality tale concerning the lengths some might go to retain their youth is rather like a cautionary DC comic book come to vibrant life. Director Robert Zemeckis had a big hand in the success of HBO's Tales From the Crypt and in spirit, Death Becomes Her feels much more like a Tales From the Crypt movie than any actual existing Tales From the Crypt movie. Cinematography provided by some guy named Dean Cundey.

The Piano Teacher (2001)

In many cases life's most insidious horrors don't come from an external nemesis but from within. Isabelle Hubbert stars as a repressed teacher who becomes entangled with a student, yet can only seem to express herself through masochism and covertly destroying those she feels threatened by. Masterful Austrian director Michael Haneke guides Hubbert through a dark spellbinding performance.

Sybil (1976)

Don't worry about Sybil, as far as mentally ill protagonists go, she's a sympathetic sweetheart whose biggest fault is a tendency to break windows and inappropriately wade in park fountains. Her mother, on the other hand, makes Norma Bates look like June Cleaver after a relaxing Calgon bath. Viewers may be tempted to ease their mortified psyches with the knowledge that the authenticity of the events depicted in Sybil are up for debate. Don't rest your head too soundly though as there is absolutely no debate on whether sadistically deranged and abusive parents exist. Accurate or not, this is a deep dark dive and a reminder not to judge a person's strength by their outward behavior, as you never know what they've endured.

After Hours (1985)

Martin Scorsese's inescapable Kafka-esque nightmare is funny as hell but constantly hits creepily uncanny nerves that can't be denied. It's inclusion of the song "Is That All There Is?" perfectly encapsulates the surreal nature of the film and the harsh truth that into each life a little rain (and horror) must fall.

Straw Dogs (1971)

Director Sam Peckinpah uses a shotgun to blast a portrait of violence in its most raw and befouling form and the result is fifty shades of ugly and fittingly as difficult to look at, as it is to look away from. Expect no mollifying answers or cathartic victory laps here, there's no path out of this briar patch that won't leave you shredded.

Jane Eyre (1943)

There are exactly a zillion cinematic adaptations of Charlotte Bronte's 1847 novel and exactly zero of them will ever reach the creepy gothic heights of the lusciously black and white 1943 version directed by Robert Stevenson. Is there some kind of romance going on here? I don't care; I just want to know what's behind that door!

Far From Home (1998)

Let us never forget that Drew Barrymore's short-lived "bad girl" film cycle was perhaps only a prison flick away from rivaling Linda Blair's. Myopic horror fans can grouse as much as they want about that, it's true just the same. Far From Home is one of my favorite Bad Drew flicks as it finds our young, lisping lush stalked in a desert trailer park that is also home to the likes of Susan (Night Warning) Tyrell and Jennifer (Bride of Chucky) Tilly. If that's not enough, Dick Miller plays the local sheriff and horror favorite Tommy Lee Wallace's name is on the screenplay.

The Impossible (2012)

Has it been a long time since you've seen a horror movie that made you gasp, wince, grit your teeth, shudder and hide your eyes? Well, maybe you're looking in the wrong place. In this film, based on a true story, Mother Nature makes every horror villain you've ever known look like fluffy pink bunny handing out Valentines. Think your favorite final girl has got spunk and an admirable will to survive? Check out Noami Watts Oscar-nominated performance here and honestly ask yourself if you'd rather try to outrun a maniac or a tsunami.

Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone (1983)

Horror and science fiction have always made compatible bedfellows but allow me to especially sing the praises of this once 3-D actioner as a good bet for those who enjoy squishy, eighties-style make up effects. You'll find blobby monsters, mutant children, slimy serpents and even mermaids in the offbeat world visited within this fun flick and all created by the underrated genius Tom Burman (My Bloody Valentine, Happy Birthday to Me, The Beast Within, Cat People, etc.). Director Lamont Johnson (You'll like my Mother, Lipstick) finds two appealing leads in Peter Straus and a pre-Sixteen Candles Molly Ringwald and who can ask for a better cyborg heavy than Scanners' Michael Ironside?

Fearless (1993)

I hope this movie is as good as I remember it. The fact is I can never watch it again as it nearly destroyed my ability to travel by plane. I do recall though, that besides featuring the most unbearable plane crash imaginable, "Fearless" does this wonderful thing where it leaves you appreciating life itself. I recommend this picture to horror fans because as corny as it may sound, without a viewer's simple understanding of the value of human life, I don't believe any horror film can run at full capacity.

