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BTDesign Award
Death Zones (1975)

Cast: Bunch of kids covered in blood, screaming adults, etc.

Director(s): Some sick minded fuck.

Language: English

Genre: Documentary

Website: Click Here


Fairly graphic film about how not to exit a bus, etc.


Papamikey wrote on January 18, 2006, 4:19 pm
This was written by another reviewer on a Blog site, but damn if doesn't capture the movie PERFECTLY (even down to the same location/time of school in Canada...)

During my childhood in elementary school (circa 1970s), each year they would gather us all in the gym/auditorium and have us watch this particular bus safety film. I remember it absolutely terrified me as a child, to the point I'd have nightmares about yellow school buses (and yes, it still haunts me today).

Here's some scenes I remember:

- An announcer talks about the "Danger Zone" around the bus. A white dotted line is superimposed on an overhead camera shot of the bus.

- One scene the announcer talks about a driver who's had a perfect safety record after years of service, but on this particular day that was about to change. There are several kids throwing a ball of yarn (unraviling no less, making a tangled web) around the back of the bus. The driver keeps looking into his rear view mirror telling them to settle down. He is distracted and runs over a child who was crossing the street after exiting the bus

- Another scene has a little girl making a Mother's Day card in school. She's very proud of her work and very eagerly looking forward to showing it to her parent at the end of the school day. On the bus ride home, she exists the bus, runs across the street to greet her mother (unknowningly dropping her Mother's Day card on the road in front of the bus). She then notices it's been dropped, runs out in front of the bus just as it starts to move forward. She is hit and instantly killed. We're then shown the mother sobbing uncontrollably, holding her child's dead body.

- A scene where a child drops his school books under the back wheels of the bus while it is letting off others at his stop. He bends down to pick them up. The bus moves, then we're visibly shown the inside of the bus/passengers, as the whole bus bounces and shakes it rolls over something large. Then we see the child, dead and under the bus tires.

- A scene with high school kids. The announcer talks about this girl looking forward to her high school prom dance, and her plans. It's winter. She exits the bus, then climbs onto a snowbank adjacent to it, and starts horsing around with her friends through the bus windows (they're grabbing her or her books?). She suddenly slips and slides under the bus, just as it's pulling away and crushes her body. The scene ends with her bloody and barely alive, taken away by ambulance and the announcer saying who she won't be going to prom dance this year, or any other dances in her lifetime, and will be paralized for the rest of her life (or something lovely like that). They mention the accident taking place in Vermont, I recall. Or the ambulance had a "Burlington, Vermont Paramedics" or such. My memory is vague here, though perhaps this was all produced in that state?

- Most of the scenes had this eeary two-note theme played, kind of like horror movie music (like, "Daa! Dumm!" in low note scale). Possibly a piano, or an analog synthesizer.

- The film itself was obviously produced in the late 60's or early 70's, just going by what I remember of the style of clothing the kids wore. Also how the film was old and crackling--definitely in color though, and no earlier than the 1960's.

It was very graphic, I remember seeing children covered in blood and the whole thing playing out like a serious drama. There were no cute cartoons, smiling adults hosts or happy endings. It was just meant to terrify and shock child, and yeah, it did! My elementary school was located in eastern Canada, though I definitely know the film was American.

motleymitch wrote on January 18, 2006, 5:32 pm
I remember this EXACT film!
We were shown these 'scare tactic' films in elementary school, and they worked! Scared the bloody hell out of me! I remember that scene above, the black kid dead and stuck under the bus after trying to retrieve his books. I remember the girl slipping off the snow bank and going under the bus....she had braces I think, and she was barely alive, but all bloody. These images stayed with me FOREVER.
I think they showed us these in grade 4, maybe 3, so I was maybe 8 or 9 years old. I remember being shown a 'don't-smoke-or-THIS-will-happen-to-you!' scare film in grade 6, where we're introduced to a guy with a hole in his throat from cancer, talking with a talk box, and STILL SMOKING through his hole! I got home and immediately pleaded with my dad to stop smoking, and he did!
So, they may be a harsh smack in the face, but these films work!
Incidentally, you can rent these films at Invisible Cinema in Ottawa - I've seen 'em there.

motleymitch wrote on January 18, 2006, 5:34 pm

Deril wrote on January 20, 2006, 2:05 am
I actually remember (not the film), but Mitch coming home very upset about it. He did in fact get my dad to quit that very night. I guess they do the trick.

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