In the last of our series of tribute episodes to famous people who have passed on, we salute Tanya Roberts, one of Charlie’s Angels who made her seventh film with screen legend Chuck Connors, trying to reimagine himself as a Boris Karloff-style villain. The result is an incredibly odd yet creepy horror flick that managed to give us quite a bit to chat about. Thanks, Ryan, for the suggestion!
Tourist Trap (1979)
Episode 246, 2 Guys and a Chainsaw
Todd: Hello and welcome to another episode of Two Guys and a Chainsaw. I’m Todd.
Craig: And I’m Craig.
Todd: So we’re about to wrap up our tribute episodes here of people that we lost in 2020. Today’s actress actually made it to 2021, but soon died in the hospital of complications related to, I believe, a urinary tract infection that just went from bad to worse and had her on a ventilator.
And sadly, her long-time husband couldn’t even visit her in the hospital because of the COVID restrictions. So it’s so sad.
Craig: Yeah. It is pretty sad.
Todd: Yeah. Right. But anyway, let’s not talk about the sadness. Let’s talk about the life of one Tanya Roberts. Tanya Roberts was born Victoria Leigh Blum, but changed her name to Tanya Roberts to kick off her modeling and acting career.
She started out as a model in the seventies.
Craig: Big surprise because she’s ugly as sin. No, she’s stunningly gorgeous
Todd: Oh my gosh. And especially in this movie as well, it just, I mean, she, her eyes sparkle and she’s. Yeah, she’s quite nice. Um, she didn’t always get the best reviews for her acting. I thought that in this movie, which is 1979 tourist trap also, by the way, recommended to us by Ryan.
Thank you, Ryan, for that. And as soon as you saw that she had died, you had mentioned on our Facebook page that we ought to do a tribute to her. Uh, this is a, I think one of the only horror movies she’s done, she’s most known for coming in. I think at the last season of Charlie’s angels. Yeah, replacing one of the other actresses in a bid to kind of revitalize the series as it was declining, but that didn’t quite work.
She was a bond girl. I believe she was a geologist in a view to a
Craig: kill and with the, uh, with the whole Charlie’s angels thing in those later seasons. They were switching girls out, you know, people were leaving, coming and going and, and she was the last one. But to her credit, she was a big fan favorite.
And the whole last season really revolved around her. She was. The center of most of the storylines, uh, in that season. And, and she was well-received. So there’s that,
Todd: you know, she was in some movies like the Beastmaster. Um, I think one of her earliest films is, uh, was a remake of a, was an R rated remake of a pornographic movie called forced entry.
Right. If you could imagine, but this one, a tourist trap was 1979 and it was produced by Charles band. We know Charles band pretty well. His line of productions is a mile long, and this is probably one of his earlier ones. I think maybe one is a fifth or six productions. You guys know him as a producer of a lot, like the puppet master series.
Yeah, the dolls, a lot of movies, actually, that we’ve kind of enjoyed. And then a lot of movies that are just playing dumb and straight to video face the thing
Craig: like, yeah, I mean, as a producer, he’s just so prolific. Like he’s put out so many movies and they’re pretty low budget and some of them are pretty schlocky, but it’s kind of hit and miss, like you and I have enjoyed.
A lot of those moves we have for
Todd: various reasons.
Craig: Right. And, and of course, of course, when we talk about them, there’s always criticism, but there’s also a lot of entertainment value in a lot of his movies. So I don’t know, you know, Of course, I certainly don’t have my finger on the pulse of like, you know, Hollywood elites and how those people view these types of productions or whatever, but from a public perspective, from a fan perspective, I’ve really kind of come to respect.
Charles band, uh, just yes, some of those movies are bad, but some of them are a lot of fun. And this one, I wouldn’t say it’s one of my favorites, but it’s very interesting. Yeah.
Todd: It’s nothing. If not interesting. Yes, for sure. It’s really all over the map. I mean, I feel like this movie is cobbled together from a lot of other movies.
Honestly, you got. A little bit of Texas chainsaw massacre in there. A little bit of house of wax, a little bit of psycho, and then some weird kind of the fury type character stuff almost in the area. Yeah. It’s just so all over the map that I think it was a little confusing for me at first to put a pin in what was going on and maybe that’s.
To the movies credit in a way. I mean, it sounds kind of derivative. And so maybe it is kind of derivative, you know, but in deriving its material from all of these different places and putting together something very odd and strange strangely compelling to watch at times a little boring at other times, um, it is in its own way.
A little original. Yeah. So. And, you know, that could be said, the screenplay was written by a David Smolar and a J Larry, Carol, and a was originally pitched to Charles band. And they really wanted John Carpenter to direct this. But John Carpenter was too expensive. So it came back and they said, look, Charles band himself said, look, David woosh Mueller, why don’t you direct this movie instead?
So this was actually his very first directing a gig. But then after that, David Smolar went on to do puppet master. Um, he did a horror movie called the arrival, possessed a bunch of episodes of silk stocking, sun TV, and just a lot of random stuff, but mostly kind of in this lower budget television or, you know, direct to video horror kind of thing.
So he said that he learned a lot. Directing this movie about just how to do that, how to direct actors and how to direct actresses. So for a first time director working with, uh, some stars, the male antagonist in this movie is very, very well known. Chuck Connors. Uh, who’s kind of a legend of the screen and television, honestly.
Yeah. I always visually, depending on the role he’s in, yeah. The makeup and his age, he, he kind of pass us off for Charlton Heston a little bit, you know, he’s, he’s got some of that, uh, that look in his eye. He’s got a much more square jaw. He, he was a cowboy in a lot of movies.
Craig: Yeah. W was he on Bonanza? I don’t know.
