Dismissed by some as just another 80s teen slasher, Tobe Hooper's 1981 The Funhouse has over the years established itself as something of modern horror classic. Now, this highly regarded shocker is coming to Blu-ray for the first time in the UK, packed with extras and featuring a stunning, brand new transfer of the film in glorious High Definition.
Reportedly the project that was responsible for Hooper having to turn down directing duties on E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, The Funhouse is that rarest of generic treats – a genuinely fun and creepy horror film. From its inspired opening sequence that pays homage to both Psycho and Halloween in the same breath, to an excellent cast that includes Elizabeth Berridge (Amadeus), Shawn Carson (Something Wicked This Way Comes), Miles Chapin (The People Vs. Larry Flynt) and Wayne Doba (Scarface; Almost Famous; Monkeybone), along with cult favourites William Finley (Phantom Of The Paradise; The Fury; The Black Dahlia) and two-time Oscar nominee Sylvia Miles (Farewell My Lovely; Midnight Cowboy), and special makeup design by six-time Oscar winner Rick Baker (An American Werewolf In London), The Funhouse is is a genuine treat for us devoted horror fans.
A reworking of the 'old dark house' story, the film's premise is simple but effective. After an evening having fun at a travelling carnival, two teenage couples on a double date decide to spend the night hidden inside the funhouse amongst the fake goblins, skeletons and monsters. But the hi-jinks soon turn into a living nightmare when they witness the murder of the carnival's fortune-teller, Madame Zena (Miles) at the hands of the showground barker's freakish son, Gunther (Doba), and find themselves being stalked by a grotesque creature more terrifying than anything the funhouse itself has to offer.
The Funhouse (cert. 15) will be released on Blu-ray by Arrow Video on 18th July 2011 at the RRP of £27.99.
The following special features will be included:
- Audio commentary by SFX wizard Craig Reardon and Jeffrey Reddick (creator of The Final Destination series);
- Audio commentary by producer Derek Power and genre scholar Howard S. Berger;
- Audio commentary by Justin Kerswell (author of Teenage Wasteland and host of the slasher cinema website Hysteria Lives) and author Calum Waddell;
- Carnage At The Carnival – Tobe Hooper remembers The Funhouse;
- Miles Of Mayhem: Acting in Tobe's Funhouse with star Miles Chapin;
- A Trilogy Of Terror: The Make-up Madness of Craig Reardon – the SFX wizard recollects his collaborations with Tobe Hooper on Eaten Alive, Poltergeist and The Funhouse;
- Master Class Of Horror – Mick Garris, the director of Sleepwalkers and The Shining mini-series, reflects on the crimson-covered career of his longtime colleague Tobe Hooper;
- Live Q&A with Tobe Hooper from San Francisco;
- Never before seen behind the scenes photographs from the collection of Craig Reardon;
- Collectors' booklet featuring brand new writing on the film by critic and author Kim Newman;
- Four-panel reversible sleeve options with original and newly commissioned artwork;
- Double-sided fold-out artwork poster.
You can read our review of Arrow's previous DVD release here.