As a 7-year-old boy, I had a lot of guilty pleasures. Astro Pops candy. Digging up worms in the backyard. And the movie, Swamp Thing. Bear in mind that I’m aware that Swamp Thing isn’t really that good and I always forget that the man who directed A Nightmare On Elm Street (Wes Craven) directed it, but it’s the definition of a guilty pleasure to me. Of course as an impressionable young boy, Adrienne Barbeau’s breasts in the movie didn’t hurt in the pleasure department.
We’re talking creepy shit in this post though, and believe it or not – Swamp Thing actually gave me the creeps. It’s one scene in particular, where our villain Arcane (Louis Jourdan) drinks the magic potion and proceeds to turn into a hairy life-size He-Man character. It’s before he gets all hairy though where the creep factor was really in full effect.
Yeah – that Arcane monster costume is pretty ridiculous. But focus on what happened in the clip before he got to that point. The blood running down in his face while his hands are bubbling and smoking. The Harry Manfredini spooky soundtrack full of eerie strings. It’s creepy shit. And I’m not afraid to admit that it still kind of makes me shudder. You know what doesn’t make me shudder though?
Mannequins creep me out. Even that 1987 comedy called Mannequin freaks me out and that was a sexy mannequin. So it’s not really a big shocker here that a movie like 1979’s Tourist Trap made me a little uneasy since there were an abundance of laughing and cackling plastic fuckers all throughout the movie. Yes, Tourist Trap was and is proof that a horror move can be rated PG and still be creepy and effective. Case in point #1:
Tourist Trap’s opening scene’s star is definitely the closet dummy and not the dummy (Woody) that went snooping around where he shouldn’t have. The maniacal laughing. The unnerving perma-grin. This dummy came to bring the pain! Oh – and that rod that goes shooting through Woody’s back brought the pain too. Just a great overall opening and it really set up what was to come later on. And what was to come was a creepy ass Chuck Conners a.k.a. The Rifleman putting plaster over captured Tina’s face while he wears his own homemade face hider.
Watching that scene again makes me want some pie because Tina’s face looked like it was covered in whipped cream. Mmmmmm – whipped cream. Anyway, Tourist Trap gave me the creeps when I saw it back in the 80’s and it still brings the creeps today when I sit down and watch it. I actually wouldn’t mind a remake of this one as long as the original closet dummy from the opening scene makes an appearance. What’s that? You want me to end the piece with a pic of that dummy? Your wish is granted!