Tobe Hooper’s career has been spotty at best, but this was one of his early gems that got lost in the shuffle. Essentially, four teens hide on a carnival ride until the fair closes down for the night. At one point, they witness a carnie murder another, and soon they find themselves being hunted by the deformed, blood-thirsty monster and his barker father. The film has great atmosphere — what’s spookier than a carnival and it’s weird caravan of workers? Lastly, Rob Zombie couldn’t have made House of 1000 Corpses if it weren’t for Tobe Hooper’s Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Funhouse.
This is another movie I only saw recently and don’t know why I waited so long to do so. The movie cashes in on the late 70s/early 80s slasher genre, even casting Jamie Lee Curtis in the lead — and it’s a good one.
The movie goes like this: During a New Year’s party, a pledging pre-med student is lured into a room by his frat brothers under the pretense of some sort of sexual activity. It turns out to be a prank however, and the student finds a cadaver in the room instead. He’s horrified, traumatized, and as we find out, sent to a psych ward.
Years later (on the three-year anniversary of the prank), the class graduates and members of the frat (and sister sorority) take a train (for some reason, I’m not sure), and it’s also a costume party (again, not really sure why). They also have a magician (again, really not explained) played by THE David Copperfield. In fact, as the kids start being brutally murdered one by one, ol’ Copperfield becomes a suspect.
I won’t give away the ending…because it’s actually a surprise ending, and a really good one at that. The filmmakers did a great job on this considering it’s set in one location for the whole film.