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  • I loved this dark, funny, strange little film. The plot was brilliant, and held me and my friends through all the twists and turns. We laughed our heads off at all the hilarious, dead panned lines of Lt. Col. Aristide Pierre Lafite Sumatra, of the Ton Ton Macoute - the friendly neighborhood news vender and witch doctor. This was a real treat!
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • Shrunken Heads is a brilliant and hilarious satire. The movie starts like a Disney film, the good kids vs the bad kids - until the bad kid kill all the good kids. Big Mo, the lesbian mob boss has moved Vinny, leader of the bad gang, into her mob after the killings. But... the neighborhood newsvendor, an old Haitian played deliciously by Julius Harris, was apparently a colonel in ex Hatian dictator Duvalier's notorious Ton Ton Macoute. To promote his idea of social justice, he severs the heads of the dead boys, shrinks them and then re-animates them into tiny super heroes. Simple enough, but Tommy still loves his old girlfriend, Sally, who is now with Vinny. The love triangle between Vinny, Sally and poor shunken head Tommy is beyond belief! This film is absolutely brilliant!
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Shrunken Heads" works as a great example of genre mixing.

    **SPOILERS**

    Three kids, Tommy Larson, (Aeryk Egan) Bill Turner, (Bo Sharon) and Freddie Thompson (Darris Love) live in a rough area full of gangsters and bullies. The only person who is nice to them is Mr. Sumatra, (Julius Harris) who owns a comic book stand that the three frequent. The three are also the targets of Vinnie (A.J. Damato) and his gang. Vinnie's girlfriend Sally (Rebecca Herbst) stands up to Vinnie about the three kids, and she ends up making him irate and befriends Tommy. Vinnie goes to local mobster Big Moe (Meg Foster) to put Tommy and his friends out of business. Taking up the offer, Big Moe sets up the hit. It goes through as planned, and the three are killed. Fortunately, Mr. Sumatra is an expert voodoo practitioner and is able to raise their heads as shrunken heads. Given special powers by the voodoo, they take to clean up the streets of Vinnie's gang. Finally learning of his treachery that got them killed by a blabbering member of the gang, (Bodhi Elfman) the three shrunken heads go out to fulfill their revenge.

    The Good News: This is one of the few Full Moons that manages to incorporate several different elements and come off very good. It starts out as an urban drama, then as a gangster film, then uses voodoo to become a slasher film, and finally ends as a zombie movie. The fact that it mixes so many different kinds of films together and accurately as well as this one did. Mixing the themes as well offered it to be the first Full Moon film to have a genuine scare. When the shrunken heads have the main bad guy surrounded, he becomes panicked and tries to run, but we hear a strange noise in front of him and he looks worried. He turns around behind him and finds nothing. Then he turns back to the front of where the sound came room and again finds nothing. He then turns back and one of the shrunken heads is point blank with a grin on his face. The look of the shrunken heads was also realistically designed. They did look like they were actual shrunken heads of the three actors. The violence involved in the attacks is also something that Full Moon has had missing from several of their films. Each one of the three heads is their own personality, giving each one a weapon to help out their vengeance crusade. The make-up for the zombies towards the ending is also really frightening. Even though they are only in it for several minutes, they do look pretty garish and bloody. They are easily the highlight of the film and also provide the film with a good laugh or two.

    The Bad News: Because there are so many different kinds of sub-categories, it becomes very easy to become lost in all the different shifts. One minute you are watching a gangster movie, then you are seeing a horror film, then it switches to teen romance and then goes back to gangster. All the switches can leave some people confused as they do come very rapidly and you never know where they are going to, so it does require several views until you can fully understand what the film is about.

    The Final Verdict: If you can forgive all the switches in the film styles, this is actually a pretty good film. It is one of the good opening films into Full Moon films, and all fans of their films with appreciate this film with the switches and the style.

