Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Jon Van Ness, Robin Sherwood, Tanya Roberts
Director: David Schmoeller
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
An eerie and deserted wax museum slausens lost oasis is the site for spine tingling terror where four unsuspecting young travelers are lured into a very deadly tourist trap. Slausen is the reclusive and bizarre owner of th... more »
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Keith A. (Keefer522)
Reviewed on 9/15/2013...
In this cult 70s horror flick, a group of stranded travelers find themselves at a run-down roadside wax museum (run by a totally slumming Chuck "Rifleman" Connors) known for its extremely lifelike mannequins. One by one they start to disappear until the secret behind those mannequins (which you'll figure out way before the characters do) is revealed. The movie starts off strong and has some decent creepy atmosphere but it eventually falls apart as it goes along. This is the kind of movie where the main characters are such complete idiots that they deserve everything that happens to them.
Side note: one of the unlucky travelers is played by a young, pre-"Charlie's Angels" Tanya Roberts, and she looks absolutely SMOKIN' throughout.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
See my Friend! Molly!
firstname.lastname@example.org | 01/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the best horror films of the 1970's has finally been given a long overdue home video makeover. TOURIST TRAP is the most frightening movie ever made about mannequins, and a classic example that a low budget can be a horror film's greatest asset. In today's predictable, estrogen-driven MTV style of filmmaking wherein the writers believe that blood, gore, and throwaway lines are the ingredients necessary to make a horror film, TOURIST TRAP blows that notion out of the water. The film possesses an air of originality thanks to Nicholas Von Sternberg's beautiful visual style and superb editing by Ted Nicolaou. The story itself is similar to PSYCHO, but it's done with such pinache that one might not initially realize it. Brian DePalma's SISTERS (1973) is another great PSYCHO inspiration that you should check out if you already have not. I first saw this movie one Saturday afternoon on TV in the mid-80's and it left one hell of an impression on me. It begins with what is unquestionably one of the most bizarre and frightening openings ever done in a horror film. A group of friends are on vacation when one of their tires blows out. Woody, the driver, walks to a gas station to get some help, but he finds himself in a situation that would give just about anyone a heart attack. Enter Chuck Connors. He gives a wonderful and ultimately surprisingly sympathetic performance as Mr. Slausen, a congenial and charming gentleman who owns a now-defunct roadside souvenir shop/wax museum. When he meets up with Woody's friends who are concerned about Woody's whereabouts, Mr. Slausen comes to the rescue, but a series of horrendously bizarre events begin to transpire. As the story progresses, the natural inclination on the part of the viewer is to refute the plausibility of the bizarre set pieces that slowly mount. I find that if you watch it from the standpoint of falling asleep and having a nightmare about mannequins that come to life, this film is much more frightening and enjoyable. When I was seven, I used to play in my grandmother's basement that was populated by some truly horrific dolls. One of them had outstretched hands with no hair that walked when you wound it up, and let me tell you - they were frightening. This film has that kind of effect. This film inexplicably received a PG rating during its theatrical release which, the director states, killed it at the box office. I would have demanded an R rating if I were him! While the film contains no overt bloodshed, one of the murders is particularly gruesome and cruel (that's not counting the opening scene!) The DVD transfer of this film is a revelation. Colors that were originally muted on the old 16mm faded prints that made the rounds on late night cable are now rich and vibrant. Pino Donaggio's score, which is one of the best elements in the film, comes through in full force. As a bonus, director David Schmoeller gives a running commentary throughout the film, though I wish he divulged more information than he actually does. Although he mentions TOURIST TRAP's origins - a film school thesis project called THE SPIDER WILL KILL YOU - he fails to disclose the film's budget. Disappointingly, why wasn't this thesis film included on the DVD? Why does the DVD state that it contains 40 trailers to other horror films when I can only access seven? Despite my carpings, the DVD is well worth the asking price. The trailer for TOURIST TRAP is included. For those of you who love gaffes, check out the left side of the screen at the 72:52 point during Tanya Robert's death scene. A stage hand can be seen behind a pane of glass. Forget SCREAM and I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER. If you don't have a DVD player yet, this is one reason to purchase one. The film is currently out of print on VHS, but VHS stinks anyway! Thank you, David Schmoeller, for making one of the best horror films EVER. TOURIST TRAP is superb."
Get Caught in the TRAP!
Brett D. Cullum | Houston, TX United States | 07/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THE TOURIST TRAP was mentioned by STEPHEN KING as one of his favorite movies. It was supposed to reinvent Chuck Connors as a Lon Chaney for the 1980s. It didn't do great at the box office, because ... well it was surrounded by other slasher flicks that were R-rated, and despite what it says on the box this only earned a PG. But it has endured to become a cult classic, largely due to the fact it was easily shown on television (don't have to cut much out!). It's a creepy little story about a group of teens who get stranded on a lonely highway, and taken to a curious wax museum where they are picked off one by one in order of their sexual promiscuity. Sounds pretty typical for 80s horror, but this one has the killer having telekinetic powers so that objects fly, manequins scream, and mayhem breaks out. The climax is very different from its peer group! The last shot of the movie burns into your mind, and suddenly you realize ... TOURIST TRAP ain't a bad place to find some shivers! Kinda like CARRIE crossed with HALLOWEEN! Odd note is that Dino Pinaggio who scored CARRIE also worked on the music for this one. This DVD version features a wide-screen transfer, and commentary by the director. And it's cheap! You get a lot of bang for the buck here. If you're a horror fan this is a must. If you don't like the gore in most horror movies this is a must! It's a creepy classic that should have everybody caught in its spell."
An effective rip-off
man_invisible | Dork, PA | 05/28/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Like many reviewers have already stated here, "Tourist Trap" is the kind of movie you see as a little kid and have horrifying flashbacks of, even years later. It's a testament to this film's intense settings and mounting suspense that it's still regarded so highly today, because not much of it is original.Director David Schmoeller, who got a tour-de-force performance out of Klaus Kinski in "Crawlspace," does the same with aging rifleman Chuck Connors. He plays Slausen, a lonely yet kind man who runs a curio shop in the middle of nowhere. A group of teens show up quickly enough with the requisite car trouble, and Slausen shows hospitality but can't warn them enough about staying away from a nearby farmhouse. In typically predictable fashion (once night rolls around, of course) the teens start to disappear and will--at one point or another--come face to face with "Davey," Slausen's alleged brother who turns his unfortunate victims into mannequins.Sound familiar? It goes without saying that a bulk of "Tourist Trap" is ripped directly from "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre," but manages to stand on its own. The supporting actors make a genuine attempt to be more than one-dimensional mannequin fodder, Pino Donaggio's score is effectively creepy, and the settings are terrifying in their realism (the farmhouse populated with mannequins is the stuff nightmares are made of). Schmoeller builds suspense beautifully here, and for once makes the dead of night seem brilliantly unpredictable, instead of the opposite.In short, "Tourist Trap" is as potent today as it was over 20 years ago. The remastered DVD looks great, has sufficient extras, and can be found pretty cheap (depending on where you look). This is a treat for genre fans--sure, it isn't very original, but you're not likely to see many films more intense than this."