teenagers on a double date decides to go
to their local carnival that rolled into
their town although one of them named Amy
Harper (Elizabeth Berridge) lied to her
folks as they disapprove of her going in
which she tells them they're going to a
movie. To top it off her bratty little
brother Joey (Shawn Carson) sneaks out of
the house to spy on them.
The four of them have a good time trying
to win prizes as well as smoking dope. A
bag lady (Sonia Zomina) warns them about
the dangers there but they don't listen.
They encounter strange surroundings like
freak animals for display such as a two
headed cow as well as strange employees.
decided to hideway there for the night
during after hours and party. But then
they encounter a horrifying event.
They spot a mentally challenged man who
looks like an inhumanoid type monster
named Gunther (Wayne Doba) who worked at
the carnival dressed in a Frankenstein
costume murdering the local fortune
teller there named Madame Zena (Sylvia
Miles) for refusing the refund his money
when she refuses to have sex with him.
Not only that, one of the teens named
Richie steals money from the owner who
runs the funhouse at the carnival.
one of the funhouse owners named the
Barker (Kevin Conway) finds out there are
teenagers staying at the carnival and
that they stole his money, he sets
Gunther out to track them down.
They are then trapped in their funhouse
as one by one they are trapped and
The film shows good
close up shots on some hands picking up
stuff in different parts of a house like
a make machette and a clown mask as well
as a shot on the person wearing the mask
looking through the eyes and walking
towards the bathroom near a shower in
which he makes this scene had a
combination between John Carpenter from Halloween and Alfred
Hitchcock from Psycho.
There's good shots with Amy Harper having a discussion with her parents
by having a serious discussion with her plus
a nice shot on her little bro Joey near
a staircase eavesdropping. Yet the
moments on their conversations looked a
little too planned out.
There's good shots on Amy by having a discussion with her boyfriend Buzz in their car about what went on which
looked not too bad. Slightly cheesy
There's good shots on the two of them
smoking up driving in their vehicle with Richie and Liz as another couple in the back which
looked like typical partying type of
There's a good shot on Joey by climbing out of his window of his house
and sneaking away. Plus there's a nice
shot on him near a metal fence looking
still and quiet and then, suddenly a dog
barking which is a perfect jumping
There's many good shots on the group of friends hanging out at the carnival as well with
them spotting the strange animals there.
Plus there's many good takes on the Barker introducing events on a
microphone which his presence doing so
looked a little spooky.
A nice camera shot looking up on Buzz using a hammer on those bell prizes and
striking it down.
There's a good scene with both Amy and Liz in a washroom
having a discussion and then a bag
lady taunting them and speaking wickedly
which looked nicely done and creepy too.
There's a great scene with Amy
getting her fortune told with Madame Zena and her friends in
the background snickering and laughing
which looked well done and wondering
if Zena will lose it
due to the mockery happening. There's a
good close up shot on both Zena trying to concentrate with Amy on
what she sees on the palm of her hand and
then a nice moment with a crystal ball
falling down and Amy breaking down and laughing.
There's a good scene with the friends
eavesdropping and peeking through
an area where Zena is talking
to Gunther the monster and
planning to get it on as he charged her
to do so.
There's great moments with him
strangling her and slamming her next to a
fuse box electrocuting her with a nice
shot on her wide eyed expressions and
then falling dead.
There's a good shot on a
cigarette lighter dropping from above
with the Barker slowly picking it up
and trying to find out who's spying on
them which leaves a great chill down your
spine after how nastily he treated Gunther as this leaves a chill down your spine when we all spot this.
There's a good argumentive scene with Buzz towards Richie after he finds
out that he stole the money which looked
tense and energetic.
There's good shots on Joey hiding and spying on people as well as
him running from one place to the other.
There's a nice shot on him hiding behind
a trailer which looked still and quiet
with Gunther grabbing his hand out
near him which makes you really jump and
then him screaming and running with the Barker grabbing him and then a nice
moment on this little brat screaming and crying.
There's good shots on the friends by looking around in a dark funhouse trying
to find a way of escaping which was
nicely shot as well as a good shot on Richie suddenly having a rope around his neck
and getting hung. Everyone reacted well
screaming in terror.
There's also a good shot on Liz crying intensely chasing after a car from
a funhouse with her dead boyfriend on it
as well as a good shot on her falling
through a trapdoor.
There's a nice shot on her by getting choked up and scared with Gunther creeping up towards her and a nice shot
on her trying to pick up a dagger.
There's a good moment with Joey acting quiet and expressionless when his parents are
picking him up like he was disturbed by
what he saw and a carnival manager
speaking strangely towards them acting
too kind when he assured that he was
fine. Meanwhile there's a great shot on
Amy in the funhouse trying to scream
to her parents sobbing where there's a
window with a fan blowing. This came
together very dark and creepy.
