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 »is attraction which is actually more like a macabre chamber or horrors. Studio: Koch International Release Date: 08/27/2002 Starring: Chuck Connors Jon Van Ness Run time: 90 minutes Rating: R Director: David Schmoeller« less
Rodney P. from BEAUMONT, TX Reviewed on 8/9/2017...
Seriously Seriously CREEPY AS HELL!
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
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."
Not Bad, But No Masterpiece.
Guido | NY United States | 10/27/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
"When you go into a movie, you can go in two different ways. You can go in to it not expecting too much or you can go into it expecting a lot. After reading reviews for "The Tourist Trap" I decided to check it out. While the movie wasn't the worst I've seen in that genre it's far from the best.
What you do expect from almost every horror movie made between 1978 and 1983 is delievered here, bad acting, cheesy effects and a trite story line.
Synopsis: Four young travelers come upon an old, abandoned gas station that turns out to be a creepy, deserted wax museum. When Mr. Slausen (Chuck Connors), the owner of the macabre museum, lures the tourists into what he calls Slausen's Lost Oasis, mannequins begin to come to life and one by one the tourists become victim to the killer.
The movie's strong point is that of the mannequins themsleves. Very creepy and lifelike which gives you an uneasy feeling throughout the film. Perhaps I went into the film expecting too much and therefore was a bit disappointed. I would recommend this film to lovers of the late 70's and early 80's cheesy slasher flicks that we all know and love. You'll most likely enjoy "The Tourist Trap" if you don't go in expecting too much. Worth an evening."
"EVERY YEAR YOUNG PEOPLE DISAPPEAR..."
Blade | WA, USA | 03/27/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those excellent low-budget 'B' movies of the late 70s. Unfortunately, it didn't do too well at the box office during its release and was long forgotten and neglected until today. Now, the original cult classic makes its way to DVD with good sound and so-so picture quality (Not the best, but it DOES fit the horrifying atmosphere quite well) In addition, there is also an interview with director, David Schmoeller and even a commentary track included! At first, I was not too sure about checking this one out or not, knowing that the film had gotten mixed reviews here. But I'm actually very glad I did! Once I saw the trailer, I decided to take a chance. I wasn't disappointed!
While the plot may not be all that original (Much of it hints that the creators were probably inspired by other classics such as Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho", Tobe Hooper's "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", & Steven King's "Carrie") it still never fails to keep the viewer terrified and send chills down the spine! You won't find as much blood/gore here but unlike many horror films, "Tourist Trap" uses the unique element of creepy atmosphere involving a rundown wax museum with some of the most grotesque and scariest looking mannequins you will EVER see! Originally, the movie was rated PG when it first hit theaters in 1979 (which is why it didn't stand out so well when it was first released, according to Mr. Schmoeller) but the DVD version has been changed to an R rating, considering the fact that some scenes may be too intense and scary for a younger audience and the death sequences are pretty cruel. (Who can forget the poor, innocent girl who suffocates from the molten wax covering her face?) Honestly, I think that it was reasonable for them to up it a bit.
The story concerns four youths who take a summer afternoon drive (Again, this shows a bit resemblance to TCM) and end up having their car broken down. Coincidently, an old wax museum is nearby and after meeting the owner, Mr. Slausen (given an AMAZING performance by Chuck Conners) they decide to check it out, unaware of the horror that awaits them! Mannequins suddenly come to life and begin to commit acts of murder (laughing and screaming insanely in the process) while Slausen's mysterious younger brother who lives right next door in an abandoned house, holds the teens captive and terrorizes them with unspeakable horrors! The truth behind the mannequins coming to life and Slausen's brother later unfolds, but I don't want to spoil it for those who haven't seen it yet.
Yes, the acting drags, a little at SOME points but it is really hardly noticeable. Despite the limited budget that this film received, it is truly one of the BEST horror movies I've ever seen! The special features claim to contain over 40 Full Moon trailers for other movies, but this is actually a lie because there are only seven! However, the original theatrical trailer for this film is included, which is quite nice nevertheless! All horror buffs (such as I) should definitely give this one a try! I also recommend Tobe Hooper's "The Funhouse" & Steven Spielberg's "Poltergeist"! All carry the same style to horror and haunt you to the bone!"