Funhouse

Funhouse

4.2 4
Director: Tobe Hooper

Cast: Elizabeth Berridge, Cooper Huckabee, Miles Chapin

     
 

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This low-budget horror film about teenagers trapped in a carnival funhouse with a freakish monster is pretty standard stuff. Director Tobe Hooper manages a few shocks and includes some typically peculiar supporting characters, but this film is less entertaining than either of his previous excursions into such territory. Not as scary as The Texas ChainsawSee more details below

Overview

This low-budget horror film about teenagers trapped in a carnival funhouse with a freakish monster is pretty standard stuff. Director Tobe Hooper manages a few shocks and includes some typically peculiar supporting characters, but this film is less entertaining than either of his previous excursions into such territory. Not as scary as The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974) nor as bizarre as Eaten Alive (1976), The Funhouse may as well have been directed by an anonymous hack as one of the foremost names in the genre. The movie tie-in novel, penned by "Dean R. Koontz" under the pseudonym "Owen West," is actually far more frightening than the film on which it was based.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
Tobe Hooper's entry into the slasher film cycle of the early 1980's lacks the inspiration and scare power of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre but still manages to deliver the goods for its target audience. The best element of The Funhouse is its setting: the filmmakers did an excellent job recreating the sleazy, nocturnal feel of a traveling carnival and this helps the film maintain a creepy atmosphere even when its storytelling falls short. The least impressive element of The Funhouse is Larry Block's lightweight script, which takes a long time to get going and builds itself around a quartet of cookie-cutter teen protagonists that aren't like to inspire much sympathy in the audience. The latter problem carries over to the performances: only Elizabeth Berridge sparks any interest via a believable, effectively underplayed performance as the main heroine. These problems make The Funhouse a pretty lightweight affair, especially when stacked up against a real horror classic like Halloween. That said, The Funhouse remains worth a look to horror buffs for a few reasons. The biggest reason is the supporting cast: Kevin Conway is believably sleazy (and terrifying) as the villainous Barker, mime-turned-actor Wayne Doba pulls off the impressive feat of humanizing the film's mutated killer without the benefit of any dialogue and cult favorites Sylvia Miles and William Finley add color in bit parts as carnival workers. Director Tobe Hooper delivers an exciting finale and works in the occasional inspired stylistic flourish along the way: the best of these is the tongue-in-cheek opening sequence, which manages lampoon key moments from Psycho and Halloween at the same time. Ultimately, The Funhouse is too uneven to qualify for classic status but remains of interest to genre fans for its periodic flashes of inspiration.

Product Details

Release Date:
10/16/2012
UPC:
0826663135893
Original Release:
1981
Rating:
R
Source:
Shout Factory
Region Code:
1
Presentation:
[Color]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono, Dolby Digital Stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround]
Time:
1:36:00
Sales rank:
27,541

Special Features

Audio Commentary with Director Tobe Hooper, Moderated by Filmmaker Tim Sullivan; Interview with Executive Producer Mark L. Lester and Composer John Beal; Audio Interview with actor William Finley; Theatrical Trailer; TV Spots

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Elizabeth Berridge Amy
Cooper Huckabee Buzz
Miles Chapin Richie
Largo Woodruff Liz
Sylvia Miles Madame Zena
Kevin Conway The Barker
William Finley Marco The Magnificent
Wayne Doba The Monster
Shawn Carson Joey Harper
David Carson Geek
Peter Conrad Midget
Frank Grimes Voyeur
Shawn McAllister Actor
Sandy Mielke Garbage Collector
Sid Raymond M.C.
Herb Robins Carnival Manager
Frank Schuller Poker Player
Sonia Zomina Bag Lady
Jack McDermott Harper
Allison Caine Voice Only

Technical Credits
Tobe Hooper Director
Richard Baker Special Effects
Pamela Basker Casting
John Beal Score Composer
Steven Bernhardt Producer
Lawrence Block Screenwriter
Fern Champion Casting
Norman Cohen Asst. Director
Tom Coll Set Decoration/Design
Jose Duarte Art Director
Jack Hofstra Editor
Andrew Laszlo Cinematographer
Mark L. Lester Executive Producer
Mace Neufeld Executive Producer
Derek Power Producer
Mort Rabinowitz Production Designer

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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Funhouse
1. Chapter 1 [8:49]
2. Chapter 2 [5:15]
3. Chapter 3 [8:48]
4. Chapter 4 [8:14]
5. Chapter 5 [7:49]
6. Chapter 6 [10:11]
7. Chapter 7 [4:42]
8. Chapter 8 [7:28]
9. Chapter 9 [4:35]
10. Chapter 10 [5:30]
11. Chapter 11 [5:52]
12. Chapter 12 [14:07]
13. Chapter 13 [3:43]

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