on October 19, 2000
It seems a lot of the old horror "B" movies have been coming out in the recent past on DVD. I've been building my DVD collection with the Massacre series and the like. Seeing this is the season for horror movies, I've been desperate for good movies I haven't seen yet. I've been scouring Amazon's reviews and purchased this movie based solely on previous comments by those who have seen "Tourist Trap". I have to say, I am not the squeamish type. I can watch "Dawn of the Dead" while eating King Crab legs. I watched "Tourist Trap" on DVD for the first time last night. And let me repeat myself. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee. What a creepy movie. Chuck Conners is no longer "The Rifleman" for me. The movie has a bit of gore but leaves most to imagination. The Mannequin thing has been done a million times, but not like this. I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone, so I won't say anymore. Thanks to all the previous, positive reviewers that turned me on to this gem. My suggestion for horror genre lovers. Read my lips. "BUY THIS MOVIE". You can't beat the price. And if you don't put this flick along with your best top 5 horror favorites, you can beat on me via email. firstname.lastname@example.org
on May 20, 2004
This is one of those low-budget 'B' rated movies from the late 70s. Sadly, it didn't make too well at the box office during its release and was long forgotten and neglected around this time. Now, the original cult classic makes its way to DVD, with even clearer sound and picture (Though the picture quality is not the best, it still fits the horrifying atmosphere quite well) and let's not forget the interviews and commentary. I was not too sure about getting this or not, knowing that the film has gotten some mixed reviews but I'm actually very glad I did! Once I saw the trailer, I decided to take a chance. I wasn't disappointed! Some reviews here are claiming that this is ripping off Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", but really I beg to differ. Yes, it may have been INSPIRED by such classics as Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" & TCM and it may BORROW a little here and there (barely much was borrowed at all really, except for the killer dressing up in women's clothing) but this is a whole new and original story, people! What I liked mostly about "Tourist Trap" was the scary, nightmarish look and feel of a REAL horror flick and wasn't anything stupid and pathetic like "The Ring". I mean, people got scared of that just because of a video that looked like it was made by a bunch of stoners and a little girl crawling out of a television set! Oh, GIVE ME A BREAK! That's NOT scary at all! You want real (I repeat REAL) horror that will send chills down your spine? This is the one to see! And now for a quick plot summary... The story concerns five youths who take a summer afternoon drive (yes, it SOUNDS TCM but it's NOT!) and end up having their car broken down. Coincidently, an eerie wax museum is nearby and after meeting the owner, Slausen (given an AMAZING performance by Chuck Conners) they decide to check it out, unaware of the horrors that await! Mannequins suddenly come to life and begin commiting acts of murder (laughing and screaming insanely) while Slausen's mysterious brother, who lives right next door to the museum in an old house, holds the teens captive and terrorizes them with unspeakable horrors! The truth about the grotesque mannequins and Slausen's brother later unfolds, but I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet! Sure the acting drags at SOME points, but it's not always everything! This is more like something you'd see out of your nightmares. If you're not too sure, rent it first and give it a try. Otherwise, if you're hardcore with the horror genre like me, I say go for it! I also recommend Tobe Hooper's "The Funhouse" & Steven Spielberg's "Poltergeist"! All carry the same style to horror and haunt you to the bone!
on July 7, 2004
This has got to be one of the creepiest movies ever! Forget garbage like scream and i know what you did last summer. this is real horror! a group of friends get stranded at a wax museum run by chuck connors. the wax museum is filled with these creepy mannequins who.. well im not going to ruin it for you! Watch the movie! I cannot believe i had never seen this earlier. From beginning to end this movie will have you on the edge of your seat! beautiful music by pino donaggio. ONe of my top ten favorite horror movies! Highly recommended. I watch alot of horror movies and this is one of the best! Just get it!
on March 28, 2004
TOURIST TRAP is a film for the horror afficionado, not the casual horror fan. If you like shock, gore and nail-biting, screaming scare scenes, this may bore you. If you've spent hundreds of hours watching all-night camp fright flicks and have a soft spot in your heart for good (not great) and slightly goofy films a la MOTEL HELL, you'll fall in love with TOURIST TRAP.
