Monday, January 28, 2013

Tourist Trap

(1979) Directed by David Schmoeller

This review contains tons of spoilers, so see the movie first before you read it! 

"These Tourist Traps are all alike. They give you a big build up but when you get there its nothing but a roadside shack with a bunch of trinkets. "

"Tourist Trap" could have easily taken place in Florida (here its California), minus the mountains of course. There's always long gone roadside attractions that once flourished, but now lie in ruins with its remnants fading in the unbearable sunlight. The loss of a family owned business is devastating (especially in the today's economic climate) to say the least. Sometimes you wonder whatever became of places like this film's Slausen's Island Oasis and especially the harsh effect on the mind of its owners. "Tourist Trap" darkly explores what can happen when a new highway is built and leaves the past's nearby tenants in the dust. 

It's super hot and sticky outside, so a group of friends on a road trip stop by Slausen's (Chuck Conner) after their car suddenly stops working. They (including Bond Girl and Donna's hot mom in "That's 70's Show, Tanya Roberts) take a look around Slausen's, while he lures them further in the property away from the road with his seemingly kind demeanor. I mean, an overall wearing Larry Hagman in "Dallas" look-a-like can't be too threatening right? "Innocent", white dress wearing Molly (Jocelyn Jones) seems to buy his act the most. 

We quickly find out the results of exploring an unknown house lined with dozens of lifelike mannequins. Their eyes move and they occasionally wail horribly in a way that my husband Jeffrey said sounded like a Daisy Chainsaw song. Be sure to look out the killer's mask that looks like a cross between Elvis and Leatherface. I was a little confused about all the mannequin's state of mind (of there lack of) because they're defending Slausen, even though he's the one that made them who they now are. I'll try not to give away too much more. 

This movie is very creepy, but also has a comedic undertone to it. Even MST3K alums, "Rifftrax" have their own play along recording that you can check out here.

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