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The Funhouse (1981)

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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...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:

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

Actor Kevin Conway came up with a number of lines on his own, including the line about blaming a death on the "locals". See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning of the film, after Joey scared Amy and she chased him into the bedroom, she told him she wasn't going to take him to the funfair on the weekend because of it. Nearer the end, the Funhouse Barker says that the funfair is packing up in the morning and moving on. See more »

Quotes

Funhouse: [discovers that the Monster - who also turns out to be his son - has killed Madame Zena after paying her for sex... because she wouldn't give him a refund] You paid Madame Zena a hundred dollars for this? You crazy fool, I could have gotten you one of them tent-girls for fifteen! Well, you never were much for knowing the value of cash, were you?
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 »


Soundtracks

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

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User Reviews

 
No, this one doesn't star J.D. Roth
15 September 2003 | by AngusBeefSee all my reviews

The Funhouse is one of my absolute favorite horror movies of the 1980s. That being said, I consider the 1980s the grandest time for the horror genre. You had fine slasher movies like Friday the 13th, Nightmare On Elm Street, My Bloody Valentine, and Prom Night. You also had great monster/ghost/zombie movies like The Howling, Day of the Dead, and The Fog. Well, the Funhouse falls right in the middle of the these subgenres. The story centers around Amy and her three friends (two guys and a girl), who, after seeing all the ghoulish and bizarre attractions at the carnival, decide to have a "lock-in" at the Funhouse for a night of hanky-panky. Well, a "lock-in" they get, followed by a night of sheer terror as the foursome witness a murder by the carnival's secret attraction, the hideously deformed freak, and become the target of the Funhouse's maniacal operators. Who will survive? Will any survive? And what kind of trauma will they have to endure? For those that are into blood and guts, this movie will probably not do it for you, because it doesn't contain much. But for those of you who love a great horror movie with suspense, a claustrophobic atmosphere, and a grainy touch, this chiller is for you. I personally give it my highest recommendation. I truly believe that it is a forgotten classic. After all, it was Tobe Hooper, of Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist fame, who helmed this gem. Even the tagline for this movie was perfect: "Pay to get in. PRAY to get out." And thank God that J.D. Roth wasn't in this film.


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