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Cult of Chucky (2017)

October 10th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments

I’m a huge fan of 2013’s CURSE OF CHUCKY. It reestablished my favorite killer doll’s innate creepiness, introduced me to the phenomenal FIONA DOURIF and works splendidly as a rainy night, old dark house flick. I’m pretty sure I’ve watched it every year since it came out because that’s how I do. One of the great things about the CHUCKY series is that it is both remarkably consistent (every installment is penned by original creator DON MANCINI) and wonderfully inconsistent (every installment past the original three changes the game in a creative way). I can’t say my love of newest stab — CULT OF CHUCKY — eclipses my love of cozy CURSE but it certainly delivers a bevy of its own horror delights. We get to reunite with Chucky’s now-grown original patsy Andy Barclay (ALEX VINCENT), spend some time in a surreally sterile mental hospital and most gratifyingly, we get more FIONA DOURIF as Nica Pierce. DOURIF makes it clear she’s every bit as talented as her legendary dad BRAD. She’s truly mesmerizing and reminds me a bit of JESSICA HARPER if JESSICA HARPER found herself frequently possessed by JUDY DAVIS. Plus you get more of the irascible Tiffany Valentine played to the hilt by JENNIFER TILY who has reached an almost CRUELLA de VIL level of hilariously flamboyant madness.

MANCINI has taken over the directing reigns for CHUCKY’s last three outings and I couldn’t be happier. He’s got a superb eye for visuals and he’s able to get great performances from his actors, both flesh and plastic. With CURSE he seemed to be taking some cues from Italian masters like ARGENTO and BAVA and now with CULT, his hat appears tipped to KUBRICK and De PALMA (complete with split- screens). There’s a kill in this movie involving shattering glass that is every bit as beautiful as it is ultimately gruesome. There are some lapses in logic, no mental hospital on Earth would run the way this one does, but the incongruities tend to add to the dreamy, hallucinatory atmosphere. Maybe it’s not a good idea in real life for a hospital to proudly have it’s own graveyard but it sure looks pretty as hell especially in the snow! Plus I’m OK with giving a possessed killer doll-flick a whole lot of leeway in the realism department. From it’s first sequel, the franchise has had the not always easy task of finding a balance between horror and its unavoidable humor and I think the last two installments have got the formula down pat and all thanks to FIONA DOURIF. No matter how off the wall, wacky or self-referential (Chucky laments the cancelation of HANNIBAL– a series MANCINI lent his writing talents to) Chucky behaves, DOURIF’s Nica is there to ground things with her convincing portrayal of a woman unable to convince others of her outlandish predicament.

I hope the series continues in this direction and CULT’s unpredictable ending certainly opens up a plethora of possibilities. It’s pretty darn cool to see a writer granted so much control over his creation, especially one who tends to steer toward uncharted territory rather than knee-jerk expectations. I doubt a big screen, big budget excursion would allow our favorite killer doll such ample room to play, so it feels like a blessing to see what the little guy can get up to unchained from the box office. If you want to check out the unrated version complete with an after credit cameo (which is worth its wait in gold as far as I’m concerned) you can order the Blu ray/DVD combo pack (which includes commentary by DON MANCINI, deleted scenes and bonus features) HERE. The rated version of CULT OF CHUCKY will be on Netflix soon followed by Halloween-timed multiple showings on AMC’s Fearfest. I’m guessing there are VOD and Redbox options as well. One thing’s for sure, a certain possessed killer doll is going to be hard to escape this October and I’m all for it. I’ll always have this troublemaker’s back for his non-conformist stance. Sure he’s evil but I empathize with his struggle to escape a brittle body built for smiling servitude. He reminds me of a time when horror icons were still rebellious and counter-culture rather than neutered to appeal to the largest possible audience. Chucky is my friend till the end and he’s a gift that keeps on giving (the finger).

→ 6 CommentsTags: General Horror

Name That Future Dystopia!