I, I remember he he’s, he screams cowboy boots. He does. Um, and, and maybe that’s because the thing that I am most familiar with him from, um, is old yeller. Yeah. Yeah. Old yeller was a movie that they used to show us. Grade school all the time. Oh my God. And, uh, he, he was in that and he’s fine in this movie.
Um, Stephen King is a big fan of this movie or at least was, uh, back in the day when he wrote his non-fiction book, dance macabre about horror. And he really liked this movie and he thought that the special effects were really compelling. And the story was interesting. He wasn’t terribly fond of Chuck Connors.
Uh, performance, but he said it’s not because I don’t think that Chuck Connors is a good actor. I just think that he was maybe a little bit miscast in this movie and I don’t agree. I think he’s fine in this movie, but I know that their, the, their first pick for his role was Jack plants. And I totally understand why Jack Lance didn’t take.
The bar, but had he had, had he taken the part? I think he might’ve brought a little bit of gravitas that, uh, Chuck Connors just doesn’t quite have, like, he’s almost there and I do enjoy him in this movie. I think he does a good job, especially since here we go. We’re three minutes in 10 minutes in whatever.
Ultimately, he’s kind of playing a dual role and it’s kind of a surprise. I mean, I think it’s. Projected a little bit, I don’t know. He’s creepy. I like the duality of his role because on the one hand he plays this very helpful charming country kind of guy. And then on the other hand, he’s this total freaking weirdo.
Todd: Yeah. Which is good. I mean, you know, a lot of people when they’re casting these movies will purposely cast unknowns, right? Because they don’t want the baggage that comes with the actors prior work or whatever they’ve carved out for themselves. In this case, it kind of works to the advantage, right.
Of having this well-known actor who is usually, um, kind of a hero type character, jovial friendly kind of macho guy, but, you know, he has that type and he always has, and, and at this time he was, had this notion anyway, that he could reinvent himself as a sort of Boris Karloff type of villain, you know, who could play villain than a bunch of movies.
And then he did, he could play the villain. A few other films after this and maybe fulfilled his goal, at least varying his output a little bit more and being able to prove he can do that. Like you said, it’s. I don’t know. Um, and some of it’s descriptive, it gets into cheesy territory at times. But when you were talking about what is essentially a Norman Bates type character, right?
Yeah. It’s, it’s gonna, you gotta play crazy, you know, and you can kind of forgive about anything because we don’t know what his particular psychosis is. And we, we get some ideas of where it’s come from as the movie progresses. And I think the movie does actually a pretty good job. Of feeding us drip by drip, a little bit more of his backstory as it goes along.
Craig: that I would have found the movie more boring if it weren’t for the fact that the villain is so. Odd. So weird,
so weird that it’s compelling. Okay. So this is a slasher movie, basically, and, and it’s, it’s very typical. Like you said, Texas chainsaw, massacre, house of wax, or at least the remake of house of magic. Of wax, where you’ve got a group of people, young people, I would, you know, 20 somethings or whatever, and they’re out for a good time.
And one of them gets a flat tire there. They’re traveling in two cars. The lead car gets a flat tire and the guy. Whose car that is Woody. I just have like this buff, handsome guy. I wish they would. I wish they would have killed off Jerry first instead of Woody, because he was hot. I
Todd: was just going to say, the minute that came on the screen, I was like, Oh, Craig’s going to like this movie.
And then he gets killed off and I’m like, Oh, well maybe we’ll. Well, I mean, he’s like half shirtless muscular. His shirt is pink. He’s got
Craig: white cat abs for days,
Todd: just rolling a tire down the street. Right. Pick. And I guess,
Craig: so he’s just rolling this tire down the road and he comes up. On this place, like, it looks like a service station, but it looks like it’s abandoned.
So since nobody’s there, he goes in the back and it looks like somebody is sleeping like on a Cotter, a bed, but when he goes and tries to wake it up and yeah, he’s hearing like weird kind of creepy voices. And when he tries to wake the person up a mannequin, like pops up and laughs, and then I don’t know how you could explain.
These events any other way than right away. It appears supernatural because the door slams and locks and nobody’s there. The windows are opening and closing by themselves, keeping him out a mannequin breaks through the window. Another one pops out of the. Closet, the mannequins are like laughing creepily, and then a cabinet starts rattling and lights are flashing and then debris starts flying out of the cabinet at Woody.
And it looks really cool, like projectile flying out of this cabinet. And I read that the way that they did it was that they suspended the cabinet from the ceiling and just threw things straight down, just dropped them and change you change the camera perspective. Um, but it looks really cool, but eventually.
A pipe shoots out and stabs him through the back. And then we just hear some weird man voice grumbling, like he’s saying things, but I couldn’t even make out what he was
Todd: saying. So bizarre because you’re trying to put your, you’re trying to put your finger what’s happening, you know, and of course the movie’s called tourist trap.
And so you’re thinking that. He’s kind of gotten locked in the little puzzle room, you know, I mean, there’s nobody around, but then these things are happening and coming out. So my first reaction was, Oh, okay. All these mannequins and things. They’re all mechanical devices and you know, the door auto locks and that and the window.
And then once things start shooting out of the cabinets, I mean, you’re like, well, okay, this is clearly supernatural, the way this is going down. And I didn’t even understand how his. Arm got caught in the door. It’s like he poked a hole in it. It was trying to trying to open it from the other side, but something was holding his arm on the other side.
It, it’s just really unclear except that all this crazy haunted house type shit is happening in the middle of the day. And, uh, once that pipe goes, you know, goes into his back, it’s like, He’s dead and the camera
Craig: and we never see him again. Yeah.
