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Tourist Trap (1979)

PG | | Horror | 16 March 1979 (USA)
A group of young friends stranded at a secluded roadside museum are stalked by a masked assailant who uses his telekenetic powers to control the attraction's mannequins.

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Shailar Coby ...
Arlecchino ...
Mannequin
Victoria Richart ...
Mannequin
Millie Dill ...
Mannequin
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Storyline

Teenagers come across a shut-in psychopath with telekinetic powers. He proceeds to use these powers to slay them one by one as well as animate the various mannequins he uses to keep himself company. Written by Dan Coker <pammyk@primenet.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Every year young people disappear See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

16 March 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Ratoeira  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Connors' "parents" in the movie were actually played by Schmoeller's parents. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, a knife sticks in the wall by the victim's head. In most subsequent close-ups, the knife is not there. See more »

Quotes

Davey: [deep, raspy voice] We're going to have a party!
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the credits, Mr. Slausen is spelled differently than on all of the signs in the movie with his name. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Grave Encounters 2 (2012) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
see this as a child, and be scarred (and scared) for life...
29 March 2005 | by See all my reviews

There was a time, back before USA became the home of Emmy-award winning programming, when you could turn on the TV on a Saturday night and be treated to such highbrow programming as "Slugs," "Shock Waves," and the pervasively atmospheric creepfest, "Tourist Trap." Out of all the horror films I remember from my childhood, TT arguably left the most visible mark. As my family would gather around the TV and behold the spooky wonder of a house full of mannequins (my father was a fan of Chuck Connors as "The Rifleman"), I would go to my room and cower under the bed when things got too scary. For as much as this film (and others) frightened me, I was simultaneously drawn to the discomfort they produced. Scenes of a woman's face being turned into a plaster mask, a man impaled by a flying pipe, and a knife to the back of the skull left haunting marks on my neuroses that periodically popped up in the years that followed (during which, unfortunately, TT was near impossible to find on VHS).

Having 'grown up' considerably since that time, and recently revisiting the 'ol "Trap" on DVD, I must say it has lost only a smidgen of its ability to shock. As a child, I didn't pay as much attention to pacing (especially with commercial breaks inserted every 10 minutes) or acting quality, because the horrific events were amplified ten-fold in my eyes and mind.

Now, a lot of the acting seems over-the-top and amateurish (Connors, however, maintains a professional veneer throughout), and some scenes drag to the point where the subtitle "Just killing time" should be superimposed at the bottom of the screen. Granted, these are just minor quibbles from a fan/critic who has seen much worse instances of both these traits.

Though TT still maintains a sense of terror that builds as the film progresses, my downgraded impression of it has come from being exposed to "Carrie," "Halloween," "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," "Psycho" and others that TT writer/director David Schmoeller liberally borrows from. However, he incorporates the killer-with-psychic-powers angle with great skill, careful not to overextend his homage to the point of parody, creating something genuinely offbeat as a result. As is properly cited on the DVD, the film branches off into different levels of insanity, to the point where kindly Mr. Slausen's (Connors) mannequins begin to resemble real live people...

Not a masterpiece but far from a waste of time, "Tourist Trap" is a montage of elaborate face-masks, creepy vocal distortion, atmospheric nights, and desperate, panicked emotion. One of the more notable sleepers in the annals of horror, for those with adventurous tastes.


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