Shrunken Heads

by Michael Rechtshaffen
The Hollywood Reporter, 12/26/94

Bizarro filmmaker (Forbidden Zone) Richard Elfman, brother of Oingo Boingo founding member Danny Elfman, is back with another certifiably warped screen creation.

Despite its horrific title, Shrunken Heads is actually quite a harmless concotion--a severly mutated hybrid of midnight movie and ABC Afterschool Special.

But while it's definately out there, the picture lacks the hardcore edge to achieve cult status.

Shot with a true comic-book feel, Shrunken Heads tells your everyday, average story of a trio of working-class kids who are gunned down by the local gang of juvinile delinquents and revived (at least from the neck up) as a disembodied crime-fighting team by a former member of Duvalier's notorious Ton Ton Macoute who dabbles in voodoo. Taking a Toxic Avenger approach to the tone of the piece, Elfman gets off some nicely grotesque moments before the novelty begins to wear off. Matthew Bright's dialogue and Paul Gentry's visual effects also have their inspired moments, as do cast members Meg Foster, unrecognizable in a gender-bending turn as crime boss Big Mo, and screen vet Julius Harris as the Haitian head shrinker who delivers such lines as "You will now be bound over to my condominium for zombification" with considerable panache.

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