Todd: And the camera just does this extremely slow pan down from his shocked face down to the pipe and blood is already dripping out the end of it and across the floor and up and out the windows and you’re waiting for reveal, you know, you’re waiting for something.
And then all we hear is that it’s that sound of the laughter or whatever, mumbling, and then boom, we’re back with the other car, which is driving down the street and meets up with the person that he left at the car, uh, who was Eileen. And we have a few other people in the car, uh, who are traveling together.
So this is Jerry. And Molly and Molly is like this prim proper, you know, she’s the girl you’re thinking, okay, she’s going to be the final girl because she’s just almost comically. Right. She’s she has like a hat on knowing.
Craig: So it looks like she stepped right out of the little house on the prayer. Like it’s ridiculous.
She even, I mean, she literally kind of looks like Nellie Olsen from little house on the river. She’s obviously. So prim and whereas the other girls, you know, Eileen. Looks like a typical girl. She’s, she’s very spunky. I liked her and I liked that actress, but then you’ve got Becky, right? Isn’t that? That’s that’s
Todd: the Becky is Tanya Roberts.
Craig: Yeah. And she is like, she’s a sex pot, but at the same time, like not trashy, like she’s very, very curvy. And of course she’s wearing, you know, Skin tight, like halter top and tight little cutoff, Jean shorts or whatever. Very, very sexy, but also. She seems nice.
Craig: she’s, she’s not trashy in her appearance and it doesn’t matter ultimately, but like, since we’re talking about her, you know, I just, I think that’s to her credit, she’s very sexy without being trashy looking.
And she’s beautiful
Todd: to look at. Oh, gosh. Yeah. I mean, I’m not ashamed to admit. I was, I was hoping we were going to see some nudity in this movie and shockingly, we didn’t, I guess there was supposed to be yeah. With the director too shy to bring it up until the scene where they all go skinny dipping, which isn’t about, you know, another minute later.
And, uh, they were all like, uh, no, we’re not doing that. So they’re all just submerged enough in the, in the water to, uh, to cover up all the, uh, the naughty bits as it were, but you know, her dirty pillows, but, you know,
Craig: uh, which is, which is fine. Like, of course it’s, you know, it’s it’s yeah. I, it doesn’t bother me at all.
Nudity of course does not bother me at all. But the lack of nudity doesn’t bother me either. And you know, there’s still plenty of eye candy for the male gaze. These are beautiful women. Um, we don’t have to see them totally new to appreciate their beauty. Uh, but. Thank you
Todd: for putting that disclaimer out there, Craig
I am, we are two guys in a chain saw and I endorse this message.
Craig: But the other thing that that leads to is that this movie is rated PG. Um, and we don’t do a lot of PG rated movies. On this podcast. This was also before Poulter Geist when the PG 13 rating came into existence. Um, but the filmmakers, I don’t remember if it was the producer or the director really felt that.
That PG rating killed them. If they had somehow gotten an AR and they were surprised because they thought that the content was disturbing enough that it warranted an R. Um, but I guess because of the lack of sex and nudity and really because there is violence, but it’s not,
Todd: no, it’s a little brutal, but it’s
Todd: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly. I mean, I think that it did work out a little bit to their favor and that they got some play on syndication on television, out of this movie, apparently because of the rating. So, you know, maybe it made a little bit more money than it would have otherwise. I mean, there’s a lot of creepiness, you know, it’s funny.
I just put together just today. Hey, everybody check out our email@example.com, 40 net.com where I just put up a page called family-friendly horror movies. Where I just went back and categorized these movies that, you know, what was it a last, last year? Right. We had the whole month where we did quote unquote kid friendly, gateway, horror, that kind of stuff.
And as I was going back and categorizing our content and remembering it, these are, it’s still a horror movies right there by, by definition, they’re going to be scary and I have disturbing things. And the most of them have some level of degree of violence in them, or, you know, whether it happens on screen or off screen, some blood even right.
Even a little bit of annuities, some language, but still, you know, depending on the age of your kids and depending on the maturity level, the people in your house and things like that, a lot of these. Movies that we’ve done a good 25 of them. I found, I would say, go and check it out first before you show it to your know your twelve-year-old.
Sure. But based on your own values, but in a general sense, they’re not like the kind of stuff that we normally do here, where heads are getting lopped off and, you know, arms as ridiculous as it can be sometimes. It’s still brutal and graphic and gross. Right? Um, this is definitely one of those movies that you could watch with your family.
It could come on TV and it would be just fine, although it’s still, still,
Craig: it is. And, and I think that there’s like, Some nightmarish stuff in here. Like, not that I would ever have any reason or call too, but I could probably show this at school without having to send home a permission slip. I mean, it’s PG, there’s not, there’s no graphic violence really, but that doesn’t mean that there’s not some nightmarish stuff like the villain.
Is is really very creepy. I wouldn’t want, I wouldn’t one him poking up in my dreams. Yeah. Okay. So it’s PG. All right. Anyway, so they’re all back together. And so they’re basically, now that the second car has caught up, they. Continue down the road and they’re looking for Woody and they find his tire abandoned and they see all these signs for like Sloss sins, lost Oasis.
And one of the girls like, Oh, these tourist traps are all alike, blah, blah, blah. Great get the title. They find his tire and they drive by and as they drive by, I feel like the winds from their drive by like uncovers the sign that they don’t see that says like close to the public out, which is kind of weird.
And I read who put up that sign. Is it somebody who knows the dangerous things that are going down here or. Another speculation is that it might be the villain himself, because like you said, it kind of appears to be this Norman Bates type of thing where he kind of has a dual personality where one of his personas.
