IMDb > The Funhouse (1981)
The Funhouse
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The Funhouse (1981) More at IMDbPro »

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The Funhouse -- Trailer for The Funhouse
The Funhouse -- Four teenage friends spent the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a frankenstein mask.

Overview

User Rating:
5.9/10   7,323 votes »
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Up 188% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Lawrence Block (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for The Funhouse on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
13 March 1981 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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 »
Plot:
Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
NewsDesk:
(101 articles)
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User Reviews:
The sets are cool. See more (132 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Elizabeth Berridge ... Amy Harper
Shawn Carson ... Joey Harper
Jeanne Austin ... Mrs. Harper

Jack McDermott ... Mr. Harper

Cooper Huckabee ... Buzz Dawson
Largo Woodruff ... Liz
Miles Chapin ... Richie
David Carson ... Geek
Sonia Zomina ... Bag Lady
Ralph Morino ... Truck Driver (as Ralph Marino)

Kevin Conway ... Freak Show Barker / Strip Show Barker / Funhouse Barker
Herb Robins ... Carnival Manager
Mona Agar ... Strip Show Dancer
Wayne Doba ... The Monster

William Finley ... Marco the Magnificent
Susie Malnik ... Carmella

Sylvia Miles ... Madame Zena

Sid Raymond ... Strip Show MC
Larry Ross ... Heckler - Girlie Show
Frank Grimes ... Strip Show Voyeur
Frank Schuller ... Poker Player #1
Peter Conrad ... Midget with Tall Lady
Mildred Hughes ... Tall Lady
Glen Lawrence ... Spectator

Shawn McAllister ... Garbage Collector #1

Sandy Mielke ... Garbage Collector #2
Mike Montalvo ... Spectator
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sherman 'Big Train' Bergman ... Carnival Worker (uncredited)
Allison Caine ... Additional Voices (voice) (uncredited)

Raymond Forchion ... Man in Tent Show (uncredited)

David Mandel ... Carnival Strongman (uncredited)

Directed by
Tobe Hooper 
 
Writing credits
Lawrence Block (written by) (as Larry Block)

Produced by
Steven Bernhardt .... producer
Mark L. Lester .... executive producer
Brad Neufeld .... associate producer
Mace Neufeld .... executive producer
Derek Power .... producer
 
Original Music by
John Beal 
 
Cinematography by
Andrew Laszlo (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Jack Hofstra 
 
Casting by
Pamela Basker 
Fern Champion 
 
Production Design by
Mort Rabinowitz  (as Morton Rabinowitz)
 
Art Direction by
Jose Duarte 
 
Set Decoration by
Tom Coll 
 
Makeup Department
Rick Baker .... special makeup design
Marlana May .... makeup artist
Donisia McGowan .... hair stylist
Craig Reardon .... special makeup execution
 
Production Management
Norman Cohen .... unit production manager
John Orland .... post-production supervisor
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Adrienne Bourbeau .... second assistant director
Norman Cohen .... first assistant director
 
Art Department
Harold Collins .... construction coordinator
William Kellow .... carpenter
Nicholas J. Romanac .... property master (as Nick Romanac)
Neal Adams .... conceptual designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Jack Dalton .... sound mixer (as Jack Dalton Sr.)
Robert L. Hoyt .... sound re-recording mixer (as Robert Hoyt)
Dale Johnson .... sound editor
Earl Madery .... sound re-recording mixer
John J. Stephens .... sound re-recording mixer (as John Stephens)
David A. Whittaker .... sound editor (as David Whittaker)
 
Special Effects by
J.B. Jones .... special effects
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Destolfe .... still photographer (as Robert De Stolfe)
Russell Engels .... gaffer (as Rusty Engles)
Ed Kammerer .... best boy (as Eddie Kammerer)
Ed Knott Jr. .... key grip (as Eddie Knott Jr.)
Walter G. Morris Jr. .... gaffer (as Walter Morris Jr.)
James Pergola .... camera operator
John Winner .... first assistant camera
Oscar Barber .... camera operator: "b" camera (uncredited)
Oscar Barber .... camera operator: second unit (uncredited)
Daniel Pearl .... additional photographer (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Susie Feldott .... casting: Miami
Bob Gordon .... casting: Miami
Jonathan Lane .... casting: Miami (as Jonothan Lane)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Linda Benedict-Pierce .... wardrobe (as Linda Benedict)
Andre Lavery .... wardrobe
Harold Richter .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Vicki Hiatt .... post-production assistant
Robert Leader .... assistant editor
Angelo Ross .... location editor
 