The Wall (1982)

Pink Floyd wasn't crazy about director Alan Parker's treatment of their album The Wall and Parker apparently was right on the same page in being disappointed. Who knows how far it missed the mark in the eyes of the artists who brought it to life and, more importantly, who cares? The fact remains that this movie is one of a kind and produces a mix of feelings unlike any film ever made. It's a cinematic sausage stuffed with traumas that can't be quieted and negative emotions that can never be righted and a big swirling spell of self-destructive corrosive mojo. It's sad, it's beautiful, it's somehow both depressing and riling and it's profound monumental horror art.

Smooth Talk (1985)

Based on the haunting Joyce Carol Oates short story "Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?" Smooth Talk begins like your typical After School Special concerning teens testing boundaries and getting giddy over small-scale rebellions. A pre-David Lynch muse Laura Dern plays 15-year-old Connie who feels trapped by the limitations set by her family and fearful of ending up like her demure older sister June (The Funhouse's Elizabeth Berridge). Connie begins a flirtation with an older man named Arnold Friend (Treat Williams) and one day, while her family is out, he comes to her house to pay a visit. Things get very surreal, very disturbing and very ambiguous very fast. Sometimes you only need a few well-placed words to chill.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)

You won't find any scares in this mildly spooky romantic fantasy but if you are a fan of ghost and haunted house tales, you're bound to enjoy its atmosphere and point of view anyway. Personally I am tempted to keep my DVD copy in the medicine cabinet as it has proven over the years to cure any and all ailments.

Hardcore (1979)

The Changeling's George C. Scott stars as a father whose brain rightfully explodes when the search for his missing daughter leads him to find her enmeshed in the seedy underworld of pornography. Written and directed by the always-interesting Paul Schrader, HARDCORE reminds that some of the worst horrors that the world has to offer involve the damage inflicted upon those we love rather than ourselves.

The Tin Drum (1979)

Based on the book by Gunter Grass, The Tin Drum tells the story of a creepy kid named Oskar who, in protest to the insanity of the world, throws himself down a staircase and miraculously stops himself from aging. He's also very fond of his disruptive toy drum and has the useful ability to shatter glass with his high-pitched scream. He's basically the Kindertrauma poster child. I originally caught this flick on PBS as a teen and it shook me like a baby rattle and permanently turned me off eating eels collected from decapitated horse heads washed up on the beach.

Spirit of the Beehive (1973)

In this Spanish language film a young girl watches James Whale's Frankenstein and her life is forever changed. What horror fan can't relate?

Dreamchild (1985)

It is doubtful anyone will ever trump the incredible and certainly horrific depiction of the fantastic denizens of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland provided here by frequent kindertrauma culprit Jim Henson.

Happy Campers (2001)

A Friday the 13th movie sans multiple murders? It shouldn't exist but it does. As I quoted in this semi recent REVIEW "Who needs a serial psycho when we have ourselves?" Exactly.

And that's where we better stop. I keep thinking of other flicks and with each one I have to make another Sophie's Choice. Dagnabbit, Sophie's Choice (1982) is another one! Thanks again to the great and powerful Meep! Critters and kids, do you have a favorite non-horror flick that you think horror fans could dig? Leave your picks in the comments section! We want to hear them all!

Kindertrauma Interview:: Paul "T.J." Kelman of the Horror Classic "My Bloody Valentine" (1981)

my bloody valentine

KINDERTRAUMA: What is the first movie that ever scared you?

PAUL KELMAN: Ha! Good one! It was "Curse of Frankenstein," 1957 Hammer Films with Peter Cushing playing the Doctor! I was around 8 or 9 years old. It was my first horror movie! My Father took me and I spent most of the time slumped down below the seat in front of me, peeking up every little while! It really terrified me! I had dreams about it for days after. The Monster was so horrible looking! I can still remember how scared I was.

Since then I've seen the original, Boris Karloff, Frankenstein of 1931 by Universal, and the subsequent ones he did and other versions as well. Then I read the book by Mary Shelley! I've always been intrigued and fascinated with the "Monster" or "Creature" as he is called in the book. And after reading it, Frankenstein became one of my heroes! In the book he is intelligent and sensitive and speaks eloquently about his plight. But he is consumed with the grief and anger from not being accepted by humanity and most of all by his 'father', his 'creator', Dr. Frankenstein. His feelings eventually drive him mad. He realizes he is hated, useless, without roots, without family, an "abomination", a "monster." He is without a father, without God, without love. He is lost.

