Newest Reviews
Knife for the Ladies, A
Man in the Attic
No Kidding
Honkytonk Man
Woman in the Window, The
Shed of the Dead
Dead Easy
Last Movie Star, The
Death Game
Juliet, Naked
Sugar Hill
House with the Clock in Its Walls, The
Devil Thumbs a Ride, The
Secret People
Spy Who Dumped Me, The
Beautiful Stranger
House That Jack Built, The
White Chamber
Summer of 84
On Secret Service
My Sister Eileen
Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween
Last Picture Show, The
Skatetown, USA
He Loves Me... He Loves Me Not
Mary Poppins Returns
Beyond the Sky
Newest Articles
Tucked: The Derren Nesbitt Interview
Locomotion Pictures: The Best of British Transport Films on Blu-ray
Roman Scandals: Extreme Visions from Ancient Rome
Spider-Wrong and Spider-Right: The Dragon's Challenge and Into the Spider-Verse
Monster Dog: Cujo on Blu-ray
For Christ's Sake: Jesus Christ Superstar and The Last Temptation of Christ
Not In Front of the Children: Inappropriate Kids Movies
Deeper into Ozploitation: Next of Kin and Fair Game
Between the Wars: Babylon Berlin Series 1&2 on DVD
Hard Luck Story: Detour on Blu-ray
Oh, What Happened to You? The Likely Lads on Blu-ray
Killer Apps: The Rise of the Evil 60s Supercomputers
How 1970s Can You Get? Cliff Richard in Take Me High vs Never Too Young to Rock
A Perfect Engine, An Eating Machine: The Jaws Series
Phwoar, Missus! Sexytime for Hollywood
  Tourist Trap Mannequin On The MoveBuy this film here.
Year: 1978
Director: David Schmoeller
Stars: Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Jon Van Ness, Robin Sherwood, Tanya Roberts, Dawn Jeffory, Keith McDermott
Genre: Horror, Weirdo
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Woody (Keith McDermott) was planning on a nice relaxing day, but his car has just broken down and now he's roling a tyre towards the nearest gas station he can find. As he and his friends are in the middle of nowhere, he might have to endure a long journey, but eventually he sees a place up ahead that looks promising and ventures inside, calling out for assistance. However, there doesn't seem to be anyone about and he ends up in a back room where there is someone lying beneath a blanket whose attention he tries to attract. He wishes he hadn't bothered when a mannequin springs up, laughing, startling him - and then the dummies start smashing through the windows, out of the closet and the door has been locked from the outside...

Based on a student film of director and co-writer (with producer J. Larry Carroll) David Schmoeller, Tourist Trap is a curio that at first glance mixed House of Wax with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, yet on second glance didn't appear to be precisely like anything else. It capitalised on a whatever fear of mannequins, dummies and puppets that might be in the audience by giving the wax figures supernatural properties, and contrived to stick in the minds of the few who saw it by offering up the clich├ęd group of young people to be terrorised and doing something very strange with them.

The film gained a little attention and respectability in its field when Stephen King highlighted it in his Danse Macabre book, an overview of the horror genre of what was then the past thirty years or so. This prompted a select few fans to seek it out, and while some were baffled, others enjoyed what they saw for its sheer funhouse oddness. Once poor old Woody has apparently been bumped off by the dummies we concentrate on his friends, three of whom have brought their own jeep. The drive on, hoping to catch their pal, until they reach a pool beneath a waterfall and the girls (including a raven-haired Tanya Roberts) go for a swim only to be accosted by a sinister but grinning fellow called Mr Slausen (Chuck Connors with a twinkle in his eye).

It's Mr Slausen who is somehow behind the weirdness they are about to endure, and when the jeep won't start, he invites them back to his abandoned wax museum, created, he claims, by his brother. Foolishly, they agree, and not long after night falls, the mannequins come to life somehow and along the way some of the friends are transformed into mannequins themselves. Whether by accident or design, Schmoeller works up a heavy mood of genuine unease when he fails to explain himself, and those figures with their gaping, ventriloquist dummy mouths are memorably disquieting creations. Connors lends a charm to the film that is not quite funny, more menacing, and Slausen's chatty, masked brother might be responsible for the goings-on. Whatever, there are some kind of psychic powers occurring, but the more you think about Tourist Trap the less sense it makes. It's best not to know too much about the story before watching it: otherwise, it's a pretty good approximation of a nightmare with its plethora of capture and escape scenes contributing greatly to that atmosphere. Music by Pino Donaggio.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 2544 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
  Derrick Smith
Paul Shrimpton
Darren Jones
George White
Stately Wayne Manor


Last Updated: