Required Halloween Viewing: The Funhouse (1981)

Sorry to burst your bubble Michael Myers, but you’re not the only required viewing on Halloween night.  Granted, I’ll be watching my fair share of the Halloween franchise leading up to and on October 31st, but it’s not the only game in town that sets the mood for All Hallows’ Eve.  Isn’t that right Tobe Hooper’s 1981 underrated slasher, The Funhouse?


Easily one of my favorite guilty horror pleasures ever, this movie screams Halloween night viewing.  It even has an opening scene that pays homage to the 1978 John Carpenter classic!  And it’s just as incestuous as well.  But incest aside, The Funhouse is definitely fun.  Sorry for my lazy writing, but it’s Monday so give me a break.  I myself love the old school dark rides that you’d find at amusement parks and creepy small town carnivals, so I was immediately in just based off of that alone.

The Funhouse is definitely a slow burn horror movie, but while it’s burning you get rewarding things like:  actor Kevin Conway taking on three separate roles, a big giant fat laughing lady that sits atop the funhouse attraction, a creepy Frankenstein mask wearing creature that has equally creepy make-up effects underneath that mask courtesy of legendary artist Rick Baker, and four stupid teens who think it’ll be ok to spend the night in a carnival ride.


At the end of the day, The Funhouse doesn’t reinvent anything when it comes to the horror genre, but in it’s own special way it separates itself from the slasher herd.  The money shot doesn’t disappoint when The Monster reveals himself before strangling the big breasted fortune teller to death – and from there on out it really becomes a nifty little ‘cat and mouse’ game.  A horror movie is usually only as good as it’s villain, and in The Funhouse the combo of The Monster and Funhouse Barker take on that role and satisfy those who watch in the process.  So do yourself a favor this Halloween and give this ‘little slasher movie that could’ a shot.  You could do a lot worse.  Right, Halloween: Resurrection?


Ummmmmm: Opening Scene From ‘The Funhouse’ (1981)

Time for another installment of ‘Ummmmmm……‘  It’s where I talk about scenes from your favorite horror movies that made you utter that phrase and pause for a minute during your cinematic viewing.  And coming up to the plate right now is the opening scene from a personal favorite of mine, Tobe Hooper’s 1981 slasher flick, The Funhouse.  I’ll set the scene up real quick, then you can watch it, and then we’ll discuss.

Joey wants to pull a prank on his older sister, Amy, while she’s getting all clean and steamy in the shower.

That was a hell of a set up, wasn’t it?

Ummmmmm……did that little brother really just go in the shower when his sister was naked and start slowly stabbing her with a fake knife?  Seems a little odd and creepy if you ask me.  Why didn’t he just leave a dummy in her bed with a knife sticking out of it’s head?  Oh wait – he did that too.  Jeez Joey! Quite the multi-tasking prankster, aren’t you?  Now for the sake of Youtube and my viewing audience, I left the actual nudity in the shower scene out, but yes, they do show full frontal on the girl.  Making it even extra creepy!  So to make sure this doesn’t happen again, let’s go over the rules of practical joking with your older sister:  Naked sister shower ambush with a fake knife = bad. Bed dummy with a knife in it’s head = good.

*another senseless murder – when will it end???*

Now granted, I can forgive some of the brother/sister creepiness for the sheer fact that the opening scene in The Funhouse pays homage to the opening of the original Halloween and also, of course, the shower scene from Psycho. This is one of those movies that I always find myself going back to and it definitely brings back memories of the old dark rides that I rode when I was a kid.  Am I the only one that felt sorry for The Monster when he got blue balls from Madame Zena by the way?  I mean seriously.  He gives her a nice stack of cash and all he gets is a little boob action?  I’m not saying that I condone the strangling that he gave her, but……I understand.  If you love The Funhouse as much as I do, make sure you pick up the new Scream Factory collector’s edition Blu-ray HERE.  Feel free to skip past the creepy brother/sister opening though…..

*can I get four 5’s and 10 singles?*