Kind of a Texas Chain Saw Massacre, by way of the carnival, which is probably why it ended up in Tobe Hooper’s hands. Or at least that makes him a fine director for the material. Unfortunately, it’s not as good as the aforementioned film, and maybe that’s the reason why too — it’s ground he’d already covered, and covered much better.
A subplot involving a character’s younger brother is a distraction that never really leads anywhere, and the monster makeup on the murderous carnie is a bit weak, but I can’t tell if that’s just my 21st century perspective, and it would have been much more effective if watched at the time the film was released.
Definitely a better film than I would have predicted based on the poster art, though.