Saturday Frights: Tourist Trap (1979)

Saturday Frights - Sean Hartter
I can’t believe that I’m the only one in this whole place that actually showed up to work today. Doug McCoy took a personal day to read every Howard and Nester strip in chronological order, Claymation Werewolf and Phisbon3s are at that new age couple’s retreat run by that quack Dr. Waggner, and don’t even get me started on Vic Sage…calling in sick. He isn’t too sick to be challenging King Vidiot to a game of Tapper, which I CLEARLY SAW as I drove the hearse past the arcade on my way here! Just because I hang out with bats doesn’t mean I’m blind as one!

Well, whatever. The show must go on. And just look at all those sucker…er I mean patrons down there…just waiting with breathless abandon at what thrills await them on the screen tonight. I know they expect some standard creep show, but you know what, they are in the gnarled grip of The Ouija Board Kid now! Time to lay some of that Daniel XIII funk down on them turkeys! And what better way to do that then with the mannequin horror romp Tourist Trap!

Tourist Trap is the charming tale of a shut-in telekinetic that uses his ability to animate mannequins to violently murder a group of teens…probably based on a true story. As an interesting side note, this film was directed by David Schmoeller, and executive produced by Charles Band who a few years later would dip into the same well when they unleashed Puppet Master upon the world (which put Full Moon pictures on the map). It also was a partial influence on a certain Retroist writer when he crafted his debut novella…in fact the sexiest Retroist writer, whose book is available right now on Kindle…a writer whose talent is…HEY! Who threw that popcorn bucket?!! All right, let’s start this freak show!

[Via] Freq32

Daniel XIII

Daniel XIII: equally at home at a seance as he is behind the keyboard. Raised on a steady diet of Son of Satan comics, Kaiju flicks and Count Chocula comes the proprietor of The House of Thirteen Doors. What arcane knowledge lurks behind the preternatural eyes of the Ouija Board Kid?

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10 thoughts on “Saturday Frights: Tourist Trap (1979)

  1. Fantastic choice for Saturday Frights, Daniel XIII! The great thing about this film is you get to find out what Chuck “The Rifleman” Connors does when he isn’t protecting the folks around North Fork. ;)

  2. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Ooooh, one of the creepiest celluloid chillers that got under my skin when I caught it as an opening feature for a double-horror, one dark and stormy night at the cinema.

    The teens-in-peril slasher genre was just beginning and this might’ve been my first one.
    The weird music, the phantom voices (Especially that! Still hear ’em! Gah!) Tanya Roberts in daisy dukes running about, Chuck’s maniacal grin, mannequins mannequins mannequins.

    It was all too much…and enjoyably so.

    Was a bit dismayed (but not surprised) when years later it played on late night TV and our local tv listings gave it practically the lowest rating (from an *actual* provincial ethics and morals bureau that reviewed these things – Night of the Living dead got an even worst rating. No undead cannibals for the stuffed shirts.).

    I dunno, mebbe my teen Squarehead just hoped everybody else would also be creeped out by this movie.

    And now you’ve made the public shivers possible, Daniel!

    This movie’s a unique piece of work.
    Must see.

  3. Okay, just watched the first 15 minutes – pretty creepy stuff.

    BTW – realized that the 2005 House Of Wax (which wasn’t really a remake of the Vincent Price film) is totally inspired by this film.

  4. @Atari Adventure Square Thanks once again for sharing your memories! It’s awesome that you had the chance to see the film in a cinema (I had to settle for the ol’ Saturday afternoon TV showing). I can’t stress enough how this film influenced my own creative endeavors. I hope everyone checks it out and succumbs to it’s creepy ambiance like we have!

  5. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Oh man, yeah, that ending shot totally creeped me out.

    Yeah, since I don’t watch many horror flicks at the theaters anymore (I should add – any *good* ones. Saw V/H/S 2 at our local fest last week – it was indeed rather good)
    I usually try to go for as much darkness in a room as I can stand, headphones, as few interruptions as possible (as in: none) and try to meet the movie halfway (get oneself in a mood for the subgenre: zombie, apocalypse, hauntings, giant ants, japano-horror, cooking shows…).

    Cuz the memory of Tourist Trap (and Evil Dead and The Changeling, to name a few) is being in that dark inescapable theater, where you could run out, but the sounds echoed through the lobby and into your dreams (if you never saw the end of a movie, that movie now owns you).

    Good, creepy times.

  6. @Patrick J. Doody Wow, I never thought about that House of Wax connection, but you are totally right!

    @Atari Adventure Square I fully agree with your methodologies for experiencing a horror film. Full immersion is ideal, and any interruption can shatter the mood (and that’s the last thing you want when suffering those brutal cooking shows)!

  7. @Patrick J. Doody I have to jump on the bandwagon and praise your keen eye on the 2005 House of Wax observation!

    @Atari Adventure Square You mean like when you play Dead Space, right? ;)

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