Music Department
Richard Bellis .... orchestrator
Tom Catalano .... music supervisor
Don James .... orchestrator
Ken Johnson .... music editor
Jo Ann Kane .... music preparation
John Beal .... conductor (uncredited)
John Beal .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Miles Goodman .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Daniel J. Johnson .... music editor (uncredited)
Rick Riccio .... music scoring mixer (uncredited)
John Rosenberg .... orchestra contractor (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Don Gilman .... production assistant
Melanie Grefe .... production assistant
Arnold Leibovit .... production assistant
Murray Naidich .... main title design
Susana Preston .... script supervisor
Roberta Rose .... production accountant
Daphne Stacey .... assistant: Mr. Hooper
Jeffrey W. Stacey .... production assistant (as Jeff Stacey)
Cynthia Streit .... production coordinator
Dee Dee Winner .... production coordinator
Kathy Day .... assistant: Mr. Neufeld (uncredited)
Jonathan Lane .... assistant to director (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Mary Lee Lander .... the producers wish to acknowledge the contributions of
Shari Lewis .... dummy courtesy of
Bob Megerle .... special thanks
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min | Sweden:90 min (cut) | Belgium:80 min (video version)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:18 | Australia:R | Finland:K-18 (2010) | Finland:(Banned) (1981) | France:-16 | Germany:BPjM Restricted | New Zealand:R16 | Norway:15 (2009) (uncut) | Norway:(Banned) (1981-2003) (cinema release) | Sweden:15 | UK:X (original rating) | UK:15 (re-rating) | UK:18 (video rating) (1987) | USA:R | West Germany:18 (cut)
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
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.See more »
Goofs:
Miscellaneous: Amy and Buzz leave her house in a 1966 Pontiac LeMans (obvious because of the grill and chrome badging behind headlight). The deep recess in the top of the c-pillar indicates that it is a convertible. Moments later when they are going down the road and even more clearly in the carnival parking lot when they are parking, it is a 1967 Pontiac GTO with a black vinyl top (notice the different grill insert and blinkers, as well as missing chrome badges on fender).See more »
Quotes:
Funhouse:I've been expecting you.
Amy Harper:Why are you doing this? Why are you trying to kill us?
Funhouse:I'm just protecting my family.
Amy Harper:Your family? But that guy... he's not even human.
Funhouse:The Lord works in mysterious ways, little lady. He ain't such a bad fella. My son does get himself in all sorts of trouble, though, don't he? Anyway, blood is thicker than water. I'm sure he's gonna be a real comfort to me in my old age. Now, how many people know you're here?
Amy Harper:[lying] Lots. Our parents... they all know.
Funhouse:[scoffs] Well, no matter. We'll be pullin' outta here tomorrow mornin'. There's plenty other carnivals.
Buzz Klemmet:What'd you do with Liz? The other girl?
Funhouse:Oh, I expect by now he's just finishin' up with her. We'll just wait here till he gets back.
[Richie's corpse appears]
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) (V)See more »

FAQ

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14 out of 23 people found the following review useful.
The sets are cool., 5 September 2003
Author: GroovyDoom from Haddonfield, IL

The production of this film included the use of a real vintage carnival from the 40s/50s. For anyone interested in the appeal of a traveling carnival, this film has some great sets. "The Funhouse" also features some great Rick Baker/Craig Reardon effects in the form of the movie's "villain", a deformed albino with fangs and claws.

But the rest of the production is sorely lacking. Tobe Hooper does his best with the material, but he's not too good at smoothing over the obvious lack of logic inherent in the film. For instance, the plot concerns a small group of four teenagers who decide on a lark to "spend the night in the funhouse" of the traveling carnival they're visiting...the same carnival that was around "when those two girls were found dead in the woods some time ago". Now, why on Earth would anybody in their right minds find the idea of staying in a carnival funhouse overnight exciting? Where will they sleep? What will they do the next day? Won't they get hungry? Thirsty? Have to brush their teeth? Use the bathroom?

Not only that, but the attractions in this carnival are most definitely not of the transportable variety. The titular dark ride seems so immense that our teen protagonists find it impossible to navigate their way out of the funhouse when danger rears its ugly head. Here's an idea: maybe follow the metal tracks in the floor until you are standing at the exit? In fact, the funhouse is built like a permanent fixture, with at least two floors and what appears to be a sub-basement! How would the carnies ever be able to dismantle this thing and move it in one day?

This flick also suffers another blow by giving us nobody to root for. The teenage "protagonists" are wholly unlikeable. They smoke pot like they're sipping soda out of a can, they steal money from strangers, they are stupid enough to want to spend the night in a carnival attraction, and they commit the unpardonable horror movie sin of fornication--all except for the female lead, of course, although she isn't even interesting enough to be engaging. The dialogue in the film is flat, and it has no success in establishing any characterizations on behalf of the would-be victims. I wasn't even paying attention to most of the film's first reel.

"The Funhouse" is also one of those movies where the villains seem to know exactly where their victims will be standing, like directly on top of a trap door that is conveniently deployed right on cue. The machinery of the funhouse also knows exactly how to deposit dead bodies so that they will stop exactly in front of our screaming victims.

Suspension of disbelief aside, "The Funhouse" stirs up some uncomfortable feelings when the filmmakers use their "monster" to get scares out of the audience, then tell us he's simply deformed. In reality, he is one of the only sympathetic characters in the movie, and the film's climax is the only portion that packs a wallop: the script pits the only two characters in the film worth caring about against one another.

Hooper throws in some sly references to "Texas Chain Saw Massacre", even if it does involve the gratuitous and illogical use of swinging hooks (haw haw), but by the time the movie delivers any real shudders, it's too late. Ironically, Dean Koontz was hired to write a movie tie-in novel for "The Funhouse", which was published under the psuedonym Owen West. Koontz fleshed out the story considerably, adding some great touches that the filmmakers would have been wise to exploit in their own movie. Too bad, because Koontz's treatment may have given Hooper a bigger, sharper hook on which to hang this film.

Was the above review useful to you?
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Message Boards

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On AMC 10/22/14 9:45 am eastern. dmutt77
Frankenstein VikingFan4Ever
He Looked Better With The Mask On foxmulder1993
based on Dean Koontz book? general_razor_cs-1
When was your first time? happyhaunt2005
Carnival Horror Movies rduke72
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