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Name That Trauma:: Unk on a Pig-Faced Litterbug

March 4th, 2020 by unkle lancifer · 3 Comments

I wasn’t exactly a child when I saw this commercial but I’m going to write about it anyway. I’m hoping that maybe there’s someone out there who has seen it as well and needs confirmation that they didn’t imagine it. From what I recall this environmental PSA played frequently because that is exactly how it got permanently lodged in my head. I’m guessing it’s from around 1990 because for some reason my memories of the year the eighties ended are especially vivid.

In the commercial you see a man looking up at the camera and I think he’s sitting in some kind of black void to make things even more creepy and surreal. A woman’s accusing voice bellows at him, “You’re the one who throws trash out of your car window” (or something like that) and the guy’s face changes a little and becomes slightly more pig-like. Then the woman accuses him of something else regarding pollution (maybe dumping garbage into the ocean) and his face becomes a little more pig-like. This happens several more times until the man has a total pig face. It’s possible he turns into an actual pig at the very end.

In general, I find it absurd and ignorant when folks describe bad (and particularly human) behavior by comparing people to innocent animals. I’ve never met a pig but quit sure they are charming animals in real life. Having said that, the Dr. Moreau-style hybrid presented in this short ad was truly hideous and disturbing. I’ll never forget how the woman’s voice quivered with such exaggerated contempt as she barked at the guilty-looking monstrosity. After many years, I’ve never seen this spot pop up on YouTube and it may very well be an only East Coast-thing. Hopefully, someday I’ll meet another human who has experienced this. It was so very weird that I’m surprised that I can’t find a reference to it anywhere.

And that reminds me: When I was small and living in California my across the street neighbor had a poster hanging in his garage that said, “Hell yes, I male chauvinist Pig” and it was an image of a scary man on a motorcycle with an actual pig face so maybe my aversion to pig faces has a long history. I also remember being especially taken aback by the issue of Fangoria with MOTEL HELL on the cover.

Tags: Name That Trauma! · Traumafessions




3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 4, 2020 at 2:38 pm

    Also MOTEL HELL is on COMET TV right NOW and I can hear it playing in the other room as I record it- and the music sounds sooo much like the score for HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME… so I just checked and yep, the same composer (Lance Rubin) did both. Did I already know this?

  • 2 SmallDarkCloudNo Gravatar // Mar 4, 2020 at 7:39 pm

    Unkle Lancifer, you probably know this already, but Harry Manfredini scored both Friday the 13th and The Children, and portions of both scores are exactly the same.

  • 3 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Mar 4, 2020 at 8:27 pm

    SmallDarkCloud,
    Yeah, that’s kind of amazing! I actually just upgraded my THE CHILDREN with the new Vinegar Syndrome release this past X-mas. It looks great! And thanks to our pal Kevin Maher- I even have a plastic chopped off hand signed by the director!

    The MOTEL HELL score isn’t exactly the same but when I hear it I keep expecting it to turn into HBTM. I guess he must have done them back to back- I definitely like the HBTM score better- it’s one of my favorites and I love how the closing theme song picks up the same lullabye refrain. It’s too bad, I don’t think there was ever a official release of that score.

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