I've had this scene scarred onto my brain for about 30 years, I've encountered another person online who also remembers it but likewise has no idea what movie or TV show it was. His and my descriptions of the scene below.
I asked about the scene on Kindertrauma.com
back in 2008, and didn't get an answer. Here's my description from then:
...I must have been 5 or 6 when this happened, which would make it roughly 1983-84.
I was flipping channels one day and I stopped on a scene of a fairly brightly-lit kitchen in a home. It looked very cheap, like it was shot on video (early-’80s video, at that), and it was just generally kind of a crappy looking kitchen, too. There was a woman standing in front of the stove, where there was a pot of boiling water. She was wearing a white, old-lady-ish full-length housecoat, and she had stringy, greasy, shoulder-length black hair. Her head was pivoted down toward the pot of water, and her hair was covering parts of her face, but it seemed to me like her face was mangled or monstrous in some way, under the hair. She was shaking her head around a little and growling, and otherwise just standing there still, with her arms at her sides. The impression that my 5-year-old mind got was that the boiling water was affecting her somehow…It had either made her into a monster, or it was hurting her. I changed the channel, but obviously the scene had a profound effect on me. For all I know now, it could have been just an episode of QUINCY or something that I misinterpreted, but it was the earliest traumatic TV-watching experience that I can recall.
The cheapness of it makes me think that maybe it was local public access, in which case I’ve got practically no shot of someone knowing it, but this happened in Jacksonville, Florida in the early 80s (if that helps).
A couple of years ago I had a discussion on an IMDb message board with someone who described a very, very similar scene for which they couldn't find a source. Yesterday someone (who I think is probably that same person, based on the details in their description of the scene) asked about it on Kindertrauma
. Here's their description:
A dark-haired woman is seen in her bright white light kitchen, the woman is wearing a bathrobe or raincoat and is cooking something in her pot of boiling water on the stove. The woman (quite starving) opens her nearly empty refrigerator, moving jars around, and finds a can of dog (?) food. She feeds it to her small grayish white dog (might have been a cat) pouring some food in the bowl. She kneels on the floor, if I remember correctly, and begins eating some of the pet food. As her dog comes rushing into the room, she stares at it with this horrible greenish face. I saw this in 1990-1992, but someone said (unfortunately, they just remember as much as I do) they saw it in the mid-‘80s. There might have been a scene where this hand comes out of the pot grabbing the woman pulling her face into the pot.
I didn't get the dog or the dog food part, but so many of the other details tell me that we must
be thinking of the same thing.
Things I know it's not: Trilogy of Terror
, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
. Theories on what it might be: a short, possibly student film like the ones they used to show on HBO (way way way back in the day) to fill time, an episode of an obscure 70s anthology show, a nightmare that I and this other person both happened to have.
Do those descriptions ring any bells for anyone?