Movie Review: THE FUNHOUSE MASSACRE (2015)

“Six of the world’s scariest psychopaths escape from a local Asylum and proceed to unleash terror on the unsuspecting crowd of a Halloween Funhouse whose themed mazes are inspired by their various reigns of terror.” 

I remember the conversation as if it were yesterday.  My mentor and good friend, Amy Humphries, approached me about a new film that was coming out called “The Funhouse Massacre” from director Andy Palmer.  She excitedly told me about the premise and that she knew, without a doubt, that I would love it.  “You must watch it,” Amy said, “Just stop doing everything, sit down, and watch it.”  As a reviewer, I am constantly being asked to watch movies, but knowing Amy and knowing she had an eye for amazing films from incredible directors, I took her word and sat down and watched “The Funhouse Massacre.”

Sometimes, not often enough, but sometimes life gives you a film that puts a smile right on your face.  This is what Andy Palmer’s “The Funhouse Massacre” did for me.  Five minutes into the film I was hooked and grinning from ear to ear.  As someone who is part of the haunt community, I’ve always been interested in the urban legend of a person(s) committing murders within a haunted attraction and the spectators thinking it’s part of the show.  Andy hit the nail on the head when encapsulating this part of the story within the film.  It was chilling and horrifying yet humorous and colorful (though that may have been due to the gore).  However, before I continue on with my review of this gem, let’s all give a round of applause to the incredibly talented actors that were part of this movie.

The film opens with one of the most well-known (and well-loved) horror actors of our time, Robert Englund, as the warden of a prison for the criminally insane. Though he’s not on screen long, he is an integral part of the story and when things go south, like they do, the prisoners are released and left to wreak havoc.  The mastermind behind this escape is known as Mental Manny (Jere Burns) and he resembles a cool, calm and collected cult leader – almost a Jim Jones character.  Mental Manny is joined by his equally sinister comrades – the Taxidermist (Clint Howard), Rocco the Clown (Mars Crain), Dollface (Candice De Visser), Animal the Cannibal (E.E. Bell) and Dr. Suave (Sebastian Siegel).  It’s quite apparent as to what most of their crimes are by their suggestive nicknames.  All the acting in the film was solid and as the film continued on I became more and more invested in the characters – however, I was more invested in the killers then the victims.  I loved the backstory and I loved how each of these villains played off of each other.  I’m also not going to lie, I’m a huge fan of Jere Burns and he absolutely killed it in this film.

Upon release from the mental facility, this assembly of insane head over to a haunted house where shit ends up hitting the fan.  All the gory entertainment centers around this funhouse with flailing body parts, slit throats, and buckets and buckets of blood.  In the beginning the crowds of people attending the haunt think this is part of the experience but come to realize, a little too late, that they are being picked off by complete psychopaths.  What makes this film so great is that it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  It’s over the top, especially with the gore, but it’s fun if not slightly a bit disturbing.  It’s an homage to great horror films of the past that are able to combine tension, horror, and humor in a way that is seldom seen.  It’s clear that Andy and his team were extremely passionate with what they were creating and you can see the love of the horror genre all throughout their film.

Overall, this is up there as one of my favorite films of 2016.  Even if you aren’t a huge horror fan, I would still recommend checking out “The Funhouse Massacre” because it’s entertaining and who cares if the main people happen to be psychotic criminals.  In all seriousness, I urge you to give this film a watch and to spread the word so we can get more horror films such as this.   For more information on “The Funhouse Massacre” check out their official Facebook page and Twitter at @FunhouseMass.

Shannon McGrew
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