It's the story of each of us looking for meaning and our purpose in this life, and our common humanity. Without these fundamental needs being fulfilled and realized, we become like a monster to ourselves and to others. That's the story Mary Shelley wrote. That is Frankenstein. It's a great book, a great story. And it's spawned some wonderful horror films!

KT: What is the last film that scared you?

PK: Well I don't get 'scared' anymore! (laughing) Having done films I look at special effects and CGI. I see the artifice. I was also in the virtual reality industry for around a decade, so I have a good grounding as to what can be done with computer generated reality, especially in three dimensions. But I still get excited and allow myself to be taken in, especially if it's well done.

I don't get scared, too old for that. But I do get 'spooked' sometimes! I like films that spook me! Even if they're a little raw as a finished product. It's how a film uses your imagination in concert with a new or macabre concept that achieves that. Recently I saw a macabre psychological and gory vision in a film called, American Mary (2012, Canadian) starring Katharine Isabelle and written and directed by The Soska Sisters!

It's a pretty wild film centering on a young female student surgeon who stumbles into a career in illegal "body modifications." Macabre and strangely engrossing. Liked it! It had a spookiness about it because of what was behind this girl's motivation. Her obsession with it just kept growing out of control. The film was a little choppy and inconsistent but I thought it was very good despite that.

KT: What is your fondest memory from working on MY BLOODY VALENTINE?

PK: I think it was when we got to hang out with real miners and they took us down to the "Face" in a real working mine at Glace Bay in Nova Scotia, an Island Province in the East coast of Canada. We were crouched down in this low tunnel only about twelve feet wide and five feet high. A tight fit. The Giant Drill bit took up five feet in width! We stood along side it as it drilled into the Face, black coal dust flying into our goggled faces! One miner hosing tons of water on the bit to cool it down! The noise was deafening and one wrong move and the massive Drill blades would shred you! Talk about a dangerous job! Some of these guys had been miners for thirty years! Most had sons who also worked the mine. The work was passed down through generations.

I learned to respect these men. They were crazy brave and they felt they were doing a service to people by mining coal which heated homes and provided energy. Nowadays we look at coal as an outdated mode of energy and a hazard to mankind. Anyway, the point being is it gave me and the other actors a real sense of what it was to be a miner so we could play one. The camaraderie, how they watched each other's backs, the importance of family and the honor code of a miner all served to inform our roles in the movie. I like to think of them as, "Coal Cowboys"!

The other thing that I remember most is the talent, energy and commitment of the cast! It was like working with an ensemble. There was this raw almost amateur enthusiasm to make every scene work! There were some real pros like Don Francks (Sheriff Newby), Patricia Hamilton (Mabel) and Jack Van Evera (Happy).

Then there were Keith Knight (Hollis), Alf Humphries (Howard) and I as "T.J.", who'd worked together before in another Paramount release, GAS, which was a crazy comedy. But we'd only done a few films. The rest of the cast had done a little film work at best. So it was quite the mix. Yet everyone, once they got on the set, became pros with equal talent, dedication and devotion to their work! That was special and I think it showed in the final film and is part of what makes the film different from other horror/slasher films especially in the 1980's! The characters had genuineness about them and the audience could relate and care about them! I do think it's a major part in what has made the film last this long.

KT: What is your least favorite memory from working on MY BLOODY VALENTINE?

PK: Well, there wasn't anything specific. I can say though that it was a tough shoot. We shot the whole film in about seven weeks, which was ambitious for a rather complex shoot. For me there were a lot of action scenes like the fight with shovel vs. pickaxe between "TJ" and "Axel" (Neil Affleck) especially difficult on a speeding rail car! And having a mine ceiling cave on our heads, "Sarah"(Lori Hallier) and I. And then all of us climbing a vertical steel ladder slippery with mine grease and flowing water! Really the most challenging was just the fact that we were shooting in a mine in the first place. Riding open air wooden mine cars barreling down a mine shaft at what felt like 40 mph in the pitch dark with only our head lamps for light isn't for the faint of heart!

