Are we really a society that has become desensitized to the point where everything is a big joke? Thanks to America’s Funniest Home Videos, a person getting hit in the nuts by a baseball bat is a reason to ridicule and not wince. How many times do you go to a movie and people laugh when a character has a legitimate reason to cry? So do people really get frightened at a Halloween themed scare house? Or do they merely critique and mock the faux crime scenes? How would those same people react if their lives were truly in jeopardy after they bought at ticket? That’s the premise at the heart of The Funhouse Massacre.
Ms. Quinn (Candice De Visser) arrives at a very high security prison asylum to meet with the warden (Nightmare On Elm Street‘s Robert Englund). Her tour lets her know that while this place isn’t hyped like Supermax, it’s filled with plenty of demented serial killers that don’t quite have the hype of Ted Bundy and his ilk. Turns out these murderers mean something to Quinn since she’s an aspiring maniac who calls herself Dollface. She takes care of the Warden and busts out her six role models. How can she expect to get a clean escape with a creepy taxidermist (Gentle Ben‘s Clint Howard), a cannibal, a sadistic dentist, a demonic clown and others? She has set up a local horror house to have set pieces paying tribute to the six serial killers. They need to replaces the actors hired so they can lay low in plain sight. Working at the house of scream also allows them to claim a few more victims among the people arriving to get scared on Halloween night. Among the people who bought tickets are a group of employees from a nearby restaurant. Are they they going to catch on that the blood and guts all over the place aren’t theatrical props and special effects? Or are they going to dismiss it all as fake until they realize it’s their small intestines all over the floor? Will the cops also think these people are actors and not the real deals?
This is a fun visit to the funhouse as it puts people in jeopardy without them realizing it until the too late moment. Robert Englund does a fine job playing the warden instead of being one of the killers. Likewise it’s enjoyable to see Clint Howard in a meaty role that removes plenty of meat from the visitors. There’s a lot of humor among the gore which keeps it from just being a blood feast. The cinematography and production design elevates this from a low budget fright fest. The pacing is fine. The Funhouse Massacre is worth the price of admission and deserves a slot in your spooky season viewing schedule.
The video is 2.35:1 anamorphic. The transfer pushes the colors in the dark settings to make things a bit more frightening. The audio is DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix. The bumps sound clear as the real killers trick the ticket holders into thinking their safe in the spooky house. The movie is subtitled.
Commentary with Director Andy Palmer goes over how he and his pals were able to make such a fine film in the middle of Ohio. He gives tales from working within a tight budget.
Production Diaries (5:35) is video showing the crew and the back of the sets.
A Day On Set (3:15) reminds us how much must go into creating a horror film. The crew looks a little cold on the soundstage. This day features cast tied up in the classroom scene.
Popcorn Talk Watch Along (93 minutes) has director and writers talking on camera about the film. They split the screen so you can see them watching the film. They talk about shooting around Ohio. This was aired on Popcorn Talk.
Trailer (2:20) is rather effective in the chilling the blood.
Scream Factory presents The Funhouse Massacre. Directed by: Andy Palmer. Screenplay by: Ben Begley & Renee Dorian. Starring: Robert Englund, Clint Howard, Jere Burns, Scottie Thompson, Matt Angel and Chasty Ballesteros. Running Time: 90 minutes. Rated: R. Released: June 7, 2016.
Tags: Clint Howard, Scream Factory, The Funhouse Massacre