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Traumafession:: Danielle P. on The Electric Company and Jack Bowser

October 25th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 1 Comment

When I was a kid I grew up on PBS. There were some spooks here and there (like how Sesame Street started a phobia I outgrew around the time the subject I’m focusing on happened) but right now, I wanna talk to you about the 2010 Electric Company show. It’s not as good as the 70s although my brother and I watched it.

You had killer lollipops, Morgan Freeman as a vampire, and monolith words.

I had freaking Jack Bowser.

See, there were these stop-motion skits that sended up 24, starring a dog parody of Jack Bauer; “Jack Bowser.” He’d always be trapped somewhere and he had 24 seconds to read a sentence correctly or else he’d explode. And every time, he got out unscathed.

I don’t know about you, but these skits just creeped me out. The black background, the sound of the timer, and the creepy-looking dog. I remember always wanting the dog to die for some reason. It’s the sadist in me.

→ 1 CommentTags: Traumafessions

Streaming Alert:: Amityville: The Awakening (2017)

October 23rd, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 6 Comments

I know it’s not easy to muster up enthusiasm for yet another Amityville sequel but this latest addition has at least two difficult to resist things going for it: it stars the always compelling JENNIFER JASON LIEGH and it’s currently absolutely FREE on GOOGLE PLAY. Another ace up its sleeve is that the action takes place at the legendary pumpkin-eyed house on 112 Ocean Avenue (or at least a faithful recreation of it) rather than following a cursed inanimate object that managed to escape from it. That may not seem like much. but I will forever be a little unnerved by the mere sight of that creepy Dutch Colonial and am so relieved not to have to follow a lamp, mirror, clock or dollhouse to another address. This new edition could surely use some major renovations (The lighting is often inadequate, there’s not enough JENNIFER JASON LEIGH and the editing makes you feel like it’s been pruned to the stem with a weed-whacker) but it manages to be fairly entertaining anyway. It’s nowhere near the high point of the franchise (that would be AMITYVILLE 2: THE POSSESION (1982), of course!) but it’s leaps beyond the franchise low point (I’ll never accept you as canon THE AMITYVILLE CURSE (1990)!) Oh and did I mention, it’s FREE?

AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING takes place in a wacky universe in which characters are able to watch the original 1979 film on TV (after referencing its sequel and rejecting its remake) that is somehow also a dimension where the house is super affordable and the famous “High Hopes” sign lingers unsold on ebay in the basement. I suppose it’s possible that Goth girl Belle (actress, singer, Cocoa Pebbles cover model BELLA THORNE) has never heard of the Amittyville legend before moving into her new home but it seems highly unlikely. How could anyone say “I’m moving to Amityville” without hearing “THE Amityville?” in response. I mean, can you even type “Amityville “ into your computer without be greeted by those wicked windows staring back at you (I just tried and the answer is no)? Anyway, the ”reality” we’re placed in is hard to swallow and even though it’s not a deal breaker, it tends to dismantle the film’s credibility. Where the film works best is in the family dysfunction department; Belle’s twin brother (CAMERON MONAGHAN) is lost in a coma that she feels personally responsible for and a rather convincing cloud of sickness, grief and existential dread hangs over the family. It’s this aspect of the film that makes it difficult to shrug off completely. LEIGH could sell me the Brooklyn Bridge if she wanted and I think if the film spent more time mining her emotional dilemma and less time courting the teen crowd, there would be a more effective result.

You know how AMITYVILLE 3-D (1983) is mostly balk-worthy lunacy but then there’s that super haunting scene where TESS HARPER encounters the soaked, blank-eyed ghost of her daughter LORI LOUGHLIN and her frenzied denial and grief is palpable afterwards? So goes AMITYVILLE: THE AWAKENING in a way. It’s mostly hoarding familiar creaky house, jolt scares but there’s a somewhat legit subterranean stream of pathos as well. When the Evil of the house begins to infest and rejuvenate Belle’s comatose brother, it’s easy to sympathies with the family’s reluctance to care that the divine intervention is coming from below rather than above. I also feel I should give this flick some props for at least alluding to my favorite underused Amityville character Jodie, by way of a startling pig mask (in a perfect world Jodie would have an entire spin off franchise of her own). Anyway, no matter how you slice this ham, there’s no denying it is worth the paltry price of FREE and even an only partially successful Amityville movie is a welcome Halloween treat to yours truly. Check it out HERE and my apologies in advance, you should know better than listen to someone who thinks AMITYVILLE 4: THE EVIL ESCAPES (1989) is the bee’s knees (or the fly’s thighs?).

→ 6 CommentsTags: General Horror

Name That Killer Thriller!

October 20th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 13 Comments

Below are ten images from ten thrillers. How many can you identify? Leave a comment and you could win a special surprise pack from THE SNOWMAN (opening today at a theater near you)!

→ 13 CommentsTags: Kindertrauma Funhouse

Traumafession:: Dustin in Minnesota on The Soupman (1980)

October 16th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 2 Comments

Greetings traumathusiasts!

It’s been a long time since I have posted, but I do try to at least visit the site every week. This place has been great for naming my past traumas, especially now that IMDB removed all of their discussion boards.

That said, I am traumafessing this 1980 episode of the apparently religious program Insight. I saw the second half of this by chance once or twice around 1980 or 1981, and never caught it again. This episode is called “The Soupman,” and the part that scared 10-year-old me was how this gang treated Joey, one of their own members.

I had read books like “The Outsiders” and watched films such as “My Bodyguard” and “Over the Edge,” and had a fear of and fascination with delinquents.

I have attached a link to the episode (HERE).


Dustin in Minnesota

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Name That Non-Friday the 13th Film!

October 13th, 2017 by unkle lancifer · 14 Comments

Happy Friday the 13th! Here are 10 images from 10 NON-Friday the 13th films that happen to feature actors that have appeared in the Friday the 13th series! How many do you know? Points for movie titles, names of actors and identifying which Friday the 13th film the actor has appeared in. Good luck!

→ 14 CommentsTags: Kindertrauma Funhouse

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.

→ 6 CommentsTags: Name That Trauma!

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