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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

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 micksterNo Gravatar // Aug 30, 2009 at 11:27 am

    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!

  • 2 RATSAWGODNo Gravatar // Aug 30, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    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!

  • 3 senskiNo Gravatar // Aug 30, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    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…

  • 4 dhshoopsNo Gravatar // Aug 30, 2009 at 3:16 pm

    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.

  • 5 gilligNo Gravatar // Aug 30, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    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.

  • 6 aunt johnNo Gravatar // Aug 30, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Is THREADS the one with the scene were some unfortunate couple is melted together ’cause they were doing it when the bomb went off?

    If so, we had to watch to watch it in 10th grade Civics class and it elicited a room full of giggles.

  • 7 jennisNo Gravatar // Aug 30, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    “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…
    It starts around 5:16.

  • 8 Chuckles72No Gravatar // Aug 30, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    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.

  • 9 micksterNo Gravatar // Aug 31, 2009 at 7:44 am

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

  • 10 JaybirdNo Gravatar // Aug 31, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    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!

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