October 6th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 13 Comments

I can’t believe I’ve lived long enough to see a sequel to BLADE RUNNER! Who would have thought? To celebrate the today’s release of BLADE RUNNER 2049, here are ten images representing ten dystopian future movies. If you can’t identify at least five you may be a replicant.

→ 13 CommentsTags: Kindertrauma Funhouse

Name That Trauma:: Stephen B. on a Creepy Black and White TV Show Intro

October 4th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments

Hi Kindertrauma, I’ve just stumbled upon your site after wandering through the web. Most interested in your “name that trauma” section as I have been haunted for many years by a TV show opener. It is in black and white and is animated, one scene morphs into another and another an so on. I cannot remember the order but I think it starts with a boy bouncing a ball which then changes into maybe an eagle then maybe a dark alleyway then maybe a mummy. Each scene turns quickly to the next to create the intro. It is English and dates back to the early seventies and I believe the show told a different story each episode. I found the intro so creepy that it stays with me to this day over forty years later. Please could someone tell me the name of the show.

Many thanks

Stephen B. – a lifelong horror fan.

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Happy Birthday to Us! It’s Kindertrauma’s Tenth Anniversary!

September 29th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 25 Comments

We have to interrupt our regularly scheduled Friday afternoon movie puzzle because today’s the day we celebrate KINDERTRAUMA’s ten-year anniversary (actually, our true birthday is tomorrow but I won’t be here tomorrow- and if our site stats are accurate, neither will many of you). It’s not easy being a middle child running a horror blog because you’re always hyper aware of how much attention everybody besides you is getting but it’s also a blessing being a middle child running a horror blog because there’s a good chance that you learned long ago to appreciate the multitude of peaceful pleasures that hiding in plain sight brings. First and foremost, I am proud that we have attracted the most wonderful readers in all of the Internet; people who love movies and love sharing favorite titles with others but have little use for drama, circular arguments or foaming on a soapbox. I want to thank every commenter who has ever dropped by because you have always treated each other with respect and you have all added something personal to enrich and improve this joint. Thank you for every traumafession, “Name That Trauma!” and “It’s a Horror to Know You!” Thank you for every submission, collaboration, love letter to an underrated film, like, share and shout out too. Thank you to the people who lurk and enjoy and don’t say anything; I totally get you. This is a community project and we are forever grateful to have found such generous and positive kin.

We had some great times (like that time ROB ZOMBIE tweeted about us) and we had some not so great times (like that time this year when a corporate Borg approached us to do a KINDERTRAUMA TV series, acted like pals and pumped us for ideas and then sent us a predatory contract that would have them owning our name, concept and content past, present and future in exchange for zero credit, chump change and trickle down “publicity” and then when we wouldn’t sign they said, “Nobody owns the name KINDERTRAUMA! We can make this show without you and you’re just lucky we offered to include you!” and then we had to spend a pretty penny to get a trademark to protect ourselves and then they made the rip-off show anyway with a totally prosaic title and it sunk like a lead balloon because witchcraft is faster than karma). Those not-so-good times can get you down my friends. One day you can’t wait to get out of bed in the morning to start on a new post or Photoshop meme and the next you’re pretty sure if you never lay eyes on a laptop again it will be too soon. In my Eeyore brain it’s not the good times that makes 10 years impressive, it’s the withstanding of the bad times but every time I was ready to throw in the towel I’d miraculously get a kind word and move on. Let me get corny- after the above mentioned debacle this year, I was like WILFORD BRIMLEY in THE THING hanging out under a noose when I got the below message on Facebook and it made me misty-eyed like the funeral scene in CANDYMAN

I had to share that because it makes me think we all must be doing something right. Now when I get that WILFORD BRIMLEY feeling (mostly when someone takes something I made, erases our name and posts it as their own), I just re-read that incredibly well-timed pat on the back from a stranger and it usually works. OK- now I’m starting to wish I hadn’t used up all those thank you’ s to you fine people in the first paragraph because I want to say them all again. I hope I covered everybody because you all rule. Oh geez, I forgot Aunt John! Do you know how much worse my punctuation would be without Aunt John? Do you know he had to teach me what little I know about Photoshop and that I have scant idea what’s going on in the backend of this site? Thank you, Aunt John! I owe you infinity beers. I highly doubt that we can do this for another ten years but no worries- something tells me that KINDERTRAUMA ™ is forever. Happy Birthday to us all!

