Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Funhouse is the greatest movie of all time

The Funhouse was a very enjoyable flick. Director of Texas Chainsaw Massacre Tobe Hooper, now relegated to the shittiest straight to DVD trash, presents a solid, dare I say underrated, movie with plenty of scares and surprises. It follows four teenish kids who go to the carnival--where two girls went missing the year before--as they make the mistake of hiding out overnight in the funhouse ride. There they witness a murder, one of them steals the gate fee from the killer carneys, and are then stalked by the deformed monster throughout the eerie ride. Though it takes FOREVER to get going, once it does it is a complete free-fall into what the fuck, which you expect with a movie about carneys

Speaking of carneys, my female companion was at one point employed as such, which I like to bring up often. Watched most of the movie with me. This, she claims, is not an accurate depiction of the carney lifestyle. So keep that in mind when you give this the old viddy on the electric internet machine. 

Pros: Cool monster. Atmosphere is dark and strange as fuck. Very intense last 1/3 of the movie.

Cons: Basically only one likeable character (the survivor girl). Takes a while to get going. 

Disclaimer: My notes pretty much always contain some spoilers but I rarely give away the ending.

Notes: Opens with puppets and abrasive music. This goes on for several minutes. I don't like it. The real opening is POV. Looking around a room of someone obsessed with monster movies. Is actually a cool ass room. Was like mine in high school. Minus the torture devices. Grabs a knife off the murder wall. Now some young girl getting in the shower in the same house. She looks so fucking young. Yeesh, and she is completely naked. Jesus, man. Dude in the room grabs a clown mask. Just like the opening scene of Halloween which it obviously pays tribute with the POV with eye holes of a mask thing. Also homage to psycho as he goes after the girl in the shower. The knife is rubber. It's her younger brother. Man, that is some fucked up shit to do to someone. She tracks him down and is like, “I'm going to get even with you! Also, not taking you to the carnival tonight.” She totally freaks out on him. Totally justified. This family has some weird shit going on.

Girl is going on a date with her loser BF to the murder carnival. When he picks her up he just repeatedly beeps the horn until she comes out. Basically the easiest way in film making to show us that the guy is a dick. She comes out and is like, “hey, maybe we not go to the murder carnival?” “Nah, babe, we going.” Do a jay with some other couple. Chick is blonde. Other dude looks like a young Al Franken. Drone on about god knows what. Little shithead boy who stabbed his naked sister with a rubber knife sneaks out. Makes way to the carnival. One point almost gets picked up by a hitchhiker who is a complete psycho. Pulls a gun on the kid and laughs like a maniac. Kid runs off. Girls are talking in the bathroom about boning and such. Some gypsy lady comes in and is all judgy and shit. Says, “god is always watching you.” She shows up several more times in the movie. It isn't clear if she is like a carney or just some crazy homeless person who hangs out there. Anyway, she keeps saying shit like "He's always watching!" until they leave. Whatever. Go to a freak show. See a two-headed cow and an alien baby. Go to a magician. The crowd heckles the shit out of him while he goes on and on about Vlad the Impaler. Does a trick where he stakes a girl in the heart. Fake. She didn't really die. Daughter of the shifty magician. The kiddies do another jay.

Now it is off to see the fortune teller. They are so fucking rude to her. Laughing, fucking with her setup, talking about how stupid it is. She ends up kicking them out when they knock her crystal ball onto the floor. Tells the main girl to “get the fuck out” and “if I ever fucking see you again, I'll break every bone in your body.” It is a very tense situation. I'd have been terrified. Now it's off to a strip show which is weird for a carnival to have at that point. Naked ladies. Some subtle racism of quoting Al Jolson in The Jazz Singer. Fuck that guy. The women are all incredibly unattractive. The couples peep in the back. The dudes up front are going insane with lust which is disgusting. We keep seeing a guy in a Frankenstein costume who is all over the place. He ends up being the monster at the end. His main job is working the funhouse. One of the idiot dudes in the foursome wants for them to stay the night in the funhouse which seems like a great idea. They make this decision without the main girl's input. This is not a good idea. See the maybe homeless gypsy woman in the background eating out of the trash. You might remember her from her "God's always watching you" rant from earlier. Little brother sees them all going about their business. They've hopped off Frankenstein is confused. The brother, watching from afar, is confused as well. I definitely like this so far.

Park shuts down. The foursome is in the funhouse. Kid hides out and after everyone is gone, he walks up to it. One of the animatronics seems to come to life. The kid gets freaked. Starts to run. Gypsy evangelist lady pops up cackling, saying her bit about “He's watching you” yet again. Weird, she is just sort of hiding out in the field in front of the funhouse. Scares the piss out of him. Nothing happens for basically the first 48 minutes of the movie. Up to this point it is just a group of kids going to the fair. Then it gets weird. Frankenstein pays the fortuneteller for sex. He gets a handy which cost him $100, roughly a few million in today's money. He's pissed, doesn't want to pay. Chokes her to out instead. The foursome watch it and do nothing. They are also locked in.

The funhouse mouth, some old curly-haired dude, comes in. Is like, "well, shit, you shouldn't have killed one of our own, and $100 for a handy, that is outrageous." Goes to put the money back in the cash box and the rest is missing. He is surprising cool with all this until he finds his money is missing. Frankenstein freaks out. Jumps about hitting himself. Mask comes off. Fucking disgusting. He looks like a cross between a generic alien and of the evil dead in The Evil Dead. Come to find out this thing is a child murderer. Find out Al Franken stole the moneys. Bitch. Drops his lighter, too. Fuck this guy. They know that others are in there now. Well, shit.

Outside, kid bumps into Frankenstein monster thing. Practically shits himself. Carneys catch him. Those outside the funhouse are just normal, nice folk, which is weird. Inside the funhouse the dudes turn on the animatronics. That’s a bad situation. Big dude takes over. “We have to deal with this shit,” is his general vibe. He is the only one making sense at this juncture. Al Franken is the first to go. Gets hanged, by some miracle when a noose drops out of the sky. The carneys don't seem to be above them so it was presumably done randomly by the animatronics. What? But that doesn't make sense either since he ends up coming down on the ride. They don't know this at first, they just see a dark figure on a car. Meat head dude hits him in the head with an ax he stole from an animatronic. The blonde falls through a trap door. Bad things happen to her. It occurs to me here that the monster sounds like a small dog going crazy.

The eventual survivor girl chick looks out this window with an industrial fan in it. Her parents show up to pick up her little bro. She screams for her dad at the fan in a pretty hopeless scene. The fan basically filters out the sound and she remains trapped.

This is how every horror movie would really end

Getting close to the end here so I'll wrap it up. Not to give too much away but things really intensify in the last couple of scenes. I'll focus on the final death, which, spoiler, is the monster, is fucking brutal. Gets clogged up in the gears of the machinery. The scene lasts about a minute and basically this creature, who had an extremely shitty life, screaming in horror as he dies horribly. And that is how it ends. Shitty way to go, man.

Edit: For people that were into Monstervision with Joe Bob Briggs, a fucking Saturday treasure for younger version of myself, here is the YouTube vid if you get a hankering to watch the movie.

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