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The Funhouse (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] (1981)

Elizabeth Berridge , Shawn Carson , Tobe Hooper  |  R |  Blu-ray
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)

List Price: $22.97
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The Funhouse (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray] + Terror Train (Collector's Edition) [Blu-ray/DVD Combo] + The Burning (Collector's Edition) [BluRay/DVD Combo] [Blu-ray]
Price for all three: $42.74

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Product Details

  • Actors: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carson, Jeanne Austin, Jack McDermott, Cooper Huckabee
  • Directors: Tobe Hooper
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Anamorphic, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Shout! Factory
  • DVD Release Date: October 16, 2012
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (155 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,391 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

• Audio Commentary With Director Tobe Hooper, Moderated By Filmmaker Tim Sullivan

• Interview With Executive Producer Mark L. Lester And Composer John Beal

• Audio Interview With Actor William Finley

• Theatrical Trailer

• TV Spots

• And More!

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Director Tobe Hooper (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Poltergeist) pays affectionate tribute to various classic horror movies in this tale of two teenage couples who spend the night in a sleazy carnival funhouse.

On her first date with Buzz (Cooper Huckabee, True Blood), Amy (Elizabeth Berridge, Amadeus) disobeys her father and goes to the carnival with Richie (Miles Chapin, Hair) and Liz (Largo Woodruff), but their first date may end up as their last. After witnessing a murder, the four terrified teens are trapped in the maze of the funhouse and stalked by a real monster, a horribly deformed killer who lurks among the freakish exhibits waiting to butcher them one by one. Funhouse also stars Sylvia Miles (Midnight Cowboy) and Kevin Conway (in three roles) and features special makeup designs by Academy Award winner Rick Baker (An American Werewolf In London, Ed Wood).

Though by no means a classic on par with The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), Tobe Hooper's The Funhouse (1981) is an atmospheric thriller that offers a frequently effective mix of suspense and shock that bucks the body-count aesthetic of the then-current slasher trend. Hooper puts his cards on the table early in the picture by offering a tongue-in-cheek homage to both Psycho and Halloween, which serve as the boundary markers for the territory in which the picture operates. That translates into a more relaxed pace in the film's first third, which follows a quartet of teens at a rural carnival, as well as attention to detail which heightens the inherent creepiness of the location, which is rife with seedy figures (including character actor Kevin Conway as three different but equally louche barkers) and unsettling animatronic attractions. Hooper also draws from both pictures for his main antagonist, a disfigured man named Gunther (Wayne Doba) in a Frankenstein mask who stalks the quartet after they are locked into the funhouse after closing time. It's to the director's credit that Gunther comes across as both implacable and pitiable at the same time, an agreeable wrinkle on the standard slasher archetype that further helps to set The Funhouse apart from the '80s-era horror crowd. Differences such as these also keep the film feeling fresh and inventive in a way that many psycho-thrillers from the same period fail to retain; the end result is a horror effort worth revisiting for veteran genre fans and a recommended visit for first-time viewers. Shout Factory's Blu-ray presentation, which is part of its '80s horror retrospective Scream Factory imprint, looks gorgeous and vastly improves the film's often-muddy visuals. Extras include a new commentary track with Hooper moderated by director Tim (2001 Maniacs) Sullivan which touches on production history and numerous creative decisions, as well as interviews with Conway, executive producer Mark L. Lester, composer John Beal, and the late, much admired character actor William Finley, who plays carnival magician Marco the Magnificent, and is featured in an audio interview from 2005. Six scenes that were deleted from the theatrical release and later added to the broadcast television version are also included, as are the original trailer, four TV spots, and a quarter of radio ads. --Paul Gaita

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Funhouse" (AKA Carnival of Terror) June 9, 2004
By Blade
After the success of the shocking slasher, "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" and the eerily vampire tale of "Salems Lot", horror master Tobe Hooper came out with one of his most highly anticipated films yet! While being not as popular as some horror movies, this very rare gem was sadly neglected and barely even heard of throughout the years. Heck it may be low-budget, but I think that during its release it proved to be a very original and nightmarish work of art, showing us the more darker side of how a carnival REALLY can be!
Originally released as a motion picture in the theaters back in 1981, "The Funhouse" was quite the treat for the fan of homemade horror movies. (Those are always the best!) The storyline concerns two young couples who decide to spend the night in the carnival funhouse... BIG MISTAKE! They witness a murder from inside and soon are stalked by a bloodthirsty monster that lurks from inside. One-by-one they fall prey to the numerous booby traps and terrifying surprises until only one remains in a desperate fight for survival against the horror from within!
The actual funhouse itself is a really eerie set, and features some of the most scariest animatronics you'll ever see! (the fat lady one still haunts me today due to that I can't get that bizarre laugh out of my head!) I'd have to say that this may not be all big and bad as Tobe Hooper's other masterpiece, "Poltergeist" (which came out one year later) but it still packs quite punch that no other horror movie can do anymore.
I first saw this on the A&E network a long time ago when I was in the third grade and it scared the hell out of me! It aired again on the Sci-Fi channel and that's when I really started to get into it! Over and over I'd watch and never EVER get tired of it!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Underrated Early 1980's Slasher August 17, 2005
First, this was directed by Tobe Hooper who has had an interesting if uneven career. He's made some great films like Poltergeist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, and Life Force and then some real duds like The Mangler and Spontaneous Combustion. Funhouse falls somewhere in between with enough good stuff to make it worth a view.

