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The Funhouse (1981) Poster

(1981)

Trivia

Steven Spielberg asked Tobe Hooper to direct E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) but he turned it down because he was busy on this movie. However Hooper and Spielberg would work together on Poltergeist (1982).
The opening sequence is an homage to both Psycho (1960) and Halloween (1978).
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Dean R. Koontz wrote a novelization of the screenplay under the pseudonym Owen West. The book contains a lot of backstory added by Koontz. Because of this, and the fact that the book was released before the movie due to a delay in post production, it is often mistaken that the movie is based on the book, but the book is in fact based on the movie.
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An accident occurred during filming when a carnival ride carrying several passengers was left on for about twenty minutes to half an hour. The ride, one which has several octopus arms that spin around with rotating carriages, normally only runs for about four minutes per joyride. Thrillseekers vomited and yelled out real screams as the ride continued way past its end time. When stopped, the riders could not walk and were somewhat twisted in their musculature. An ambulance was called but no one was seriously injured.
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Director Tobe Hooper was bitten by a brown recluse spider during filming.
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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.
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Director Tobe Hooper was at one point nearly struck by a flying cog but was saved by an extra who broke their arm in the process.
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The girls in the tent were local strippers from Miami, Florida.
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The title for the film's Brazilian release is 'Pague para Entrar, Reze para Sair', which translates to the movie's tagline 'Pay to get in, pray to get out'.
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A two-headed cow and also one with a cleft palate are seen in this movie.
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The movie The Last House on Dead End Street (1977) made just a few years earlier had 'The Fun House' as an alternate title.
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Actor Kevin Conway agreed to be in the movie on the condition that he get to play all three barkers.
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The original plan was to have makeup effects artist Rob Bottin play the monster, before director Tobe Hooper caught a performance by mime Wayne Doba, who subsequently landed the role.
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Director Tobe Hooper wanted Andrew Laszlo for his cinematographer on this show because he liked Laszlo's lighting of Walter Hill's The Warriors (1979).
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The title for the film's French release is 'Massacres dans le train fantôme', meaning 'Massacres on the Ghost Train'.
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Director Tobe Hooper made this film between his other horror movies Salem's Lot (1979) and Poltergeist (1982).
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During production, director Tobe Hooper acquired a number of antique, clockwork and mechanical old toys which had been used as props in this movie.
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Author Dean R. Koontz later expanded and embellished his novelization of this film into another fully-fledged novel.
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The industrial crane used for crane shots on this movie could elevate higher than the ferris-wheel seen in the amusement park. The crane was gigantic. It had three sections which could each extend fifty feet. The film's D.O.P. wanted to have one on every movie he worked on.
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Reshoots of scenes took four days due to lost film footage which had got caught up in a local teamster war. Director Tobe Hooper has said that the filming of this movie in Miami / Florida occurred during the Scarface (1983) era.
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Actor Kevin Conway came up with a number of lines on his own, including the line about blaming a death on the "locals".
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In a interview on the DVD, director Tobe Hooper said that the mask worn by one of the creatures in The Funhouse (1981) was a Frankenstein mask. Hooper said that this was selected because the Universal Studios owned the image copyright for it from their Frankenstein (1931) horror film classic.
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It was director Tobe Hooper's idea to shoot the film in anamorphic Panavision.
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Some of the props in Joey's bedroom were owned by Shari Lewis of "Lamb Chop" fame (such as the winking ventriloquist dummy) and were obtainable because co-executive producer Mace Neufeld was a friend of hers.
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The opening sequence was filmed after principal shooting on the movie had already wrapped.
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Cooper Huckabee was cast out of New York City.
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The animatronic fat lady laughing at the end of the film is a reference to the phrase "It ain't over till the fat lady sings".
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Kevin Conway, Mace Neufeld and Cooper Huckabee worked together later in 'Gettysburg' (1993)
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