Is kindly and the other is murderous. So maybe he put it up himself, who knows, but they pull up to this place and the Jeep dies for no apparent reason. And I wouldn’t have thought much of that except for then, while they’re sitting there. For absolutely no reason. The headlight shatters
Todd: too. They don’t even notice it.
Right. I mean, they’re more concerned about the deep and I’m thinking, Oh, what are they going to notice the headlights shattering? How’s this working and how’s this significant. And did it get shot out? It didn’t, I mean, it’s so weird, right? It’s like, okay, clearly there’s some supernatural thing happening
Exactly. And ultimately that’s what you figure out that there is something supernatural going on here and it’s bizarre and it doesn’t really come to light until later, but it’s obvious that something supernatural is happening. We do get a little bit of an explanation. It’s not laid out for us. Like, Oh, here’s the exact science of why all this is happening.
We just find out later that this guy has telekinetic powers. Why we don’t know what’s the extent of what he can do. We don’t know, like really he can just do stuff and apparently he can disable their car to keep them there. Yeah. And
Todd: so then they, you know, they kind of get out of the car and the girls wander over the Hill and that’s when they discover, Oh my gosh, there’s this beautiful, beautiful waterfall and a pond there.
Eileen says, Oh, I think we should go swimming. And Molly comes up in her bonnet and it’s like, but we don’t have swimming suits. And they’re like, well, that shit that never doesn’t need to stop us. Oh God, but it’s even in the beginning, right? The main character Mr. Slossen comes in and in, in is pretty creepy because the girls are skinny dipping on his property.
Molly is there. She’s the one who notices these legs come over the Hill first and she’s a little closer to the shore. And so he looks down at her and starts talking to her and. Ask her her name. So, I mean, you know, he is almost, he’s doing this as though he doesn’t have three beautiful naked girls in front of him and he’s just chatting with them.
Used to be, I
Craig: charge 75 cents a day. Just not, no more though used to be out at 25 30 visitors a day. And the government decided to
Craig: that new
Todd: highway. It’s the old story, right. Of though they put in that highway and I guess folks just want to go fast nowadays and they don’t have time to slow down
He says something like ever since they put in the highway, we’ve lost all our business or something, which is a line lifted directly from psycho. Yeah. But this, this part is funny to me because yet he does show up and I suppose you could consider it creepy that this man, you know, is like leering over these girls.
But again, like you said, they’re under the water. They’re not fully exposed and he’s very friendly. He’s not mean he’s not admonishing them. He’s not yelling at them. He’s friendly. Uh, and it’s funny to me. Because as silly as this situation may sound, my maternal grand father was a country, man. He was a farmer.
He was educated through the eighth grade and then he went off and fought in world war II and came back and was a farmer his whole life. And he owned a lot of property. And this happened to him more than once that he would have to go out and chase off. Skinny dipping kids. Off of his property and he was always nice about it too.
You know, I’m glad you’re having fun naked kids, but
Todd: okay. Fair enough.
Craig: He skedaddled,
Todd: what do you got a good thing, you know? When you, if you build it, they will come.
Craig: Exactly. Apparently if you live in the country and you have a pond, beautiful women will come and swim naked at him. The
Todd: things you learned too late in life,
Craig: it’s. And it’s also, I mean, he’s kind of charming, you know, it’s cute.
He’s like y’all bus leave for, it gets dark. Well, this here hole fills up with water moccasins. If you feel something wiggling around your feet, it’s just the early ones come to find a good
Craig: but they get out and they’re talking about. Him and, and they go back to the Jeep and he’s there waiting for them at the Jeep. And they’re all together. Now Jerry’s with them too. And he looks at the car and he says, Oh, there’s something wrong with it. We’ll need tools. So he takes them back. I thought he was going to be taking them back to his house.
Cause that’s what he says. But it actually turns out to be like this roadside attraction, the Slawson museum. And he says he lives there.
Todd: He does say
Craig: he lives there. That’s which is weird because somebody also notices that there’s a big house. Just down the way. And he’s like, Oh, nobody lives there, but Navy.
And they’re like Davey and he’s like, uh, David Crockett and he’s got this whole, like, it’s small. It’s not big, but it’s like, it looks like an old timey. I know they still exist, but you don’t see them very much, but those, you know, kind of Midwestern roadside attractions where you go in and tourist traps.
Tourist traps. Exactly. But they’re kind of fun. You know, I’ve always been kind of intrigued by these. Places. Um, they’re very kitschy and like
Todd: a wall drug or something like that, right? Yeah.
Craig: I’ve never been to wall drug, but I hear it’s amazing. Oh man. And I got to go get me a raccoon skin cap from wall drug at some point in my life.
Todd: you ever been to that house on the rock?
Craig: I’ve S I’ve driven
Todd: by it, but I haven’t been, Oh my God. That is the tourist trap to end all tourist traps. It’s the most amazing, incredible thing I’ve probably ever seen in my life. I could go on and on about how some of the rock. Oh yeah.
Craig: But this place like it’s, it seems like mostly mannequins, but he also talks about wax Fe years and he talks about how his brother.
Had been super, super talented at making these wax figures and they do stuff like they, he can flip switches and like, they’ll move. And like he’s got the Davy Crockett, one that like raises its rifle and fires and startles all of them. And he’s like, Oh yeah, that’s always a popular one with the kids or whatever.
And it’s not particularly impressive. Really. Like it mostly just looks like mannequins, but yeah, there’s, I don’t know. It’s kitschy fun, kind of
Todd: fun. I mean it, again, it’s this sort of thing that appeals to people in a different time and back when that was, you know, well, we didn’t have high-tech animatronics.
This kind of thing was kind of cute. I love how he goes in and he’s got like a Dr. Pepper vending machine and he just opens it up. Like you’re going to change the stuff out and pulls the beers.