    Rated R: Graphic Language and Graphic Violence
  • Shrunken Heads is an immensely witty and enjoyable comedy for those with a dark sense of humor. It's like 50's Walt Disney movie for the first quarter of the film... until the bad kids kill all the good kids. The neighborhood news vendor, a former colonel in Haiti's notorious Ton Ton Macoute, is so incensed, that he shrinks and re-animates the heads of the fallen good guys. Now they fly about the city seeking revenge against evil doers. If only their leader Tommy wasn't still in love with Sally! And that, you must see to believe!
  • This seems to be a movie people either go with or they don't. Personally, while watching this, I was always bearing in mind the obvious low budget origins of 'Shrunken Heads', and thus was pretty amazed at what they managed to put on celluloid for the money. I think the film cost around $2 million, but has a definite 'big studio' feel to it. The cinematography is, at times, wonderfully colourful, with bright cartoonish hues. The acting is a bit shaky (only Julius Harris seems to have gotten a hold on his character) but there's plenty elsewhere to compensate: the art direction, the eclectic, left of centre score from Danny Elfman & Richard Band (including lifts from Satie & Bernstien). Really, in the current state of play where low budget genre pics usually only appeal to the lowest common denominator (ripping off Scream/Halloween/Alien/The Thing et al) a movie like this should be heralded. It's a genuine attempt to get back to the 'anything goes' aesthetic of 1970's exploitation cinema, and a movie that will probably be better thought of in twenty years time than in the current climate of 'Generic Blockbuster Videos'.............
  • This film is one of the most original visions ever produced, sort of a demented Joe Dante fever at work. This is the type of film that should be lovingly fostered and encouraged. I guarantee that there's not quite another film out there like this one. A must-see.
  • hellyeahuk1 March 2003
    this film is the bomb. anyone who slags this film either seems to have have seen the cut sci-fi channel version, or was expecting some sort of mainstream disney flick. strictly for hardcore b-movie lovers. mat bright is a god.........
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Aeryk Egan stars as Tommy Larson. Tommy is a good hearted boy who lives on the wrong side of the neighborhood. His city is run by the notorious mobster Big Moe and her goon Vinnie. Tommy convinces his friends Freddy and Bill to help him bring down the mob. They steal Moe's records but are gunned down by Vinnie. Mr Sumatra the Voodo priest owner of a newsstand sneaks into the crypt after the boys funeral and beheads the corpses. He brings them back as shrunken head soldiers and convinces them to fight crime. Sumatra trains them for a year in his condo. He tells the boys to loose their humanity and devote what they have to revenge. Tommy however can't do this and searches for his girlfriend Sally. Sally is now dating Vinnie. The heads come together and turn Moe's goons into zombies. Sumatra plans to curse Vinnie and Big Moe as well and Sally joins in on the fight.

    The movie has a unique plot and has potential but it left me disappointed. Yes the movie is supposed to be bizarre but there were moments which were too silly even for me. We are supposed to admire the uniqueness not laugh at it. I found it hard to watch the scene at Tommy's grave because it reeked of stupidity and poor writing. In the end it seemed like Vinnie and Big Moe got off easy. And I was hoping that somehow Tommy would get a body.

    On the plus column director Richard Elfman has done an outstanding job setting the mood. The film reminds you of an old comic book. The scenes are vibrant with color and emotion.Julius Harris steals every scene he is in as the eccentric Mr.Sumatra.

    The good can't outweigh the bad sadly. The main problem with Shurken Heads is it's script,which with a few re-writes could have been better.
  • I just love this film.The late-great actor Julius Harris should had won a Oscar for best-actor as Mr. Sumatra and actress Meg Foster should had won a Oscar for best-actress as Big Moe (Despite the ugly Liberace Look) .The film should had being on DVD because i can't find it at any video store. The 4 kids of the movie has great acting skills, I think all grown-ups.The last time I saw Freddie Thompson(Played by Kobe Bryant "look alike" actor Darris Love)when he was on the show Scare Tactics,Bill Turner(Played by Bo Sharon)when he was on the show "Moesha as Chris,Tommy Larson leader of the Shrunken Heads (Played by Aeryk Egan)when he in a 2002 made film called Demon Island as Larry and Sally(Played by sexy actress Rebecca Herbst)when she appeared in a film called Hefner: Unauthorized.I wish them all good luck and God bless "Shrunken Heads".
  • A truly surreal amazingly funny work. I knew the Elfman clan was unhinged, but this movie just blew me away. The concept of three little shrunken heads fighting crime was just way too much for me.

    If you laugh at really bizarre movies, or just really like "Evil Dead" and "Brain Dead", this is definitely a must see.
  • Well, I wasn't expecting much from "Shrunken heads", but I still had a little hope, as it's a Full Moon production from 1994. Everyone knows by now their movies pretty much went downhill during the second half of the 90's. And looking at their credits as a production company, I feel that "Shrunken Heads" just might be the last Full Moon film that really captured their specific mix of craziness & entertainment and their special brand of B-movie magic. "Shrunken Heads" mixes horror, comedy and crime, but in such a cartoonish way, it does become a fun little film. The crime elements are a spoof on the criminal environment of the 50's, but the film itself is set in a modern-day (90's) urban setting. Sure, it's nonsensical silliness with a touch of madness on a small scale. But the production values are still pretty decent (as with most of the older Full Moon flicks, compared to the newer ones) and the story moves along at a decent pace. Plus, the film's seasoned with fun special effects (and great miniatures of a city by night), another thing you could always count on in their older films.

