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For My Dad

November 13th, 2017 · 23 Comments

I haven’t posted in a while because my Dad died. He went to the hospital complaining of back pains and he passed away three days later. It was cancer and there were complications and I’m not going to elaborate further. The important thing for me was that I got to see him, look into his eyes and hear him say my name. I’m shell-shocked but am grateful for the fact that he looked peaceful when he passed and that he was surrounded by loved ones. I tell myself every day that today is the day I’ll get back to “normal,” knowing there’s no “normal” to get back to. If normal still exists, I can’t see it from here and if it should show up I’m not sure I’d welcome it. I’m kind of pissed off at normalcy right now. It feels like something fraudulent I’ve trained myself to tolerate. Suddenly my usual inspirations feel trivial and my go-to mental preoccupations reek of pettiness. I thought I was an expert at dissociation and denial but maybe this coat doesn’t fit me anymore or I’m too tired to put it on. There’s a non-stop avalanche in my head.

What’s more appropriate for these pages is that I tell you that my father is directly responsible for my love of horror- for the therapy of horror – for the catharsis of being terrified for a moment and then being comforted seconds later by purring privileged safety. One of my earliest memories takes place in Allison Park, Pa. Many of my cousins are visiting and there must be at least a dozen of us kids. It’s early summer night and I’m sure there would be fireflies. We’re sitting on a wooden patio my father built or on aluminum fold out chairs. You have to be careful where you place your chair; this backyard is known for underground wasp nests. My brothers and I are often dumb enough to throw rocks at these hives in order to agitate them. My Dad is telling a scary story that might involve the house that burnt down next door, the end result of smoking in bed. When my father comes to the climax of the tale we’re slowly starting to believe, my Uncle, draped in a white sheet, jumps out from behind a bush wailing, sending all of us screaming in every possible direction. This is pure thrilling joy for me, an explosion of excitement. Suddenly all of us cousins, no matter age, size or gender are a unified mob in our shared fear followed by elation. Like every kid ever, we all beg for one more story.

I was a fearful child due to the fact that a giant hand lived under my bed that wanted to drag me to who knows where. Plus, there was “Mary Wolf” to contend with. Mary Wolf looked like an African mask I spied on the cover of a children’s Encyclopedia (which I’ve yet to see again) and I think the she-devil was born from my mishearing the title of the comic strip “Mary Worth.” Oh, and someone thought it was a great idea to put a clown painting on my bedroom wall. When cars drove by the house, reflected headlights lit up his stupid face at vexing intervals. Listening to my Dad’s scary stories was like lifting up the trunk of my fears and letting a few fly away or at least lose some power. It’s no wonder I got addicted to the sensation. Each scary story made me a little braver. Eventually my father brought home a scary-story telling machine. We were the first on our block to obtain this life-changing device; some folks called it a VCR. This machine showed me things that my father would likely not approve of but thankfully he let us rent anything we wanted and paid zero attention to ratings. This might not seem like a good idea to some but to me it was the greatest gift in the world.

My father and I were not very much alike. He appreciated sports where I thought soccer was a game in which you monitored ant hills until a ball rolled towards you and people yelled “Wake up!” He was organized and meticulously clean while my home looks like a cross between the set of SANFORD AND SON and the trash compactor scene in STAR WARS. My Dad was a great, accomplished businessman with an incredible work ethic whereas it took me weeks to write this tiny blog post. You get the idea. We’re basically opposites but he let me know that was O.K. I learned countless lessons from my father but the most important lesson was embossed in our very relationship and that is that you don’t have to agree with somebody about everything to love them. Truth told, as conservative as my Dad sometimes seemed to me he had an artistic streak that was impossible to ignore. Nobody in my family will ever forget when he broke against the established decorum of the neighborhood and painted our front door the most amazingly garish, nearly fluorescent, leaning toward fuchsia, red. My brothers and I could see that door from literally miles away as we explored the golden California fields around our childhood address. It was so bright that we could never get lost and we always knew our way home. The only beacon that shined brighter was my Dad.

I’m not going to post a picture of my pop, I’m not sure he’d be into that. Instead, here is a picture of TED KNIGHT with a chimp because I know it would crack him up. I Love you, Dad. Maybe it’s time for me to repaint my front door.

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VHSaturday:: Anguish (1987)

April 29th, 2017 · No Comments

Who in the world is strong enough to resist the VHS box for 1987’s ANGUISH? Why, it’s positively hypnotic! I’m not sure why the good people of KEY VIDEO (one of my all time favorite distributors) decided to drop ANGUISH’s charming eye-filled theatrical poster art and simply zoom in on ZELDA (POLTERGEIST) RUBENSTEIN’s scowling mug encased in a swirly spiral (which makes sense only after you’ve seen the movie) but I’m going to give them high marks for thinking outside the box anyway. And really, what kind of person is going to pass up a tape that comes emblazoned with an urgent warning stating: “contains scenes of powerful hypnosis, shocking crimes and unrelenting terror!”? I hope you all appreciate that I had to put on my glasses to relay that fine print for you. But wait; hold up! The best part is on the back! ANGUISH pays tribute to the fact that at least part of this Spanish produced motion picture takes place in a movie theater with an adorable illustration depicting a tub of popcorn and two un-torn movie tickets! I will marry this box.

