Name That Trauma :: Kinderpal FilmFather on a Troubled Teen Special (Torn Book and Dead Deer)

This Trauma has been popping up in my head lately, and has been recurring for the last 25 years or more…

  • It’s not a movie, but more like some kind of afterschool special or classroom film from the late ’70s/early ’80s.
  • It features a young teen boy, probably 15 or so, who starts off nice (helping feed a local man’s deer, for example) but ends up hanging with the wrong crowd of no-goodniks (a couple of other boys his age, if I remember correctly).
  • One day they’re in class, where a snooty teacher shows them his most valued possession: a book signed by his favorite author.
  • Later, the boys walk by the shed where the local man keeps his deer feed, and there is some poison nearby (I forget why, just play along). The two other boys grab a pitchfork and plan to rip open the feed and poison to mix them together, but the main boy stops them…only to grab the pitchfork and do it himself.
  • Following this, the boys break into their vacant classroom and trash the place…with the main boy mimicking the teacher while holding the book, saying, “THIS is how much I love this book.” He then rips the book in two down the spine.
  • Hearing someone coming, the two friends flee while our main boy hides behind the door. Their teacher enters the room, sees his precious book ripped apart, holds the pieces to his chest, and drops to his knees, sobbing.
  • Somehow the main boy escapes, and as he’s walking home he passes the local man, who’s surrounded by dead deer that ate the poisoned feed. Not knowing the boy did it, the man asks him to help remove the deer (cut to a closeup of one of the deer’s heads, its eyes glazed over).
  • Instead of helping, the boy runs away from the scene, finally collapsing against a tree and sobbing hysterically. The end.
  • During the credits, a male narrator in voiceover wonders aloud why the boy did such things.

Can anybody out there help me identify (and possibly locate) this special? Like I said at the beginning, it’s been nagging at me on and off for decades.

UNK SEZ: That movie is called UNKLE LANCIFER: THE EARLY YEARS. Nah, I’m just kidding, I would never sob against a tree! Jeez, FilmFather I have no idea but it does indeed sound like an after school special of some sort. Anybody out there got any clues?

NOTE: This has little to do with anything and I apologize but does anybody out there remember the afterschool special entitled THE COSMIC AWARENESS OF DUFFY MOON (1976) that stared IKE EISENMANN (ESCAPE TO WITCH MOUNTAIN, LANCIFER KERWIN ( SALEM’S LOT) and coined the inspirational power slogan “You can do it Duffy Moon?” They referenced it on THE VENTURE BROTHERS once and I found my self doing a spit-take of recognition worthy of MARTIN SHORT.

UPDATE: LANCE KERWIN talks “Duffy Moon” at the remarkably addictive retroCRUSH HERE.

I CAN’T SHUT UP: How Kindertraumy is this Indian Safety poster that retroCRUSH spotlights HERE?

UPDATE: Name That Trauma SOLVED! It’s an educational film from 1975 called THE BOY WHO LIKED DEER. To learn more about it, feel free to fawn over The Haunted Closet.

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13 years ago

I’ve never heard of this movie, but that sounds like one stupid kid.

13 years ago

“James at 15” as Lucifer? Well his “Salem’s Lot” did creep me out!  My biggest memory of Ike was seeing him burned to a crisp, half dead in Scotty’s arms!  Some of that poster has the “What the hell are they thinking?” feeling while I can understand the “shaky house” bit as they were prone to earthquakes. 

Amanda By Night
13 years ago

That second poster you have featured here looks like the Kray Brothers.

I hope someone kind figure this movie out. Must. See. Must. See.

13 years ago

Oh my God, I saw this in the 7th Grade. It was a film we watched in class. One girl was horribly freaked out by the “dead” deer. So much so our teacher had to reassure her that they were only drugged to look dead in the climax (we hope!).

Sadly, I do not remember the name of this film.

13 years ago

@David: Any chance you can get ahold of your 7th grade teacher to see if he or she remembers the name? Just kidding. I think.

After exhausting searches through Wikipedia, IMDb, Google, YouTube and other video sites, I think it may come down to one of the following educational series, though I can’t say for sure: Inside/Out (1972-73), Self Incorporated (1975), Trade-Offs (1978), On The Level (1980), or Give & Take (1982).

My mom was a teacher, and I’m thinking she may have actually brought home this piece of trauma for me to watch. I’ll shall inquire…

13 years ago

Doubt I could find that teacher. She wasn’t exactly young back then, and it’s been a long time! 🙂

13 years ago

Trauma officially named!

Thanks to a recent post by Brother Bill at The Haunted Closet, we now know that this was a short educational film called The Boy Who Liked Deer (1975):