Even though it was no longer a working mine it still was a real mine! You see, if gases build up from the various compounds in the rock they can be toxic and if ignited by a heat source like a hot movie lamp — kaboom! We only had to evacuate once due to gas build up. But when you're six-hundred feet down and below the ocean because it's a coastal mine, and your only exit is the "Cage" (the mine shaft elevator) it takes a long time to get everyone out to safety! (Laughing)

Oh! I do have a 'least favorite memory'! I just remembered! Some of us were cigarette smokers at the time, I've since stopped smoking, and being in a mine the only thing we could do, so as not to blow up the place was — chew tobacco! Just like real miners do! "Redman Chewing Tobacco"! Now chewing that black gunk can be dangerous because if you so much as swallow some of the goo in your mouth, you are going to get real sick and puke your guts out! That's why you're always spitting black viscous gobs everywhere! Real manly stuff! I actually liked the taste after a while but spitting black all the time was, well, disgusting. Good for the character though! It was an added touch of realism!

KT: MY BLOODY VALENTINE is now considered to be one of the best slasher films of its era. Many of us are shocked that there was never a sequel. If you were approached either back then or now to reprise your role as T.J., would you accept the offer?

PK: You're kidding right? Of course I'd do it! But I never thought by any stretch of the imagination that the work I did in that movie was special or even good. I can say it was an 'honest' performance but nowhere near what I could bring to a role now as an actor. It's been thirty-three years after all. I've walked a few miles since then. I'd be lying if I said that I ever expected MBV81 would become a 'Cult Horror Classic'! I'd really all but forgot about it until a year or so ago. We did have a special screening with the cast at a theatre in Toronto a few years back and the place was packed. But I figured it was a one-time deal. Then about a year ago it started with a few fans finding me on Facebook.

Over that time my Page has developed a constituency of MBV81 Fans! They seem to be from all over the globe young and old! At first I was amused, then surprised and bemused and then something happened. They started talking about what they thought about the film, about me and the horror genre. I realized it really meant something to them and they humbled me with their sincerity and their generosity! They taught me the value of the film and even my work in it! And they showed me how to really value and care about them as an audience and as individuals. It' been a wonderful experience getting to know them and to share all this with them. And now there are hundreds of fans on the Page and steadily growing! It's 'public' so anyone who wants to can join. They only need send me a "Friend Request" and I'll confirm.

So here I am at age 64, thirty-three years after the fact, a small "c" celebrity because of MBV81. It's amazing how much I've learned from the fans about the movie and the genre. I've always loved horror and sci-fi but they, the fans, have turned it into a passion. I've always geeked out with action figures from movies and TV,cartoons and even have stuffed animals. I have Fankenstein, Godzilla, Alien and Spiderman as well as Star Trek figures — big Star Trek Fan! I have a 'Cat in the Hat', Popeye and Olive, several Betty Boops and even a 4ft high stuffed Mickey Mouse! "They're my friends!" (from 'Blade Runner').

To get back to your question. You mentioned "Sequel." So many people ask me why there's not been a sequel? I can't answer that. But what I can say is that in this life, I'm a writer. And I know some pretty talented fans that can write. And I've been gathering ideas from the fan base asking them what they think they want to see in a sequel! So I wouldn't be surprised that in the coming year . . .

KT: Thanks Paul, It's an honor!

PK: Anytime. My pleasure entirely!

A Grand Daddy Traumafession:: Michael Bennett, Ph.D ("Doctor Future") on "A Short Vision" (1956)

I have particularly been fascinated by traumatic media products from the Cold War era, particularly those which traumatized entire generations of Baby Boom youngsters with warnings of imminent death – often traumatizing their parents as well. Just yesterday I first came aware of such a film on a small-time digital television channel – the 1963 film "Ladybug, Ladybug" about the heart-rending choices made by some school teachers and the children when they think an atomic attack is imminent. I was unaware of this amazing and influential film of its era, which evidently traumatized a whole generation of viewers.

