Name That Trauma :: Anton Bogaty on a Bottled Baby in a Barn


Love the site and am a frequent browser. You provide a true service by bringing to light so many obscure films, particularly T.V. movies from the ’70s.

I have a ‘Name That Trauma’ from a friend that’s baffled me for a couple of years now. Though possibly best never revealed since it was truly traumatic to him, this is all that I have:

The film takes place in the grasslands, with an AMERICAN GOTHIC feel. A fetus in a jar is discovered in a barn and a young, pale, dark-haired boy believes that the bottled fetus is an angel that fell to Earth. Craziness. Any tips would be much-appreciated.

I wish I had a good trauma-fession that wasn’t already discussed on the site. This is the only unspoken one that I can contribute: I remember a scene from an After School Special, where a group of teenage kids walk into a movie theater. The camera zooms in on the poster for the movie they are about to go see and it’s the lower half of the classic poster for THE HOUSE THAT DRIPPED BLOOD, with the skull-faced woman holding the head on the platter. Took awhile to shake that image from my adolescent nightmares.

Thanks again,

Anton Bogaty

AUNT JOHN SEZ: Anton, based on your pal’s recollection, I strongly suspect the fermented fetus in question comes from the 1972 UTA HAGEN-helmed flick THE OTHER. Having been wrong about Name That Traumas in the past, I would recommend your pal peep the trailer HERE. (NOTE: The baby in the bottle in curiously missing from said trailer, but perhaps your friend will recognize the UDVARNOKY twins or even the UTA.)

Say, does anyone remember which AFTER SCHOOL SPECIAL the second one stems from? If so, please sound off in the comments.

That said, your Aunt John recommends that everyone visit Anton‘s site to see all of his stellar short films and animations, especially the kindertraumatic “Death by Dying”:

UPDATE: FIRST NAME THAT TRAUMA SOLVED! Yep, your Aunt John was wrong with THE OTHER. Special thanks to reader Mark J. Hansen for being the first to recognize the baby in the bottle in the barn from THE REFLECTING SKIN.

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Mark J. Hansen
Mark J. Hansen(@fb559069256)
10 years ago

Not sure about the second one, but the first actually sounds more like The Reflecting Skin.

10 years ago

This sort of reminds me of the the Ray Bradbury story “The Jar” that I believe was created for TV a few times as well as a radio production.

Brother Bill
Brother Bill(@brother-bill)
10 years ago

It could also be Steven Spielberg’s made-for-TV “Something Evil” (1972)… it’s set on a farm and there is a jar filled with… something… that makes baby noises and is implied to be the remains of a baby. Skip to the 2:30 mark of the linked clip below for an example

10 years ago

When I saw “Bottled Baby” I was totally excited to think I might be able to contribute something for a change. Then I read “barn” and the rest of the Traumafession and went “Aaaaww.”

I thought for a second it might’ve been the slasher flick Milo featuring a kid whose father actually aborts fetuses and keeps them around at hime. The first scene of the movie is supremely creepy and has Milo lure some girls home to see the bottled fetuses. Too bad the rest of the film sucks like no tomorrow.

Will Errickson
Will Errickson(@fb698874724)
10 years ago

Absolutely it’s THE REFLECTING SKIN! Early Viggo Mortensen film from ’91. Grasslands, pale boy with dark hair, “angel” fetus found in barn. No DVD alas. I used to watch it a lot on an old VHS dub I made. Here’s part one on YouTube (the whole movie is available there):

Definitely worth watching! Uber-creepy and unique.

Anton Bogaty
Anton Bogaty(@fb1370925583)
10 years ago

And THE REFLECTING SKIN is it. Fantastic. Can’t wait to pass the word on to my friend and see the movie myself.

I actually thought of the THE OTHER, even though I’ve only skimmed through it. Great 70s atmosphere in the film but always have a hard time getting through a movie when I know a child or worse a baby is going to get hurt. Ever since having kids this has been the case. Shortly before one of my kids were born I viewed Andy Warhol’s BAD and the ‘kid dropped from the window scene’ just horrified me worse than anything I’d seen up to that point. The sudden-ness of that scene is just too much for me. Just the child crying from the crib at the beginning of RUNAWAY is hard to watch. Recently I re-watched ESCAPE FROM SOBIBOR, a film that I’ve always appreciated. Up came the scene where people are lined up for the showers and one small child attempts escape so the soldiers release dogs to catch him. Before being a parent: a horrifying scene. Post-kids: gut-wrenchingly impossible to watch. Sorry, long post there.

Not that I have to know, but the TV show with the poster was a late 70s, early 80s deal and felt like an After School Special but not necessaryily so. Even had a weird Sesame Street segment feel of kids just going to movies one day.

Thanks again for your filmic knowledge.

unkle lancifer
unkle lancifer(@unkle-lancifer)
10 years ago


I would have never gotten this one. I did see that movie around the time it came out on VHS but it’s been so long.

It sucks that it is not on DVD. I might have to watch it on Youtube anyway. I’m getting pretty used to watching movies that way now.

GREAT JOB everybody even the answers that were not correct made a whole lot of sense.

I thought it might be “Something evil” there for a bit!

I’m still going to be keeping my eye out for that House that dripped blood poster too…

for a moment I thought tha one might be “Matinee” but nope…it don’t fit!

Anton Bogaty
Anton Bogaty(@fb1370925583)
10 years ago

Man, just watched REFLECTING SKIN and there are so many levels of anguish to dig through before that ending. Even the title’s explanation is horrific. Recommended though, especially if you enjoyed TIDELAND.

10 years ago

As usual I’m late to supper… The Reflecting Skin being one of my favorite movies I right away knew that must be the ‘angel in a barn’ in question.
I hope there are plans to get it onto DVD sooner than later… it seems to be a fairly obscure movie. I’ve never met anyone offline who has seen or heard of it.

unkle lancifer
unkle lancifer(@unkle-lancifer)
10 years ago


I’m a big fan of TIDELAND too! It is so underrated.
We’ll have to cover that one soon.

Francene Beck
Francene Beck(@fb631534110)
10 years ago

I , too, love The Reflecting Skin, and recognized it right away. I am glad to find others who have heard of it at all.