Monday, August 10, 2009

The Funhouse (1981)

Unlike many of the unpolished and much lower budget Slashers of the time, The Funhouse demonstrates a much more studio-polished look and feel, which is not surprising since Tobe Hooper had Universal backing the picture. Money doesnt make a movie though, and while the film is fun at times, it never takes off or transcends mediocrity. A group of teens decide to spend the night in the funhouse of a traveling carnival, but discover that it is the home of a misshapen beast that has been leaving a trail of bodies at each of the carnival's stops. Typically I love the carnival setting, but it is not used to its full advantage in the film, and anyone who has ever been to a carnival spook house will instantly be able to tell that the funhouse is overdressed and extremely over-sized (shit, it has a basement!). That already annoys the hell out of me, but whats worse is the terribly unbelievable creature FX that look like a cheap mask for the lead villain. In terms of blood and gore, there are really only 4 characters left when the action begins, 6 if you count the villains, so its clear the body count will be low from the start. The deaths are very tame, but not as smartly played as, say, Terror Train. Hooper does instill a decent level of suspense, and the acting is on par with other Slasher entries of the time, so this one comes in at a solid "C".

Rating: 7/10.
Gore: 6/10.
Number of views: 5.

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  1. How funny!? I just watched this yesterday for the first time. It was just OK, I agree with your rating of a C. I did like the look of the movie. I don't know how I made it through all the video rental years without seeing this one before yesterday. Its worth a watch.

  2. Yeah definitely worth a watch, but very conventional. Good timing for sure! Loved the Booberry post BTW Capn, with your blessings I plan on reposting it on here for Horror in Culture in a few weeks (with credit linking back to you of course!)

  3. If memory serves, doesnt this movie begin with a first person view of soemthing walking through a house that mimicks the start of Halloween?

  4. It does indeed, it pays homage to both Psycho and Halloween in that shot, by combining the first person perspective of Halloween with the shower scene from Psycho

  5. Of course Carl. I would have loved to have had a bedroom like the little brother in this film!

  6. Shweet, I know others will enjoy it! The bedroom is definitely awesome, I had many of the same items on the walls when I was a kid but no masks unfortunately..


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