Tourist Trap (1979) Review

The iconic Chuck Connors stars as an isolated lunatic in the somewhat surreal Tourist Trap, in which a group of young friends are terrorized by his telekinetic ability to animate mannequins and other found objects. While the mannequins receive a little too much attention when they come to life and continuously pile on to victims, their movements and voice controls are completely eerie. Though some scenes are rather goofy and Connors’ character has the uncanny power to appear wherever his victims might end up, Tourist Trap still stands as a worthwhile curiosity. [Rating: $6] -Kenyon

Similar: Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Magic, Puppet Master

Night of the Demon (1980)

One of the “video nasties” banned in the U.K, Night of the Demon‘s originality and surrealism makes up for the comical, deadpan acting and inconsistent behavior of the “demon.” Demon is actually a misleading word here though. By definition it is indeed “destructive,” though in the film it’s more of a “bigfoot.” Once the creature is fully shown, you really won’t know WHAT it is.

Searching for answers is a professor and students from an anthropology class. Apparently they have no fear of sleeping in the backwoods at night, minutes after the professor tells stories of how the creature uniquely and savagely attacked random victims in the vicinity. This includes the detachment of a penis and the slicing up a couple of girl scouts, shown in flashbacks that are themselves within a flashback.

Before the beast really goes to town on the inquisitive group, it for some reason only badly scratches a guy’s back while he’s trying to get with his girl. No, this creature wants to wait till later when it breaks through the door of a house in which the remaining victims hide.

The surrealism, caused by oozing/squirting blood, goofy music and eerie sound, lands somewhere between Don’t Go in the Woods from the same year and 1970s Italian horror from Dario Argento.

While there are all sorts of reasons to be amused by this strange trip, some of it is actually disturbing. After a girl is raped by the bigfoot, she gives birth to a mutant baby. The anthropologists speculate that the creature was trying to keep his population above a count of one, as opposed to just being horny. [rating: $10]