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The Funhouse (1981)

R | | Horror | 13 March 1981 (USA)
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ON DISC
Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writer:

Lawrence J. Block (as Larry Block)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Berridge ... Amy Harper
Shawn Carson ... Joey Harper
Jeanne Austin ... Mrs. Harper
Jack McDermott ... Mr. Harper
Cooper Huckabee ... Buzz Dawson
Largo Woodruff ... Liz Duncan
Miles Chapin ... Richie Atterbury
David Carson David Carson ... Geek
Sonia Zomina ... Bag Lady
Ralph Morino Ralph Morino ... Truck Driver (as Ralph Marino)
Kevin Conway ... Freak Show Barker / Strip Show Barker / Funhouse Barker
Herb Robins ... Carnival Manager
Mona Agar Mona Agar ... Strip Show Dancer
Wayne Doba ... The Monster
William Finley ... Marco the Magnificent
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Storyline

The teenager Amy Harper dates Buzz Dawson for the first time and they go to the carnival with their friends Richie and Liz. They smoke grass and have good-time visiting the attractions including a side show with freak animals. The silly Richie suggests the group to spend the night in the Funhouse for fun. During the night, they witness the murder of the fortune teller Madame Zena by a man wearing a mask of Frankenstein from an opening in the ceiling of a room. They decide to leave the fun house but they find all the exits locked. Meanwhile Richie sneaks in the room and steals the money of the manager of the place. The masked man returns with his father and owner of the fun house to show the corpse of Madame Zena; when the man realizes that he had been robbed, he presses his son that removes the mask and shows his horrible face. Richie startles and drops his lighter in the room. The owner asks his freak son to chase the thieves and eyewitnesses in a night of terror for the teenagers. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something is alive in the funhouse! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Carnival of Terror See more »

Filming Locations:

Dade County, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,765,456, 15 March 1981, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$7,886,857
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In a interview on the DVD, director Tobe Hooper said that the mask worn by one of the creatures 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. See more »

Goofs

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

Buzz Klemmet: Hey! Watch who you're calling an asshole, asshole.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the 1987 UK CIC video release was uncut in terms of violence it ran around 3 minutes shorter than the cinema version, and the differences appeared to be some dialogue and narrative edits. It contained the scenes of reefer smoking which were missing from some later Film Four showings. See more »

Connections

Referenced in 31 (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Music from_Bride of Frankenstein (1935) _
(uncredited)
Composed by Franz Waxman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
For horror fans, The Funhouse is just that!
22 September 2005 | by Nightman85See all my reviews

From director Toby Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre-1974) comes this above average slasher-thriller film, that's certainly one of the best of the '80's!

Teenagers go to the county fair on a double date. Once there, they decide to spend the night hiding out in the fun house, unknowing that the consequences will be horrific.

The Funhouse is a great, suspense-filled horror film that's far more intelligent than most of its type, especially compared to most of the "splatter" films of the era. The story is a gripping one, which builds tremendous tension right up to its claustrophobic climax. Hooper gives us an atmosphere of dread, much like he did with the original Texas Chainsaw'. The carnival becomes an underworld of fear and darkness in the skilled hands of Hooper with some colorful set pieces. The music score is wonderfully moody and dramatic.

The cast is great as well. The beautiful Elizabeth Berridge makes a great screen debut. Cooper Huckabee is good as Berridge's beefy date. Kevin Conway is the best of the cast though, in his sinister performance as he plays a trio of carnie barkers. Kudos also go to makeup artist Rick Baker for one memorable creation!

For those looking for above-average suspense and horror, it will be hard to do better than this entertaining gem!

**** out of ****


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