BBFC Classification: 15
Director: David Schmoeller
Starring: Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Jon Van Ness, Tanya Roberts, Robin Sherwood, Dawn Jeffory
Although 88 Films put this out on DVD a couple of years ago this is the first Blu-ray release for this largely underappreciated slasher from 1979. As was the norm for horror films at the time Tourist Trap sees four young travellers – one of whom is future Bond girl Tanya Roberts – break down in the middle of nowhere, only in this film they come across a mysterious wax museum run by the kindly Mr. Sleusen (Chuck Connors – Soylent Green). Unfortunately, there’s somebody else at work in the museum and pretty soon there may be some new exhibits.
Tapping into the same vein as The Texas Chain Saw Massacre with its off-kilter atmosphere, Tourist Trap does manage to create a few genuine chills with its depictions of wax mannequins moving around in the dark, and was probably more of an influence on the 2005 House of Wax movie than the 1953 Vincent Price film of the same name. However, what lets this film down is the quality of the acting, with Chuck Connors being solid but the standard from everyone else is very amateurish.
But who watches these films for the acting? It is fairly light on gore but the sense of creeping dread is quite intense at times and there are plenty of very tight denim shorts and boob tubes on display to distract from what comes out of people’s mouths. The main villain is very reminiscent of Leatherface and there’s not too much originality going on when you break it all down but the film is effective and the Blu-ray print very good so for fans of late ’70s slashers there’s enough good stuff going on to recommend it.
Special Features: Audio commentary by director David Schmoeller, interview with David Schmoeller, original trailer, booklet with notes by Calum Waddell and reversible sleeve featuring original and new artwork.
UK Release Date: 21st April 2014