Released July 13, 2018
Unrated (equivalent to R rating for puppet violence, puppet nudity, puppet sex, and language) – 1hr 1min
Directed by Jon Bristol
Five college students go on a camping trip, unknowingly choosing the location where a massacre of campers occurred years earlier. When they find their vehicles have been disabled, they’ll join up with an investigative reporter in an effort to keep their heads (most won’t).
Head is an homage to 80s slashers, but with puppets. Despite the fact that it is just barely and technically a feature-length film at 61 minutes, it begins with about 10 or so minutes of shorts – one is a black-and-white intro featuring a character named Graveyard Gil who is the host of the fictional show that is presenting the movie and the other is titled ‘The Walking Path’, where two guys are watching a zombie movie, go to get pizza, then get eaten by zombies. Yep – I already wanted to bail, but I stuck it out, like a fucking trooper.
Puppets don’t make your shit movie not shit. There – got that out of the way early. There’s no need to build up to it to soften the blow – this movie gave me no considerations; I have none to give in return. The story is shit. The dialogue is ripe shit. The voice acting varies between passable and shit. This is exactly the kind of shit I was dreading when I decided to start reviewing horror movies, and I finally stepped in a pile. And I suspect that the shit was set there deliberately too.
It’s because of the puppets. It’s the only reason this movie received any attention at all and why I chose to watch it in the first place. The filmmakers had to know their script was shit. It was barely 45 minutes long, and that was one of its positive attributes, although it meant sitting through some excruciatingly bad material tacked onto the beginning of it. The Graveyard Gil bit was atrocious, with every joke landing like a brick in sand, and The Walking Path was even worse, just a blatant runtime padder, complete with its own fully-contained credit sequence. In the movie proper, the humor fares no better. A highlight involves a character suggesting that Bigfoot stole another character’s car, to which the reply is ‘Since when did Bigfoot get a goddamn driver’s license?’ Those are the jokes, folks, and that’s one of the good ones, relatively speaking.
Its only potential path to salvation would have been through a thorough commitment to crude and raunchy humor and buckets of sick puppet grue, but Head lacks even the imagination to pull that off. Puppet boobs and a few dick jokes aren’t enough to register a reading if you’ve graduated beyond junior high, and there’s likely eighth graders that are too cynical for blue humor that is this bland. Given the title, you’d think there would have been at least one blowjob joke, a notion that’s ridiculously obvious yet still too witty to occur to Head. The gore side of the equation is nothing special either – a few beheadings and bullet wounds that make no impact, because they’re puppets. Any inventive death scenes would have been appreciated, but not even my reptile brain found anything in this movie to sate it.
So, the puppets are, in and of themselves, the film’s singular selling point, and that’s ultimately my biggest axe to grind with it. Had this been a 5-10 minute short dropped on YouTube, it could’ve been amusing – maybe even something to share like ‘Check this out – lol’. Yet, this was made for money – it’s intended as a product from the filmmakers to turn a profit, and deserves to be judged as such. However, I read numerous glowing reviews for this flick. Looking back on them though, they all boiled down to ‘Durrr hurrr – Puppets!’ Well, joke’s on you, Head – I’m too dead inside to be that easily impressed. Yet, as a rule, I try to find something nice to say about every movie I review, so here it goes: the puppets were adequately constructed, the direction was not incompetent, the score was actually pretty good in parts, and it was mercifully short. Still though, fuck this movie.
Head gets the honor of receiving my very first