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TOURIST TRAP (director/writer: David Schmoeller; screenwriter: Larry Carroll; cinematographer: Nicholas von Sternberg; editor: Ted Nicolaou; music: Pino Donaggio; cast: Chuck Connors (Mr. Slausen), Jocelyn Jones (Molly), Jon Van Ness (Jerry), Robin Sherwood (Eileen), Keith McDermott (Woody), Shailar Coby (Davey Slausen), Tanya Roberts (Becky), Dawn Jeffory (Tina); Runtime: 85; MPAA Rating: PG; producer: Larry Carroll; Astral Film (MGM); 1979)
Even though the pic couldn’t be dumber or more senseless, for some it might have some appeal because of its oddness.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Co-writer-director David Schmoeller(“Little Monsters”/”The Possessed”/”Crawlspace”) comes up with this eerie shocker curio about a madman obsessed over mannequins. The producer and co-writer of this schlocky horror thriller is Larry Carroll.

Mr. Slausen (Chuck Connors) is a gimpy southerner who once ran the now abandoned roadside tourist attraction called “Slausen’s Lost Oasis,” but a new highway took away all his business. It’s a strange museum that features a collection of lifelike mannequins with telekinetic powers. When the Jeep of college student Woody (Keith McDermott) breaks down he looks inside for help, and the dummies come to life and lure him in. They then violently dispatch the visitor and he turns up as a mannequin. That night his three friends come to look for him and stop off for a swim. They meet the sexy Becky (Tanya Roberts) and take her along to the museum. Too bad the teens were unaware Davey Slausen (Shailar Coby), the demented brother of the owner, lives there and that he has superhuman strength, and a talent for creating such weird mannequins. Soon the mannequins do a number on the teens. One teen survives the nightmare, but is too disorientated to know what happened.

In one of its many creepy scenes, Tanya Roberts, a future “Charlie’s Angels,” finds in her brief appearance that the back of her head is used as a target for a knife-throwing dummy.

Even though the pic couldn’t be dumber or more senseless, for some it might have some appeal because of its oddness.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”