→ 25 CommentsTags: Kinder-News

Book Review:: Paperbacks from Hell: The Twisted History of ’70s and ’80s Horror Fiction

September 28th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 10 Comments

Help! I’m trapped inside a book and I can’t get out! On second thought, don’t help! I like it in here! I’m stuck inside GRADY HENDRIX’s PAPERBACKS FROM HELL and it has transported me back to my youth in the eighties when perusing the horror section of a book store was almost as fun as visiting the video store. My eyes are in their happy place; this is my zone. I spent years training my peepers to spot a horror spine from yards away. Like the Terminator, I scan for black backgrounds and red fonts! If these paperbacks are from hell why do I feel like I’m in heaven? Floods of memories keep surging back and just when I think a title has been overlooked, it appears a few pages later. I remember waiting for my mom at the pharmacy hypnotized by BRAINCHILD’s window cover that opened up to reveal the image of a family trapped in a cage while a nerdy overlord looks down upon them like a puppeteer. I begged my mother to buy it for me and she did. And yikes! There’s MICHELLE REMEMBERS, that book was the scariest because it really happened (right?) I wouldn’t dare purchase it but that didn’t stop me from reading it in the store. This is a veritable smorgasbord of unadulterated awesomeness!

O.K. I sort of cheated and had my desert first by plowing through the entire tome taking in all of the incredible images. I couldn’t help it. Now I’ve gone back to read the text and it’s equally enjoyable. HENDRIX knows how to keep things flowing and bubbling with humor. This isn’t one of those crusty, dry academic nap inducers and there’s zero condescension. The author is genuinely smitten with the subject matter and swoons over the fact that many of the books presented knew no bounds or restrictions, that some of these titles’ very existence relied on their ability to shock, appall and push the envelope. Now I’m starting to worry that modern horror fans have all gone soft and square. Back in the eighties, we flipped the bird at propriety and horror books were widespread bonkers and routinely crazy in the coconut! What have we lost? I can only imagine what my sixth grade English teacher must of thought if she perhaps read a few paragraphs from that copy of THE INCUBUS she confiscated from me when I was supposed to reading A SEPARATE PEACE. I hate to sound like an oldster but surely there must be some giant generational difference between the teens that gobbled TWILIGHT and those of us who feverishly devoured THE SHOEMAKER in the high school smoking lounge.

Don’t worry this book isn’t all dumpster diving for depravity (that’s just the fun part), it’s also super informative and I know that because my brain had to dump a ton of useless information (the lyrics to every song in THE PIRATE MOVIE) to make way for fresh knowledge. You get a giant slab of the history of horror paperbacks from those Gothic novels with ladies running away from towers on the cover to those loopy splatter punks that were once all the rage. Graciously HENDRIX even goes out of his way to spotlight the incredible artist whose illustrations made such an impact. You get chapters on the rise of Satan (thanks, ROSEMARY’S BABY and THE EXORCIST), creepy kids (slap me five, THE OMEN) ornery animals (nice work, JAWS), real estate nightmares ( gracias THE AMITYVILLE HORROR and BURNT OFFERINGS), weird science (stay woke, COMA) and deliciously, so much more. It’s so super-stuffed I feel like I owe everyone involved more money.

