There's a lot to be said for the pleasures of this movie, but the best that
could be said is that the filmmakers are very adept at diverting the
attention of the viewer from the obvious plot contrivances and lapses in
logic and motivation, making for an enjoyable little thriller that actually
delivers quite a few scares and startling images.
The film contains homages to "Psycho" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", especially in the plot elements that have been lifted from these classics. Chuck Connors plays a reclusive man who presides over a secluded "tourist trap", in this case a museum filled with wax dummies, mannequins, and other bric-a-brac. Motorists who develop car trouble seem to be the prime victims for the evil that lurks there, and the film opens with the murder of a character named Woody who ventures to the museum for help. Others soon follow looking for him, a group of four friends on one of those aimless jaunts that can only end in murder and mayhem in films such as these. We know this, and the filmmakers don't insult us by suggesting that we don't, throwing in knowing winks such as the sight of a vulture on a sign that says "CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC!" (accompanied by an ominous musical stinger, of course).
The young people are quickly lured into situations where they are victimized by a man in a doll-like mask, sort of a cross between the Shape from "Halloween" and Leatherface from "Texas Chainsaw". It's not quite clear what the intent of this figure is, but he seems to turn them into half-human mannequins who are forever imprisoned in the museum. The actors are effective in that they bring a certain one-dimensional realism to their roles...the vapid boyfriend, the sassy sexpot, the goody-two-shoes and the "other" one, played by Tanya Roberts from "Charlie's Angels". The virginal girl is Molly, played by the extremely well-cast Jocelyn Jones, and Molly finds that she has become the object of affection of the resident psychopath victimizing her friends.
The film features a great buildup of tension toward the climax, which features an image that elicits campy laughter as well as a chill. You won't find many movies where mannequins are supposed to strike terror into the hearts of the viewers, but "Tourist Trap" goes for the gusto and winds up being very entertaining.
Action / Horror
Action / Horror
Teenagers come across a shut-in psychopath with telekinetic powers. He proceeds to use these powers to slay them one by one as well as animate the various mannequins he uses to keep himself company.
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April 24, 2014 at 01:39 PM