Forbidden Zone (1982)

forbiddenzoneStarring Hervé Villechaize, Susan Tyrrell, Gisele Lindley, Jan Stuart Schwartz, Marie-Pascale Elfman, Phil Gordon, Virginia Rose, Gene Cunningham, Hyman Diamond, Matthew Bright, Danny Elfman, Viva, Joe Spinell

Directed by Richard Elfman

Expectations: Moderate. I remember enjoying this quite a lot, but I’m not sure it’ll hold up on re-watch.

A lot of people throw out the term “cult movie” while talking about various films. Stuff like Escape from New York or The Princess Bride come up a fair amount, but while those films definitely cater to a specific audience I think it’s a stretch to call them cult movies. But Forbidden Zone? That shit is the real deal, Daddio, and an unsuspecting viewer would be lucky to make it past the first scene. To me, that’s the definition of a cult movie, and Forbidden Zone is one of the cultiest cult movies ever made.

So imagine a movie that opens with some introductory text about a heroin dealer mistakenly entering the 6th Dimension through a door in his basement. Upon his return, he sells the house and the Hercules family moves in. To say they’re dysfunctional is the understatement of the century. Also imagine the film’s child hero, Flash Hercules, is played by an old man in a boy scout’s uniform. As an aside, I have to wonder if Richard Elfman got this idea from watching Spanish-language comedy shows where old men regularly wear sailor suits and act like children. Anyway, one day Flash’s sister Frenchy hazards a peek into the forbidden 6th Dimension, but instead falls right into it! Flash and Grampa Hercules to the rescue!

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Shrunken Heads (1994)

Starring Julius Harris, Meg Foster, Aeryk Egan, Rebecca Herbst, Bo Sharon, Bodhi Elfman, A.J. Damato, Darris Love, Troy Fromin, Leigh-Allyn Baker, Paul Linke

Directed by Richard Elfman

Expectations: High, the trailer for this looked awesome.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:

Zombies! Haitian Voodoo! Lesbian Mobsters! What’s not to like? Shrunken Heads is one of the most unique revenge tales you are ever likely to see. It definitely takes a while to get rolling, but when it hits its stride, it goes for the throat and never looks back. If you have any interest in horror comedies and voodoo practitioners you owe it to yourself to check out this decidedly campy piece of fun cinema!

Shrunken Heads starts off rather unassumingly, telling the classic tale of three boys who are bullied by a group of greaser assholes called The Vipers who roll around in a beat-up old station wagon just like your momma used to take you to school in. I’m not making this up! Anyway one of the bullied kids, Tommy, decides that he’s taken all he can stand and sets out to take down The Vipers. Shit gets real as fast as you can say snickerdoodle and before you know it, you’ve got three flying shrunken heads with superpowers looking for some sweet, sweet revenge. Damn, it doesn’t get much better than that. The superpowers themselves are something special. One head gets the power of the vampire, with fangs to match his lust for the blood of evildoers. Another head gets the power of lightning, blasting a straight shot of Edison’s finest into felon’s foreheads. The final head gets the power of… a switchblade in his mouth! Hahahaha! I love it.

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