Tourist Trap

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“Every Year Young People Disappear.”

Getting sucked into a roadside tourist trap and buying an armload of useless trinkets is bad enough, but when you also have to deal with knife-wielding maniacs, telekinetic killers and demonic mannequins, it’s definitely time to consider air travel for your next vacation. In the highly strange, frequently confusing and occasionally frightening 1979 horror flick Tourist Trap, a carload of dumb teens on a desert road trip experience automotive trouble and stumble across a creepy roadside gas station/gift shop conveniently located smack dab in the middle of nowhere. Since they obviously have not seen enough bad horror films, the teens don’t simply run in the other direction – instead, they hang around long enough to discover that this Tourist Trap is actually a grotesque museum run by a loony proprietor (played by square-jawed Rifleman star Chuck Conners), and filled with obnoxious singing mannequins who come to murderous life whenever visitors come to call. Throw in some gratuitous telekinetic mayhem, a little cross-dressing action, bizarre plaster-casting murders and a skinny dipping scene involving future Charlie’s Angels star Tanya Roberts, and brother, you’ve got yourself one very weird (and highly underrated) terror trash classic scavenged from equal parts Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Carrie and Mannequin 2: On the Move (OK, Tourist Trap was technically released before Mannequin 2, but hey, who’s really keeping track?). (Dir. by David Schmoeller, 1979, USA, 90 mins., Rated PG) Digital