    A friend of mine on here mentioned something appropriate on the plot: "I had read that the movie was amazingly bizarre because the ones with the shrunken head problem were like dead kids or something, brought back to life by a voodoo man to get revenge". That's exactly what it's about. It also stars Meg Foster in - without a doubt - the most oddball role I've ever seen her play: Gangster Big Moe. And then there's Rebecca Herbst. Such a lovely, sexy peach. I had never heard of her before, but she's still acting now (TV's "General Hospital", though I've seen some horrible soapy clips of it) and still quite the beauty. Yummie! At one point she even opens up the top of her blouse, to let a shrunken head (her boyfriend, before he died) in. A shrunken head getting that lucky, can only happen in a Full Moon flick.

    I'm trying too hard to praise this silly little horror comedy, really. But honestly, if you like the old school Full Moon flicks much more than Charles Band's more recent efforts, than you should have a fun watch with "Shrunken Heads".
  • I picked up a copy of this at a boot sale last sunday for a pound. It's a quality low budget comedy/horror about 3 kids who are gunned down by Vinnie and the Viper Gang. Luckily Mr Sumatra the local newsagent and witch doctor revives them as 3 nasty little shrunken heads. If you are a fan of films like 'idle hands', 'Ghoulies' or 'Critters' you will love this film. It has an excellent Danny Elfman score great special effects and a tongue firmly lodged in it's cheek! It also comes from producer Charles Band who produced 'Dolls' & 'Puppet Master'. This is definitely one of the better full-moon horror movies. If you see this film - grab it! This movie has only been released in the UK once- on rental video. Time for a DVD!!!!
  • I will assume those reading already know the plot or do not want to know it before watching. This is one of the more imaginative B-movies around. Elfman does not color inside the lines. It starts off as so many movies do, with the little guy standing up to the big ones, but it veers drastically from the standard formula in a quite refreshing way. Instead of rehashing the plot of countless other stories, SH takes cookie-cutter characters out of the cookie-cutter story and finds an entirely different way for its heroes to triumph.

    I highly recommend SH for anyone who is tired of traditional 'underdog' movies and wants to see something truly imaginative. Skip it if you need high-budget special effects to assist your imagination or if you are too politically correct to think for yourself.
  • kingofcats1321 January 2003
    Because this movie did not take a standard Hollywood approach to story line, I was delighted and refreshed. The dry, dark comedic effect from the heads plays out like the old voodoo curse movies of yesteryear. I was taken back to the days of reading old horror comics under the covers after lights out.
  • jhelppi13 November 2002
    Real life contains enough reality. "Shrunken Heads" is gloriously fake, a frothy cocktail of Haitian voodoo, teen romance, and a butch lesbian crime boss whose pompadour is a special effect in itself. At their best, movies ease us into a dreamlike state with its own logic. This film creates a world in which the sight of flying shrunken heads hell-bent on revenge makes perfectly delightful sense.
  • Okay. Yes. The movie is cheesy. The effects are Just Plain Awful.

    And yes. The plot (what little there is) is, frankly, ridiculous.

    And I agree. The developmnet of the nearly non-existent plot is stupid and quite undirected.

    Maybe the only reason I find this piece of unremitting schlock compelling was Rebecca Herbst. Hey! If she'll open her shirt for a nasty little shrunken head, there may be hope that, one day, a troll like me will get similar treatment!

    ;-)
  • Okay, if you've seen Richard Elfman's brilliant slab of cult film cheese "Forbidden Zone", don't be expecting the same level of quality from this film. The fact that Richard didn't write this one is probably the main reason for that, but the direction, too, is merely workmanlike, for the most part. Don't be expecting the wild stylistic flourishes seen in "Zone"'s tribute to 1930s cinema.

    This (1994) film does sort of seem to be a tribute to low-budget 1980s cinema, but this may have just been because the film had been in development since then. Or maybe this was due to the hand of schlock horror producer Charles Band, who probably wishes that the 80s had never ended. (But schlockmeister though he may be, he does deserve some credit for keeping Richard Elfman off the streets.)

    As a more-imaginative-than-average B horror flick, this movie does have some things going for it. First off, the premise is indeed enjoyable for its sheer ridiculousness. I think the film would have done well to get into this good stuff much quicker than it did. Pretending to be a non-supernatural "kids in a tough neighborhood" film for the first half hour was pretty pointless, although anyone coming across the movie on TV and not knowing what it was about would be in for an amusing shock at the end of the first act when the "how will our heroes get out of this one?" moment arrives and they _don't_ (or at least, not exactly).

