Director – Hope Perello (Howling VI: The Freaks, St. Patrick’s Day)
Starring – Terry Kiser (Tammy and the T-Rex, Weekend at Bernie’s), Leigh Ann Orsi (The Fall Guy, Home Improvement), and Spencer Vrooman (Casper, Wings)
Release Date – 1994
Rating – 3/5
Blu Release – 2.5/5
Tagline – “Take home a pet…from another universe”
When I was growing up during the mid 90s I would often visit the local video store. I wasn’t a horror fan yet but I was open to all genres so I would occasionally rent random horror movies if the artwork caught my eye. I did, however, have enough sense to know that Moonbeam and Full Moon were sister companies with different demographics. I had seen several Full Moon films but my favorite was the Moonbeam release of Prehysteria. I would typically search for other releases but my video store only had a few.
Over the years I’ve collected a few of them but several others have escaped my grasp until now. Sometime back Full Moon released Prehysteria and Pet Shop on blu. I had never seen Pet Shop prior to this release so I reached out to them for a review copy and they were kind enough to send one my way. Thanks guys!
**Spoiler Alert** The film follows a group of children living in an isolated town who visit a local pet shop to get new companions for themselves. What they don’t know is that the cowboys that own the shop are not of this world and use the pet shop as a front to kidnap children to take back to their world to sell. **Spoiler Alert**
Pet Shop is one of the Moonbeam flicks my local video store never carried and when I started collecting DVDs I could never find this one floating around. I’m glad Full Moon finally gave this one a proper release because I really enjoyed it and I’m sure I would have loved it when I was growing up.
The acting in this one is what you would expect from a mid 90s children’s direct to video release. The cast does a fantastic job and the characters are all entertaining. In fact, I would by lying if I said I liked Prehysteria’s cast more. I really loved the characters we get in this one and it really works for the story.
The story for this one is simple and works very well for a children’s movie from the time. I really loved the cowboy aliens trying to kidnap children along with the tiny alien pets. It has that Prehysteria! vibe but rides on the sci-fi line more. Some of the scenes do feel pointless and only there to add length to the film’s running time but that doesn’t ruin the film.
Finally, the film has some visuals effects that did not age well and some practical effects and puppetry that I do enjoy. However, if you want some blood you will be very disappointed. Overall, Pet Shop is the family sci-fi film that I missed out on during my youth. I really enjoyed it for what it is and the blu from Full Moon looks great. Leagues better than the VHS scans you can find floating around YouTube. I would have preferred a little more care in the special features department but the Videozone will have to do. I highly suggest adding this one to your collection.