Tourist Trap (1979)

“We’re going to have a party!” Take an eerie, dilapidated roadside attraction full of lifelike mannequins way off the beaten path called “Slausen’s Lost Oasis” run by creepy proprietor “Mr. Slausen” (Chuck Connors) who may have telekinetic powers and throw in a bunch of dopey teenagers out of their element and you have all the ingredients for this often effective, offbeat, atmospheric horror flick. Directed by David Schmoeller and filmed in just 24 days, Tourist Trap also features Tanya Roberts, Jocelyn Jones, Robin Sherwood, Jon Van Ness and Keith McDermott. The film also features a cool score by Pino Donaggio. In his 1981 nonfiction book, Danse Macabre, Stephen King praised the film’s “eerie spooky power” despite his opinion that Connors is “simply miscast” (totally disagree!): “Wax figures begin to move and come to life in a ruined, out-of-the-way tourist resort; there are a number of effective, atmospheric shots of the dummies’ blank eyes and reaching hands, and the special effects are effective.”

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