The Funhouse Massacre, 2015

© Shout! Factory

Halloween carnival gets a tad bit too real for stupid, horny twenty-somethings. Yes, that synopsis has been executed a hundred times before and it also happens to be something that caught the fancy of Rob Zombie, whose self-conscious 31 is a goofy throwback to the days of exploitation movies, a period piece, filled with evil clowns, carnival settings, and his regular collaborators and actors, including Malcolm McDowell, an ‘underground’ darling and a performer famous for starring in films such as Evilenko, 2004, If… and the embodiment of youthful rage and rebellion, A Clockwork Orange, 1971; the explosive, fiercely controversial film by Stanley Kubrick.

Freddy Krueger opens the film and Rocco the Wrestler turned festival-clown and Harley Quinn end it. What goes on between those two scenes is just for fun (heck, I picked the word outta the title), it is also plenty gory and comic and silly.

Harley Quinn on bath salts

Krueger as the warden of the madhouse (read again), which is situated right next to the funhouse introduces his band of the crazy bunch in the following words, “Dahmer, Bundy, Gacy were the ones who just got all the press; the people here… These are people whose names are spoken over campfires.” He says this to a hair-shifting lady who he thinks is another one of those people from the headquarters who want this place shut. One of my biggest gripes was Krueger getting the Gacy treatment without Gacy and Sheriff Kate (Scottie Thompson) having a terrible back story. 

Funhouse is yet another slasher/gore flick, with clever gore effects and the way the characters have been fleshed out, with some black-comedy thrown in for good measure. Also thrown in is an Asian Marlyn Monroe, a life-size bumblebee, the stock African-American bloke, the surprise kill subject, two stock-stoners, and Beewbs.

At 90 minutes Funhouse is minimalist, it is a methodological film with The Stitched Face killer (Candice De Visser) sounding more intimidating than the real non-serious deal (Leatherface) and the plot smeared all over the place, like her makeup. But hey who wants a plot when you have a giant wooden mallet cracking a face in half and also making the bell ring on the high striker.

Open wide


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