The set-up is the same you've seen a thousand times. Three gals and two guys break down in the woods, go skinny dipping and then die one by one. You know by the second murder who the killer "really" is and also which heroine will survive the carnage (this one plays by all the standard rules). Still, you've got a great cornball factor with Chuck "Rifleman" Connors in the Jim Siedow-esque role of helpful country bumpkin and a bona fide Scream Queen in Jocelyn Jones (easily the best performer in the film, her eyes convey true terror - it's a pity she didn't make a career of this).
The film fails in the pacing department and we have too many escapes and recaptures and escapes again after the killer's identity is revealed two-thirds of the way through the film. Still, there is a genuine creep factor in the apearance and manipulation of the mannequins (and Ms. Jones' mental breakdown at the film's end has the viewer wondering if they're really alive as well), though it's almost cancelled out by the notion of the lunatic slasher wielding psychokinetic powers as well. Coming five years after TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, the vision of the hulking killer in a woman's mask surrounded by an artifical family of mannequins doesn't seems as original and eerie as it should.
All in all, though, TOURIST TRAP is fun viewing - and actually appropriate for the young horror fan (no nudity, cursing and very little blood) as well. This DVD, from Koch Vision Entertainment, looks great and boasts a nice selection of extra features, all at an incredibly reasonable price. Not the best by far, but this will undoubtedly warm the heart of anyone who enjoys films such as Tobe Hooper's FUNHOUSE, ALICE SWEET ALICE, MOTEL HELL, HELL NIGHT, and PHANTASM. Grab WAXWORK and make it a double feature!
on January 1, 2004
Ahhh, tourist traps! Those ramshackle buildings hugging the sides of state highways all across this great land of ours, places where you pay through the nose to see the world's biggest ball of used bubblegum, or sculptures of American presidents made out of navel lint. Who wouldn't want to shell out a few traveler's checks to see the only preserved Sasquatch in existence only to discover it looks like your rolled up entryway rug with a wig placed on top? No matter what your destination, whether a secluded little hideaway with your significant other or a march across the country with five kids in the backseat, the lure of the tourist trap is often too strong to resist. Especially for that one feebleminded passenger found on every lengthy trip, the one who messes with the radio stations and has to go to the bathroom every five minutes. If you anticipate problems in this area on your next vacation, pick up a copy of "The Tourist Trap" on DVD and show it to the family before backing the car out of the garage. I would be surprised if they still want to stop and see the largest collection of used cat litter after viewing this nightmarish movie.
To be fair, sometimes you cannot help but stumble over a tourist trap. What happens if you get a flat tire and the only place to phone for help turns out to be a museum full of odd mannequins? That is exactly what happens to the hapless travelers found in David Schmoeller's "The Tourist Trap." An unfortunate puncture at an inopportune time finds a gaggle of young people--the most noticeable being a very young and very curvy Tanya Roberts--rolling into Slausen's Museum, a boarded up tourist site presided over by the (who else) lumbering Mr. Slausen (Chuck Conners). Nothing seems amiss at first, as the owner of the tourist spot hands out drinks to the exhausted travelers and promises to help them fix their car. When several of the young people express interest in the mannequins, Slausen is only too happy to show them off. As he walks out the door with the only male member of the gang, he warns the ladies to wait for them to return. Moreover, he strongly advises the girls to stay inside since coyotes roam the area and he doesn't want anyone to get hurt. Predicatably, one of the girls almost immediately disobeys orders by heading over to a huge mansion behind the museum. Curiosity killed the cat, so to speak, and it might do the same to busty young ladies who don't keep their nose where it belongs.
When their inquisitive friend fails to return, Becky and Molly (Tanya Roberts and Jocelyn Jones, respectively) head over to the house to investigate. The house and museum sit in the middle of a heavily forested area, which looks mighty creepy late at night. Shrugging off the spooky surroundings, Becky enters the house in search of her friend despite Molly's whispered warnings. Molly reluctantly returns to the museum, thereby missing the unfolding horror in the seemingly abandoned mansion. It turns out that Slausen's crazy brother Dave lives there, a man who doesn't take kindly to strangers snooping around his mannequin-making factory. Dave Slausen has a penchant for wearing masks himself, as Becky soon discovers when the insane man captures her and ties her up in the basement (where Jerry, the aforementioned male member of the quartet, resides as well). Becky and Jerry soon discover that Slausen has telekinetic powers, which he uses to move objects and mannequins around at will, and they also notice he has a yearning to turn human beings into mannequins even if it means committing murder to do it. Things are not what they seem in this movie, with revelations occurring constantly against a backdrop of plot twists and turns. The conclusion alone makes picking up this DVD a necessity.
