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The Funhouse (1981)

R | | Horror | 13 March 1981 (USA)
Trailer
1:29 | Trailer
Four teenage friends spend the night in a carnival funhouse and are stalked by a deformed man in a Frankenstein mask.

Director:

Tobe Hooper

Writer:

Lawrence J. Block (as Larry Block)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Berridge ... Amy Harper
Shawn Carson ... Joey Harper
Jeanne Austin ... Mrs. Harper
Jack McDermott ... Mr. Harper
Cooper Huckabee ... Buzz Dawson
Largo Woodruff ... Liz Duncan
Miles Chapin ... Richie Atterbury
David Carson David Carson ... Geek
Sonia Zomina ... Bag Lady
Ralph Morino Ralph Morino ... Truck Driver (as Ralph Marino)
Kevin Conway ... Freak Show Barker / Strip Show Barker / Funhouse Barker
Herb Robins ... Carnival Manager
Mona Agar Mona Agar ... Strip Show Dancer
Wayne Doba ... The Monster
William Finley ... Marco the Magnificent
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Storyline

The teenager Amy Harper dates Buzz Dawson for the first time and they go to the carnival with their friends Richie and Liz. They smoke grass and have good-time visiting the attractions including a side show with freak animals. The silly Richie suggests the group to spend the night in the Funhouse for fun. During the night, they witness the murder of the fortune teller Madame Zena by a man wearing a mask of Frankenstein from an opening in the ceiling of a room. They decide to leave the fun house but they find all the exits locked. Meanwhile Richie sneaks in the room and steals the money of the manager of the place. The masked man returns with his father and owner of the fun house to show the corpse of Madame Zena; when the man realizes that he had been robbed, he presses his son that removes the mask and shows his horrible face. Richie startles and drops his lighter in the room. The owner asks his freak son to chase the thieves and eyewitnesses in a night of terror for the teenagers. Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Something is alive in the funhouse...something that, tonight, will turn the funhouse into a carnival of terror! See more »

Genres:

Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

13 March 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Funhouse See more »

Filming Locations:

Dade County, Florida, USA See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,765,456, 15 March 1981

Gross USA:

$7,886,857

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$7,886,857
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (cut) | (video)

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reshoots of scenes took four days due to lost film footage which had got caught up in a local teamster war. Director Tobe Hooper has said that the filming of this movie in Miami / Florida occurred during the Scarface (1983) era. See more »

Goofs

Near the beginning of the film, after Joey scared Amy and she chased him into the bedroom, she told him she wasn't going to take him to the funfair on the weekend because of it. Nearer the end, the Funhouse Barker says that the funfair is packing up in the morning and moving on. See more »

Quotes

Funhouse: [discovers that the Monster - who also turns out to be his son - has killed Madame Zena after paying her for sex... because she wouldn't give him a refund] You paid Madame Zena a hundred dollars for this? You crazy fool, I could have gotten you one of them tent-girls for fifteen! Well, you never were much for knowing the value of cash, were you?
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the 1987 UK CIC video release was uncut in terms of violence it ran around 3 minutes shorter than the cinema version, and the differences appeared to be some dialogue and narrative edits. It contained the scenes of reefer smoking which were missing from some later Film Four showings. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Music from_Bride of Frankenstein (1935) _
(uncredited)
Composed by Franz Waxman
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Really enjoyed my revisit to The Funhouse
5 January 2019 | by Stevieboy666See all my reviews

Two teenage couples decide to hide inside a carnival funhouse and spend the night there but when they witness the murder of a gypsy fortune teller by a hideously deformed employee they end up fighting for their lives. It has been many years since I last watched this, back then it was on bootleg VHS. Although I now own it on DVD I did actually opt to watch on tape, though not a bootleg this time! Bizarrely this got banned - but never successfully prosecuted - in Britain as a Video Nasty. Reality is there is little in the way of gore or nastiness here. The film starts with a shower scene, an obvious nod to Psycho, but with a bit more flesh on show! Most of the running time takes place at the fair but it's not until the second half that it really turns into a horror movie. Horror and the carnival often go hand in hand and here Hooper has done a fantastic job, in my opinion this is one of his best movies. It is very rich in colour, atmosphere and tension. Great make up by the legendary Rick Baker. Funhouse is creepy but fun viewing, highly recommended.


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