Monday, September 4, 2006
The Funhouse (1981)
Directed by Tobe Hooper and released in 1981, The Funhouse tells the story of two couples who decide to spend the night in the funhouse of a carnival. They witness a murder, and spend the remainder of the movie trying to escape from the deformed killer.
Don't be mistaken, the "deformed killer" is no where near as scary as Leatherface from Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. He's more of a pathetic character, and there are times where I felt sorry for him. His father, who works at the carnival as a barker, is the real villain here, though there are times where I felt sorry for him as well. The killer works at the Funhouse, wearing a Frankenstein mask, and is constantly heckled by his father. The murder the kids witness is when he kills the carnival's fortune teller, whom he pays for a sexual service. She refuses to give his money back after he finishes a bit prematurely, and in a fit of rage he strangles her. His father finds out what he has done and soon they discover that they are being watched by the two couples. Though the father is enraged that his deformed son has killed "one of their own," he orders him to track down the kids and kill them.
The couples try to escape, but realize that they are locked in the Funhouse. One by one, they are killed off by numerous devices in the Funhouse. The characters were all pretty unlikable, so I don't even remember their names. One interesting plot line had one of the girls' little brother following them to the carnival, where he is traumatized by the killer. The rest of the movie was pretty boring. It had some cool kills, but the deformed killer looked ridiculous, the acting was bad and it didn't have very much suspense. It is not a memorable movie.
One cool thing was seeing how carnivals used to be - complete with an animal freak show and a nudie review! There are better, more suspenseful and less annoying movies to watch besides Funhouse, though...I recommend you check something else out unless you really like carnivals.