Tourist Trap (1979)

Directed by: David Schmoeller

Written by: David Schmoeller & J. Larry Carroll


Chuck Connors .... Mr. Slausen
.... Molly
.... Jerry
.... Becky
Robin Sherwood .... Eileen

Release Date: Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival: January, 1979; Theatrical: March 16, 1979



A group of people are stranded at a secluded roadside museum in which they meet the owner Mr. Slauson (Chuck Connors) who invites them to his house of museums and seems a little too friendly but warns them not to go outside.
However they leave the area and are stalked by a masked maniac who uses his telekinetic powers to
control the attraction's mannequins killing some of them or changing them into other mannequins.


When I first watched this film I knew that I was going to be entertained in which there's a scene with someone being cornered and killed by cackling mannequin's in which this looked a little too campy to be taken seriously but still the moments that unravel here are very entertaining and watchable.
In the story with the main characters one of the women suggests to go swimming in a pond but another says they don't have a bathing suit but yet suggests to go skinny dipping which is a common thing in a horror flick as well as meeting with an odd person Mr. Slausen which adds a mysterious flavor to everything as I got the impression that he seems too friendly that he may be the reasons the terror will happen later on in the story.

Impressive situations when Mr. Slausen brings everyone to his museum and tells others not to go out due to coyotes and so fourth in which this is a nice clue that they will be in danger for something else if they leave the museum as this was a nice attention grabber.
Nice dark shots on Eileen leaving the place and going down some sort of pathway which looked creepy by how this was all made out as well as her entering another area and nice shots on mannequins with their eyes moving to look at her as well as a hissy voice calling her name in which this all looked genuinely spooky along with the terror about to happen which can please any horror fans who like the suspense piling up in the story without it being gruesome. Especially revealing a mysterious maniac wearing a creepy mask approaching her. This looked fantastic as well as what happens that involves telekinetic powers which was well done too.
I liked the discussions between Molly and Becky when they feel a mannequin's face and discussing that it feels like real skin which is another creepy type of vibe wondering if these objects were once alive.
More great moments with Becky challenging Molly to go to the place to find Eileen and explore but she's reluctant and being wise about everything as the moments here looked pretty strong with theri interactions as well as Becky herself going in and goofing around as this left me a chilling feeling that she's in for some terror. It worked great when she goes up in the attic spotting the mannequins as well as the figure of the maniac turning to look at her which looked spooky. Plus good close up shots on the mannequins doing some chant and laughing evilly which looked haunting like.
Perfect moments in the cellar with Molly and Jerry tied up as well as a victims strapped down and this maniac taunting them with his crazy talk adding great timing. Plus a perfect psychological moment when he plans to put stuff over this strapped victims face which made me cringe looking torturous as it made me wonder if that's how these mannequins were created.
The excitement really happens when Molly is in the chase from this maniac with good shots on the misty wooded area as well as her climbing over a fence in which this kept me in suspense wondering if she will make it or not. Plus a nice moment when Mr. Slausen drives his truck and she flags it down as well as her telling him on what is going on in which this was impressive and leaving a hint that he's in on the madness that's happening.
Things heat up greatly when both Molly and Jerry try to escape without being caught and trying to be quiet about it all in which this makes you watch carefully wondering if they will get out of the place alive.
Great shots and surroundings with Molly being pitted against mannequins cackling around her with hteir mouths hanging open and the intensity surrounding her as well as being pitted against the maniac thinking that he is in love with her which works well in a horror story.
Cleverly mysterious moment when we think that Jerry is saving the day to get Molly out of the madhouse but then there's a well drawn in moment when we spot something twisted as to what has happened to him which I won't give away but it worked in greatly for a twisted tale such as this one.
Bottom line is that this flick is a strange and twisted tale but done in a great fashion as well as this piece being different than the typical horror flick with the mysterious storylines behind it all as well as strange telekinetic powers and so fourth. Sometimes it's hard to understand but still exciting all the way through. Although not a hugely known film it's still worth checking out.

The acting is in excellent shape in which Chuck Connors (Mr. Slausen) stole the film with his performance and lived to play this role in which he shows a great eccentric and mysterious type of behavior as well as having a crazy gruff speaking for when he acts crazy or menacing. He certainly delivered a great deal by acting like a mad man for whatever he did here. Defientely a great horror character actor by what he did here as well as a powerful force of nature to top it all off.
(Molly) was powerful in her role with a good intelligent and serious attitude by what she was talking about in many scene's which she was very sharp within her motive. Shows some great adrenaline with her fearsome behavior as well as doing well screaming or freaking out bringing out the whole intensity and was a worthy character actress.
(Jerry) came off well with his presence and acting brave as well as tough whenever he needed to act this way. He showed alot of energy by what he was doing here and there. Also was a good force of nature whenever he tried to act heroic which looked very convincing as well and well remembered in his performance.
(Becky) seemed to do well with her witty and spunky behavior in which she was believeable as someone who liked to take a challenge in a situation. She has the good looks and appeal for her role too. Plus does well reacting to things and so fourth and was on the ball with whatever is happening.

Italian composer Pino Donaggio was marvellous with his classical composing in which he used alot of the same types as he did in Carrie. The slow long violin playing and moments like that which worked just as strong for this flick. Also there's the odd different tunes in which we hear some harmonising and chants for when the mannequins come to life which sounded genuinely creepy. POlus there's the odd harp chord strums too adding more nice touches. During the opening of the film though we hear some campy clarniet playing which didn't seem to suit the story as well it being used in certain dark humoress moments of the story is my only criticism.

Eileen: Mr. Slausen, can I use your phone?
Mr. Slausen: Oh sure, help yourself... but it doesn't work. I got nobody to call.

[repeated line] Davey: You're so pretty.