Last week a coworker glanced over my shoulder and asked what in the hell I was looking at. I explained the awesomeness that is Kindertrauma and he seemed appropriately impressed. Then he hit me up with his own “Name That Trauma” that left me totally stumped. So, I’m turning it over to you boys and the faithful readers of Kindertrauma….
My co-worker is very guarded about his age, but I know he’s older than I am (36). His memory involves a movie or show he saw on television as a child. It could have been in black and white or in color. All he recalls of the plot is that there were some scientists performing super secret experiments on chimpanzees somewhere in the Arctic (or some other cold as a witch’s tit kind of place). And get this; the scientists are being murdered off one by one by someone or something.
It’s the last scene that has haunted him for years. The lone surviving scientist gets locked out of the lab and is stranded outside is below freezing temperatures. He furiously bangs on the reinforced door begging to be let back in and who appears in the small window of the door? One of the chimps, looking all smart and malevolent! You see, it was the chimps committing the murders all along! Needless to say, my future coworker was freaked the hell out of his short pants…
He’s scoured the Internet looking for any clue about what movie or anthology series this could have been and has come up empty handed for years. Anyone have a clue? I’m guessing it’s pre-PLANET OF THE APES and probably from some show like THE OUTER LIMITS.
AUNT JOHN SEZ: Mr. Canacorn, as a member of the same age-bracket as your guarded co-worker, I would like to believe he is referring to the seldom-aired, season three B.J. & THE BEAR Halloween special. Readers of a certain age will recall that season three of the GREG EVIGAN-helmed, big-rig situation comedy marked the departure of pesky Sherriff Elroy P. Lobo (CLAUDE AKINS) and heralded the introduction of the “Seven Lady Truckers.”
Led by the immensely talented JUDY LANDERS as the appropriately named “Stacks,” (her character had an insatiable appetite for pancakes from what I can recall), the “Seven Lady Truckers” aroused great friction and drove a wedge between the titular B.J. McKay and his best friend Bear.
Feeling spurned and dejected, the usually easy-going Bear reached his boiling point on the Halloween special, when he methodically hunted, brutally tortured, and savagely killed the “Seven Lady Truckers.” B.J. of course had no idea who was behind the murders until the final, gory decapitation death of LANDERS.
Advertisers were mortified by the monkey violence, and the episode only aired in Eastern Europe and parts of Southern New Jersey. In the U.K. it was released theatrically as B.J. AND THE BEAR: AN EXPERIMENT IN FEAR, and was considered a major bomb.
Of course none of this actually occurred in what polite society refers to as “reality,” so I am going to ask our astute readers for help. Does anyone have any idea as to what killer monkey show Mr. Canacorn‘s co-worker is talking about? Leave your guesses in the comments, or e-mail ’em to us at email@example.com.
BONUS: Click the Bear button below to hear one of the best theme songs in the history of modern television!
UPDATE: Reader Ivan just sent in the following tip:
A COLD NIGHT’S DEATH: An awesome movie–I caught this on the old NYC ABC late movie–at first I thought it was a (good) ripoff of CARPENTER’s THE THING, but the TV Guide set me straight. And it IS good. I’ll never forget that damn monkey staring through the door at poor ELI WALLACH…
UPDATE: Big ups to reader Ivan for nailing this one! Another Name That Trauma! solved.