It’s so funny. You know, actually he goes back into talking about his brother-in-law a little bit more talks about himself. You know, that how he was men went into the Navy and got kicked out of there. And then he got kicked out of jail and he got kicked out about anything else in his life. And he and his wife just settled down and did this thing.
And his brother is really talented making these wax figures and all that. Um, and he’s still around. He’s just kind of what he says.
Craig: He says as he’s off in the big city, Oh, he’s off in the big city making his living doing this. So supposedly he’s not around. Well, so then Slawson leaves the girls and goes with Jerry to fix.
The Jeep and he warns the girls not to wander outside, but this is after they’ve already noticed that there’s that house out there. So as soon as they leave, Eileen’s like, you know what, screw that. I’m going to go up to the house and see if there’s a phone. And she goes over there and she hears. A man talking and she finds all these rooms filled with mannequins and dummies, and she starts hearing somebody whispering her name and she’s looking around and this creepy figure, it’s a big person.
So I immediately thought it was a. Man, this creepy guy in this really creepy mask shows up. I don’t even know how really to describe the mask because it’s not, I don’t want to say Phantom of the opera because it’s not like that. But similar. I mean, it covers his whole face, but it’s like two pieces.
There’s like a face plate and then like a chin plate so that he can still. Talk and his mouth moves, but it’s
Todd: very creepy. It’s very evocative of those wooden ventriloquist dummies, right? Where like, like the jaw itself, but just below the mouth kind of opens up and goes back and forth. Whereas everything else, like the cheeks down to the, to the jaw line are stationary.
Right. I thought it was kind of nice actually, that, that mask then, um, is evoked in the mannequins around the house because all these mannequins, they don’t look like. I mean, I think they’re supposed to, but not many of them look like finely detailed wax figures that look almost real. They mostly just look like, like department store mannequins, but then later on their jaw detaches, like the same way and their mouths open up in this very unnatural way, which is super creepy.
I mean, I think that could give you
Craig: nightmares. It could, but that’s one of the things that I really like about this movie is that for the most. Part, they just look like mannequins, but oftentimes you see a lot of them at the same time. Like you’re looking down a hallway or something and like they’re lining the hallway and most of them just look like mannequins, but I thought that it was really cool filmmaking that every once in a while they would clearly stick.
So, so some of them of them are strikingly lifelike because they are real people. And that, that only increases like in frequency as you move throughout, but it’s jarring to kind of scan these mannequins and just kind of notice. Wait a second. That’s a
Todd: person it’s funny that you call it cool filmmaking instead of cheap filmmaking.
Yeah, but it is
Craig: cheap, but it has an excellent impact. I thought, I thought it was really creepy.
Todd: It’s true. Especially because you still really are not sure what’s going on because you’ve seen all this mechanical stuff, but then we seen this like supernatural stuff and you don’t really know what it’s all about.
And. They play with that a little bit in this movie, I think. And whether it’s intentional or it’s just, you know, low budget that kind of happens to work for the movie. You’re right. It’s like seeing what may be humans in there, because this is always in the back of your mind, right? I mean, who hasn’t seen?
Well, maybe many people haven’t seen like the original house of wax with Vincent Price, but it’s, you’re always wondering, okay, well, people are going to die. They’re all these mannequins. Maybe they’re actually people, you know, maybe they’re actually people covered up and then. As she walks into here, the eyes of these dummies are following her.
They’re turning and looking at her. They look really good. Could they be people, but just the eyes are able to move, you know? Um, it’s, it’s really unsettling to see this happening. I mean, it’s derivative and it’s kind of. Classic haunted house type stuff, but it works, I think, in, in this setting. So this guy enters in you’re right.
He’s got this mask and he’s running around breaking things. And then like, again, the supernatural it’s like he’s looking in different directions and it’s causing dummies to, to fall off the wall on her, or, you know, look at her. Uh, and the chair. Just shoot right up to her, which she flops down in and it spins around.
And I think at this point I was like, okay, there must we’re we’re saying that he’s telekinetic. This was the moment where I realized, all right, then he must be telekinetic. And so at least. Some of what’s going on here. Isn’t supernatural at all. He’s just controlling it, but would he be controlling the individual eyes of all these dummies?
Just for fun. That was still kind of going through my mind. Like maybe there’s still more to these dummies in that. And so it just added to this hodgepodge feel of the movie, you
Craig: know, it kind of explains it later. So I feel like maybe I should hold off on talking about it, but, but I lean gets. Apparently strangled by her own scarf, no hands pulling it.
Just, you see it being tightened around her neck, then the other girls Marvel at a mannequin and. The place where they are that little chop and they touch it. And they say that it feels like real flesh, which I thought would pan out to be something, but they never really addressed that. And then Slawson comes back and says that Jerry took the truck to town super suspicious, super suspicious.
And he talks about that mannequin that they’re looking at. And he says that it was. His wife and that she had died of cancer and he loved her so much. And so he made this
Todd: figure of her or whatever, a good cook, a good worker, a good everything. Just like a woman. Shouldn’t be it’s
Craig: creepy. Like he’s got her, like it’s, it’s creepy.
Uh, he’s got her on display. In, I don’t like, it looks like a doll box, almost like an open front and all around. Yeah. It’s kind of, I don’t know. You know,
Todd: they’re like, Oh, she looked beautiful and he says she is beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. What does he mean? Right? Is that, is she in there somewhere or is she somewhere else?
You know, it’s, it’s, it’s weird
Craig: notices that Eileen has gone and they say she went outside. So he goes out looking for, and he goes to the house and this part is weird. Because he in the house, he’s like, Davey, are you there? Davey, Davey? Like, he’s looking for somebody as it turns out, we find out that there is no Davey.
