Tourist Trap

88 Films and Full Moon Features have got the remastering tools out and gave a new splash of paint for this creepy classic from the late 70’s directed by the guy who would go on to make the very first Puppet Master and the people behind (well the people who put the money up for) the original Halloween and Charles Band creator of all things, Empire and Full Moon.

A group of friends stumble onto a so called ‘museum’ ran by the great character actor Chuck Connors.  Now Chucky boy does rather enjoy turning people into living mannequins, so the friends are in for a bit of a rough ride ahead.

I remember seeing this one at my local video shop in the early 80’s in the old cardboard sleeve from Media.  The scary dummy face has been used as the film’s main selling point down through the years and even today the film does strike a very eerie vibe with the mannequins.  There are some pretty good moments throughout the picture which today are still darn right creepy especially anything involving the dummies moving and making noises.

Connors does a fine job as the film’s villain and the supporting cast including a pre Charlie’s Angels’ Tanya Roberts do pretty well in thinly written roles.   The effects are still fairly impressive today and seeing they are all ‘in camera’ they work very well.  There’s also a commentary and interview with the director and a booklet written by Calum Waddell.  Only downside is the appalling ‘new’ artwork which makes it look like a western or some Wolf Creek rip-off, keep to the terrific original poster art it’s quite horrible.

Today’s audience might find it all a bit dated and perhaps even quaint, but for the generation that prowled the aisles of the video shop in a time of VHS and Betamax it’s time to relive part of our youth. Saying that, I can’t honestly remember if I saw it back then.  I’ve seen it now and it does confirm my fears that mannequins are bloody horrible and I’m sure they always look at me whenever I’m in M&S.  If are a ‘kid’ give it a go, it’s miles better than a lot of so called ‘horror’ out there.

UPDATE:  Reports online say that this blu-ray release is compromised,  features missing footage and rearranged scenes. This has been confirmed by the director, Full Moon themselves and 88 Films.  Apparently the shorter running time is entirely the fault of the negative used for this release.  The older DVD releases are fully intact and have been for a number of years, the decision to pick it up as always remains with you.

  • Starring Chuck Connors  Tanya Roberts  Jocelyn Jones
  • Director David Schmoeller
  • Distributor 88 Films