Written by: Matt Molgaard
Directed by: Andy Palmer
Cast: Robert Englund, Jere Burns, Scottie Thompson, Matt Angel, Clint Howard
I’ve been itching to get my hands on The Funhouse Massacre for quite some time. A number of outlets had made it known that The Funhouse Massacre was slated to hit shelves in late 2015/early 2016. It turns out those outlets were wrong, as it took half of the calendar year to get here. But, it was actually worth the wait!
A beautiful sonnet dedicated to bloody shockers of the 80s, The Funhouse Massacre is absolutely brutal and unforgiving. It’s got those hackish settings and goofy backdrops that so many of us associate with ultra-cheap and exploitative features. But in this case it all makes for a great fit, and while the story behind the picture isn’t exactly earth shattering, it still makes for brainless enjoyment drenched in awesome practical special effects.
The story – in truncated form – sees a large group of psychopaths escape confinement, only to overtake a small town funhouse and turn it into a slaughtering station. As you’d expect, a handful of youngsters find themselves incapable of passing on the allure of the funhouse (which, for the record, already has a very dark history), so they freely walk into a massacre waiting to happen. It’s up to two cops – one competent, the other incompetent but amazing with the comedic relief – to bring the insanity to an end.
The story takes place on Halloween, which works well with the funhouse theme of the flick, and it adds another option for movie freaks come October. However, director Andy Palmer drops the ball in capturing the true holiday essence; he gives us no shots of children in costumes, leaf-covered streets, or heavily decorated lawns, or even jack-o-lanterns, for that matter. That’s a big boat of fun that lends major authenticity to seasonal films, and Palmer totally and completely missed the boat. Too bad.
Look for some fine gore and a couple memorable villains. We’ve also got an appearance or so from horror royalty – Robert Englund being the marquee draw. The sidekick cop is a constant crackup and the oversized murderous clown is about as creepy as it gets. For all the detectable faults of the film, it still proves to be an absurd blast. It’s the kind of horror movie you watch with a group of friends and a couple cases of beer at the ready. That’s how this film should be watched: as an experience, not just another movie.
The good far outweighs the bad when it comes to The Funhouse Massacre. This one gets a big thumbs up and strong recommendation from me.