Just when you think you’ve seen it all, there’s always going to be a film that challenges the norm and presents you with a unique viewing experience. HEAD, directed by Jon Bristol of Elmwood Productions, greatly succeeds in that regard by making only one head-scratching change from horror’s typical slasher fare – all of his characters are puppets.
On paper, and likely to those of you reading this review, that notion sounds rather ridiculous. For the first fifteen minutes of the film, even, the concept is absurd and is hard to take seriously. But then something happens… something I didn’t really notice until the credits began to roll: You forget that you’re watching puppets.
HEAD presents the viewer with an absorbing, spot-on homage to slasher films of the 70’s and 80’s. The characters aren’t particularly fleshed out and you can sniff out the final girl from a mile away, but that adds to the all-encompassing charm of Bristol’s film. This is essentially an 80’s slasher flick with puppets (including slasher tropes such as getting high/drinking and having sex at a camp site) instead of real people, and I fucking loved it.
The film follows a group of twenty-somethings on a weekend camping trip as they begin to unravel a mystery about gruesome murders that occurred in the area several years prior. Will they uncover the truth before they suffer the same fate?
Probably not since this is a slasher film.
The puppets themselves look terrific, and the voice-cast is game to lend an ample amount of enthusiasm to the characters. The gore, too, is well done – which remains both impressive and hilarious each time a puppet is decapitated. While the plot of HEAD never aspires to be more than a run-of-the-mill slasher flick, it mimics those films with careful admiration, allowing for the puppets to become living, breathing characters in a familiar horror world.
If you’re a fan of the slasher subgenre, puppets, puppet gore & puppet nudity, you’ll have a damn good time with HEAD. Don’t miss it.
For more on the film, you can head to their website here.