    Other things to recommend the film include the wonderfully twisted idea of living dead zombies who are doomed to clean up litter in back alleyways, the hot little piece of jailbait ass portrayed by Rebecca Herbst, the Danny Elfman theme, the inspired use of a mostly instrumental remix of Oingo Boingo's "No One Lives Forever", and, as someone else mentioned, one of the most circumstantially hilarious instances of the ubiquitous ripping off of Elfman's "Edward Scissorhands" theme.

    I just wish the filmmakers could have gotten Julius Harris to fake a Haitian accent (even a shaky one would have done). This would have lent a smidge of credibility and would have made Sumatra's oddly flowery dialogue go over better.

    Someone else said to run away if you see this flick on the Sci-Fi Channel, but I'd say if you have a taste for this sort of entertainment, _seek_it_out_ there, as this film is out-of-print on video and is hard to come by. Indeed, Sci-Fi Channel's "Elvira"-derived "William Shatner's Full Moon Fright Night" horror film festival series made a good platform for the film, though the cuts to clean up the R-rated gore were somewhat jarring.
  • Okay. So I'm an escapist, I admit it. I like movies that not only twist, but completely distort boring "real life", and flying shrunken children's heads out for revenge, certainly does it for me. Hilarious movie. Lots of fun. It is Full Moon so don't expect a high budget polish, (aw, who needs it anyway?) but if you love that kind of stuff, like I do, check this movie out!
  • This film is funny, witty, has a textbook perfect plot structure and flying heads. What more could a person want?

    How did such an intelligent film ever come out of Full Moon? Not your typical Charlie Band fare. Don't let that color your opinion or stand in the way of your experiencing Elfman's wild ride.

    Shrunken Heads is intelligent, and unique. The style hails to comic books, the premise is brilliantly ludicrous. Flying shrunken heads. How cool!!!

    I adore the way this film mocks the sacharin disney flick, the puke inducing tripe that constantly invades theaters, eating childrens and parents minds. Shrunken Heads, is a sane mans defense against such crapola.

    The weak of mind, the minions of normalcy's programming, the faint of heart..........may not be able to understand this little masterpiece. Infact, it will probably infuriate your feeble little mind. However that's what Elfman's here for. To shake things up. To restore the nations aesthetic.

    But if you are smart, if you think for yourself, if you have a healthy aesthetic sense, if you are an individual, then Shrunken Heads is a DEFINATE MUST SEE.
  • After an awesome intro theme by Danny Elfman, SHRUNKEN HEADS begins. Three comic book-loving kids are killed by a gang of brutal morons w/ a combined IQ below that of lint. It seems these goons work for a cigar-chomping, pompadour-wearing crime boss named Big Moe (Meg Foster- STEPFATHER 2, THEY LIVE). The title comes into it when the local comic book seller decides to get involved. His name is Mr. Sumatra (Julius Harris), and he just happens to be a voodoo-practicing ex-cop! Decapitated and resurrected by Mr. Sumatra's righteous hoodoo, the truncated trio sets out to exact bloody vengeance. Oh yeah, these noggins can fly too! Absurd beyond measure, THIS MOVIE FEATURES: #1- An ever-bubbling cauldron of goo! #2- A growing army of gassy, imbecilic zombies! #3- Human / shrunken head love! #4- A bus-load of apocalyptic, religious zealots! #5- A fun-filled, freak-out finale! Another FULL MOON production, from a time when wacky weirdness such as this was their norm... P.S.- Ms. Foster is astonishing!...
  • Warning: Spoilers
    SHRUNKEN HEADS is one of the most bizarre films to have been put out by Charles Band's Full Moon Pictures studio, which is perhaps why I found it one of their most entertaining. It's a really oddball picture with the bad taste premise of having a trio of child protagonists murdered by gangster thugs and brought back as floating severed heads to get revenge. The film has a quirky, offbeat look which mixes in various influences and feels a bit film noir style in places. Director Richard Elfman (brother of composed Danny) does a good job with his available resources here.

    The special effects aren't fantastic but they're serviceable enough. The cast boasts two veteran performers, both of whom give solid turns. Julius Harris, of LIVE AND LET DIE fame, is a delight as the scheming old witch-doctor, while Meg Foster (THEY LIVE) is unrecognisable as the big bad of the piece. The film has lots of bizarre little touches and generally entertains, even if it can hardly be described as highbrow entertainment.
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