4/12/11

The Funhouse (1981)

Pay to Get In, PRAY to Get Out.

The Funhouse
I'm not a huge Tobe Hooper fan.  I'm a fan, just not a huge one.  I think he's a talented guy and all but I don't see him as some kind of grindhouse god or anything, and other than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I don't think any of his films stand out as being amazing.  Saying that his later works don't quite live up to the majesty of Texas Chainsaw is a massive understatement because most of his other films have been absolute crap.  Compared to Texas Chainsaw or not, they are just horrible movies.  Poltergeist was a great film but I have a feeling Steven Spielberg had more to do with that than Tobe Hooper...

And now The Funhouse.  The plot is pretty simple.  Four teens or young adults or whatever the hell they are go on a double date to the carnival.  They wander around for a while and take in the sights when one of the guys has the brilliant idea to spend the night in the funhouse.  They sneak in and hide until the carnival shuts down for the night and then witness something horrifyingly awesome.  A disfigured monstrosity of a man pays the geriatric fortune teller for some sweet carny lovin', but things go wrong.  He finishes too soon and wants his money back.  She refuses and he kills her.  The freak's father realizes the teenagers are in the building and that they saw the whole thing, so the four of them are chased through the funhouse by the monster and his carny dad for the rest of the movie in a gruesome Scooby Doo kind of way.  That's more or less it.

Just another weekend at Grandma's.
The Funhouse is one of Tobe Hooper's better films, in my opinion.  It's genuinely creepy in parts and is worth seeing just for the sleazy, old school carnival atmosphere.  The pacing is sometimes off, but everything else seems to work in this film so I'm going to go ahead and give it a thumbs up.



Violence Rating/Index:  3.5 out of 5
Booby Rating/Index:  2.5 out of 5  - Click to see the nude scenes.


28 comments:

ed said...

funhouse sounds .. fun
trailer was kinda cheesey though

Bart said...

oh man bad teeth always creep the shit out of me

SOMS said...

yea you describe it as a fun movie but after seeing the trailer i dont think i will try it

The Angry Lurker said...

One for the horror channel hopefully.

GoGoGoViral said...

I think I saw this when I was like 10, ahhh good times.

Erika said...

Funhouse looks awesome.

Shutterbug said...

That's no funhouse! :P

Wayward Disposition said...

Hahaha all of these cheesy movies are making me laugh. I love it. It's so vintage.

Astronomy Pirate said...

Who can go wrong with a Scooby Doo format? It was always the janitor in the end.

Kicking Rocks said...

only a 2.5 booby rating??? ill still check it out.

Aaron M. Gipson said...

I did see this when I was about 12, and that scene where he gets laid by the gypsy lady really messed with me...

D4 said...

looks pretty average but I wouldn't pass up watching it

thenitefalls said...

Lol I knew funhouses were traps!

BTN Hip Hop said...

ive actually seen this, its pretty funny

Colin B said...

>that scene where he gets laid by the gypsy lady really messed with me...

i think i just might watch this now :D

Malkavian said...

Doesnt sound TOO bad

A Beer for the Shower said...

That poster isn't very frightening. I've seen worse teeth than that just walking into Wal-mart, sadly.

Movie still sounds worth checking out, though, if I have some time to kill.

Zoltan's Cousin said...

Hooper had some other gems, man. What about Salem's Lot, or Lifeforce. Granted he did slide after the mid 80's...

His episodes of Master of Horror were horrendous.

Biff Tanner said...

This looks like a winner!

G said...

very cheesy - needs more boobies

Jay said...

they sure look like teens to me. ;)

Zombie said...

Dang! look at that 70's hair!

Matt said...

For some reason, the "sleazy, old school carnival atmosphere" really makes movies creepy and suspenseful for me. I'll have to check it out!

Bonjour Tristesse said...

I agree with your assessment. The vast majority of Hooper's work is forgettable, but this one was alright. I also liked the first episode he did for Masters of Horror.

Kim Anders said...

good movie!

Glovey said...

Another great post! keep up the good blogging!

Meghan Moran said...

I'm a big fan of the texas chainsaw massacre and the trailer for this looks decent enough. I'll give it a shot.

The Film Connoisseur said...

Agree about Hooper not being the best director in the world, but we cant forget he has directed some entertaining horror/sci-fi films.

Im a big fan of Lifeforce for example.

Eaten Alive is a pretty gruesome and bizarre follow up to Texas Chainsaw.

Salem's Lot has its moments and one heck of a memorable vampire.

Texas Chainsaw Two, though different in tone to the original, is a great sequel, fun times all the way, and it raises the insanity levels as far as total craziness is concerned.

Funhouse is one of his good ones as well, it plays with familiar themes that Hooper adresses over and over again in his films, like disfunctional families and sexually frustrated characters.

Too bad Hooper never quite got back to the level of quality that he started out with.

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