Much of this splendor may not have been possible without the admirable efforts of WILL ERRICKSON purveyor of one of my all time favorite blogs TOO MUCH HORROR FICTION. Inexhaustible WILL has been absorbing dark fiction and dutifully collecting these beautiful covers for years and I am forever in his debt for turning me on to JESSICA HAMILTON’s ELIZABETH. TOO MUCH is an oasis on the Internet that runs on pure joy of its subject matter and if you haven’t been there, fix that. Most importantly, like this book, it’s a treasure trove that will surely introduce you to many offbeat obscurities that you may have missed before and spur further hours of additional reading. Which reminds me, I must get back inside that cozy book where I am safe from this world! I’m not even done reading it yet and I’m a hundred percent certain PAPERBACKS FROM HELL belongs on the bookshelf of every horror fan. The images are priceless, the text is intoxicating and it’s a book I know I’ll revisit again and again. It could be the best thing to happen to horror paperbacks since the ITC Benguiat font. Do yourself a huge favor and order a copy HERE.

→ 10 CommentsTags: Book Reports

Name That Trauma:: Geoff C. on a Screaming Mother and a Skeleton Brother

September 27th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 4 Comments

Hi Kindertrauma!

Love your website and have been enjoying your posts for many years. I’m finally going to submit my Name That Trauma that’s been haunting me for 40+ years. I was very young so some details may be inaccurate but I’m open to any suggestions.

A woman returns to her family home after being away for many years. The interior of the house looked vaguely gothic with two or more floors and big rooms. The mother and other family seem very hostile to the returning woman.The family members speak of her brother (or maybe father?) who never leaves his room and is never seen. A tray of food is delivered to his room every day and then picked up outside the door with empty dishes. There’s extended build-up and mystery about the never seen brother, climaxing with the woman finally entering his room where she of course finds his skeleton propped up in a chair. The mother (?) comes flying into the room after her discovery screaming “You must die! You must die!” while wielding a knife or ax.

Obviously this sounds like Psycho by way of Burnt Offerings with a touch of Silent Scream but it’s none of those. I know several of the plot points sound like Hammer’s “Scream of Fear” but it’s not that either – though it’s entirely possible that I’ve mixed that one up with another movie or TV show. I saw the movie sometime between 1972 and 1977 (based on where we were living when I saw it) so I was no older than 7 and I’m sure my memory isn’t entirely reliable. I think it was in black and white but that might have just been our TV at the time. The “You must die!” part is what has stuck with me over the years. It’s so campy and over the top it’s hard to believe it’s not from some well-known movie.

Appreciate any help or suggestions from you or your readers!

All the best,

Geoff C.

→ 4 CommentsTags: Name That Trauma!

Terrifier (2017) (Via PUFF 2)

September 25th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment

If your first thought after seeing the recent hit IT was “Gee, I wish that evil clown savagely mutilated more people” then DAMIEN LEONE’s TERRIFIER may be right up your blood strewn alley. The killer clown in this movie truly isn’t playing around. In fact, I think I might have even been offended by a particular obscenity he orchestrated but luckily I don’t mind being offended too much. It’s kind of thrilling to take the less safe path with horror on occasion and to find yourself worrying that the film will push its violence across the border of your comfort zone. There are no subtle chills or elaborate backstories in TERRIFIER, this is a stripped down, back to the basics stalk and slash, heavy on the slash. Old school gorehounds willing to overlook the absence of good taste (or even much of a plot) for a down and dirty haunted attraction type crawl, chock full of sometimes alarmingly convincing practical make–up effects should be particularly satisfied. It doesn’t exactly break new ground but it certainly seethes with genuine menace. Sweetening the pot further, TERRIFIER takes place on Halloween night and even though it’s not able to muster the autumnal ambience of your average HALLOWEEN sequel, I’d still recommend it as premium party viewing for folks looking to celebrate OCT 31st.

