Name That Trauma :: Reader Charles W. on Gun-Toting Little Girls

Hey here’s a movie that disturbed me as a child and I have not been able to figure out what movie it was. Not even Joe Bob Briggs could figure this one out, people working in underground movie shops just shrug. The movie was made in the ‘80s and it’s about two girls around the age of 8 who live on a beach. One is brunette and the other is blond, I think their mom is single and she hooks up with some guy who is their next-door neighbor. The guy gives the blond girl a camera for her birthday and the two girls go around taking pictures of everything. They sneak in on their neighbor having an affair with another woman and conspire to black mail him writing him threatening letters with photographic evidence. The adults freak out and everything, lots of drama.

But the part that freaked me out was the ending, the blond girl gets a hold of a revolver and shoots the guy to death at the end on the beach! Like I’m talking big bloody squibs, and the really awful part is the girl turns the gun on her brunette haired friend, the movie ends with a crying small girl running into the water with blood squibs bursting on her back! I use to watch every horror movie imaginable when I was young and was never bothered by any of them but this movie always filled me with a feeling of dread. It never occurred to me that kids could die violently before I saw that and I remember being seriously disturbed after the first viewing.

I saw this movie like more than once when I was a child because my sister kept renting it but she can’t even remember the title now. This was back in 1988 when I last saw it and I was in kindergarten. I think I eventually end up asking anyone I talk movies with about this movie, no one has seen it, plot summary search on IMDB brings up nothing. Really hard to find any info on it. I think it might have had the word SWEET or BABY or DARLING in the title.

UNK SEZ: Dear Charles, you made my day because I know exactly the movie you are talking about is! It’s from 1989, stars JOHN HURT and is entitled LITTLE SWEETHEART. In fact, that movie is actually based on a novel by ARTHUR WISE called NAUGHTY GIRLS which I read In my youth. Strangely enough, that book had such an impact on me that not only did we post the cover in the early days of Kindertrauma HERE but we also use a bastardized verson of its artwork as the kindertrauma Myspace avatar! I’ve never actually seen the film as I did not even know of its existence until recently but, considering the impression it left upon you, I’ll be tracking it down soon! You can check out the trailer HERE.

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13 years ago

See, and I had assumed the avatar was from The Shining–though if I’d looked closer it would have been obvious they’re not the same girls. I learned something new today!

There’s definitely something scarring about the first time as a child you realize that kids can and do die in horrible ways. (At least for a kid from a relatively safe upbringing, such as I was.) For me it was the movie version of Where the Red Fern Grows, which I testified about on Kindertrauma previously. It sticks with you, that realization, because it means contrary to adult assurances, YOU ARE NOT SAFE.

This one sounds particularly wrenching, since the girls were friends. Yipes. You have my sympathy!

Amanda By Night
13 years ago

How have I never heard of this movie? It looks fantastic and John Hurt… well, he’s just fantastic.

aunt john
13 years ago

I definitely want to see this one.

12 years ago

I had to buy a VHS to see it , but it was good. My only qualm is SPPOILERS DONT READ IF YOU PLAN ON SEEING THE MOVIE SPOILERS SPOILERS SPOILERS at the end we find out her little brunette friend didnt really die. I felt a little ripped-off by that! END OF SPOILERS