He is Davey. He’s both. But this suggests to me that there is some disassociation, maybe he really believes that they are two different people. It’s odd, but he finds Eileen and like she’s been turned into a mannequin. Weird
Todd: creepy. That was weird. I wasn’t sure how to parse that.
Craig: I mean, it makes no sense logically, but I think that it’s kind of explained in the end, he’s got these telekinetic powers.
We, again, we just don’t know what the. Extent or limits of his powers are because he can do some weird shit, but I feel like that’s jumping the gun. Okay. The whole
Craig: Well, but Becky and. Yeah. And, and they want to, they decide they want to go look for Eileen too, because Slawson
Todd: hasn’t come back. They leave and they go down to the house and they hear Eileen’s laugh from inside.
And they’re like, Oh, okay. Eileen is in there with Woody. So even though Molly is really, really reluctant to go in, uh, Becky just goes up and decides to climb the trellis on the outside because there’s a light on it. Stairs, I guess she decides that’s better than trying the front door and Molly who I thought in like three triple takes, uh, starts to walk to the woods.
Turns around, looks back, walks through the woods, turns around and looks back, walks through the woods, turns around, looks back. Um, and finally decides now she’s not gonna, she’s not gonna go. And I think she actually goes back. Doesn’t she to the, yeah, she does the museum. While Becky goes inside now. I don’t know about you, but I felt like the movie was very dark, like visually dark.
Sometimes it was kind of hard to see, and it was, it was very stylistically lit, but at times I just couldn’t even see exactly what was going on and I’m not even sure that was helpful, but yeah, he, she goes in there and just like the others, she hears somebody whispering her name and it’s just, she’s surrounded by a room full of ma mannequins.
And she goes to that chair. Um, there’s this mannequin there with the scarf tied around its neck. She turns around the chair or looks, it looks at the other side and it looks like again, sort of like Eileen, but it’s got that mask thing on and it reaches up and scares her. Now was that him? Or was that? No.
Craig: No, because he sh no, it wasn’t. He, because he shows up behind him and eventually he kind of jumps, well, she sees Eileen, but then she also sees. Him in a seat. And he, she spins him around and he does jump up at her. Um, but she, she runs away and the door slams on its own. And then she’s struggling with the door.
But when she opens it, tons of mannequins, like fall on her and she’s all bruised up. And the creepy guy. Who the production people ended up calling plaster face as a play on Leatherface, which is pretty funny. She hits him with a mannequin arm and like, she hits him and he’s out for a second. But then this I, this is the weirdest part of the movie I was telling Alan about this last night.
I’m like, then the mannequins all look at them. Her and open their mouths and sing. And they do this several times throughout the movie. And increasingly more as the movie goes on, like a mannequin will turn its head. Its jaw will fall open. Okay. Uh, And they’re like Harvard icing with each other
and it is really super weird, like weird .
Todd: It’s strange, you know, and this is where the movie diverge is a little bit for me, as far as like, it, it’s no longer creepy. It’s just weird after you see enough of these mannequins and their mouths opening and this thing, it’s, it’s almost like a little bit too much for me anyway.
And that’s when I was like, okay, I’ve just more puzzled than anything at what is going on. And. Who’s moving these as he still moving them. Is there still something to them that I don’t know, but, um, they’re kind of piling on her and like literally piling on her, like just sort of falling on it, I guess, while he’s kind of knocked out, he must still be controlling them, but he
Craig: supposedly out.
But this is where, like the movie kind of hits it’s I don’t want to say hits its stride because it’s been fine, but this is where things just kind of go off the wall. Yeah, really. We see the creepy mask face guy carry Becky down into the basement where Jerry is tied up to a post. And there’s a girl that we don’t know, tied to a table.
And at this point, mass guy starts talking right. Eddie jocks had this really weird voice.
Todd: You know what, you know what it reminds me of, it reminded me of new year’s evil. You remember that one
So like he talks to this girl on the table who we don’t know. And he’s like your show pretty. Why don’t you like me? So weird. And the girl after he goes upstairs, the girl’s like, he’s crazy. We’re all going to die. He’s going to kill us. He, I was just getting gas and he grabbed me. I never even saw him coming.
And like the creepy guy gets himself all made up in a top hat and a Cape and gloves and stuff. And he comes back with booze and he’s like, I’m going to have him piety. And he straps her head down. He starts plastering her face, but he narrates. It’s not a whole thing like yours, the plastic
You’re won’t be able to breathe.
And then finally, like he covers up her mouth and nose and she dies. And he says, now you’re one of us, but Jerry chewing
Todd: through his ropes, literally like a cartoon
Craig: character let’s get out
Todd: and he attacks him. Let me just say like, This is very, um, kind of Phantom of the opera kind of abominable Dr. Phibes vibe and the music here.
The music is like a score from another era.
Craig: It’s so bizarre. Because it’s so bizarre. I really like it.
Todd: I mean, of course this movies from another era, but I mean, another era from this movie, like this score felt like it fit in oftentimes more with like, 1950s, Vincent Price movies, this overlap
Craig: babes in Toyland or,
Todd: yeah, it’s weird. The gamut, like even in the earlier part of the movie, it’s, it’s kind of bouncy and groovy.
It was scored actually by a man named Pino Dinaija, which they had to convince to do because he had scored Carrie a couple years before this and he did Parana. Uh, he went on to do like dressed, to kill the howling a ton. I mean, this guy’s huge in the S you know, as far as scoring scored Hercules body double a lot of horror movies, a lot of Italian films, some jello picks a couple that we’ve already seen all the way up through the eighties and nineties.
