Welcome To Tobe Hooper’s House Of Fun

Welcome To Tobe Hooper’s House Of Fun

Static Mass Rating: 3/5
Arrow Video

Release date: July 18th, 2011
Certificate (UK): 15
Running time: 92 minutes
Year of production: 1981

Director: Tobe Hooper

Cast: Elizabeth Berridge, Shawn Carlson, Cooper Huckabee, Largo Woodruff, Miles Chapin, William Finley, Kevin Conway, Sylvia Miles

As a kid I was always too scared to go into the Funhouse. It just never seemed like the kind of place you would come out of alive.

A macabre obstacle course where zombies, monsters and ghouls leaped out at you and an assortment of axes, spears and chainsaws dangled dangerously close to your head… No, it just never seemed like the kind of place for kids to spend any amount of time in, far more the entire night.

The Funhouse

And this is exactly where Tobe Hooper’s 1981 slasher movies takes its cues from. It’s intro inspired by Psycho (1960) and Halloween (1978), it goes on to tell the story of a group of friends, Amy, Liz, Buzz and Richie, who foolishly decide to spend the night in the Funhouse.

Their night of course turns into a nightmare when they witness the murder of fortune teller Madame Zena (Miles) at the hands of a hideously deformed creature called Gunther. When it catches sight of them, one by one they fall victims of the sinister Funhouse and the eponymous ‘final girl’ is left with nothing but her wits to battle it out not only with the monster but also its father.


  • Audio Commentaries
  • Trailer
  • Carnage at the Carnival
  • Miles of Mayhem
  • The Makeup Madness of Craig Reardon
  • Masterclass of Horror
  • Tobe Hooper Q&A
  • Stills Gallery

The Funhouse, once it gets past its unoriginal intro, is a colourful and amusing piece of vintage slasher entertainment. It leaves you with questions about Gunther’s origins, especially when we see some of the other half-bred mutant creatures on show at the fair, although some might say it’s a typical and gross misrepresentation of the life of the average carny.

Actual Funhouses began appearing in the 1900’s, first at Coney Island in New York and though they were very popular they were eventually replaced by walk-throughs as opposed to the traditional ride-throughs. Extensive electrical wiring and wooden frames meant they were prone to fires.

The Funhouse

With its tense atmosphere right from the start and cast of strange and uniquely bizarre characters, The Funhouse has the stamp of director Tobe Hooper all over it. There are moments where it’s also reminiscent of The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974), particularly towards the film’s climax, but by and large it’s very enjoyable and probably more so than some of the real Funhouses I’ve been too!

About Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is a composer and music producer with a philosophy degree. Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and World Cinema, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.