Shrunken Heads (1994)

Shrunken Heads (1994)
5.1
  • 1084
  • R
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release year: 1994 ()
  • Running time: 86 min
  • Original Title: Shrunken Heads
  • Voted: 1084

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.

#PersonCharacters
1Julius HarrisMr. Sumatra
2Meg FosterBig Moe
3Aeryk EganTommy Larson
4Rebecca HerbstSally
  • These Guys Are Real 'Head Cases' by 7

    This turned out to be a lot more of a comedy than a horror film. Seeing shrunken heads flying around was pretty unique and cool-looking but a lot more funny than scary. That's okay; I enjoyed it as a comedy.

    There really wasn't much to this Grade B-horror flick expect a lot of voodoo nonsense, which was taken quite seriously in here. What a croc! I actually believe would take this stuff seriously.

    Nevertheless, it's always satisfying to see a bunch of hoods get what's coming to them as our headless heroes did in here, seeking revenge on those responsible for their odd condition.

    Talk about an original story! Fun stuff.

  • Super-hero kids with no bodies...cool! by 10

    Master of the B movie Richard Elfman brings us a tale of 3 kids out to avenge their own deaths and put an end to a neighborhood gang of hoodlums. Sounds like a typical plot...but there's a twist: They have no bodies!

    For those of you who were waiting for Richard Elfman (the director of the brilliant Forbidden Zone) to return to the cinema and finally follow up his masterpiece, this movie might not be what you expect. Elfman is known for outrageous characters and chaotic nonsense warped into something that actually makes sense. Besides the shrunken heads flying around with no bodies, Shrunken Heads takes a more subtle approach. But make no mistake, Richard Elfman's twisted handprints are all over this movie!

    Like it's predecessor The Forbidden Zone, Shrunken Heads takes us to a world of its own liking where there are only reflections of a time or era that we might be familiar with. This might make some viewers feel uncomfortable. For me, it only expands the possibilities and exercises the imagination. Tim Burton (an obvious influence-ie of Elfman) captured a similar world in Edward Scissorhands.

    Critics may not like Shrunken Heads for the same reasons they don't like other Full Moon movies. It does not fit into the intellectual box that most critics have constructed around cinema as far as pacing and originality are concerned. My advice to the viewer of this movie: if you don't over-analyze it, you will find its compelling qualities. I am not a qualified movie critic (obviously), but I like horror movies, and I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

  • Well crafted absurdity, totally original and quite fun! by 10

    Shrunken Heads is a well written plot that unfolds in one of those classic lower east side neighborhoods where three generations live within three blocks. There are the good kids and the bad kids. Tommy, leader of the good kids, falls for sweet little Sally, the gal pal of Vinnie, leader of the bad kids. Tommy also foils the business of Big Moe, lesbian crime boss of the underworld, played by Meg Foster in a fat suit. Big Moe enlists Vinnie and his gang to kill Tommy and his friends. Up until that point it could almost have been a Disney film, then the brilliant Absurdity escalates. Mr. Sumatra, a Haitian news vendor and former colonel of ex Haitian dictator Duvalier's notorious Ton Ton Macoute, cuts off the heads of the dead good kids and re-animates them for revenge as flying shrunken heads. If that isn't wild enough, Tommy, now a shriveled flying shrunken head, still has feelings for Sally which must be resolved. A love story for all time, do NOT miss this film!

  • Dark twisted brilliant! Thoroughly enjoyable. by 10

    This is a dark twisted and brilliant little film that is quite hard to categorize. It's like a 1940's comic book at first, then things get stranger and stranger as the heroes have their heads cut off and re-animated by a Haitian witch doctor. Well written and thoroughly enjoyable!

  • "Are you ready for capital punishment....Haitian style...?" by 5

    This is a poorly acted- and cheesy as all hell- yet fun, 90's cult horror-comedy. It's kind of odd, because it starts out like it's supposed to be a children's film....but quickly delves into content that is clearly inappropriate for young children. It seems to be made for the teenage market- a type of film that is a rare breed these days.

    We start by following a group of comic-loving teenage boys- Tommy, Billy & Freddy. The boys have become good friends with the local newspaper clerk, Mr. Sumatra- a former member of the Haitian Police who moonlights as a Voodoo witch doctor. They and the local community are victims of bullying stalked by a gang called The Vipers, who are led by a thug named Vinnie. Vinnie particularly has it out for the 3 youngsters, as he desires Sally- the local beauty who is in love with Tommy.

    To end the torment, Tommy decides to capture evidence of the gang's criminal activity, so that he can turn it over to the police. To achieve this, he uses his camcorder to covertly tape the gang stripping down a car, which leads to their arrest.

    But snitches get stitches...as his actions, inevitably, anger the local mafioso who controls the gang- Big Moe (played by Meg Foster).

    After a run-in with the 3 kids, Big Moe orders Vinnie to whack them, as she feels they've become a nuisance that requires elimination. Vinnie is tasked with the hit and guns down the 3 boys in the street. But this is witnessed by Mr. Sumatra, who plans to bring them back from the dead so that they can reap vengeance on the malefactors who have been preying on the local community.

    To do this, he holds a Voodoo ceremony during which he turns the boys into re-animated shrunken heads that are equipped with special powers and hardwired for revenge. Billy becomes a sort of vampire; Tommy is endowed with the ability to control electricity; while Freddy becomes quite adept with a switchblade...oh, and all 3 possess the ability to fly, of course.

    A year later (after receiving training from Mr. Sumatra) the 3 shrunken heads- now animated with the souls of the deceased boys- are deployed into the streets, so that they can embark on their quest to weed out and destroy all the malefactors who are plaguing society.

    Together, they go on a killing spree. Particularly keeping an eye out for Vinnie and The Vipers. Interestingly, the malefactors whom they attack and kill, return as zombies that are sort of vampirically attached to- and controlled by- the shrunken heads. In that they've become driven to assist the boys on their search and destroy mission.

    However, Tommy has not only returned from the dead for revenge...he has some plans of his own. Mainly, to prove the love that existed between Sally and himself did not die with his body. A phenomenon which Mr. Sumatra has never witnessed before...

    Like I mentioned before, there is a really weird mix of stuff going on here: seems like a children's film, but heavily reliant upon issues of sex and violence, and all framed through an occult lens. That being said...it has a really nice style. Reminds me of Sam Raimi's Crimewave, in this regard. The film also uses a nice diversity of special fx: miniatures/dioramas used for shots of the town, traditional makeup fx for the shrunken heads and zombies, and the use of early computer animation for the animated heads, and powers, and such.

    It's also worth noting that despite playing a virginous little Goddess, 17 year old Rebecca Herbst will certainly have you pondering very deviant thoughts...as she is quite the little babe. Can't help but laugh when she offers up her tits-as-pillows to Shrunken Head Tommy, in order to prove she still loves him- despite his gruesome, cranial, form.

    Shrunken Heads is one of those bad films that's fun to watch. If this is what you're into, you will likely enjoy it.

    5.5 out of 10.

#PersonCrew
1Richard Bandcomposer
2Richard Elfmandirector
3Michael Catalanoproducer
4John Marshallproducer
5Charles Bandwriter
6Matthew Brightwriter