TERRIFIER’s formidable killer “Art” may look familiar to some as he has ravaged through LEONE’s earlier anthology ALL HALLOWS EVE (2013), both in a segment and the wrap around tale. LEONE not only wrote and directed TERRIFIER but also supplied the impressive make-up effects, which may explain why they are exhibited with such gruesome reverence and twisted glee. I have to say this clown is pretty darn nightmarish. His silent sneer and uncanny movements rather remind me of “the gentlemen” in the classic BUFFY episode “Hush” and I have to tip my tiny hat to DAVID HOWARD THORTON for his wickedly ghoulish performance, I also rather enjoyed the film’s lead JENNA KANELL (THE BYE BYE MAN) because she looks like STACEY NELKIN in HALLOWEEN III: SEASON OF THE WITCH but talks like MIRA SORVINO in ROMY AND MICHELE’S HIGH SCHOOL REUNION. She’s put through the wringer in this movie and she’s easy to root for but I should warn you that this isn’t the type of movie that cares about heroic redemption and untapped powers within. If it has any message it is that you should trust your instincts rather than your friends when you surmise the clown waving at you is a murderous maniac.

If you live in Philadelphia, TERRIFIER will be playing on Thursday, September 28th at 9:30PM as part of PUFF (THE PHILADELPHIA UNNAMED FILM FESTIVAL) at the one and only Drake Building (more details HERE). Seeing this untamed horror movie with a screaming and squirming audience is sure to be an excellent way to kick off your Halloween season. I know you might be thinking that you’ve been killer clowned to death this year but in the words of one Dr. Loomis, “You don’t know what death is!” (P.S. I’m also hearing very strong word of mouth about TRAGEDY GIRLS, which is being described as MEAN GIRLS meets SCREAM and will be playing on Friday, September 29th at 7PM and will incorporate a prom theme party with shots for anyone over 21- and that means me – be there or be square!).

→ 1 CommentTags: General Horror

Name That Trauma:: Chris H. on a White Clad Figure

September 24th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 4 Comments

Hey there KinderTrauma,

I hope this is the right way to reach you about a certain program I saw on TV that scarred me early on and I have been trying to uncover for close to 22 years.

So at some point in the mid 90’s I was traveling with my dad on business and we were staying at a hotel for one night. He left early in the morning and I had the hotel room all to myself so I preoccupied myself by watching TV.

One of the first things I came upon was a movie/procedural TV show that seemed to be horror in nature, though I was too young at the time to make a clear distinction between horror and mystery thriller.

Anyway, the scene that freaked me out was of a long hallway, possibly a hospital or school building. Wandering the lone halls is a woman. I remember her wearing custodial garb, but I could be wrong. So as she is wandering, at some point, a figure clad in all white passes behind her from one side of the hall to the other. She continues to wander until the thing closes on her and she screams. The next scene is of detectives discussing the found body, noting that many or all internal organs had been removed.

The suddenness of the white clad figure and the grotesque method of killing really disturbed me, and I laid int that hotel room in terror until my dad came back hours later.

If anyone can solve this one, that would be great.



UNK SEZ: Chris! I’m thoroughly convinced you were exposed at a young age to the infamous night nurse scene from THE EXORCIST III (1990). It’s got to be it! You mentioned the white clothes, the hallway and the police investigation afterward. If it makes you feel better, this horrific scene has gotten the better of many a hardened horror fan. No wonder it freaked you out as a kid!

→ 4 CommentsTags: Name That Trauma!

Kindertrauma Funhouse!

September 22nd, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 12 Comments

Ten images from from ten horror films! How many can YOU identify?

→ 12 CommentsTags: Kindertrauma Funhouse

Name That Trauma:: Sean P. on a Corpse in a Window

September 21st, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 3 Comments

Hey guys,

I saw this movie as a kid and I’ve never been able to find it again. All I remember is that there is a woman and her family is trying to drive her crazy. They put a corpse in a window of the house directly across the street for her to see. Does this ring a bell for anyone?


→ 3 CommentsTags: Name That Trauma!