kindertrauma random header image

Traumafessions :: Reader Andi T. on The Day After & The Dollmaker

August 30th, 2009 by aunt john · 10 Comments

the day after

O.K. you two, I haven’t seen these two traumas listed as of yet… (but I’m not all the way through the archives either).

What about that movie THE DAY AFTER having to do with nuclear fall out and how it would devastate the whole country? We were in the early ‘80s with threats of the cold war looming. They then put this movie on T.V. with warnings to parents about how traumatic it might be to children viewing. And yet there my family was with a big ass bowl of popcorn. I just remember seeing a child bleeding from his backside and it made a tremor in my stomach of revulsion I can feel to this day.

Which brings us to the next trauma I feel is worth mentioning, and several of my gal pals concur. The movie was THE DOLLMAKER…early ‘80s JANE FONDA, a Mom in the depression times that whittles dolls out of wood who not only gives her own daughter a friggin’ tracheotomy, on what I think was just a run of the mill dining room table, but who also later has to witness her daughter die as her legs are being crushed by a train down at the local train track…VIVID and AWFUL, AWFUL, AWFUL!

I know I’m not supposed to be trying to hog all the trauma moments by listing a ton, but these were really gnarly and I couldn’t pick the one that was worse. 🙂

Tags: Traumafessions




Subscribe
Notify of
10 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
mickster
mickster
11 years ago

The Day After traumatized me big time! I still get goosebumps just thinking about it. I was twelve at the time, and like you we all watched it as a family. I think I had nightmares for weeks!

RATSAWGOD
11 years ago

Nuclear War was one of my number one traumas, and I remember all the kids in school were talking about seeing this movie on television for weeks before it aired. I totally wussed and sat out the original airing, but still had routine nightmares ab out the possibility of Nuclear War for many years to come.
Of course, the scariest aspect about this much hyped television move it’s gratuitous use of stock footage!

senski
senski
11 years ago

To this day, anytime someone says they’re heading to Lawrence, KS, I think; oh, forget it, you’re dead…

If you haven’t seen it before, be sure to check out the UK version of “The Day After” – “Threads.” It’s recently been posted on YouTube in its entirety. “Bleak” doesn’t begin to do it justice, and the last freeze-frame will stay with you for the rest of your days…

dhshoops
dhshoops
11 years ago

I’ve always wanted to see Threads…thanks for the heads-up senski.

It’s amazing how dated The Day After already is…too old (in college) when it aired originally to be a trauma, though the fear of nuclear war was palpable. I’ve shown this in class a couple times to middling effect….a case of “you had to be there” I suppose.

gillig
gillig
11 years ago

I remember being disappointed by The Day After considering all the hype it got before airing.  I guess I was a little too old to be truly traumatized.  If you really want to be scared by a post-apocalyptic vision, read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road.  Truly bleak and harrowing.  Don’t wait for the sanitized Hollywood version this fall.

jennis
jennis
11 years ago

“I just remember seeing a child bleeding from his backside and it made a tremor in my stomach of revulsion I can feel to this day.”
I think the scene you are describing is from the PBS movie Testament 1983.
Here is the scene you describe…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6w3nfK5bqE
It starts around 5:16.
 

Chuckles72
Chuckles72
11 years ago

I managed to not see this when it first aired – my parents thought it was propaganda.  I saw it for the first time about a year ago.  I must admist that I was surprised by how hellish the detonation scene was – very effective. 

If I had seen this as a kid like the OP, I would have had some serious issues with it.  Unfortunately, most of the time I could not get the image of a short, crabby policeman yelling “Mahoney!” out of my head for some reason.

mickster
mickster
11 years ago

gillig, I think I went through a box of tissues reading The Road. Very depressing!

Jaybird
Jaybird
11 years ago

Yeah…we were all convinced we’d be vaporized in atomic flames in the ’80’s. Man…the good old days, huh?

Thanks for reminding me where that scene with the little girl getting her legs cut off by a train came from. I remember that vividly from childhood but forgot what movie it was from. Now I can re-live it whenever I want. Yay!