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Traumafessions :: Reader Carol McM. on Terrifying Trailers

June 19th, 2010 by aunt john · 14 Comments

Hello there –

This is my first traumafession (of many to come as my obsession with horror as a child was only slightly overshadowed by my intense fear of the dark) and I thought I’d start with perhaps the scariest of all entries into the horror genre – for me as a child, that is. That would be the commercial. I have always found the scary commercial to have a rather epic horror feel – because you just never know when it’s coming. They sneak up on you right and left and the only warning you usually have is some alarming music or a deep warning voice – and sometimes that’s just not enough – especially if you find yourself unable to look away.

At the age of 5, the first commercial that scared the pants off me (where I was actually aware of the title of the movie) was IT’S ALIVE. I don’t remember anything other than the image of the baby carriage with the claw hanging from it and maybe some crying and a voice telling me about the impending terror – and it scared me so much that I would avoid all commercials before bedtime just to be on the safe side – only to go to bed with the radio on and have to radio spot for the movie send me careening into a pit of fear. Great.

The next movie to cause a premature heart attack/aneurysm combo in my 6-year-old psyche was THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD. I had no idea what the hell was going on with the title or any of the images from the commercial when I was a kid, and the only vague image that I have of it to this day is what seemed to be the cross section of two legs – as if they were sawed off. I don’t know if that image is even in the movie (I just found it on You Tube and plan on watching it soon) but something about the whole feel of the commercial just scared me to death.

AUNT JOHN SEZ: No trailer available on this one, but here’s a clip:

Next we have AUDREY ROSE. As most of you who had this scare as a wee child and then saw the movie later know – this is really not a scary movie at all. It was the damn commercial! I think all of us who survived those dark days remember the scenes of her up against the window (both inside and outside) – and nothing really happens. Just a little girl who herself is really scared.

And last but not least – the piece de resistance – MAGIC. Another movie that, as it turns out, isn’t really all that scary. But man oh man; I couldn’t get that freaking dummy face image out of my head for years! Every time the lights went out that image would be there -burned in my brain – keeping me awake.

I never saw any of these movies as a kid (and still haven’t seen whether or not Peter Proud’s legs are sawed off or what), and they were all pretty humorous and/or tame when I did see them as an adult. Pretty funny.

Thanks you guys so much for this site – I am officially addicted!


Tags: Traumafessions

14 responses so far ↓

  • 1 FatherOfTearsNo Gravatar // Jun 19, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Yes, that “Audrey Rose” trailer was creepy and so was the paperback cover of the book.  It had that image of the grave stone with Audrey in the flames!  “Magic” was also a great scare for me as well (I was 11 when that came out).  However, in the same year that the “Audrey Rose” movie trailer hit the TV screens a trailer for an Italian horror movie came out which scared the sh*t out of me………So much that I would run out of the room when it would come on the TV! 

  • 2 DavidFullamNo Gravatar // Jun 19, 2010 at 11:22 am

    Yeah, the It’s Alive spot was a real disturbing one.

  • 3 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jun 19, 2010 at 12:24 pm

    I think the trailer for “Magic” needs to be placed in the Kindertrauma hall of fame. It’s amazing that the movie didn’t leave much of a mark but the commercial for it scarred a generation. The trailers for “Suspiria” and “Beyond the door” would place a close second and third but I don’t think any trailer has been mentioned on this site more than “Magic”!

  • 4 micksterNo Gravatar // Jun 19, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    I still will not watch Magic just because of the trailer. When I was in kindergarten or 1st grade, I remember a boy repeating a line from the radio promo for It’s Alive. Maybe it was for the sequel because the original was released when I was three. Anyway, that scared me.
    I also remember being disturbed by the Audrey Rose trailer and the cover of the book (my older brother had the book).

  • 5 Lynette FrommeNo Gravatar // Jun 19, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    The It’s Alive commercial left me sleepless for about a year.  It came on every evening when I was setting the table for dinner. That claw…

  • 6 FatherOfTearsNo Gravatar // Jun 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Oh yeah, there was also the “Prophecy” trailer in 1979:

  • 7 cmcmcmcmNo Gravatar // Jun 19, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    I totally forgot about Salem’s Lot!  I used to shut my eyes and plug my ears when that one came on.  That vampire floating outside the window freaking killed me.