The plot is standard fare...A pair of teen couples Amy & Buxx and Richie and Liz go to the local carnival. They enjoy all the usual carny attractions and then get the bright idea of spending the night in the Funhouse. Amy is the young, pure as the driven snow heroine and at first hesitant but then agrees. The couple hop on the ride and begin going though the funhouse. They hop off the cars while inside and wait for the park to close for the night. Now this is actually pretty cool. Who, as a teen, didn't think it might be cool to do the same thing?

Well while exploring the funhouse the four teens witness a grisly murder by a freak in a Frankenstein mask and then find themselves pursued by the maniac and his father who is the Funhouse's barker, luring people inside. They soon find they are trapped inside with the freak and his father and being hunted down.

Funhouse is a pretty decent horror. It stars quite slowly but then builds suspense once the kids enter the funhouse and witness the murder. Hooper offers up little salutes to other horror films throughout the funhouse setting. The acting is what you'd expect from a no-name cast. Many of these actors never did another film after this one. Still, Hooper shows how a cheapie slasher can rise above the pack when you have a decent director.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pay to get in. PRAY to get out. August 7, 2003
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"Thet boy just ain't right" If you've seen this movie, then you'll know what I mean. Lately, I've been collecting late 70's, early 80's horror movies and I came across The Funhouse (1981). Directed by Tobe Hooper, best know for 1974's The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I thought this movie would be fun and it was.
The movie is slow going for the first hour, and then things pick up from there. This provides a slow build up of the tension, which I enjoyed. Basically you have a small group of teenagers who decide to spend the night in a carnival funhouse, and most don't live to regret it. There are some thrilling/scary moments, but the movie is more low key than The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. The gore is very limited, and a lot of it is off screen, but as a choice of direction, I thought it was better that way, for this movie. The settings are very effective, using natural lighting in most scenes, giving the movie a gritty feel. The actors, I feel, did an effective job in portraying their characters, giving them a little more depth than what we used to in these types of movies. The one minor issue I had was I thought the monster make up might have been a little over the top, in that I thought it would have been more effective had it been toned down a notch. The monster, by the way, is the son of a carnival worker, and is very disfigured to the point of being grotesque. I am not giving away anything here, as we learn this about midpoint in the movie, and it's not a shocking revelations or anything.
While this movie shared many elements of other horror movies, teenagers, creepy location, psycho killer, it rises above it's peers somewhat in the gritty realism. Again, I want to stress that this movie is slow going through the first hour, but was worth it to me for the last half hour.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Not bad for an old classic movie!
Published 25 days ago by Ken
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
just expected more out of it
Published 1 month ago by alan levine
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good flick
Classic horror at its best
Published 1 month ago by T
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
One of my top 5 best horror movies of all time!
Published 2 months ago by Ray Clemons Jr.
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
One of Tobe Hooper's best works
Published 3 months ago by Hector Jair Hernandez Castillo
5.0 out of 5 stars OLD SCHOOL!
Published 5 months ago by Melissa A. Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun time in the Funhouse
Bought this as a gift. My brother loves horror movies and was very happy to get this. Product arrived as advertised. Price was great.
Published 7 months ago by Jason Mack
3.0 out of 5 stars The Funhouse from Hell
On her first date with Buzz (Cooper Huckabee), Amy (Elizabeth Berridge) disobeys her father and goes to the carnival with Richie (Miles Chapin) and Liz (Largo Woodruff), but their... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Taheen Lopez
4.0 out of 5 stars An underrated classic!
While not Tobe Hooper's best movie (that of course is 1974's seminal The Texas Chainsaw Massacre), this film, alternatively called Carnival of Terror, was very well done. Read more
Published 8 months ago by GSD
1.0 out of 5 stars If you have never heard of this movie, it is for a good reason
This movie is very old, and it is very boring. The storyline moves along so slow that you will lose interest, and once you lose interest, NOTHING happens to get your attention... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Jheff
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Why ALL the hate for these 80's horror movies??
I know, I Love these classic flicks. Kids these days just want sleek special effects, ugh how I hate people who hate on classic slasher flicks, Jason should go and kill all of these haters
Oct 20, 2012 by M. Mont |  See all 3 posts
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