Monday, 24 October 2011

Horror Review: The Funhouse (1981)

4 teenagers on a double date at the carnival decide to sneak around the funhouse ride and they witness something terrifying and now its time to try and escape.
The 80's was truly a magical year for Horror, the only problem was that with so many many Horror's being released some get overlooked and this was one of them. This gem of a film, brought to us by Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist), is a true cult 80's Horror film.

Hooper really does know his stuff when it comes to a Horror film, and this film is no different, it's dark, creepy, and yes a little campy, but come on it was the 80's!

I truly adore this film, it really is a great entertainment to watch. and I thought the casting was brilliant as-well as the effects and dialogue.

I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys Horror, especially the classics of the 80's. It's got it's comedic moments but they are few and far between and it doesn't ruin the creepiness of the film at all, if anything it adds to it.

I always thought that more films would have been done in the setting of a carnival but it's surprising how few there actually are.

If you like your 80's Horror then watch it!

To see the trailer for "The Funhouse" click here

Miscellaneous facts about the film:

  • The opening sequence is an homage to both Psycho and Halloween.
  • Steven Spielberg asked Tobe Hooper to direct E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial but he turned it down because he was busy on this movie. However Hooper and Spielberg would work together on Poltergeist.
  • Dean R. Koontz wrote a novelization of the screenplay under the pseudonym Owen West. The book contains a lot of backstory added by Koontz. Because of this, and the fact that the book was released before the movie due to a delay in post production, it is often mistaken that the movie is based on the book, but the book is in fact based on the movie.
  • The title for the film's French release is 'Massacres dans le train fantôme', meaning 'Massacres on the Ghost Train'.
  • Director Tobe Hooper made this film between his other horror movies Salem's Lot and Poltergeist.
  • This movie was shot in Miami / Florida, USA due to the more relaxed child labor laws available on the East Coast. Most of the cast were young actors.
  • During production, director Tobe Hooper acquired a number of antique, clockwork and mechanical old toys which had been used as props in this movie.
  • An accident occurred during filming when a carnival ride carrying several passengers was left on for about twenty minutes to half an hour. The ride, one which has several octopus arms that spin around with rotating carriages, normally only runs for about four minutes per joyride. Thrillseekers vomited and yelled out real screams as the ride continued way past its end time. When stopped, the riders could not walk and were somewhat twisted in their musculature. An ambulance was called but no one was seriously injured.
  • Author Dean R. Koontz later expanded and embellished his novelization of this film into another fully-fledged novel.
  • The movie The Last House on Dead End Street made just a few years earlier had 'The Fun House' as an alternate title.
  • In a interview on the DVD, director Tobe Hooper said that the mask worn by one of the creatures in The Funhouse was a Frankenstein mask. Hooper said that this was selected because the Universal Studios owned the image copyright for it from their Frankenstein horror film classic.
  • The industrial crane used for crane shots on this movie could elevate higher than the ferris-wheel seen in the amusement park. The crane was gigantic. It had three sections which could each extend fifty feet. The film's D.O.P. wanted to have one on every movie he worked on.
  • Reshoots of scenes took four days due to lost film footage which had got caught up in a local teamster war. Director Tobe Hooper has said that the filming of this movie in Miami / Florida occurred during the Scarface era.
  • The title for the film's Brazilian release is 'Pague para Entrar, Reze para Sair', which translates to the movie's tagline 'Pay to get in, pray to get out'.

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