|Copyright 1981 Amulet Pictures
| Reviewed by Andrew Borntreger on 'a long time ago'
- Jaime - Disturbed little kid who talks to his teddy bear. For a boy of twelve he is quite the pervert. He gets munched in the end.
- Teddy - Take a little boy's Id (one who takes Lithium), give it cute button eyes and a soft furry covering. You now have Teddy.
- Sandy - Jaime's nanny, eaten.
- Mrs. Livingston - School librarian. She knows Jaime is one freaked out boy.
- Freddy and Christina - Older boy who is the leader of a club, while she seems to be his girlfriend. Both are fed to the Tra-la-logs.
- Abergail - Brat girl who torments Jaime. Fed to the Tra-la-logs.
- Mrs. Oliphant - Mean old woman in a wheelchair who once told on Jaime for running around naked. Guess what happens to her: fed to the Tra-la-logs.
- Tra-la-logs - These are the creatures that are eating everyone. Shot by locals.
|This movie was a let-down, but I knew it was coming. Despite all the possibilities apparent in a script about a psycho kid feeding people to monsters, prepare to be disappointed. Jaime is a rather unloved boy, BECAUSE HE'S A FRIGGING PSYCHO! Hard to feel sorry for him; thank you very much.
Sandy is hired to be Jaime's nanny. The little nutzoid falls head over heels in love with her. He tries to express himself, but there are very few ways for a boy his age to articulate the torrent of emotions that define an adolescent crush. What invariably will come out is either mooning adulation or lurid sexual fantasy. Since he is unbalanced, Jamie's crush comes across as a confusing mishmash, though it weighs heavily on the creepy sexual side.
While wandering alone in the woods, Junior Psycho discovers a pit full of hairy monster things. I cannot easily describe them. Jeez, they have snouts and are furry. He bonds with the creatures, because what else would a neurotic pre-teen do when confronted by a pit full of midgets in fuzzy suits? Oh, like you did not have imaginary friends when you were a kid. Granted, yours were probably cuddly white bunnies or a gargantuan red dog that could talk. Then again, most kids do have a few dark fantasies. I remember traumatizing my older sister by wrapping all of her Barbie's up in white yarn and suspending them in a crazy cobweb strung between the legs of the table and several chairs. The least fortunate of the dolls had a big rubber spider perched atop her, quite busy with the job of turning Barbie's guts into liquid and then sucking them out.
I had taken the yarn from grandma's knitting basket. She was none too pleased about the arachnid holocaust either.
Pretty soon, Jaime begins to use his limited savings to purchase meat for the Tra-la-logs. That quickly runs out and he resorts to stealing any cash he can find around the house. The butcher is happy for the business, but not many meat markets run "buy two pounds of raw steak and get the third pound free" specials. Our protagonist (Why must I call him that?) is quickly out of money again. Maybe Jamie should have been looking at the price per pound to get the most out of his dollars. It is not as if he was feeding them ramen.
Ha! If the monsters ate ramen, Jamie probably could have fed them forever without running out of money. Any food that cheap worries me. I mean, a little packet is what, fifteen cents? The packaging and transportation has to cost almost that much. How can they afford to make it? You know what happened, don't you? Some guy found a hole in the ground full of live ramen that wiggle mindlessly to the surface (yes, ramen is actually some sort of organism). They built a factory over the hole and use slave labor to scoop ramen out of the hole all day and night. No matter how much they remove, the hole is always brimming full of squirming ramen.
Fine, then you explain why ramen is so cheap.
Another of Jamie's little idiosyncrasies is that he talks to his teddy bear. Frankly, if I were his mother I would forbid him to ever see the thing again, because Teddy is not a nice bear. It always advises its owner to do things that would get any child condemned to Santa's naughty list. That is, if Saint Nicholas did not show up in the brat's bedroom one night with a broadsword to end things once and for all. Teddy's solution to the Tra-la-log food shortage is to feed them "bad people." As you might have guessed, the definition of "bad people" is anyone who has made Jamie angry. He quickly runs out of bad people.
I did laugh when Jamie grabbed the handles of the crotchety old lady's wheelchair and pushed her all the way down the street, into the woods, and then dumped her into the pit.
Unfortunately, the disturbed little boy shows Sandy his pet monsters. She falls in and they eat her and the loss drives Jamie over the edge. He provides the ravenous creatures with a means of egress (a rope). After munching several residents, the Tra-la-logs are pursued back to the pit by a posse that shoots them to death. Jamie then meets a friendly girl who wants to show him her secret...another pit in the woods.
I am not fond of this film. It is slow and we never get a very clear look at the monsters. What they do look like is a bunch of midgets in hairy pig outfits. However, Jamie is creepy, no matter how you slice the movie. The redeeming factor is his frightening demeanor and psychosis. Keep out of the reach of children.
|Things I Learned From This Movie:|| |
- Kids are not allowed to check out books like "Creative Nude Photography" from the library.
- Boys want to ride girl's bikes.
- Liberated women piss crazy kids off.
- A young nanny should not wash a twelve-year-old boy's back.
- Psycho boys can perfectly predict the reactions of grown women to telephone calls.
- Never attempt to reason with a cow.
- Twenty foot wide pits in the ground are virtually invisible.
- Telling a girl that she is "not pretty inside" and then feeding her to monsters is a little hypocritical.
- Getting psychotherapy from your talking teddy bear is not good for you.
- 1 min - Ouch! Random punch to the face.
- 9 mins - Punch to the face scene again.
- 11 mins - Problem child huh? More like a nut case.
- 25 mins - What the heck are you talking to in that pit? Oh, just Tra-la-logs...
- 37 mins - Great, Trog-cam. Why is every damn monster nearsighted?
- 41 mins - No, some other psycho kid crept into the bathroom and wrote "I love you" on the mirror.
- 67 mins - Nobody notices that all these people are missing?
- 73 mins - Good idea, Jaime, they eat people so you give them a rope to climb out.
| ||Audio clips in wav format||SOUNDS||Starving actors speak out|| |
||Jaime: "What do I do now." |
Teddy: "Well, she'll get undressed and go into the bathroom. Just give her a minute."
||Jaime: "I'm not lonely, I got teddy and the things in my terrarium. I talk to them and bring them things to eat. I can always go see the Tra-la-logs, only they don't talk much."
||Sandy: "Did you go in there and write that on the mirror while I was taking a shower?" |
Sandy: "Well enough is enough, young man! Do I make myself clear?"
||Police Chief: "Like a plague or something! People disappearing right and left. Old ladies, little girls, young women, school boys..."
| ||Click for a larger image||IMAGES||Scenes from the movie|| |
| ||Watch a scene||VIDEO||MPEG video files|| |
|Feeding the old lady to the Tra-la-logs.
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