Search DVDBeaver

S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

directed by David Schmoeller
USA 1979

Five youngsters on a road trip in the backroads of Texas (actually Griffith Park in Southern California) breakdown near Slausen's Desert Oasis - well six, but we learn quickly what becomes of Woody (Keith McDermott) when he wanders in search of a gas station - where kindly Mr. Slausen (Chuck Connors, TV's THE RIFLEMAN) extends the girls - too-curious Eileen (Robin Sherwood, BLOW OUT), slinky Becky (Tanya Roberts, THE BEASTMASTER), and obvious fragile final girl Molly (Jocelyn Jones, THE ENFORCER) - the hospitality of his closed down wax museum (with strangely lifelike figures) while Jerry (Jon Van Ness, THE HITCHER) goes into town to find a mechanic. Slausen warns them not to go out at night or explore the nearby creepy house but one by one they wander over where they run into Slausen's mannequin-making, telekinetically-gifted, somewhat unhinged masked brother Davy and his creepy mannequins.

One of the creepier PG-rated horror films of the seventies, this early Charles Band pre-Empire Pictures/Full Moon production TOURIST TRAP was in good company when it was picked up theatrically by Compass International, the distributor that previously released John Carpenter's HALLOWEEN (and would later put out the creepy HELL NIGHT). It is also well-remembered by diehard horror fans from the early days of video (it's creepy poster art stood out from the garish borders of Media Home Entertainment's 1984 VHS tape). TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE art director Bob Burns' contributions extended to the design and animation of Davy's mannequins. Pino Donaggio's orchestral score (complete with a "love theme") and Nicholas Von Sternberg's color-gelled cinematography elevate the film above the usual seventies grindhouse chiller, but the unpredictability of director David Schmoeller's script and Jones' escalating freak-outs prevents it from being just a glossier
TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE (which was virtually gore-free despite its R-rating).

The plot of Dark Castle Films' remake of HOUSE OF WAX actually seems to be largely lifted from TOURIST TRAP than the 1953 Vincent Price film or MYSTERY OF THE WAX MUSEUM.

Eric Cotenas

Posters

Theatrical Release: 16 March 1979 (USA)

Reviews                                                      More Reviews                                                DVD Reviews

Comparison:

Cult Video - Region 0 - NTSC vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL vs. 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for all the DVD Screen Caps!

1) Cult Video - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT

2) 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray RIGHT

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

Coming out on Blu-ray in the US via Full Moon Features in a May 2014:

Distribution

Cult Video

Region 0 - NTSC

88 Films
Region 0 - PAL
88 Films
Region FREE -
Blu-ray
Runtime 1:29:54 1:26:18 (4% PAL speedup) 1:25:02.764
Video

1.74:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 4.91 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1.79:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 7.9 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,085,765,319 bytes

Feature: 20,766,590,976 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.91 Mbps

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

 

Cult Video

 

Bitrate:

 

88 Films

 

Bitrate:

 

88 Films Blu-ray

 

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono

DTS-HD Master Audio English 3255 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3255 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio English 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
Commentary: Dolby Digital Audio English 320 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 320 kbps
Subtitles None None None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Cult Video

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.74:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director David Schmoeller
• Theatrical Trailer (4:3; 1:54)
• Interview with David Schmoeller (4:3; 6:54)
• Trailers for ASSAULT OF THE KILLER BIMBOS, SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, SLAVE GIRLS
• FROM BEYOND INFINITY, CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH, PARASITE, and PETTICOAT PLANET
• Full Moon Merchandise
• Cast/Crew Biographies
• Website Link
• Disc Credits

DVD Release Date: 28 July 1998
Amaray

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 1.79:1

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director David Schmoeller
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:54)
• Interview with David Schmoeller (4:3; 6:54)
• Trailers for SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA, PUPPET MASTER, EVIL BONG 2: KING BONG,
• GINGERDEAD MAN 2: THE PASSION OF THE CRUST, CASTLE FREAK, KILLER EYE: HALLOWEEN HAUNT, THE PIT AND
• THE PENDULUM, SKULL HEADS, MERIDIAN, and CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH

