Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Closet Killer, The V of Doom and the S From Hell

One of the more eye-opening phobias I've discovered through my YouTube searches is an intense, horrified reaction to the corporate logos that appear at the end of television broadcasts - born in childhood and, in rare cases, carried through to adulthood. They're tagged onto the end of telecasts that are often kid-friendly, but seen through the impressionable eyes of youth, they may take on a violent, menacing quality. Among both corporate types and those afflicted, many of them have acquired names: Viacom's "V of Doom," Screen Gems' "S From Hell," and for my money, the nastiest of the bunch, Paramount's "Closet Killer," an angular, borderline-atonal stinger guaranteed to raise your hackles. Coming after a benign cartoon show, they felt like a sucker-punch to many kids. This is absolute fodder for my friends over at Kindertrauma, where I've posted about a couple of my kiddie nightmares in the past - not connected to any logos, mind you, but terrifying nonetheless. (People, do NOT make any effort to dredge up that anti-heroin toy monkey commercial from the late 60s / early 70s - I NEVER want to see that again!)

The S From Hell is a short film that will be premiering at Sundance this month, one that interests me as much as any of the full-length features being offered. And, truth be told, I had never given that Screen Gems logo much thought...but now that you mention it, there's something about the pinched, almost nasal quality of the music tag...and the way the bars swim into frame to intercept the dot...

OK. I'm now creeped out. Here's the trailer for The S From Hell, as well as a compilation of some of the most notorious logo traumatizers.




10 comments:

Sarah from Scare Sarah said...

Oh my god, that's creepy.

You just won an award at http://scaresarah.blogspot.com/ !

senski said...

Sarah, thank you! And congrats to you for receiving it to share!

Planet of Terror said...

Creepy indeed.

You also won award(s) from us. Hope your dad is doing well Senski.

Rich Rodriguez said...

As a child in the 80's, I did not consider the Hanna-Barbera logo scary at all, but rather colorful and cool. Of course, I was and still am a dyed-in-the-wool Hanna-Barbera cartoon fan. Hilarious video, though.

Wednesday's Child said...

I had no idea so many people were scared by those logos. I really thought it was just me! The one that got me was the old United Artists Logo

senski said...

I swear that, every time I would see a UA movie with a crowd, and that sinister hiss turns into that speaker-blowing orchestral crescendo, I would hear someone in the theater say "Jeeez" in the silence that followed. It is SO over the top!

--MC said...

I remember that monkey heroin PSA. It scared the whiz out of me, and reading about it again reassures me I wasn't alone, but I sure don't want to see it ever again.

kindertrauma said...

Yikes! All of those logos are creepy enough on their own but compiled together they really start to drive you batty. Thank god Ubu showed up at the end to comfort me! -Unk

Bob Lukomski said...

Some cruel person posted the anti-heroin PSA. DONT WATCH THIS.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=AegsJYtwccw

Flute Girl said...

I just saw that anti-heroin toy monkey commercial. Not cool.

What used to scare me when I was a kid was the Paramount Closet Killer logo. I had nightmares about that thing! We lived out in the country in a trailer house near the road and sometimes big diesels would drive by late at night. I'd dream that I was in the living room late at night, all alone, and those diesels would drive by and honk at me and the drivers were hacked off at me because I was a little kid and I was still awake late at night. The way the Closet Killer logo ties into that, though, is because it's music always reminded me of those truck drivers and it would scare me half to death! To me, that music sounded like the soundtrack to a truck driver unleashing his inner PSYCHO!!!

The World Vision and PBS logos used to scare me, too, and one other that I don't think I saw here: The Stephen J. Cannell production logo. That one used to scare me, too, a little.

I also was scared by the EBS: Emergency Broadcast System and the test patterns/color bars that would be on the TV when the station went off the air at night. I used to feel so alone when I'd see the TV station go off the air at night, like I was the last person left alive on the planet. I'm not old enough to remember NET, the station that was the predecessor of PBS, but when I watched its logo, that's how I felt then, too: LONELY.