Thousands. He’s still scoring movies now. And they producers of the film or the, I think the director of the film was ultimately kind of disappointed. They really wanted more of a synth type score, you know, like John Carpenter kind of Halloween type score, and they got this kind of minimalist or Kestrel kind of score that when you hear it, especially in moments like this, Oh, it’s totally Kerry.
You know, it’s like the fury it’s like Carey. Well, of course he scored some Brian DePalma’s movies. It sounds so much like that. And it sometimes just feels a little out of place with, what’s supposed to be, you’re thinking a grittier, late seventies, early eighties, freaky, Texas chainsaw massacre kind of movie, but it never really reaches that level.
And part of that I think has Gore. I
Craig: liked C I liked the score just because it was so bizarre that it had almost like a jarring thing. In fact, like it caused unease. Like it made me uneasy just because it was so weird and strange. I don’t know. I meant to say something about it at the very beginning, because at the very beginning, it’s almost like clock work or machine work, like cliquey, clanky kind of stuff.
Todd: Yeah. Bouncy and kind of groovy too. I mean, you know, it’s really weird. Yeah. But you’re right. So, so that was so corny though. You know, I’m going to put this on your face, but it’s not going to kill you, even though I’m covering your nose and mouth what’s going to happen is your heart is going to beat so fast.
It’s going to explode and you’re going to die from fright. Like really? Maybe it just has telekinetic powers made that happen. Cause I don’t think that’s actually a medical. Medically reliable way to kill somebody. You know what I mean? But
Craig: yeah. And I mean, he literally, he’s just putting pizza though. Yeah.
Literally. That’s what it is. Yeah. Okay. But it’s just so strange. Like he’s so odd that it worked for me, like. I thought that it was very creepy. The next, I feel like 10, 15 minutes is a lot of him just chasing people
Todd: around. It’s important to note though, that when, after his fight with Jerry, he like fricking lifts Jerry up the wall.
Like he’s a superhuman.
Craig: People can do that in movies.
Todd: Yeah, they do that all the time, but then he, again, like Jerry’s bound up again and he’s sitting at the table and he goes on to a lot, a long diatribe again about his brother. And he’s just talking about, you know, Oh yeah. His brother thinks he’s more handsome than me.
He makes me wear this mask on my face because I’m actually more handsome than him. And I hate my brother and I want to kill my brother. And it goes on like that. And I’m thinking, could the movie be that simple, that. Yeah, this is just his crazy brother, Davey. I, I that’s, that’s kinda what I was thinking was happening here.
And I was like, okay, he’s got this telekinetic brother.
Craig: It’s where that comes in because he drops a key and Jerry sees it and he tries to retrieve it. But the mask face guy sees and moves it with his mind. And then he explains, I have this power and my brother doesn’t like me to use it. And he goes on to say, But it feels good when I use it, he says, but it also scares me because sometimes I don’t even know what I’m doing.
So like he does it it’s as though he doesn’t even have full control of it, which I think explains why some of the times where it appears, where he’s out, he continues to still have this. Influence. Like he doesn’t even under, he doesn’t even understand it. He can seemingly do just about anything, but again, lots of running around, running through the forest, he chases Molly through a forest.
She jumps over a fence. He has a mannequin head. That talks. And he keeps saying like, meet my friend. Korozzin at her. It’s so weird. Yeah.
Todd: It’s just a point at which she gets picked up by Slawson. Like Slawson just suddenly pops up. It was like, what are you doing here? Oh my gosh, we’ve got to get you to safety.
And, and he, you know, picks her up in his truck and he drives her back and she says, Oh, I’ve been chased by this guy who was wearing a mask. And he goes, Oh my God, that’s my brother.
Craig: He goes on a whole thing. Like, Oh, he always wanted to be like me. He always wanted everything I had in college. The opposite.
Todd: It’s just a parallel dialogue we heard before. Yeah. And it’s too much really. I mean, it’s just too much explanation through dialogue with these things. Anyway, you know, uh, he takes her back to the, um, the museum. And even though she’s never shot a gun before in her life, Just hands or a rifle and says, now you stand out here while I go inside.
And if he comes, you know, you shoot him and she’s like, well, I’ve never shot anything. He’s like, Oh, you just aim it and pull the trigger. Well, it is a shotgun actually. So I guess that’s maybe all you need to know. If you don’t care about kickback, I
Craig: was just, yeah, like if it’s like a 22, that’d be fine.
Todd: But then he shows up the mass
Todd: creepy guy immediately shows up and starts walking towards her and she shoots him twice.
At point blank range and each time he just kind of stands up and comes towards her more. So she whacks him in the face with the rifle and the face mask shatters and it’s Slawson. So, uh, you’re like, Oh, okay. And for me, this was actually a bit of a reveal. I mean, Me too. I kind of thought maybe, but I was, you know, it was just one of many little possible explanations, but I was, I was genuinely a bit shocked to see that that was him.
And even for a moment, I thought, well, maybe they’re just twins or something played by the same actor because they play a trick on you. You know, even in the credits, uh, they show a different name, uh, which is just a nonexistent name who plays Davey. But yeah, so, uh, she goes running. She kind of runs away.
She kind of backs into the forest and just sort of absentmindedly backs into a pond and suddenly inexplicably behind her. Like he’s been waiting under the water this whole time. He slowly rises up with this spooky, evil, goofy movie villain grin on his face, wild eyes and grabs her and takes her. I thought
Craig: it makes no sense, but it looks really cool.
Like it looks very creepy. Yeah. When he comes up out of the water behind her and she’s totally oblivious, totally creepy. Anyway, they all end up back at the place. And like now he, we know he’s both people. And so now he’s totally weird and he’s like putting on different masks and playing with dolls and the mannequins it’s, he interacts with them.
