Friday, October 30, 2015

Movie Review: "Tourist Trap" (1979)

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Movie"Tourist Trap"
Director: David Schmoeller
Year: 1979
Rating: PG
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

A group of college age friends on a road trip find an old run-down tourist trap after one of their vehicles breaks down and after one of the members of their group who went for help goes missing. This tourist trap may be the very one their missing friend already visited, getting caught in its deadly snare.  

"Tourist Trap" is a PG-rated horror film from the 1970's and one we have wanted to watch for quite a while, but could never find on Netflix. Of course, PG didn't mean the same thing in the 70's as it does today. There is no nudity or profanity in this film, and in fact, this movie would probably receive a PG-13 stamp due today due to some violence, but that's about it. The director was actually shocked when the MPAA gave the film a PG rating and he believes it hurt the film's box office numbers, though just because a horror movie has a lower MPAA rating doesn't mean it's bad. Hell, "Poltergeist" is one of our all time favorite scary movies and it's rated PG! Despite the more family friendly stamp, "Tourist Trap" does manage to deliver some creepy moments here and there through its immense layer of cheesy 70's throwbacks. The opening scene in particular shows broken down motorist Woody, played by Keith McDermott, seeking out a replacement for his flat tire at a gas station. This scene is quite effective and very tense. It sets the mood for some of the things to come. He heads into the office of the gas station as objects start to move about on their own, showing that something more is going on than simply meets the eye. It's after Woody goes missing that the rest of his traveling companions go to search for him, coming across an old roadside tourist trap. There, they meet the owner of the road side attraction Mr. Slausen, played by Chuck Connors, who offers to help them out. While he goes to look at their car, he leaves them in his museum of animatronic mannequins, which is horrible enough on its own if you're creeped out by them in the first place. Of course, the teens can't stay put and begin to search the property, running into a crazy killer. The killer in this film has a similar look to that of Leatherface, but still manages to be a bit different due to its seemingly telekinetic powers. Slowly, the killer begins to pick off the young adults one by one as they run for their lives and try to seek help any way they can.

As we mentioned, as a PG movie, this isn't all that bloody or graphic, and only a couple of scenes any sort of blood or violence at all. Just because this is the case doesn't mean it isn't effective, because it is, but it takes a while to get to these moments. The filler consists of us sitting in our living room yelling at the television at the teens for being stupid and careless enough to go snooping around A MANNEQUIN MUSEUM. C'mon, gang!! Horror 101!! The dialogue is obviously very dated, as are the style of dress, demeanor, and overall premise for the film, but this doesn't keep "Tourist Trap"from being a moderately entertaining film, even if it is a little predictable.

My Rating: 6.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 6.5/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.2/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: ---%
Do we recommend this movie: ---
Two years ago, we were watching: "Martin"

One year ago, we were watching: "Hatchet for the Honeymoon"

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