Well, summer is officially over. I couldn’t let it fade away without devouring a few more horror movies set in the season. Slumber Party Massacre II was a great one to finally watch all the way through, especially during Joe Bob Briggs’ “Summer Sleepover Series” on Shudder in late August. Thank all the gods for that streaming service. Killing Spree was an absolute treat in so many ways. We dug that one out from the VHS room one night and I have no regrets. The last one I managed to rewatch this summer is an epic movie from 1979 called Tourist Trap. Over the past few years this movie has become one of my absolute summer favorites. This is the movie I’m choosing for my horror fashion review to kiss the summer goodbye.
No summer is complete without a road trip, especially one that leads to skinny dipping and good ol’ American western museums. If you want some authentic late 70s horror that creeps you the fuck out while taking in some killer style, look no further than Tourist Trap. Think House of Wax meets Texas Chainsaw Massacre with a sprinkle of the supernatural and you have yourself one great fucking film. I cannot say enough about this movie, especially the opening scene. The opening scene is EVERYTHING.
SPOILERS AHEAD: If you’ve seen my other reviews you know by now that I focus on style and fashion of only female characters. I’ll dabble in male characters from time to time moving forward but I predominantly stick to what I know. What each character wears in a film says a lot about them, or at least it should, in my opinion. That’s what I try to focus on; how the style reflects (or doesn’t reflect) their individual characteristics, how it connects (or doesn’t) to the vibe of the overall film, and even sometimes how it adds to or takes away from their individual story arch. Because of this, there are spoilers to these films. So if you’re worried about knowing how a character dies ahead of time, you better watch the movie first.
This film revolves around three main female characters; Eileen, played by the lovely Robin Sherwood. Becky is played by the gorgeous and unstoppable Tanya Roberts, and Molly, played by the beautiful and incredibly talented Jocelyn Jones. They are separated in character not only by their attitudes but by their outfits in this film in a way that is effortless and effective.
Eileen is the brunette goddess dressed in blue. The actress, Robin Sherwood doesn’t have a ton of acting credits and though her roll in this movie is short and sweet, she packs a punch. Her color palette is blue and red in this movie. The colors play really well between the themes of babe vs bad guy, good vs evil and what’s to come for her. The all blue bathing suit under a tight deeper blue pair of shorts gives us that late 70s style we crave. The red heart-shaped sunglasses draw us into her playful but dangerous look. Her character is a bit too outgoing to make it through an entire film and we can sense that right from the start. These choices say everything we need to know about her character and why she’s the first to go.
What I love about the red accents chosen for Eileen is that they play well with her story arch. When she sneaks into the house the bright red kerchief around her neck proves to be a fatal move. The foreshadowing of this neckerchief comes back around in the end when her mannequin head gets cut off. Also, let’s not forget the light pink crochet shoulder wrap that she wears into the house. This pink shoulder wrap and red neck tie combo are essential because they are used as identifying pieces of Eileen’s character when she never returns from the house. We as the audience and the characters within the film can know that it was Eileen who was taken and we then assumed was turned into a mannequin. BONUS: The villain wears both articles of clothing throughout the film as to increase the overall horrifying idea of ownership and possession. So, that fucking neck tie and shawl says and does A LOT. Probably why it’s also used in the movie poster for the film.
Give us cool blue tones. Give us a white and blue striped tube top and cut off light wash denim jeans. Give us a tan leather braided belt. Give us Becky. Becky is played by the great Tanya Roberts, and in this this movie she oozes babe and brains.
With a nice subdued color palette consisting of cool blue tones it allows us to connect with her on a much more personal level. She’s a realistic character that we can identify with most. She’s girl next door, but in a very real way. Also, the tube top is SUCH an excellent touch. It’s sexy but wholesome all at the same time, especially in this color combo. With this outfit, Becky gives us everything we need to understand her.
Also, check this out, the blood that becomes an accent color on Becky throughout the film is that magic juxtaposition we see earlier with Eileen’s red vs blue. The film is doing GREAT things with these two colors and it’s awesome to catch it. Even as we root for Becky until her unhappy ending, we somehow are soothed again by this lovely pairing of colors. Blood in the water, death versus life. Major shout outs to Christine Boyar, the head of costume and wardrobe and her assistant Jessica Doyle, their efforts here are definitely not lost on me. They completely killed it.
Last but not least we have Molly played by the insanely talented Jocelyn Jones. Molly is HEAD to TOE dressed in white during the entire film.
The pure, the innocent, the goddess in white; it’s clear that Molly’s character is supposed to embody all of these and she very much does. This almost suffocatingly synched up look fits her character perfectly. From the very beginning we see her with a sun hat and braids. Classic assimilation of purity and class.
The white jacket buttoned up to the neck along with the hat actually tied under her chin with a light pink ribbon is a dead giveaway to her as the ‘good girl’ of the group. Modest and careful Molly. Its a wonderful treat that Molly ends up being the main babe of the film. She’s unsuspecting and it makes for a great character arch. Molly’s white hat and cleanliness that we are introduced to is so perfect set against the black hat and rugged look of Mr. Slausen. Again, drawing on good vs evil.
We see Molly unravel from beginning to end, remaining in white but being stripped down little by little in very smart ways. We meet her all dolled up, prim and proper. Then she reveals herself without her hat and jacket after the skinny dipping scene and we are taking notice.
The thicker straps on her dress, the synch and tie at the waist, the long past-the-knee length of her skirt, the white lace??? GREAT character details here, all the more linked to her innocence. AND THE HAIR, I mean, come on, it’s so fucking prim.
The white is also very bridal which I believe helped this choice of color pallet for Molly’s character. It’s all the more reason why Mr. Slausen gravitates towards Molly in the film, finding similarities between her and his late wife. Molly also seems to lean into the connection fascinated by Slausen’s stories about her.
As the film continues her hair begins to unravel, the white of her clothes get dirty and for her we feel its the cusp of an inevitable escape, escape from innocence and into darkness of the unknown, or dare I say, womanhood. That’s what makes the shift to her capture and nightgown scenes even more unnerving. She was so close.
We see Molly clean and manicured again towards the end, dressed in that white full length nightgown with sleeves and curled tendrils of soft blonde hair. We can only assume the nightgown came from Slausen’s missing/dead wife. I mean, if he even had one? Spooky shit.
The white is iconic. Molly’s arch from beginning to the end is palpable. The white propels Molly’s character entirely in connection with her actions. It’s incredibly done. When we finally see Molly escape, eyes deranged, the angel dressed in white in a car full of her dead waxified friends, we are content.
Until next time,