Cursed Kids - The Horror of Childhood - Thur. Oct. 22 - 8PM

Oddball Films continues its creepy month of October with Cursed Kids - The Horror of Childhood, with a triple feature of short horror films for and about children mixed with a smattering of educational scare films, animation and musical shorts, all on 16mm from the archive. Peter Medak directs The Rocking Horse Winner (1977), a demonic adaptation of D.H. Lawrence’s chilling story about a boy who rocks himself into clairvoyant trances in order to predict horse racing winners and help his mother get out of debt. Di$ney gets into the horror game with Bette Davis and an alternate dimension of terror in the unforgettable Watcher in the Woods (1980, condensed version).  The ABC Weekend Special gets spooky in The Red Room Riddle (1983), a tale of a haunted house full of ghost servants and dogs that traumatized a generation of kids. Sid Davis, master of the scare film, brings us the scenarios of four "real-life" nightmares from the seemingly ever-present threat of child-molesters and murderers in Boys Aware (1973).  Are you scared of the dark?  Never fear, Spooky Boos and Room Noodles (1970s) - an animated anti-scare film for the tiny tots - will have you too baffled to be frightened.  And come sing along with the "feelings" gang and sing your fears away with the ridiculous educational primer I'm Feeling Scared (1974).  Early birds can relive the Mercer Mayer classic There's a Nightmare in My Closet (1987), plus trailers for The Exorcist and The Omen and even more surprises!

Date: Thursday, October 22nd 2015 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117

Highlights Include:

The Rocking Horse Winner (Color, 1977)
Adapted from the chilling D.H. Lawrence story, The Rocking Horse Winner features a youngster in a strained familial situation, who eavesdrops on his parents’ raucous quarrels over money.  Desperate to cheer up his depressive mother, who can no longer afford to pay the bills of their grand family estate and who grieves that her “luck has run out,” and spurred on by whispers he hears from the house that “there must be more money,” young Paul begins secretly placing bets on horses through his sympathetic uncle (played by Kenneth More) to raise money for his mom.  Little does his uncle know, however, that Paul’s miraculous winning streak has been ill-achieved, through semi-satanic means.  This film features black magic, a trippy soundtrack, and a blood curdling climax. Directed by Peter Medak (The Changeling) for the Canadian literary horror show Classics Dark and Dangerous.

The Red Room Riddle (Color, 1983)
This haunted episode of the ABC Weekend Special that traumatized many a youngster with its low-budget effects finally comes to the big screen!  Billy Jacoby (Just One of the Guys, Parker Lewis Can't Lose, and younger brother of 1970s child actor extraordinaire Scott Jacoby) is initiating a new boy into his club by bringing him to a notoriously haunted house.  As they attempt to break in, the lock on the gate mysteriously falls off and ushers the two boys into a world of Victorian ghosts, inexplicable red rooms and glowing orbs.  Will they make it out alive to tell the club about all the spooky ghost butlers and ghost gardeners they've seen? 

Watcher in the Woods (Condensed Version, Color, 1980)
Di$ney does Horror in this taut and creepy tale starring Bette Davis and Real Housewife Kyle Richards! A family moves into a lavish but rundown country estate with a mysterious past and a rift to another dimension. The teenage daughter seems to be the only one that can solve a 30 year mystery and draw a missing girl out of her alternate-dimensional prison. Genuinely spooky for grownups and eternally haunting to those who saw it in their youth, this abridged version (with closed captioning for deaf students) skips over the slow moments and misses none of the creeps.

Boys Aware (Color, 1973) Sid Davis, the father of the pedophilia scare film presents four case histories portraying homosexual advances toward young boys. We start off when Ralph shows Billie some pornographic pictures.  “What Billie didn’t know was that Ralph was sick”, our narrator says, “a sickness that was not visible like smallpox but no less dangerous and contagious, a sickness of the mind. You see Ralph was a homosexual, a person who demands an intimate relationship with members their own sex.” This over-the-top film, produced in conjunction with the Inglewood, CA Unified School District and Police Department pulls out every homosexual stereotype and scare tactic in the book including the jolting line “That evening Mike traded his life for a newspaper headline”. 

Spooky Boos and Room Noodles (Color, 1970s)
Have you got monsters in your room at night?  Don't worry, the room noodles will tickle them into submission!  This cut-out cartoon short aimed at assuaging children's fear of the dark doesn't bother explaining any facts, it just relies on lies and "room noodles" to get the job done. I guess imaginary monsters require imaginary foes.

I’m Feeling Scared (Color, 1974) 
Come on out and learn the ‘feelings song’ tonight! That’s right, there’s a song for kids and the kid in all of us about how to deal with the feelings and emotions that come up when faced with events like jumping off a diving board, being called to the principal’s office, meeting new people, and having a dog bark at you. Don’t be frightened, it’s ok! 

Curator’s Biography
Kat Shuchter is a graduate of UC Berkeley in Film Studies. She is a filmmaker, artist and esoteric film hoarder. She has helped program shows at the PFA, The Nuart and Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theater and was crowned “Found Footage Queen” of Los Angeles, 2009. She has programmed over 200 shows at Oddball on everything from puberty primers to experimental animation.

About Oddball Films
Oddball films is a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Silicon Valley, Kurt Cobain: The Montage of Heck, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.
Our screenings are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.