Sunday, October 23, 2011

2011 HorrorFest #4

On we go...

#6 The Funhouse (1981 - Tobe Hooper, dir.)

This was a fun little movie from the guy who directed The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. Hooper shows a willingness to continue his portrayal of masked maniacs and deformed freaks in film, this time combining the two shocks into one. While spending an ill-advised, after-hours night in a carnival funhouse, a group of teens is tormented by a hideously deformed freak (who spends the first half of the movie wearing a fairly convincing Frankenstein's monster mask) and his adopted carny father. Most of the scares are derived from the low-light nature of a run-down carnival. The atmosphere is perfect, the stupid teens do what stupid teens in movies do, and the ending is satisfyingly macabre.

This DVD edition is a piece of crap. The picture is letterboxed, resulting in a windowboxed image on a modern widescreen television. I really should have watched this on our extra old-fashioned tube television. Stay away from this 1999 GoodTimes Home Video release and opt for the 2004 release.

Boobs?: Early on, the female lead is being spied on in the shower. With audiences so familiar with Psycho, this scene is meant to suggest that some sort of menace is after this woman, and she might get smoked in the opening minutes. However, in kind of a disgusting reveal, the peeping tom turns out to be her younger brother, who later factors in on the plot. So much wrongness!

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