Friday, October 24, 2014

Shrunken Heads (1994)

Director: Richard Elfman

Writers: Charles Band, Matthew Bright

Composer: Danny Elfman (theme only), Richard Band

More info: IMDb

Tagline: They're superheroes from the their necks.

Plot: When three N.Y. kids are murdered, the local Hatiian voodoo priest re-animates their shrunken heads to exact revenge. Complications arise between one of the heads and his former girlfriend.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I guess I'm glad I watched it.  The big reason I did was because it was directed by Richard FORBIDDEN ZONE (1980) Elfman (brother of composer and Oingo Boingo god, Danny).  There's A LOT of setup before you get to the shrunken head action.  It's an odd film but it is kinda fun.  The kids look like they're out of a 50s juvenile delinquent picture and the score apes WEST SIDE STORY () which is hilarious.  It's obviously shot on a studio backlot but it moves quickly and it's not boring.  You may be put off (like I was) by the ridiculously broad characters that are meant to bring the funny but don't because it's so over the top.  The big selling point of course is the shrunken heads and their killing rampage.  It's not too gory and the effects are cheap even for twenty years ago but that's not necessarily a detriment to the picture.  It's playful and it's geared toward a younger audience.  My forty-something crowd saw it for the cheesefest it was.  The dialogue is pretty bad.  If you want to make a drinking game out of taking a shot after any character says another character's name then you'll be hammered in seconds.  That's right, seconds.  Incredible, you say?  Watch the movie and find out for yourself.  It's amazing how many times two people, alone, in conversation mention the other person's name.  Who the fuck does that in real life?  It reminded me of THE EDGE (1997) and how insane it was to hear Alec Baldwin say "Charles" a gazillion times.  There used to be a video out there of it but I can't find it. Life is hard.

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