The Funhouse Massacre (2015)
Director: Andy Palmer
Starring: Jere Burns, Scottie Thompson, Clint Howard, Courtney Gains & Robert Englund
Released by: Scream Factory
Reviewed by Mike Kenny
Set on Halloween night, The Funhouse Massacre centers on a group of the most heinous serial killers in the country as they escape from their secluded asylum. Descending upon a funhouse attraction themed to their very own murderous exploits, the homicidal lunatics continue their reign of terror on the unsuspecting guests. In a last ditch effort to save their own lives, a group of college students, a bumbling deputy and a tough sheriff must band together to stop the crazed murderers. Genre icons Clint Howard (Evilspeak), Courtney Gains (Children of the Corn) and Robert England (A Nightmare on Elm Street) comprise the film’s impressive supporting cast.
Incapable of taking itself seriously much to the enjoyment of viewers, The Funhouse Massacre uses its over the top violence and familiar faces from the genre to lure viewers into its modern splatterfest of mayhem. Shortly after breaking out of Statesville Asylum, an insane troop of serial murderers, led by Mental Manny (Jere Burns, Angie Tribeca), target a local horror-themed funhouse to kickstart their old habits. Joined by a monstrously strong clown, an eerie doll-like vixen with a talent for knives, a bulbous cannibal, a demented dentist and a twisted taxidermist, a racially diverse group of college pals find themselves caught in the crosshairs of the Halloween killings. Hilariously poking fun at the stereotypical roles in the film, The Funhouse Massacre makes light of the sole Hispanic character and his desire to emulate Danny Trejo’s Machete in a shtick that runs through the film’s bloodier moments. While the fresh-faced talent carry the film well with a fine handling of its comedy, the film’s boasting of fan favorite horror stars falls short with only Robert Englund’s brief performance as the asylum’s warden being of worthy mention while, Clint Howard and Courtney Gains are reduced to little more than glorified cameos. Earning itself the award for Best Special Effects (and Best Film) at Horrorhound Weekend Convention’s Film Festival, The Funhouse Massacre’s practical approach to its gory carnage of decapitated heads, knife slashes and body puncturing bullet shots is easily the indie efforts strongest attribute that purists will revel in. Although not wildly original, The Funhouse Massacre is a decent horror-comedy that delivers several solid laughs and even more impressive effects work that warrants a watch.
Scream Factory presents The Funhouse Massacre with a 1080p transfer, sporting a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Relaying nicely balanced colors and strong black levels, this modern feature looks as good as can be expected. Joined by a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix, dialogue is generally strong with only Robert Englund’s descriptions of each inmate occasionally being drowned out by music effects. Otherwise crisply captured with wailing screams and ammunition blasts making the most prominent marks on the track, sound quality is efficient. In addition, an optional DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix has also been included for your listening pleasure. Meanwhile, special features include, an Audio Commentary with Director Andy Palmer, Producer Warner Davis and Actors Clint Howard & Courtney Gains, Production Diaries (5:35), A Day on the Set (3:15), Popcorn Talk’s Video Commentary with Director Andy Palmer and Co-Writers/Co-Stars Ben Begley and Renne Dorian (1:33:34) (exclusive to Blu-ray). Finally, the Theatrical Trailer (2:20) and a Reversible Cover Art conclude the disc’s bonus content.
Treading the familiar territory of a funhouse centered murder show, The Funhouse Massacre never dares to be too different yet, satisfies audiences with its handling of laughs and bloodshed. Although its final product may only be of mediocre quality, there’s no denying the exceedingly well-crafted special effects that brings the film’s gorier moments to life. Furthermore, Scream Factory’s presentation serves the film solidly with several helpings of special features for homicidal carnies in training to cut into.