There's a nice cold moment with the Barker by pointing his gun towards both her and Buzz getting obnoxious
towards them. There's many great blocking
shots on both the Barker and
Amy brawling it out with her screaming in terror as you wonder who
will survive all of this.
There's a great moment with Amy in a room with some machines running and
trying to survive against Gunther.
Bottom line is that it seems
interesting, looks interesting but yet it
doesn't go anywhere too much but it's
well done for what it is. I mean the
story was for sure strange and very
twisted too on the going on's at a freaky
carnival with the two headed cows
displayed and obnoxious employees who
work there. We also have your every day
partying teens getting into all sorts of
trouble too which is a nice touch for a
horror flick like this one.
Yet it's strange to have a monster in the
film and not explaning how he came to be.
Again it's explained about the lord
working in mysterious ways. The film is
quite cheesy but yet it can be cheesy
horror fun watching all the way through.
The film was shot at Universal Studios in
which Tobe Hooper was moving out
of independent flicks and doing big
business one's. However, this film was
not a mainstream flick like it was
intended to be since not many people know
about it unless you are a horror buff
like me. It was also a typical teenage
80's horror flick which is not meaning
that it's bad. In fact this is one of
those movies so bad it's good. It's also
a cross between a monster flick and a
slasher flick too.
This film can easily be influential to
other horror films and can see where Rob
Zombie got some of his ideas with
his music, comic books and even House
of 1000 Corpses.
The acting is very
80's dated like but it's okay. Elizabeth
Berridge (Amy Harper) had the nice girl looks for
the film and struts her stuff but
sometimes she tries way too hard and
seems a bit wooden especially when she
gets aggressive during the beginning of
the film. However, she knew how to scream
in hysterics and cry out of terror which
she shows great energy by doing both of
these and keep be on her way to a scream
queen fame like Jamie Lee Curtis
or Linda Blair.
Cooper Huckabee (Buzz) as the boyfriend
looked great on set with his masculine
attitude and wonderful charm. He also
shows alot of aggression and panick when
the terror surrounds him proving that he
can pull off a character in the film. I
could see him getting other work in low
Miles Chapin (Richie) had the right looks as
one of those geeky type of teens with a
nice bubbluy attitude and really studied
his part quite well and a good character
he did for a horror flick like this one.
Largo Woodruff (Liz) has the beautiful
looks and really knew how to cry
intensely with the terrors surrounding
her at the funhouse after hours. She
brought alot of dynamic energy to her
role in the film like most of the cast
Kevin Conway (The Barker) stands out well too
as the evil one who owns the funhouse and
has a good performance with his obnoxious
attitude and shows a great evil look to
him too along with a cold speaking voice
to top it off bringing it all together. There's a great moment with him by getting physical towards the onscreen monster by
hitting him and intensely telling him to
smack himself as well as calling him
names after he finds out the money they
made is gone which looked truly
Supporting eccentric actress Sylvia
Miles (Madame Zena) lived to play a nasty drunken
fortune teller and then a prostitute
after hours. She does well with her
accent in which she knew how to behave
like those typical mysterious fortune
telling people as she usually has been
cast playing these kinds of aggressive
supporting roles in other films. She
brings alot of great aggressions and came
across nicely as someone you don't want
to deal or mess with at all with her
obnoxious attitude. For example, a great
rage with her kicking some people out
and threatening them with violence which
looked quite tense after she tried to tell them a fortune. She does well getting obnoxious
towards an onscreen monster of the film which looked believeably
performed with her job being a prostitute
after her job as a fortune teller and
refusing to refund his money in which she
does well snapping at him about that too.
Child actor Shawn Carson (Joey Harper) seems
to do well in this one too as a typical
little brat and has a nice sensitive look
to him which really drew attention on the
big screen since we need a little kid
trying to get into all sorts of mischief
and he does his part with all of that
nicely. He does well screaming and crying after some maniacs at the carnival gets a hold of him which
looked quite naturtal for a fearful child.
A teenage girl played by Elizabeth
Berridge unrobes herself before
taking a shower and her breasts are
There are three strippers at a carnival
Nothing too bloody
but there's an axe in a teens head and a
sword through a man's stomach.
Neither one is graphic.
John Beal was
magnificent with his classical composing
by having alot of sharp suspenseful
violin playing as well as the odd heavy
drum booming. There's also a nice
orchestral chiming for the opening
credits of the film as well as the
closing too sounding very carnival like.
He puts it all together for this motion
picture which really makes the movie
sound incredibly effective with every
touch he used for it.
Zena: (After picking up her
crystal ball she just dropped glaring
angrily) Don't come back or I'll
break every bone in your fucking body!!
[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?
[to the freak] Hit yerself, you