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Overall Rating

Awesome: 20%
Worth A Look: 17.78%
Just Average: 20%
Pretty Crappy: 4.44%

3 reviews, 27 user ratings

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Funhouse, The
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by Charles Tatum

"The Funlousy"
1 stars

First, I want to bore you with a story from my past.

I shanghaied my poor father into taking me to see this when it first came out. I was 13. All I remember about it is the Elizabeth Berridge nude scene (I thought she was cute), and some guy getting an axe to the head.

Now, twenty years later, I rented this to relive my youth (and Berridge's topless scene). This film is not scary; wasn't then, wasn't now.

After getting frightened in the shower by her little brother with a rubber knife (ripping off both "Halloween" and "Psycho" in the process), Amy (Berridge) goes to the local carnival with her hunky date and another couple. Little brother follows them there. The two couples wander around the carnival for the first half of the movie. I do not know if this was supposed to be character development, all that developed for me was boredom. On a whim, the couples decide to spend the night in the funhouse, watched over by a guy wearing a Frankenstein mask. Kevin Conway plays three different roles as three different carnival barkers, and for the life of me I cannot figure out why. The couples witness Frankenface murder the fortune teller (Sylvia Miles, eons from "Midnight Cowboy") and the funhouse barker (Frank's father) comes in and unmasks his son. Of course, his son is a monster and probably retarded to boot, continuing the long cinematic history of having mentally retarded people as psychotic killers. The two couples are trapped in the funhouse, running from the killer and the killer's daddy. Little brother hangs around long enough to get picked up by his parents, but does not tell them where Amy is...well, I guess he was afraid of her. Again, I cannot figure out why. The two couples are offed one by one, until the final fight.

Tobe Hooper, riding the goodwill he generated with "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" for much too long, just cannot seem to get behind the screenplay. The gore is low, as is the body count (for a slasher film), and the pace is deadly slow. There are a few dark moments where you cannot tell what is happening. All the carny folk come off as hicks, the teens are horny, and the killer is a genetic mistake. Aside from Tobe Hooper's name, this is just another slasher film from the early 1980's that somehow did not spawn a sequel. Sometimes your prayers are answered.

I cannot recommend "The Funhouse," although it is better than Hooper's later "Crocodile." (Boy, I really hated that film!)

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=2984&reviewer=325
originally posted: 02/27/03 17:29:23
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User Comments

1/01/10 Chad Dillon Cooper Ok horror film. A letdown from Texas chainsaw massacre. 2 stars
12/15/09 A Girl underrated and that's too bad 4 stars
1/08/09 my name is Anonymous. a very freaky slasher. 5 stars
11/12/08 Popcorn muncher Don't judge it by today's standars. It's not great but it's worth watching 4 stars
11/02/08 mr.mike Only problem is it is slow-moving in this post MTV world. 3 stars
6/07/07 Mikey G. Atmospheric, well acted and directed. Unfortunately, the monster is laughably bad. 3 stars
6/01/07 Vince Good score and production values but it's more a slow paced monster film than a slasher 3 stars
3/01/07 action movie fan good shocker-great atmospheric fun house wax dummies-good stoyr too 4 stars
2/05/06 dudeonlong vastly underated at the time,now starting to receive it's due. 5 stars
8/27/04 Josh Standlee I saw it on Halloween night last year, and I was VERY entertained! 5 stars
6/18/04 Chad Foster A great Horror flick! 5 stars
6/14/04 Jason Boggs I love The Funhouse. Especially since I like a good mutant stocker rapist killer flick! 5 stars
3/03/04 cKy This movie kicks ass. I recommend this film to anyone that likes 80's b-movies. 5 stars
11/14/03 American Slasher Goddess Atmospheric and scary. 4 stars
11/08/03 Terry Stewart Jr Loved the shower scene 5 stars
10/29/03 Pacado Boring, Cheesy Horror Film 1 stars
9/07/03 The Freak Great Music theme,and Freaky scenes, Bad Script scenes and acting 4 stars
7/24/03 George Wilkins Incredible music score makes this worth seeing 4 stars
2/28/03 Jack Sommersby I concur, Charles. This is a slow-moving piece of dreck. (Berridge's tits ARE nice, though) 1 stars
11/23/02 Charles Tatum Just another slasher film 1 stars
3/04/02 stevonsw@yahoo.com Chilly Scarey don't go By yourself in the Fun House 4 stars
2/17/02 Kelly Fulton Actually Koontz wrote his version AFTER the film was made and then released to co-incide it 1 stars
10/13/01 Andrew Carden Very Scary and Chilling Movie, Exciting and Lots Of Action. 5 stars
4/22/01 WhiteZomby@aol.com Terrific atmosphere and some good dark humor make this a minor classic 4 stars
11/18/00 Bill G. Great Cinematgraphy and Music 5 stars
4/24/00 lucas jackson I thought horror movies were supposed to be scary 1 stars
12/12/99 SID Great direction but a fucking awful script. I could write a better funhouse movie. 2 stars
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  13-Mar-1981 (R)
  DVD: 07-Sep-2004



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