Because ANGUISH partially takes place within a movie theater (that is showing a movie called THE MOMMY) the optimum way to view it is in a theater (as I did because I’m that old) because it adds to the forth wall breaking paranoia (sorta like the beginning of SCREAM 2). If that option is not feasible than I’d recommend the DVD because this movie is reliant on its tactful visuals. In other words I’m not recommending you watch it on VHS at all but I like having this old tape around anyway because the DVD cover art is drab as hell. According to the security labels inside, this tape was once a former rental at TOWER VIDEO (but I’m pretty sure I picked it up at a used joint in Philadelphia not too far from the theater I once saw the actual movie in which is now a hideous pharmacy). Not much more to say about the tape itself but I will always respect this strange movie for doing its own thing and being so against-the-grain bizarre. I’ll also admit that when I first saw it, I didn’t care for it that much because it was a lot to take in and ZELDA’s acting style can sometimes be a little rough around the edges (sorry Z!). Eventually though, I learned to love it so there’s your tip for the day, never be afraid to give a flick a second chance! Ciao! Arrivederci! Have a nice Saturday! Stay woke!

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Check This Out :: Philly’s Alien Covenant Subway Car!

April 19th, 2017 · 1 Comment

I’m super old and slightly cranky but that didn’t stop me from turning into a giddy 12-year-old the other day when I fortuitously found myself walking into a Philly subway car that was taken over from top to bottom with ALIEN COVENANT advertising. It was even on the roof! To the chagrin of my fellow passengers who seemed even crankier than myself, I took some photos to share with you guys. How cool is this? I only wish this subway was taking me into the future to MAY 19th so that I could go directly to the movie theater and get my full dose of ALIEN COVENANT.

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Tags: Kinder-News · Kinder-Pix · Uncategorized

Fake Horror Posters:: Happy April Fool’s Day!

April 1st, 2017 · 2 Comments


Happy April Fool’s Day! Here are a bunch of fake horror movie sequel posters I made in the early days of Kindertrauma. Some of them surely stink but be kind; I taught myself (with help from John) and they’re just for fun and fandom. We will return to VHSaturday next week! I promise!



























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Name That 1988 Horror Flick!

October 21st, 2016 · 16 Comments

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Name That Horror Poster Funhouse!

September 23rd, 2016 · 4 Comments

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Mini-Tribute:: Creature (1985)

September 15th, 2016 · 3 Comments

Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before. The other day I snagged a used VHS tape of a movie I had vague negative memories towards at one of my favorite thrift shops because what the hell? It was only a dollar. But halt the presses! After watching the movie, I ‘m pretty sure my bad memories of it must be false implants of some sort because I suddenly love it! The movie in question is 1985’s CREATURE. Am I sure I even watched this before or am I mixing it up with a sloppy fusion of ANDROID (which also featured KLAUS KINSKI) and boring INSEMONOID (which also featured a pissed off space monster)? As it turns out, CREATURE is one of the more entertaining ALIEN wannabes and from now on, I’m going to think of it in the same high regard as say FORBIDDEN WORLD (1982) and GALAXY OF TERROR (1981). Good lord is there anything more fun than a sci-fi horror hybrid riding the coattail exhaust fumes of the unmitigated masterpiece ALIEN? Doubt it.

And you know what’s really weird? As much flack as CREATURE gets for being an ALIEN clone when you watch it now, it’s actually more like a psychic precursor prediction of PROMETHEUS (try saying that a hundred times fast). Seriously there’s some kind of DEAD SPACE death disease bouncing around this flick that transforms KINSKI into a black-eyed, space helmet headed zombie-oid who could easily have been lifted right out of that semi-recent spooky space jam. Plus you want stars? I’ll give you stars! CREATURE boasts cinema’s greatest father, LYMAN WARD!!! He’s the dad of both FERRIS BEULLER and ELM STREET 2’s Ron Grady (ROBERT RUSLER). And how about sophisticated glamour-puss DIANE SALINGER? Not only did she star in both PEE WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE and PEE WEE’S HOLIDAY, she was also married to PEE WEE as Penguin’s ma in BATMAN RETURNS! She’s a total badass in this and probably the inspiration for that Kay-Em 14 character (LISA RYDER) in JASON X. Not that you need more than KINSKI.

I guess now is the part when I’m supposed to plead to the powers that be that CREATURE be released on Blu-ray but nope, I gotta say I’m all set here with this rusty and crusty VHS tape! The picture is actually way better than what I had prepared myself for and there’s something so fitting about watching low-tech science fiction on tape because it comes across as an intercepted transmission of some sort. Plus I’m a horror fan not a horror consumer and yes, I really dig the nostalgia factor. Folks keep trying to make nostalgia a bad word but that’s never going to work on me. Perhaps the most retro reaction I’m going to have toward CREATURE is I’m going to watch it again! Does anyone remember when a movie rental was so special that you tried to get as many views as you could out of it before you returned it? In closing, this is one of the best dollars I ever spent. CREATURE delivers all the eighties goodness you could ever want plus it’s never stingy on the blood and gore and it’s kind enough to treat you to a decent view of the big bad monster. What more can you ask for? Should I have told you the plot? C’mon you know the plot.

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Name That Trauma:: Jared D. on a Black and White Horror Trivia Book

September 6th, 2016 · No Comments

So, back in middle school, I checked out this book from the library more times than I can count. I can’t remember the name of it to save my life though. It had a hand-drawn black and white cover and the bulk of it was filled with information regarding Dracula and other generic scary things. But at the end of the book, there was a section of horror movie trivia that included questions about “Frankenhooker” and the name of the video store that Jason walks past in one of the “Friday the 13th” sequels. If this rings a bell for anyone, I would greatly appreciate it!

Thank you!

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Happy Labor Day!

September 5th, 2016 · No Comments

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Name That 1986 Horror Flick!

March 25th, 2016 · 23 Comments

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