 

DVD Release Date: 30 April 2012
Blue Amaray

Chapters 24

Release Information:
Studio: 88 Films

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

1080P Single-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 24,085,765,319 bytes

Feature: 20,766,590,976 bytes

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

Total Video Bitrate: 24.91 Mbps

 

Edition Details:
• Audio Commentary by director David Schmoeller
• Theatrical Trailer (16:9; 1:54)
• Interview with David Schmoeller (4:3; 6:54)

 

Blu-ray Release Date: April 21st, 2014
Standard Blu-ray Box

Chapters 24

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray - April 14': The new HD transfer is a significant leap beyond the older DVDs. Colors improve to be more realistic (note flesh tones), grain textures become more prevalent and there is some differences in framing. The Blu-ray adds information on the sides of the frame but loses a bit to the top and bottom. There may be a tinge of teal-leaning but this pales in relation to the striking improvement over SD. Contrast is superior in the 1080P and certain scenes even exhibit depth. While still not a dynamic example of the format - this has dramatically advanced. It is only single-layered but as a decent bitrate.

Audio is given the option for a very healthy DTS-HD Master 5.1 surround bump at 3255 kbps or a linear PCM stereo at 2304 kbps. I opted for the surround and while there weren't a ton of crisp separations there was some impressive depth. Effects seem to have benefitted from the lossless as did the score by Pino Donaggio (Don't Look Now, Dressed to Kill, The Howling, Crawlspace). There are no subtitles but the disc is region FREE.

Extras mimic the previous digital editions (see comments below) with the audio commentary by director David Schmoeller and 7-minute interview as well as a trailer.

NOTE: We are still investigating why the running time is shorter than the NTSC DVD. Stay tuned!

This is a solid horror - even praised by the author in Stephen King's book Danse Macabre, noting the scary opening scene. I enjoyed it - although a bit of a come-down for Chuck Connors and an 'interesting' early performance from Tanya Roberts. It has some appreciated 'polish' tucked into the grassroots milieu. Genre fans will applaud the new a/v. In a sea of weak efforts - this stands-out as more professional. Recommended to those keen. 

***

ON THE DVDs (2012): 88 Films' dual-layer, progressive, anamorphic transfer appears to utilize the same master as Cult Video's still in-print "20th Anniversary" edition, or at least the same print source since Cult's transfer dates back from 1998 and was likely not in high definition (the 88 Films is NOT a NTSC-PAL transfer). Framing and color timing are identical, and the Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack is of similar quality.

The extras have been ported over from the American edition, including an audio commentary by director David Schmoeller (who has interesting things to say about working with art director Robert Burns and actors Chuck Connors and Jocelyn Jones). Unlike the Cult Video disc, the trailer is in 16:9 on the British disc. Both discs have different trailers (with the exception of SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA and CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH). 88 Films' "Trailer Park" features trailers for their next two releases: MERIDIAN/PHANTOMS and CASTLE FREAK.

 - Eric Cotenas

 


Menus
(
Cult Video - Region 0 - NTSC - LEFT vs. 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - RIGHT)
 

 

 

 

88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray

 

 


 CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

Screen Captures

 

1) Cult Video - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cult Video - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cult Video - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cult Video - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cult Video - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cult Video - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) Cult Video - Region 0 - NTSC - TOP

2) 88 Films - Region 0 - PAL - MIDDLE

3) 88 Films - Region FREE - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 

More Blu-ray Captures

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

Report Card:

 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras:

Blu-ray

 

Box Covers

 

 

 

Coming out on Blu-ray in the US via Full Moon Features in a May 2014:

Distribution

Cult Video

Region 0 - NTSC

88 Films
Region 0 - PAL
88 Films
Region FREE -
Blu-ray


 




Search DVDBeaver
S E A R C H    D V D B e a v e r

 

Hit Counter

 

DONATIONS Keep DVDBeaver alive:

CLICK PayPal logo to donate!

Gary Tooze

Thank You!