Saturday, October 17, 2009
Tourist Trap (1979, David Schmoeller)
Here's a neat little horror film that many people haven't heard of. I had read something about it a few years ago and it sounded like something I would like. When I saw the cover art I knew instantly it was something I had to watch. It looked like a cross between Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween.
A young group of five friends get a flat tire on a rural road in the middle of nowhere. One of them goes to find a gas station to put some air in their spare tire. He stumbles upon a secluded house and ends up getting trapped inside by some unseen force. Suddenly, shit starts flying at him and he ends up getting impaled by a metal bar. The other four friends eventually stumble upon an old deserted tourist wax museum owned by recluse Mr. Slausen (Chuck Connors). They are warned not to go near the house next door but they don't listen and are soon stalked by Slausen's masked brother, who has extra sensory powers and can control his wax figures with his mind.
Though not really bloody or gory, Tourist Trap has many really creepy scenes. It was rated PG when it first came out but the DVD says its rated R, even though I've heard it's the same version. The killer, with his emotionless white masks, is a classic, underrated horror villain. As I stated before, he looks like a mix between Michael Myers and Leatherface. When he dresses up as a little girl and is seen playing with dolls, the creepiness meter goes to 10. The young cast is likable (including Tanya Roberts in one of her first roles) and Chuck Connors is great as Slausen. Also props to Pino Donaggio's frightening score.