TOURIST TRAP (1979)

OH SHIT, THEY GOT GILLIGAN!

 

A group of friends stranded in the woods get help from the kindly-yet-eccentric Mr. Slausen (genre vet Chuck Connors), caretaker of a defunct wax museum.  Quicker than you can say horror movie cliché, said friends discover that the aforementioned caretaker has a grave (tee-hee) secret: his psychotic brother lives in the house next door, and naturally, he don’t take kindly to strangers.  Unlike most psychos, however, he has the power to manipulate inanimate objects – mannequins, keys, farming implements, Bronson Pinchot, etcetera.

 

I was wondering where Rosco’s hat went.

 

They go through the usual spiel.  Slausen tells the gang to stay, and then he promptly leaves.  Not five seconds later, one of the idiots decides to not only leave, but investigate where the psycho brother lives.  Sure, why not?  It’s what we call Idiot Plot.  If people didn’t act beyond retarded, slasher flicks wouldn’t fucking exist.  One moron leaves, another moron worries about the last moron leaving and follows, another wonders where everybody went and leaves, and the last remembers they didn’t set their DVR to record Quantum Leap, panics, and leaves.  Of course, one by one, each jackass is captured by a nut-job in a mannequin mask.  They’re either killed, try to escape and killed, or do something stupid and practically kill themselves.  You know the drill, baby.

 

Oh shit, they got Gilligan!

 

TOURIST TRAP is a fun little flick; nothing overwhelming, but nothing that made me want to slap my mama.  It has a bit of a TEXAS CHAINSAW vibe, crossed with a little MOTEL HELL, though both of those movies are much better.  There isn’t much gore, and zero titties (how in the fuck can you have a skinny-dipping scene – with TANYA ROBERTS, for chrissake! – without boobs?!), but it compensates with a surreal, campy tone, decent acting, and creepy mannequins.  Still, if I had to pick between Mr. Slausen and Farmer Vincent, Rory Calhoun whoops that candy-ass every time.

 

Oh shit! They got Eric Carmen too!

 

David Schmoeller, known in most circles for such epic masterpieces as PUPPET MASTER and CRAWLSPACE (Klaus Kinski? FUCK YEAH!), would later reach the apex of his career in television, directing such critical darlings as Renegade and Silk Stalkings.  Speaking of which, when is my big budget adaption of Silk Stalkings hitting the big screen?  Throw in a little Daniel Craig?  Maybe some Olga Kurylenko?  Come on Hollywood, do I have to think of fucking everything?!

 

Highlights include Tanya Roberts (not nude, goddamnit!), creepy mannequins, Chuck Connors in the performance of a lifetime, Tanya Roberts sans nudity, insipid theme music, Eileen’s stupid hat, and finally, Tanya Roberts and her inexplicable (perhaps unforgivable) lack of nudity.

 

Nothing’s gonna stop us now!

 
 

Recommended.

 
 

PUT YOUR WEIGHT ON IT!

 

The Creeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jon Abrams

Editor-In-Chief at Daily Grindhouse
Jon Abrams is a New York-based writer, cartoonist, and committed cinemaniac whose complete work and credits can be found at his site, Demon’s Resume. You can contact him on Twitter as @JonZilla___.
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One Comment

  • Reply
    August 8, 2011

    For some reason I grew up thinking that I was in some way related to Chuck Connors. I don’t know why. I grew up in a tiny town in Newfoundland, but my mother was convinced that we were – however distantly – related to the rifleman.

    And that’s all I have to say about Chuck Connors. He could bring it in the right role.

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