I mentioned this film to a former boss of mine, who grew up during the peak of the Cold War, and in turn he recounted to me another such seminal event which amazingly had slipped through my awareness, but not from his generation, even after 58 years.
It all surrounded a little harmless 6 minute short film, shown to 50 million or so viewers by no less than Ed Sullivan. On May 27, 1956, he decided to show his vast live audience an animated film produced by a British husband and wife, entitled "A Short Vision", to show the futility of war, and in particular to commemorate the dropping of the first H-Bomb by American warplanes a week earlier. Given that the subject matter for his show normally entailed acrobats and men spinning plates on poles, this insertion at the end of the show truly came from left field. After a very mild warning to the viewing audience that suggested that they send the children out of the room, he aired the animated film to a stunned studio audience, and television audience nationwide...

The music and images, and even droll British narrative truly create a brief nightmare scenario, where even animal predators and their prey suddenly flee together to hide from the menace overhead they now sense. Audiences in 1956 could not have been prepared to see Caucasian people, overnight in their sleepy town, awakening to have their eyes and faces melt in the glow of a thermonuclear blast, as life on earth is quickly extinguished. Obviously, this created a sensation in the papers the next day, as they described the "shocking" film Sullivan had unleashed on the public. The outcry was so massive, that Sullivan aired the movie a second time, two weeks later, but with a more stringent warning for young people. However, by various means, many young people did glimpse it, and evidently were never the same afterwards.

My boss, 58 years later, remembers being sent to his room by his parents when it was being aired, but heard the film's audio through his bedroom wall – a memory still vivid in his mind. Others were not so lucky. One blog page (HERE) devoted to the movie notes one responder at the site who not only viewed the traumatic piece, but had met another baby boomer who as a child had watched A SHORT VISION alone when it aired, and it was medically determined that his hair began to permanently turn white in response to fright from seeing it. Now I call that a traumafession!

I am curious to know how many more of these long-forgotten productions that suggested the imminent nuclear destruction of earth and had imprinted upon a generation are still waiting to be discovered. I caught the tail end of such movies before the collapse of the USSR, when my church youth group left the Sunday night service to watch the well-publicized national airing of "The Day After" in 1983, resulting in our stunned silence, as well as the subsequent discussion shows on air concerning nuclear destruction, featuring commentary by "concerned parents" and other figures (ABC even ran 1-800 numbers then for viewers to call in and talk to counselors, as well as books people could get on nuclear war; even Mr. Rogers had a series of shows on nuclear war afterwards, to help calm youngsters). Later in 1987, another miniseries "Amerika" was run, where the United States had been overtaken by the USSR, prompting yet more citizen-led discussion groups – also, I vaguely recollect, leading David Letterman the next evening to hold citizen-led discussion groups concerning the other movie shown during the "Amerika" time slot that night – "The Facts of Life Down Under".

Do any of you recollect other "end of the world", nuclear holocaust movies or shows that caused sleepless nights for you, or your parents?

My Night Gallery Traumafession By Senski

This Traumafession is likely to go on a bit, guys; please indulge me.

I was born in 1962, too young to be a fan of Rod Serling's Twilight Zone. Since I was raised in a small town, and in the era before cable, I was severely limited by what I could see in syndication; for almost two decades that television institution that was TZ eluded me, and I would not see my first episode until I was almost 20. However, I was a regular reader of Gold Key's entertaining TZ comic book - a title I began collecting when I was five. Through its illustrated pages I discovered that every tale was presented by a dapper man named Rod Serling, much in the same way that horror comics were graced by hosts in prior decades. Was he a writer? Director? Actor? I did not really know, but I knew he was associated with all things eerie and fantastical, and that made him a kindred spirit to me.

Then one day in 1969 I was flipping through the pages of a TV Guide - how exciting it was to see what entertainments lay in store for the week ahead! - and there, eight days after Halloween, was a highlighted box promoting a new TV movie named Night Gallery - hosted by Rod Serling! Missing it was unthinkable. I can still remember being curled up on the end of our old green sofa, pillow at the ready to stick in front of my face. The gentleman on the screen looked a little older than the one drawn in the comics; the hair a bit more modern, the skin more lined and leathery, but it was him. And with a voice like he possessed, how could he present anything BUT the weird and wonderful? The first tale,"The Cemetery," was simply the most frightening thing I had seen in my life up to that point. I stayed awake for "Eyes" but had to be trundled off to bed by the end of "The Escape Route;" I was slipping in and out of sleep.

But I knew this: I was mesmerized. And my devotion to Mr Serling began in earnest on November 8, 1969.

