Who says originality is dead in 2018? Sure, we’ve all seen dozens of slasher films about a group of young people who go into the woods and get butchered by an ax wielding maniac. But, have we ever seen this scenario carried out by… puppets? It’s insane, and Head is The Muppets on psychedelic, murder-inducing crack. I loved it. Based on the screenplay by Jon Bristol, J.R. Calvo and Brian Woodman, Head is everything you could ever want out of a cheesy 80’s horror flick. It features a horror host and his introductory zombie short, “The walking Path,” before jumping straight into the feature presentation about a camp-out that turns deadly. Directed by Jon Bristol and produced by Rick Passmore, Head features puppetry and vocal performances by Bristol, Manda Vasas, Nick Foreman, Ben Farley, Mike Finland, Sally Garcia, Keith Paul, Jim Williams and Russ Werlebird. Head is Velcro-ing its way to digital platforms on Friday, July 13th 2018, and here’s why you should definitely check it out.
Head perfectly captures the nostalgic value of independent 1980’s horror thanks to the direction of Jon Bristol and cinematographer/editor Rick Passmore. Many people go for this old school feel, and fail, but Head really feels like it could have been discovered on the VHS shelves of your local video store; especially around the time The Muppet movies kicked off. This would have been a blockbuster back then. The mood and production value is so on point that it takes me a while to remember that I’m watching expertly crafted puppets from Jon Bristol instead of human beings. Every time there was a cut away, or B-roll, or an establishing shot, it took me off guard when the camera returned to raunchy, mischievous puppets. On that note, never in my life did I expect to see puppet gore and… yes, puppet boobs. Lots of puppet boobs. Even when you take that way, Head is still a simple slasher story that succeeds on every account. Entertaining as fuck, gory, and laugh inducing.
Now, I do have to say there were two things here I wasn’t a fan of. First, and this could have just been my screener copy, I thought the voices of the puppets were way to loud. It was almost overbearing at times. And some of the acting, even as voice overs, was underwhelming. Then again, that’s just the type of thing you’d expect from a B-horror movie. My other point of contention is a personal one, but I felt like the ending was a little too action-e for my taste. The showdown wasn’t completely in the demographic I wanted it to be. Still, Head was funny and enjoyable because it was too ridiculous to be scary. It’s a good movie to watch drunk or high or with a group of people with minds as sick as yours. A silky smooth slasher with gore, nudity and laughs, Head is as good as a puppet horror movie gets. It’s hitting digital platforms on July 13th 2018. Make sure you stream your copy and check out all the Elmwood Puppets.
Final Score: 7.5 out of 10