The performances, with the exception of Chuck Conners and Jocelyn Jones, are mostly forgettable. Jones as the goody-goody Molly and Conners as the omnipresent Slausen elevate "The Tourist Trap" above the run of the mill slasher/low budget horror flick. After seeing Jones shriek and scream through the last quarter of the movie, I wondered why she never attained the type of scream queen status accorded to the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis. She does a wonderful job here, neatly playing off of Conners's creepy turn as the enigmatic museum owner. Who knew Conners had it in him to play such a sick, offbeat role? Too bad he didn't follow this movie up with a few other equally deviant performances. As for Tanya Roberts, well, she does parade around through the woods in a pair of cut off shorts and a tube top, so I guess we cannot complain too much. She made this movie immediately before signing up for the last season of "Charlie's Angels," and the two projects couldn't be further apart in terms of subject matter.
I take exception with people who claim that the picture quality is great on this DVD. It isn't, not by a long shot, but for some reason this is one of the few times where a grainy hue helped give a movie great atmosphere. I'm not sure I would want to see this sleazy little gem with a crystal clear picture. Happily, the amazing score by Pino Donaggio sounds great, achieving as it does a spectacular mix of lazy whimsy and eerie sweep. The DVD itself sports an interview with director Schmoeller, a collection of schlock trailers, cast bios and filmographies, and a few other minor goodies. Note: don't watch the interview with the director before you watch the movie. It contains spoilers that will ruin the whole experience. If you like horror, be sure and check this little movie out as soon as possible.
on July 23, 2003
THE TOURIST TRAP was mentioned by STEPHEN KING as one of his favorite movies. It was supposed to reinvent Chuck Connors as a Lon Chaney for the 1980s. It didn't do great at the box office, because ... well it was surrounded by other slasher flicks that were R-rated, and despite what it says on the box this only earned a PG. But it has endured to become a cult classic, largely due to the fact it was easily shown on television (don't have to cut much out!).
It's a creepy little story about a group of teens who get stranded on a lonely highway, and taken to a curious wax museum where they are picked off one by one in order of their sexual promiscuity. Sounds pretty typical for 80s horror, but this one has the killer having telekinetic powers so that objects fly, manequins scream, and mayhem breaks out. The climax is very different from its peer group! The last shot of the movie burns into your mind, and suddenly you realize ... TOURIST TRAP ain't a bad place to find some shivers! Kinda like CARRIE crossed with HALLOWEEN! Odd note is that Dino Pinaggio who scored CARRIE also worked on the music for this one.
This DVD version features a wide-screen transfer, and commentary by the director. And it's cheap! You get a lot of bang for the buck here. If you're a horror fan this is a must. If you don't like the gore in most horror movies this is a must! It's a creepy classic that should have everybody caught in its spell.
on October 9, 2002
A group of travelling youths become snared in the insanity that is Slausen's Lost Oasis, which is basically all you need to know about the plot of Tourist Trap. The first movie from Empire/Full Moon Pictures mainstay David Schmoeller (Puppet Master, Netherworld, Crawlspace, etc) is a strong debut, emphasizing atmosphere and suspense over the more gruesome setpieces which were beginning to flood the genre movies of its era, and it benefits nicely from an excellent score by Pino Donaggio (Carrie, Dressed to Kill) and wonderful Art Direction from Robert Burns (who has designed the look to other B-movie classics, notably The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Howling).
The Full Moon disc presents the movie in widescreen (but buyer beware, some tinkering on your DVD player may been in order, as the machine needs to be set on widescreen to do so) with a commentary track by the director (who also has a brief interview segment). Sadly the promised 40 trailers are a no show. The only trailers are for Tourist Trap, Assault of the Killer Bimbos, Cannibal Women in the Avacado Jungle of Death, Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-A-Rama, Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity, Petticoat Planet, and Charles Band's Parasite.