Like he has dinner with one of them and it. Talks to him. And he puts food in its mouth and then its head falls off. So like it’s bizarre. Like he can completely animate these things. And Jerry and Becky are running around and Becky ends up getting killed. One of those shooting mannequins. Shoots or, or no throws a knife in the back of her head that he has Molly and Molly wakes up like a fever dream.
And she sees some woman like taking care of her. Ultimately it ends up being a mannequin, but it looks like a real person. And I’ve read that. That was the director’s wife. Uh, who played that role and she had lines and he cut them and she never forgave him.
I thought that was hilarious, but it just turns out that it’s just this really surreal thing where he’s controlling all of these mannequins and they can move about and talk and do all kinds of weird things. And it ends up in a showdown where. Jerry, uh, he’s got Molly. Oh. And this part was super creepy.
He’s like, you’re so pretty. And wasn’t my wife pretty, and you remind me of her and he puts a mask of the wife on her face and then tries to kiss her. And it’s so creepy and uncomfortable and she’s crying. Um, but then Jerry shows up and like comes in. It’s like, come on, I’m gonna take you out of here. And Slossen is just standing there.
She’s like, come on, Jerry. And it’s like he can’t move and Slawson walks over him and to him and just takes his arm off. Like he’s a mannequin and then grabs his head, grabs the actor’s head and twists it. And in a cut, obviously it becomes a mannequin and he pulls his head off and throws it down. And then what happens in this part?
It’s like we come to realize, apparently he can make these mannequins turn into people. Yeah. And he can make them do things. And I I’ve skipped things because we’re nearing the end of our time. And like, there’s a great part where Becky and Jerry pretend to be mannequins and kind of fool him. And this is where it gets really creepy, where you really can’t tell which ones are people in, which ones are mannequins and, and I’ll never let.
This kind of cameo go Linnea. Quigley is a uncredited mannequin in this movie. Um, and she’s my girl. So I’ll, I’ll always, yeah, I got her out so bizarre and like he picks up one of the mannequins, a lady mannequin, and he starts dancing with it. And like in various cuts, it’s a mannequin. And then it’s a real woman and all of the mannequins are like laughing at, uh, Molly and eventually.
She grabs an ax and, uh, axes Slawson in the neck, and then he dies and all of the activity. And, but, and then it just closes up on her face and she screams. And the last shot of the movie is her driving away in the Jeep with all of her friends, but their mannequins don’t love that, that last shot of the movie as grainy as it is.
Might be my favorite because she’s got this big smile on her face. It’s almost like she’s just mad. Mm.
I rushed through it. That last part, like Slawson talks about how he had killed his brother and his wife, because he had found them cheating and blah-blah-blah, but, and then he’s also like, but I didn’t really want to kill them. Like they try to make him like, he’s crazy, but kind of sympathetic. But not then, whatever, but you know, ultimately in the end I thought.
It was a creepy movie. It was death. I found it very creepy, all of the mannequins doing their, uh, and like turning their heads and their jaws dropping and moving about. And then ultimately like turning into animated people. Um, it was very creepy though. The whole plot point of. This masked killer, also having these unexplainable telekinetic powers, like you said, it is a hodgepodge of so many things, Texas chainsaw, massacre, psycho carry all of these things.
But in being that hodgepodge, it’s, it’s unique and it’s unlike anything else I’ve seen in some ways. Um, and though I don’t think it’s a great movie. I don’t think the production value is great. The acting is fine, nothing amazing. Um, but I think it’s just a, uh, an interesting Jim of, uh, a horror movie. And for, for real horror fans, I would say, Oh yeah, Y,
Todd: you know, it is a hodgepodge, like you said, there’s nothing you’ve ever seen.
Like it yet. There’s so many things you’ve already seen, like it, but it like, like we said earlier, it just, the, the, the whole is the sum of its parts is just, uh, utterly bizarre. And it feels like a movie that I would have seen on a Saturday afternoon after cartoons on TV. Um, it just has that feel I really late night.
Yeah. I wouldn’t say it ever really scared me too much, but you know, it was creepy. And I suppose, yeah, if I was younger and I’d watch it or less experienced with horror movies, it would have provided some nightmare fuel. Yeah. Ultimately, I mean, yeah. I think again, if you’re a whore fan or a fan of Tanya Roberts or Chuck Connors or any of these people yeah.
You know, watch it, but I wouldn’t say put it high on your list unless you’re just into this kind of thing. Things kind of weirdo, psycho killer kind of movies. That’s not going to be gross or gory it’s, it’s very PG and it’s also the seeds, right? A future Charles band productions. This movie became a cult hit, uh, at, for a while.
And, uh, probably has influenced, you know, puppet, master dolls, demonic toys, you know, those. Themes that he keeps revisiting and continues to milk, you know? And so, uh, th this idea had legs and he’s explored these in different forms forms. I think even with the same director, right. Uh, he did a lot of the puppet master movies, and I think wrote, wrote one of them, if not the first one.
So. Yeah, very, very interesting film and a nice tribute to Tanya Roberts. She’s she’s in a lot of this movie. She’s a perfectly fine actress. May she rest in peace? Yeah. Yeah. May she rest in peace? I was really disappointed to hear that those electric blue eyes of hers are. Basically just contacts and she wore those pretty much her whole career,
Craig: whatever she looks good,
Todd: no big deal.
Right. Do what you gotta do. Thank you again for listening to another episode. If you enjoyed it, please share it with a friend. You can find us online to guys. I read 40 net.com. You can also just search for two guys and a chainsaw on Facebook. We have a Twitter account as well. Let us know what you thought of this film to give us some other suggestions of movies.
And until next time I’m Todd and I’m Craig with Two Guys and a Chainsaw.
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