• Retrospective: Tourist Trap (1979)

    From David N. Butterworth@21:1/5 to All on Mon Apr 17 00:46:58 2017
    TOURIST TRAP (1979)
    A film review by David N. Butterworth
    Copyright 2017 David N. Butterworth

    ** (out of ****)

    The 1970s was the primo decade for horror movies, ripe with unquestionable classics such as "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Carrie," "The Exorcist," "Jaws," "Alien," "Suspiria," "Halloween," "Dawn of the Dead," and "Last
    House on the Left," to name a few. The limp 1979 mannequin horror "Tourist Trap" was a late addition to the genre but despite its emphasis on atmospheric--rather than visceral--horror, it really can't compete. The
    film's lack of gore, coupled with even less skin (despite an early skinny-dipping sequence), will leave genre fans feeling cheated. In
    addition, the scares aren't particularly shocking, just creepy. Chuck
    Connors ("The Rifleman") slums it as the backwoods proprietor of Slausen's
    Lost Oasis, a wax museum that nobody visits anymore now that they went and built that gosh darned interstate an' all. When a gaggle of comely
    comrades (among them Tanya Roberts, who still can't act) stumble upon the
    place after their car dies, Slausen uses his telekinesis-controlled
    mannequins to knock off the poor unfortunates rather than enjoying the unexpected business (one wonders if his telekinetic demonstrations might
    have sold more tickets than the waxworks themselves). The first death
    scene is easily the best, insanely loud and overedited to the point of
    nausea, with projectiles flying, doors and windows slamming, and pinhead dummy's mouths flapping down to emit hideous cackles and wails. Pino
    Donaggio's score is a disappointment though.

    David N. Butterworth

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