The Funhouse (1981)

Tobe Hooper directs Elizabeth Berridge, Kevin Conway and William Finley in this slasher movie where four horny teens unleash carnival-set horror.

I don’t care how much you want to tit up a senior… you don’t stay in this carnival overnight by choice?! Starts with a prologue that is a spoof of Halloween and Psycho. Let’s you know three things right off the bat… 1. Don’t take this too seriously. 2. It knows the target audience. 3. It is gonna be tonally and structurally as messy as an overflowing bin at a funfair on Sunday night. And I appreciate all that about this forgotten gem. The first half is pretty much a creepy but accurate trip around a travelling show. Sleazy shenanigans, distasteful but fascinating. You can taste the dirty cotton candy. Then the horror kicks in but its a little chunk of everything… slasher movie, monster movie, parody, Southern Gothic, child’s nightmare. It all works, just very random. Yet for sustained atmosphere you don’t find much this seedy and this bonkers and this haphazard outside of Giallo. Hooper’s The Funhouse is… fun. Probably his best movie after TCM. Berridge is very winning as a final girl in every aspect.


Perfect Double Bill: Lifeforce (1986)

Check out my wife Natalie’s Point Horror blog

We also do a podcast together called The Worst Movies We Own. It is available on Spotify or here

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