Written by: Michael Den Boer on April 13th, 2012
Theatrical Release Date: USA, 1979
Director: David Schmoeller
Writers: David Schmoeller, J. Larry Carroll
Cast: Chuck Connors, Jocelyn Jones, Jon Van Ness, Robin Sherwood, Tanya Roberts, Dawn Jeffory, Keith McDermott, Shailar Coby
DVD released: April 30th, 2012
Approximate running time: 87 Minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Sound: Dolby Digital Stereo English
DVD Release: 88 Films
Region Coding: Region 0 PAL
Retail Price: £8.47
Synopsis: When their car breaks down a group of friends find themselves stranded near a secluded museum.
Tourist Trap was co-written and directed by David Schmoeller, who’s other notable films include The Seduction and Puppetmaster. Key collaborators on Tourist Trap include cinematographer Nicholas Josef von Sternberg (Joysticks, Slaughterhouse Rock) and composer Pino Donaggio (Don’t Look Now, Carrie).
The key to this film’s durability comes down to two things, its atmospheric visuals and Pino Donaggio’s pitch perfect score. Visually the film is at its best during the murder set pieces, especially the film’s opening sequence. Another area that this film is extremely effective is the way in which it uses the mannequin that inhabit this films central location the museum. Also a little bit nudity never hurts and this film throws in some T & A, via a where the female cast members go skinny dipping.
Performance wise, the cast are more than adequate in their respective roles. With the film’s standout performance coming from Chuck Conners (The Rifleman T.V. Series) in the role of Mr. Slausen, the caretaker of the museum. Another performance of note is Tanya Roberts, who just a year after appearing in this film, she would become a household name after joining the cast of Charlie’s Angels.
Though the film follows the by the numbers body count storyline that has become synonymous with the Slasher film genre. The end result is a Horror film that holds up better then the majority of its contemporaries.
Note: This review is based on a test disc and may not be representative of the final product.
88 Films presents Tourist Trap in a anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original aspect ratio. When compared to previous home video releases of this film, this transfer is comparable to those aforementioned releases, especially the 25th anniversary North American DVD release for the film. Colors and flesh tones look accurate and details generally look crisp. Black levels look good, just don’t expect them to ever look great. There are no problems with compression and edge enhancement is never to excessive.
This release comes with one audio option, a Dolby Digital Stereo mix in English. The audio is in good shape as dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced.
Extras for this release include a trailer for the film (1 minute 55 seconds – anamorphic widescreen), a interview with co-screenwriter / director David Schmoeller (6 minutes 54 seconds – anamorphic widescreen) and a audio commentary with David Schmoeller. In between moments of dead silence, where he just sits back and watches the film. There is actually a lot of interesting info to be gleaned from the audio commentary. Rounding out the extras are trailers for Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-O-Rama, Puppet Master, Evil Bong 2: King Bong, Castle Freak, Gingerdead Man 2: The Passion of the Crust, Killer Eye: Halloween Hunt, The Pit and The Pendulum, Skull Heads, Meridian and Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death. Overall Tourist Trap gets a good release from 88 Films.