The Funhouse



         Something is alive in the funhouse...something that, tonight, will turn the funhouse

                    into a carnival of terror!


Against her father's orders, Amy goes to a traveling carnival with her new boyfriend Buzz, her best friend Liz, and Liz's boyfriend Richie. Amy's father is opposed to her going to the carnival because a couple of girl scouts were found murdered. At the carnival, the four teens smoke a little cannabis and sneak into a strip club. They heckle Madame Zena the fortune teller, visit a freaks exhibit, and view a magic show.

Finally, they telephone their parents and lie to them so they can spend the night in the carnival's funhouse after it closes. Then they notice the Funhouse assistant - a huge man in a Frankenstein suit who never speaks - getting it on with Madame Zena. She demands a hundred dollars from "Frankenstein," and when he ejaculates prematurely, she refuses to "go all the way" as agreed. When she won't give back the money, "Frankenstein" attacks and strangles her. Okay so at this stage it looks as though their idea of staying the night does not look so great afterall.

After witnessing this, the four teenagers attempt to leave the funhouse, but find that it is locked. Richie also steals money from the steel strong box from which "Frankenstein" had retrieved the money for Madame Zena. The kids have to hide again when the Funhouse owner Conrad Straker, returns and sees what "Frankenstein" - his son Gunther - has done to Madame Zena. After giving Gunther a violent reprimanding, Conrad decides that they'll place Madame Zena's body to make it look as though she was killed by "the locals." Conrad then discovers that all of the money from his strongbox is missing. He believes Gunther has taken it and tortures him, eventually taking off his Frankenstein mask. Gunther's face is gruesomely deformed, with sharp protruding teeth and ruby-red eyes.

Startled, Richie drops his lighter, which lands near Conrad and Gunther. Conrad notices and realizes they are not alone, and that someone has likely witnessed Gunther's killing of Madame Zena. The witnesses will have to be found, slain, and buried as quickly as possible. Conrad and Gunther were also the ones who had murdered the Girl Scouts; and had word gotten out, Gunther would have been lynched and butchered (like his mother), or put on display in the freak exhibition (like his late younger brother Tad). After killing Richie with a noose Gunther captures Liz. Liz tries to lure Gunther into a trap with promises of sex, but when she stabs Gunther he attacks her, stabbing her to death with his sharpened finger nails. Conrad tries to shoot Amy, but Buzz grabs his pistol. It fires, killing Conrad. Then Gunther attacks Buzz for the gun while Amy makes a dash. The pistol goes off again, this time killing Buzz. Gunther chases Amy into a room filled with hydraulic machinery and tries to kill her with a crowbar, but hits the fusebox and electrocutes himself. He comes after Amy again, but is caught between two gears and tries to drag her in, as well. Amy tears herself free as Gunther is crushed to death.

At dawn, Amy exits the funhouse. An animated fat lady laughs as Amy - her clothes ripped, her makeup running, her shoes gone - proceeds to walk home.







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Directed by Tobe Hooper
Produced by Steven Bernhardt
Derek Power
Written by Larry Block
Starring Elizabeth Berridge
Shawn Carson

Jeanne Austin

Jack McDermott

Cooper Huckabee

Music by John Beal
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) March 13, 1981
Running time 96 min.
Language English