Sunday, 17 October 2010

Nun shall pass!

Greetings Earthlings,
As the advent of Halloween rushes towards us like an over enthusiastic trick-or-treater, what better place to start my blog than with one of Big D's heaped dollops of retro horror. I say retro, as in common parlance it seems to mean something from quite a long time ago... but not that long ago... so, quite...but not.
Good. Im glad you're following me.
Five moments out of time Id like to share with you on the run up to Halloween. Five moments that shocked me at the time and left an indelible blot on my psyche. I can look back and laugh at them now, but the laugh stills sounds a little shaky and has a tinge of the uneasy.
Let me first take you back to 1978. A time, for me at least, of lost innocence never to be regained. My brother had not even began to twinkle in my dads eye, and beige Ford Cortinas were all the rage. I still like watching shows from that period for the nostalgia of the era and the seemingly empty London streets that now throng with every manner of life 7 days a week. Aah! My dear London lost...
It was 6 days before my sixth birthday and a series called Armchair Thriller aired an episode called 'Quiet as a nun'. It was before the traditional 'watershed', the 9pm demarkation point of family veiwing and adult themed TV, so I happily sat in front of the TV blissfully unaware of the horror which was about to assail me.

Okay. The spooky church. The trap door. The rocking chair... AND A FACELESS FUCKING NUN!
It was the fact that the show ended so suddenly after showing this stark and terrifying image, that amplified my own terror. I never saw the next episode, and so my boyhood years were haunted with fantasies of what a faceless nun would do to someone if ever it caught them.
I never watched the Sound of Music in quite the same way, and could never be alone in the same room with my nan's rocking chair again. At the age of 5 it could quite possibly be the moment that broke my horror hymen. But you've gotta love it. It is the very essence of horror and truly the stuff of nightmares.
Please tune in to my next blog for nostaligc Halloween moment 2 when my delicate sensibilties are churned and offended by a truly terrible film.

Big D out.


  1. I think that was included in the 'Top 100 Scariest Moments' that they always churn out on Channel 4.

    It was great seeing the build up to it though, to add a litte context. And the fact that it is obviously a man in that outfit, means that when 'she' gets up and slaps seven bells out of shit out of that lady, that it really does get your heart going as there is something inherently wrong about the whole thing. Apart from the whole not having a face thing.

    Nice choice - can't wait for the next one!

  2. Damn.. There was me thinking I was being original :(
    Thanks for the comment Laura. Expect the next blog in a few days :)

  3. owl service? Children of the stones?
    these are the gold standards of youthful terror

  4. Fuck yeah.... Jeeez... Now thats nostalgia!

  5. When armchair thriller came on, mum would stand infront of the telly to block my vision of the shadow sitting in the chair!
    Does anyone know another show- it might have been the 'thriller'series, i can't find any footage on youtube but i remember this programme where the titles featured a lot of ghosts/ghouls,monsters. In my child-mind i thought they had screwed up paper stuffed in their eye sockets but in retrospect it was probably just opaque white ghoul-eyes. ???

  6. Yeah that sounds hauntingly familiar....
    Wasnt there an episode where there was a wrestler who wore a mask, and if you ever saw his face you died?
    And the kid hid in the dressing room and saw his horrible face and ran off and then fell of a catwalk or something... Jeeez Im having a flashback... Please help if someone remembers..

  7. That was from the kids programme 'Dramarama' for sure! I only really remember that exact episode- it's weird how the same bits stick in different people's minds, like if you talk about 'saphire and steel' people always recall the weird one with an emryo in a cot or something!?

  8. Hurk man! You a veritable sage!
    Well remembered.

  9. I've been hunting for this 'Dramarama' episode for ages now. From what I can find so far it was not part of the original Dramarama line up but was an additional episode that was added in, from my investigations so far I think it may be from a series called 'Send In The Girls' the episode was called 'The Wild Bunch'. This episode included wrestlers and one of these was called 'Death Angel' (played by Kendo Nagasaki) and I seem to recall that the name of the wrestler with the messed up face was called Death Angel. Hope this is of help, I just need to find the episode to confirm my theory now!