  • 8 craigNo Gravatar // Jun 19, 2010 at 9:24 pm

    Has anyone ever seen the trailer for Tomas Tryon’s THE OTHER (1972)? I’m not as big a fan of this movie as I’m told I should be, but the trailer has every possible hallmark of terror that can be fit into a couple of minutes.

  • 9 Lynette FrommeNo Gravatar // Jun 19, 2010 at 10:50 pm

    Never saw the trailer, but I LOVED the movie.  It was one of the first movies I showed at our weekly movie-nites.  Come on, pitchfork in the hay, freak show, finger in the box, WHAT’S IN THE BASSINET?, that’s scary shit!

  • 10 unkle lanciferNo Gravatar // Jun 20, 2010 at 6:07 am

    Love “The Other”, I may have mentioned this before but me and my cousins used to reenact the barn death scene. We’d scream “I’m king of the mountain!” and then jump from some high place and pretend to be impaled on a pitchfork. We thought that was hilarious.

    The trailer really is scary, especially the “where’s the baby?” part….

  • 11 TVSANo Gravatar // Jun 20, 2010 at 6:08 pm

    Ahh, lazy babysitters and latchkey-dom. Would anyone of us be where we are right now without them? I remember that “Prophecy” promo from laying on a pallet at my mom’s boyfriend’s house. His son was watching me (cool guy, learned me up about KISS) and I was supposed to be crashed out. I think I was mostly but he was in the same room watching television, and had left the room. They ad for “Prophecy” came on, and I was hooked on that movie for life. I think the V/O guy who did it was the same for the vaguely creepy Star Wars “Somewhere, in Space, this could all be happening right Now…” trailer used so effectively on U.N.K.L.E.’s first album.

  • 12 mamamiasweetpeachesNo Gravatar // Jun 21, 2010 at 10:57 am

    For my money THE OTHER is one of THE Most UnderRated Great Horror Movies in the world (the other one being  THE CHANGELING)

    And I agree MAGIC is the scariest commercial to ever run on television (although my older sisters will tell you SUSPIRIA was. They are older but not necessarily wiser!) My best friend STILL recites the MAGIC poem to me every so often and it never fails to make me pee a little.

    As others have stated the movie itself is no great shakes.  I hope they paid the add people well cuz Im a full grown adult now and that MAGIC commercial still gives me pee pee chills!

  • 13 OberstKurtNo Gravatar // Jul 8, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Oh, cripes…someone terrified from the same things of the same era I was! Magic was, and is, the creepiest “marionette” depiction ever. Suspiria trailer I only saw one time. That was one time too many. But the most horrid, evil, demented trailer EVER has got to be IT’S ALIVE.  My brain-scarring experience with that was on a May afternoon in 1977, I’d just got home from school and was watching TV with my mother…and there IT was.  My mother kept going “what is THAT?” I was never the same. I could not sleep, even with chemical assistance, for quite some time. Every time I closed my eyes I saw that infernal bassinette and claw. And that advert was EVERYWHERE. TV played it every five minutes, radio played it, there were big full-colour newspaper adverts…and when it came to the local cinema the line was around the block! Masochists! I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s after that (she didn’t have TV). I’d always loved going to the local drive-in theatre with my parents, but not after that. It was about 1979-1980 before I cautiously went back to cinemagoing, because I didn’t want to stumble onto that IT’S ALIVE trailer inadvertently in “Coming Attractions!” To this day I have never, and will not, see that movie. Thank God the recent remake was straight-to-DVD. Larry Cohen, if you’re reading this…thanks for nothing!

  • 14 ScrewedUpTeenNo Gravatar // Jan 2, 2017 at 2:24 pm

    Scary movie trailers? I don’t remember when this was (2012 or 2013) there was a radio ad for what I think was Evil Dead, with a creepy electronic voice. I only heard that once. Then there was Scary Movie 5, with the doll crawling out of the box upside down while rambling gibberish. That gave me quite a chill, but the rest of the trailer was hilarious (The Bible being scary haha). And then there was The Gallows, which had a similar creepy voice as the first trailer I mentioned.

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