I came across this strange video of a Japanese artist/entertainer Maywa Denki who builds all these primitive, mechanical, noise making gadgets.
Well, the first part of this video is quite bizarre - even for a kiddie program. I immediately thought about what effect some of this would have had on me if I had watched it as a child. I would have been traumatized! There is something really eerie about those twitching "Geisha"-girls and let´s not even talk about the singing.

Thinking about this, I remembered some things that frightened me as a child. Things that nobody else would find memorable scared the shit out of me.
I remember listening to the radio while being home alone one evening. I was a single child and even up to the age of 10 I didn´t like being alone in the dark. It must have been around 1977 and the DJ enthusiastically announced a track from Kraftwerk´s new album. I heard "Autobahn" before, so I was looking forward to it. The track was "Schaufensterpuppen" (Showroom Dummies) and I remember to this day that I found it horribly disturbing.

The clanging beat, the spooky "choir" and the lifeless but threatening words worked up fear in my mind. The idea of creepy Showroom Dummies coming to life, breaking the glass and crawling the streets was really frightening me. Back then the irony of "going to the club and starting to dance" was totally lost on me. Instead I looked down the street through my window because I knew that only three houses down, there were real showroom dummies waiting...

I actually wanted to post the German version because its lyrics and sounds are much more intimidating than the English and French translations, but when I found this video-clip of "Showroom Dummies" I just had to post it. If you watch it to the end you will see Kraftwerk dancing! This will scare you too, no matter how old you are!

Thinking about this I remembered a website called Kindertrauma ("Your happy childhood ends here) which recollects and re-visits scenes and moments of cheesy horror flicks which scared you as a toddler.

Kindertrauma is of course dealing with the horrors American TV was inflicting on kids. It is full of retro-stuff you might not know if you haven´t watched US channels in the seventies or eighties.
Interestingly there are also contributions by younger readers who share their traumatizing Tv-moments. A Pepsi-Ad from 1995 was seen by some as nightmare inducing as a Busta Rhymes Video.

Ahh, that Busta Rhymes clip for "Gimme some mo`"! While I was 30 when this was on the air, I can totally understand the effect this could have on kids. The Bernhard Herrman -sample from Psycho alone makes the song creepy and there is something about the whole look of this thing that is very unsettling. This was directed by Hype Williams who did some of the most memorable videos during the last half of the nineties (and one of the best ever with "She´s a Bitch"). I wonder why he never moved into feature films.

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