Automatic response after watching the film Tourist Trap (1979)
Yes the broken manikin is the ending, this is a film about endings like all mannequins are in fact over and done with humans (wait, who with whom?) Discarded mentality is what this flurry of axes with makeup, how their lovely mouths flip open with a beautiful OOO like some gorgeous doo-wop band made-up of only dummies. And what a turnover rate, couldn’t help but admire the snakes that live in sacred pool, a glorious snake dance, “water moccasins” you can slip on and off like quality footwear. My snake-dance in Ventnor. GAS AND EATS is all you need. But they laugh so much, and the pressure is on when the “funny” music happens. The chaotic man in the top hat and the Elvis mask, I need to ask, is he a Resident? Into the coast of the mind, there are only inland oases, the long and beautiful woodpanelled dummy museum that screeches with happiness. What a totality, the manikin or homunculus turns out to be when it puts on a mask. I don’t believe in the sanctity of marriage but when it leads to orgies this good I can’t help but wonder if monogamy requires inanimate intermediates. But is it fair, after the ending, to call manikins inanimate? No, they are halting in their animation, fixated, but they have somewhere to be and something to do. I am so pleased she drove off with the manikins of her friends. I wonder if I could keep sangfroid when I get cake mix smeared on my face and then am told its plaster. It’s worth dying for certain aesthetic variations on the orgasm. It’s not a movie where expression means much. He sounded like a cartoon Klondike gold miner. And in the masked form, like Randy Rose. It’s glorious to combine manikins and masks and make them into conspirators together, against the holiday. We stopped for gas? Gas? We found the sacred grove where the Pythia (who is nothing but a strange old hag of a prediction machine, a gas masikin, who breathes out futures like murders).
There is a space where we wonder how quickly the murders actually begin. I thought it was setting the scene but that first attack on the schmuck, that was the scene. How gratuitous the manikins who laugh, and overabundance of them. Being smothered by manikins—yes, now I remember where I’ve seen it before: my friend Lake made a fantastic painting of a ladyboy awakening in just such a pile of manikins.
Perhaps we don’t need to die. We are not Norman Bates. We are not trying to recreate heteronormative family relations and patriarchal systems with our baskets and baskets of limbs. The swirling ballet of live-actors and manikins interchange, making all that is solid melt into plaster. It’s great to end life with an axe, but even better to hit the floor and scream laughing into the sunset.
A film with an abundance of charm. The snakes are the hidden stars. A snake with an abundance of harm. The mechanical automata aren’t, they are real actors. Much like Poe’s machine chess player. Exactly like it. (Meaning, even after all these years and iterations and romances with our dead-limbless cousins, we can’t get enough of them).
-Jason Abdelhadi, Sept 1 2018