When NG returned to NBC's schedule in 1970 as part of the "Four-in-One" concept with a mere six episodes, I was ready, and far better at fending off sleep till the end of an episode. For the next three years, NG would become perhaps the greatest pop cultural touchstone in my life. My friends and I would reenact episodes on the playground, quote lines from Serling's intros (The Doll: "...and this one you'd best not play with"), and I, little nerd that I was, always got to play Television Horror Anthology Host. When we had to write plays for a 4th Grade class, I wrote a NG episode about a demonic hotel guest who refused to check out - and the painting was a Crayola masterwork of said demon hovering over the Planet Earth. I looked up the stories by the authors featured on the show, beginning a love for short supernatural fiction that has remained undimmed by time. I can point to incidents in my life that occurred on evenings dedicated to viewing NG, so transfixed are those moments in the mind's eye. In fact, as I type this, I am sitting beneath a print of Tom Wright's painting for "She'll Be Company For You."

Night Gallery made me who I am. It defines Horror for me. I am unabashed in my love for the series (with the exception of the humorous vignettes). It genuinely grieves me to hear how Serling was mistreated during the series run and how he largely disowned the enterprise, but when it was good - and that was often - it was brilliant. And if, heaven forfend, there are any Kinderpals who are not familiar with NG, start with The Caterpillar, The Sins of the Fathers, Green Fingers, Certain Shadows on the Wall, The Class of ' many delights await.

But that is not the subject of this Traumafession.

At some point in the production of the series, Jack Laird filmed what we in the TV business would call B-roll (secondary footage) for inclusion. It consisted of a number of disembodied heads, dressed in black, and shot against a black backdrop; you can see some of these faces worked into the opening credits for the first and second seasons. But he also used a montage of these heads at the station break; the time for affiliates to sell local commercials. Backed up by a faster version of the main title theme, and obscured by the show's title, I found these faces to be terrifying. I could not watch as the music played, finally peeking when the piece had climaxed. At 9:30 every Wednesday night I was trained to look away. To the best of my knowledge, this footage has never been included as supplementary material on any of the NG DVD releases, and has been unseen by the public for decades...until now.

Freshly posted to YouTube just a little over a month ago, these "bumpers" are back. According to the poster, they were courtesy of a gift from authors Scott Skelton and Jim Benson, whose book Night Gallery: An After-Hours Tour is not only the definitive volume on the show, but is a benchmark for how books covering a television series in-depth should be written. Scott and I communicated years ago on a forum dedicated to the show, and I was delighted to provide him with the printed stories behind several NG eps, for which he sent me a multi-CD set of music from that show that I treasure. Now at last I can see exactly what frightened me: Face Number Two. I imagined that bizarrely androgynous visage appearing over me while I slept, and woof! Sleep no more. There are three bumpers: 1) The full cut; 2) A tighter edit that eliminates the final face and speeds up the music; 3) The rather dull backdrop of gallery paintings backed by Eddie Sauter's shrill Season Three theme.

Enjoy. And thanks for reading!

Future Traumafession: 9 by Reader Lorraine

I think that we all can agree that sometimes, parents aren't the sharpest tools in the shed. How many times would you say that parents have dragged their kids to a movie that anyone else would have been able to tell was more than a little less than kid-friendly. Just take a look at the TV Tropes page, What Do You Mean It's Not For Kids. Other times, you can't really blame them. It's an easy mistake, because you know how covers can lie. Just look at the art on some of the boxes for Watership Down. There has been many a time that someone picked this up thinking it was just another kids' movie, only to have to coax a traumatized child out from behind the couch later. Or maybe you showed your kid Felidae, which is basically film noir with cats, sex scene included. Yes, there is a sex scene. With cats. This brings me to my main point: Animated does not necessarily mean kid-friendly. For our main example, I will talk about one of my favorite films of all time, 9. I'll try to keep it as spoiler-free as possible.

9 is an animated film directed by Shane Acker, and produced by Tim Burton. It is based off a short film that Mr. Acker made a few years before. It features an all-star cast, among those being Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, and Elijah Wood. The film is set is a post-apocalyptic setting, mankind having been wiped out by machines. A scientist made 9 creations with the intention of having humanity live on after all humans are dead. The story centers around the 9th creation, simply named 9.

