Jazz, film, and improvised culture.
Funhouse Massacre: The Clown is the Deadliest
some reason, serial killers develop fannish followings, especially among goth
rockers and leftist radicals like Bernardine Dohrn. This Halloween, karma will
come around good and hard for the grusomely voyeuristic when some of the worst serial killers ever escape
their Arkham-esque psychiatric prison and take over the new haunted house,
conveniently featuring attractions based on their murders. It all goes according
to their mastermind’s evil plan in Andy Palmer’s Funhouse Massacre (trailer here), which opens this Friday in New Jersey.
dissuade a muckraking reporter from writing an expose, the Warden gives her a
good look at the five psychopaths in his custody. Unfortunately, she is no journalist.
She is the daughter of the prisoner Mental Manny, a mesmerizing Jim Jones-ish
cult leader responsible for a notorious local mass suicide. Known in her own
right as the serial killer Doll Face, her M.O. is stitching her victims’ eyes
and mouths closed, because she is crazy. They are off to the new Funhouse,
along with her father’s fellow inmates: Chef Jeffrey Ramsees (a.k.a. Animal the
Cannibal), Walter Harris (a.k.a. the Taxidermist), Bradford Young DDS (a.k.a.
Dr. Suave), and Rocco the Clown (backstory unknown, but at least he also has a
trade), specially prepared for them by the arrogant horndog owner. Doll Face
saw to that.
their better judgement, Laurie and Morgan are joining their oversexed co-workers
Christina and Jason and a couple of other dudes on a trip to the horror show.
As you might expect, it all looks unusually realistic. The cops will not be
coming anytime soon thanks to some strategic crank calls received by the
spectacularly unintuitive Deputy Doyle. However, his boss, Sheriff Kate will
start putting the pieces together. Since she has some history with the psychos,
she understands what they are dealing with.
sure you’re rolling your eyes right now, but Funhouse is way more fun than you think. Screenwriter Ben Begley
nails the late 1990s Kevin Williamson attitude and dexterously mines the
macabre situations for dark (occasionally gory) humor. Renee Dorian and Matt
Angel are also surprisingly engaging as the innocent Laurie and earnest Morgan.
Chasty Ballesteros continues to show major scream queen potential as Christine.
Maybe next time she will even get to be the final girl. Of course, Robert
Englund does his thing as the Warden, while former sitcom star Jere Burns’
Mental Manny is surprisingly sinister.
Palmer and Begley give the conventions of 1980s
slasher films enough twists to draw blood. While not as inventive as Todd
Strauss-Schulson’s The Final Girls,
it maintains a suitably manic energy level. Recommended with unexpected
enthusiasm for horror fans, Funhouse
Massacre opens this Friday (11/13) in the Tri-State Area at the AMC Jersey
Labels: Horror Movies, Robert Englund