Name That Trauma:: Ploppa Smerph on a Time Loop Stalker

I’m helping a friend chase down an old memory and he has originally misapplied to the Friday the 13th series:

This memory is set squarely in the ’80s. As I recall it — our “lone survivor” girl is running for her life at night, maybe from a camp. She gets into a car and starts driving away, panicked. She leaves [The Killer] behind, and he just stands there and watches her drive away. The next scene is her in the van (or whatever vehicle) and [The Killer] steps out of the brush ahead. She SCREAMS and dodges him and continues. Then, he steps out into the road again. Same thing happens. This continues 1-2 more times, and she finally tries to hit him but ends up crashing. He has eliminated the Twilight Zone episode The Hitch-Hiker and the looping scene in A Nightmare On Elm Street Part 4: The Dream Master.

Name That Trauma:: Mike M. on a Post-Apocalyptic Pollution PSA

Hi, Folks!
I’ve been thinking about a terrifying ad from the early 1970sā€¦ it was a PSA about air pollution, and it went something like this:

A regular-looking middle-aged guy wearing regular-looking 20th clothes is in some kind of underground, THX-1138-like Dystopia. There’s a voiceover talking about the dangers of air pollution. The regular-looking guy is dragged by gas-mask-wearing, uniformed goons before some kind of Nazi-like judge. The judge bangs his gavel, declares the guy guilty, and now the guy is TERRIFIED and REALLY struggling against the goons. The goons drag him down a hallway, and to judge by the change of light, it seems a big, sliding air-lock-like door has opened in front of him and the guy’s TERROR increases exponentially as the goons shove him toward the door. CUT TO: The guy is outside, with a vista of (very real, not special effect) smokestacks behind him, and he’s covering his mouth trying not to breathe, because the Nazi judge has sentenced him to * die by suffocation in the air pollution on the surface. * This was some heavy, heavy, stuff to see as a kid, and my local TV station played in the afternoons, when Astro-Boy and Prince Planet and Ultraman were on. It made a real impression.

If guys could help me track this down, I’d really appreciate it!

–Mike

Name That Trauma:: Phil on Death by Laughter

Kindertrauma,

Can you help me? I’ve been trying to understand this memory for years:

It begins with the main character checking into a hotel or mansion to stay the night. That night, their sleep is interrupted by hysterical laughter. The next morning, they open the bedroom doors to investigate. There is a brief shot of a bed in disarray. In my memory, the bed is covered with blood and the corpse is visible, but that might be my imagination. This memory convinced me that I could be killed by my own laughter.

The source: I saw this on a videotape between 1981 and 1983. It was recorded by my grandma and shipped to us overseas. We were living in Paris, France, so there is a slim possibility that it was a French TV broadcast, but I’m pretty sure the actors spoke English, so it was probably one of Grandma’s tapes. Grandma mostly taped things off of Chicago area TV, but sometimes she would rent movies and cross tape them. She loved mystery anthology TV, so there’s a decent chance this was on a show like Mystery!

Incidentally, this is not the most traumatic thing Grandma sent us. That honor goes to Un burattino di nome Pinocchio. This Italian animated Pinocchio movie is way too true to the book. The animation walks the line between beautiful and deeply uncanny. “Highlights” include Pinocchio getting hanged from a tree, Pinocchio getting stripped naked and roasted over a fire by a blue cannibal, and the Blue Fairy dying while a bird explains it’s Pinocchio’s fault. If you’re not already aware of this childhood-ruining film, then you should be. It’s on youtube. I’ve tried to rewatch it, but the memories are too intense and I can’t last more than five minutes.

-Phil

Name That Trauma:: J. Smith on Suicide Prevention PSAs

Hi there! I’m looking for an old PSA that scared me shitless when I
was around 6 or 7 around 2008-2011.

It was a suicide hotline ad if I remember, which showed a kitchen,
with a male narrator explaining something (was probably too scared
exactly what it was) while objects fell from the shelves. It ended
with the background music, which I think was just a quiet piano
growing louder and more distorted while several toys and I think
stuffed animals came to life & began to set themselves and the kitchen
on fire. I distinctly remember this part of the ad being done in stop
motion. (I know this sounds ridiculous but I’m almost certainly
misremembering the details)

There was a second ad from the same people that took place in an empty
warehouse. There was a woman sitting in the middle of the floor,
talking about her problems while panes of glass surrounded her,
playing moments from her life. The ad ended with a bird’s eye shot of
her getting up and walking offscreen.

Both ads had the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
(if I remember correctly, this was well over a decade ago after all),
and since these were pretty high-budget commercials, I believe they
were the ones that made them, but I can’t be sure.

These ads aired like clockwork during the 6:00 news (either right
before it or right after it) on my local ABC station (I live in Omaha,
Nebraska if it helps narrow it down), but even though they seemed to
air all of the time, and how recent these ads are, I haven’t found a
single trace of either of these commercials on the internet
.

Name That Trauma Solved:: Auto and the Porcelain Doll PSA

Hi,
A month or two ago I sent you guys a message about a creepy Lupus PSA which aired in upstate NY during the ’90s, which I originally read about on Reddit. I’d not seen the commercial myself, but I’ve been vigorously hunting and I believe that I finally tracked it down. The OP wasn’t lying when they said it was frightening… my reupload is
HERE.