For one, there are dead bodies. In the very beginning of the movie, we have 9 discovering the body of the scientist. Not even two minutes later, he comes across a car with its door open. Inside are the corpses of a mother and child. Later on, we will see skeletons being sawed up in order to create a monster. And in a flashback scene, we see a person die on-screen.

Then there are the machines. In the first 10 minutes of the movie, we are assaulted with the image of the Cat Beast, so named for the cat skull that it has for a head. Later, we have the B.R.A.I.N. with his gigantic glowing red eye, who is responsible for the deaths of more than half of the creations. I'll get to the deaths later. The B.R.A.I.N. makes the machine that was assembled with human bones mentioned earlier. This is the Winged Beast. But the biggest offender of them all has to be the Seamstress. She has a doll's head with the body shape of a snake, many spindly legs composed of needles that she uses to sew her victims up, trapping them. And attached to her tail, the dead, empty husk of one of the creations.

And yes, more than half of the creations are dead by the end of the movie. The way in which they die is particularly violent. How so? Well, try having your soul sucked out through your eye sockets and mouth while your body flails about uncontrollably. This is all shown on-screen, too.

So how could parents think that a movie like this is kid-friendly? The movie is even rated PG-13, and the advertisements are suitably dark-toned, some of which explicitly stating that the movie is't for kids. We can only assume that it is because most people are under the notion that everything animated is made for kids, which isn't true in the slightest. If you all have some free time, do check out 9. In my opinion, it is a fantastic film that is certainly deserving of a bigger audience. It has the ability to draw you in. It is full of both action and emotion, really having the ability to both keep you at the edge of your seat and pull at your heartstrings. Give it a try. I'm sure that you wont regret it. And trust me, some time in the distant future, the team of Kindertrauma will be receiving a traumafession or two for this film.

Frankenweenie Future Trauma by Mike Campbell

Children's films in general but Disney movies in particular have a long history of terrifying children. They love to lull a child into a sense of security and then scare the crap out of them. Who was not traumatized by "Dumbo," "Pinocchio," and the unspeakable horror of "Bambi"? I know we all have our own Disney traumafession. Mine would be "Darby O'Gill And The Little People." That scene gave me nightmares for weeks. It's not just Disney though, what about the Child Catcher in "Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang"? "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" is consistently unsettling, but God knows what they were thinking with that boat sequence. Not to mention those damn flying monkeys that sent me running out of the room like the Cowardly Lion.

As kids we aren't prepared for some of the stuff we might run into. I once shared "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure" with a little kid I was babysitting, I had forgotten about Large Marge. He loved the movie up until that point, but that really scared him. I recently watched "Frankenweenie." (I know, I'm late to the party, sorry.) While "Ed Wood" is one of my favorite films, I haven't had much interest in Tim Burton lately. This is a delightful homage to the old horror movies that many of us enjoyed as a child. (When I saw "Bride of Frankenstein" as a little boy I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wanted to live in an isolated castle and fly kites off the roof during a thunderstorm, and when folks would drop by I would cower behind the door and implore them to go away.)

The animation is beautiful. There are many references to old horror films and repeated viewings would undoubtedly reveal more. Mr. Whiskers transformation sequence cracked me up. The science teacher is a great caricature of Vincent Price with Martin Landau voice acting. The girl next door is named Elsa, thank you. Watching this movie I could not help but wonder how it might seem to a child. Without the affectionate back-story I live in, what does this look like to a kid? I can see some parents looking at this movie and deciding it is not appropriate for their children. I can see far more parents seeing that Disney logo and tossing it to the hapless kid without a second thought. I think every parent should watch this before showing it to their children, but I doubt that will be the case.

Kids have pets. Pets die. It's a part of life children have to learn to accept. When my pet turtle died I was very sad. (This movie does give a generous nod to Gamera, but does any little kid know who Gamera is anymore?) When your pets die you can't bring them back. My favorite scene was when Sparky ran away and found his headstone in the pet cemetery. He circled a few times, and sadly laid down. That was his place. Even the dog knew it was where he belonged. That's the only thing that bugged me about this movie, the ending. (SPOILER ALERT!) Sparky should have stayed dead at the end. I could have gone with Sparky trying to come back, but being unable to do so. My favorite line in the movie is when Victor tells Sparky it's OK, he doesn't have to come back. That should have been the end. In 10 or 15 years, this movie will be a recurring Traumafession.