Most older b-movie fans will no doubt consider this movie a required addition to any genre library, and I second the strong recommendation Stephen King gave it in Danse Macabre. If you like creepy movies, this one is a must have.
on May 12, 2002
If you haven't yet had the pleasure, please, see this film ... Much the same as the superb PHANTASM ( released the year before ), TOURIST TRAP leaves logic behind in favor of creativity and vision, and the results are classic ... Director David Schmoller creates a claustrophobic story based on isolation and psychological terror, and in fact, THAT is what makes this film succeed: the gore is minimal ... TOURIST TRAP was released with a PG rating, but don't let that discourage you into thinking the film isn't effective or frightening ... Whenever I read reviews, I prefer not to read TOO much as to spoil the film's impact ... But briefly, as not to give anything away, TOURIST TRAP features Chuck Connors as the lonely proprietor of a forgotten wax museum ... A group of young people stumble upon the isolated oasis, and what follows is like no other horror film ever ... The feel is completely macabre, and there are disturbing hints of infantilism, bondage, telekenisis, necrophillia and transvestitism, all of which add to the disturbing and surreal feel ... One of the most frightening twists in horror is the transformation of the innocent character; when a friend is pitted against friend, or when a once happy character is transformed into something unrecognizable ... Very scary stuff ... Yes, there are situational similarities to TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and PSYCHO, but Schmoller pulls it off with such insane gusto, it works on all levels ... And I can't fail to mention the super sexy teenage Tanya Roberts, who is so hot she momentarily distracts from all the onscreen insanity :) The transfer on the DVD is very good, and the David Schmoller commentary is interestng, if a little blasie ... The only beef I have is the "40 Full Moon trailers" claim: there are only a couple trailers ( NOT nearly 40 ) for other films, all very forgettable ... In my opinion, TOURIST TRAP is a Top 5 Horror Film, and at this bargin price, you can't go wrong ...
on April 30, 2002
Stephen King wrote in his non-fiction book Danse Macabre that he found Tourist Trap to be a sort of diamond in the rough that was seventies horror. I'm paraphrasing of course, but this one has quite a little following.
The story starts out typically enough. A group of teenagers on vacation stop near a beautiful lake to go skinny dipping. One wanders off and stumbles across a small abandoned store. Some unseen force attacks him with several objects. This scene is pretty eerie. The others are confronted by Chuck Conners who owns an attraction featuring weird-looking mannequins. The movie gets most of its steam from the fact that these mannequins are really spooky.
You can guess what happens to the kids one-by-one and probably what the secret is with the mannequins long before the second act even starts. I can see how this movie got its following, but really it's not much better than the twenty-or-so other slashers that came out at the same time.
The DVD contains a bunch of old trailers for bad movies and might be worth it to collectors alone. The movie is mildly recommended if you've never seen it before, but if you can catch it on cable, you'd be better off.
on January 2, 2002
While traveling by car along a deserted road, Woody and Eileen's car unexpectedly gets a flat tire. Woody walks to the nearest gas station to find a tire and get some help, but is lured by the voice of a woman into the backroom of the station. Then he is brutally impaled by a large metal rod as things begin to be thrown at him by unseen hands and manniquins pop out of unexpected places.
Back at the car, Eileen is found by her friends, whom are also traveling. They drive off to find Woody, but are sidetracked when the car breaks down. While the boy in the group fixes the car, the girls head off to some nearby waterfall and take a swim. Soon, they are interuppted by the owner of the property, Mr Slaussen (Chuck Conners) who welcomes them to stay at his "wax museum" while he and the boy go to try and fix the car.
Eileen is fascinated by the house resting nearby, and goes to investigate, despite Slaussen's warnings. Slaussen soon returns, only to find that the girl is gone, and goes out to look for her. While he is gone, they go to the house to look for her. The other girl backs down, and goes back to the "museum", while the other proceeds inside.
The girl finds her alright- sitting in a chair in one of the rooms. But it isn't Eileen anymore. She's been turned into one of the manniquins! The girl tries to escape, but there is a maniac in the house with her, one dressed just like Eileen- and she must escape before it is too late!
What is Slaussen's secret? Is it really what you think it is? This movie can be pretty confusing at times, but you forget all about that. This house is just littered with spooky, creepy manniquins with wide, gaping mouths, and the accent is punctuated perfectly by Pino Donaggio's wonderful score. The movie is very dark, and the ending is super creepy. There is not any nudity or gore found in this movie- the thing that makes it scary is the amount of suspense found deep within the heart of the story. This may- in some way- seem like a rip-off of House of Wax, but it really isn't. It's a very original horror film with a great plot, and is one of the best movies ever made. Trust me, horror fans- don't be repelled by the PG rating- the suspense is all it needs to bring it to that higher level. There are plenty of shocking scenes to keep any horror fan's eyes glued to the screen.