Terror Tuesday Report: Tourist Trap

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The Film

There aren’t a lot of Terror Tuesday shows that will make me want to take to the Internet to look up more about a particular subject. It was a pleasant surprise this week to have my interest piqued in a subject that I ultimately learned was called pediophobia. Pediophobia is defined as a fear of dolls, or more specifically a fear of “false representation of sentient beings” like mannequins. As a child, if you weren’t afraid of mannequins or dolls and happened to come across Tourist Trap, then pediophobia might have become a newly acquired childhood fear.

As a group of five friends are traveling through the desert, Eileen and her boyfriend Woody’s car gets a flat tire and he goes off to look for help. He happens upon an old looking gas station and when he goes inside to look for help, he happens across what he thinks is a sleeping women. Turns out he’s fallen into a trap, and a group of mannequins begin laughing maniacally at him and various objects begin flying at him before a steel rod impales and kills him. Eileen and Woody’s friends find their car and when they go off to search for him they encounter an old tourist trap museum run by a strangely nice old man named Mr. Slausen (Chuck Connors). While the others search the property, a mysterious masked figure begins killing or trapping members of the group.

Terror Tuesday Forecast: Tourist Trap

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One of my favorite horror films of the 1970s finds 35mm glory and official immortalization thanks to Terror Tuesday. Tourist Trap is an immensely creepy film despite operating under a number of familiar horror movie cliches. The thing that struck me most about Tourist Trap when it was first recommended to me by a clerk at Austin’s incredible Vulcan Video, fitting as they are the weekly sponsors of Terror Tuesday, is how much it seemed to have worked its way into the 2005 remake of House of Wax. That film feels way more like a remake of Tourist Trap than it does Vincent Price’s 1953 House of Wax. In any event, it stands on its own beautifully and I think the audience this week will find it holds up pretty well. Enjoy the trailer below…


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