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The Funhouse (1981)

 -  Horror  -  13 March 1981 (USA)
5.9
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 7,207 users  
Reviews: 130 user | 113 critic

Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

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Title: The Funhouse (1981)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Shawn Carson ...
Jeanne Austin ...
...
...
Largo Woodruff ...
Liz
Miles Chapin ...
David Carson ...
Sonia Zomina ...
Ralph Morino ...
Truck Driver (as Ralph Marino)
...
Herb Robins ...
Mona Agar ...
Strip Show Dancer
Wayne Doba ...
...
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Storyline

Two young couples on a double date go to a mysterious carnival. As a prank they decide to spend the night in the funhouse. When they witness a brutal murder, they suddenly find themselves in horrific danger. Written by Sean V. Taylor <st52@cornell.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something is alive in the funhouse...something that has the form of a human, but not the face...something that feeds off the flesh and blood of young innocents... See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

13 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Carnival of Terror  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title for the film's French release is 'Massacres dans le train fantôme', meaning 'Massacres on the Ghost Train'. See more »

Quotes

Richie Atterbury: When I was a kid, I once tried to spook my older brother by hiding in his closet. While I was waiting in there to jump out and scare him, a weird thought came into my head. What if he knew I was in there, and he was standing just outside the closet door, waiting to jump out and scare me?
Liz Duncan: So, what happened?
Buzz Klemmet: He locked you in, didn't he?
Richie Atterbury: I waited for three hours till my parents came home and got me out. I was too scared to touch the doorknob. I... I wet my pants.
See more »

Connections

Spoofs Psycho (1960) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Above average 1980s scare flick
8 November 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Fast-paced and atmospheric thriller set in and around the carnival midway. Two couples visiting the local traveling carnival decide to spend the night in The Funhouse and fool around as a lark. After witnessing a murder, they become the targets of a deformed maniac and his barker dad who are determined they will not leave to report it to the police. I read the Owen West (aka Dean Koontz) novelization back in the day, which was infinitely more padded with back story, abortion issues, religious fanaticism, and a rather Byzantine attempt to link the heroine and her younger brother to the killers before they ever set foot on the midway. Mercifully, the film abandons all of the excess baggage and strips the story done to the bare essentials. I enjoy Tobe Hooper's direction here much more so than that shown in the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre as it seems we are seeing a much more polished effort. He nicely establishes the atmosphere of the midway, which by turns is colorful and sordid. The central characters are nicely delineated (although due to the abandoning of the subplots from the novelization, Shawn Carson's younger brother seems like a fifth wheel rather than integral to the story) and well played by an appealing cast. They seem like credible and overwhelmed young people rather than fodder for the axing. Lead Elizabeth Berridge, in particular, has a nice girl next door quality and radiates a resourcefulness through her terror without ever seeming like either Superwoman or a victim. The make-up for the primary killer is particularly effective and novel. The film builds up a substantial head of steam before going for broke in a wild Grand Guignol climax. The score is also worth mentioning as it provides a very effective counterpoint to the action. Ironically, this film is rarely mentioned by horror fans, having been buried amid the morass of Friday the 13th clones that proliferated in this period, but it is definitely one that should be rediscovered.


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based on Dean Koontz book? general_razor_cs-1
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