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Film / Tourist Trap

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Tourist Trap is a 1979 American Slasher Movie starring Chuck Connors and Tanya Roberts. It concerns a group of young adults who are stalked and killed by a mannequin-controlling telekinetic.

It was distributed on VHS by Paramount. In 2012, it was given the RiffTrax treatment.

Not to be confused with the Original Character Tournament.

This film contains examples of:

  • Alliterative Title
  • Big Bad: Mr. Slausen is the killer.
  • Dead All Along: Mr. Slausen's brother, whom we have been lead to believe is the killer for most of the film, was actually murdered by Slausen, the true killer.
  • Double-Meaning Title: Referencing the film's kitschy tourist attraction setting and the fact that the tourists are trapped with the killer.
  • Downer Ending: While the killer is taken down, the Final Girl is driven completely insane by the film's events, and drives away with the mannequins of her dead friends.
  • Evil All Along: While he spends the first two-thirds of the film blaming the killings on his brother, seemingly kindly old man Mr. Slausen is the true killer.
  • Final Girl: Molly is the last character standing.
  • Fright Deathtrap: The killer kills one victim by covering her face in mannequin plaster, which makes her unable to breathe as it dries, and waits for her heart to burst from fear.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Molly wouldn't have had access to the ax she uses to kill Mr. Slausen if he didn't sadistically set up an elaborate Hope Spot.
  • Hope Spot: Jerry shows up to rescue Molly after Slausen had trapped her, but Slausen re-appears and begins taking Jerry's limbs apart, revealing Jerry had been replaced with a mannequin earlier in the movie.
  • Human Resources: The killer makes his mannequins by covering his victims' bodies in plaster.
  • Invented Individual: Slausen jokes that Davy Crockett lives in the neighboring house. With The Reveal that Slausen is the killer, it is implied that "Davy" is actually a mannequin.
  • It Works Better with Bullets: When Slausen leaves Molly outside while he looks for the killer, the villain confronts her and she shoots him with a shotgun he left her, which turns out to be loaded with blanks. Immediately after, Slausen reveals that he was the killer all along.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The killer wears a Creepy Doll mask.
  • Market-Based Title: Released theatrically in Britain (as a Double Feature with Phantasm) in 1982 as Nightmare Of Terror.
  • Mind over Matter: The killer has telekinesis as his weapon.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: The killer acts like the mannequins he makes from his victims are a very large family, giving them voices via telepathy.
  • Murderous Mannequin: The killer likes to torment his victims via his mannequins before killing them.
  • My Car Hates Me: Our victim pool are trapped in a Closed Circle by their car breaking down. It's heavily implied that this was telekinetically caused by the killer.
  • The Place: The protagonists call Slausen's Lost Oasis a tourist trap.
  • Red Herring: Early on, Slausen talks about his brother, who apparently had a knack for creating mannequins and working with mechanical objects. Because the death of Woody involved moving mannequins and flying objects, the audience assumes that the brother is responsible and is residing at a nearby house.
  • Replacement Goldfish: After taking down the killer, Final Girl Molly snaps from seeing all her friends killed and is last seen driving down the highway with mannequins of all of them, laughing wildly.
  • Sex Slave: The killer decides to make the Final Girl into one of these and keep her forever.
  • Skinny Dipping: The only Fanservice in the film is one scene where the entire female cast swims naked in a woodland lake.
  • Slashers Prefer Blondes: Played straight with the first onscreen death being a blond guy, but subverted with the blonde Molly who survives while her two brunette friends do not.
  • Trashy Tourist Trap: Played for Horror, as the destination is owned by a serial killing psychic.
  • Villain Opening Scene: The killer tormenting a guy who wanted to use his phone.