Pet Shop - Pet Shop(Blu Ray) [Full Moon Entertainment - 2018]
During the early-to-mid 1990s, legendary genre movie producer & director Charles Band started a sideline company to his Full Moon Entertainment brand, and this was Moonbeam Films- it saw the focus going on more family-friendly fantasy and Sci-fi pictures. One of the films released on this sub-label was 1994ís Pet Shop- a decidedly wacky & comic child-focused creature feature, which found of two Aliens disguised as ten-gallon hat wearing cowboys coming to a small American town to give the town's children strange pets. Here on Full moon is the first ever digital release of the film( in the form of a region free Blu ray)- which previously only received a VHS release back in the day.
Pet Shop was the fifth film to appear under the Moonbeam banner- it was directed Hope Perello- who had worked as production coordinator on some of Bandís classic mid/ late 80ís Empire films like Troll, From Beyond, and Dolls. She only has two other directorial credits- 1991ís The Howling IV: The Freaks, and Saint Patrickís Day- a comedy romance from 1997. Pet Shop has a decidedly colourful & quirky like feel, and apparently, they were going for an almost cartoon-like quilty to the sets, props, and creature designs. Itís well enough directed, scoped & casted with the mainly young pre-teen cast doing well. We get supporting adult cast from the likes of Terry Kiser(Weekend at Bernie's, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, From a Whisper to a Scream) & Joanne Baron (Someone to Watch Over Me).
The film's plot finds a brash New York family been moved to a small town in Arizona on a witness protection scheme- and just after they arrive the aliens land, via a spinning pink blob- they pay off the local pet shop owner, and set up shop trying to infiltrate the small community by placing their alien pets with the towns children. The creatures are highly cute & often amusing- in all, there are four- a bulbous-eyed dog, a Furby like teddy, a wacky looking turtle one, and a mini dinosaur. Adding into the mix we get a pair of bumbling thugs trying track down the family, a few more deliberately kooky kids, and lots of silly fun. Itís a decidedly bright Ďní buoyant ride- sure at times itís gets a little too sugary for its own good, but thankfully the wacky & off-the-wall elements kick back in soon enough.
The Blu ray features a new scan of Pet Shop- this nicely enhances the crazied, colourful, and kooky feel of the film. Sadly thereís no commentary track, but we do get an episode of Brands 90ís video show Videozone- which features interviews with the film cast & crew, as well as discussion about other, at the time, coming up Moonbeam productions. As well as a trailer reel for Moonbeam films.
After seeing more than a few of films from Full Moon and Bandís prior company Empire itís great to finally see a Moonbeam film. And I must say I rather enjoyed Pet Shop- itís a decidedly wacky creature feature, with a good line of fun & amusing cute-ness running through its core. So if youíve enjoyed Brands other work, especially the more playful creature based stuff, then Iíd give Pet Shop a go. Roger Batty