Pet Shop Blu Ray Review (Full Moon Features)
Pet Shop is a 1994 fantasy film directed by Hope Perello (Howling VI: The Freaks & St. Patrick’s Day). Hope Perello was mainly known for producing Valet Girls, Enemy Territory, Catacombs, Deadly Weapon, & Puppetmaster. Hope Perello was also the production coordinator for From Beyond, Dolls, Troll, & Eliminators. It was writtne by Michael Davis (Prehysteria Trilogy, Double Dragon, Monster Man, & Shoot ‘Em Up), Brent V. Friedman (Syngenor, The Resurrected, Ticks, & Mortal Kombat: Annihilation), Mark Goldstein (Prehysteria! & Oblivion 1/2), & Greg Suddeth (Prehysteria! & Oblivion 1/2). It was produced by Charles Band (Puppet Master franchise, Trancers franchise, Subspecies franchise, & Demonic Toys franchise), Albert Band (Honey I Blew Up the Kid, Magic Island, Zarkorr! The Invader, & Ghost Warrior), & Debra Dion (Trancers, Dragonworld, Beanstalk, & Josh Kirby… Time Warrior) for Moonbeam Entertainment, a sub-division of Full Moon Features. It was released direct on video in 1995.
Pet Shop tells the wacky way out tale of a pair of alien fiends known as Mr. Zimm (played by: Jeff Michalski from Stunt Rock, Nothing in Common, The Cable Guy, & Dear God) & Mrs. Zimm (played by: Jane Morris from The Drew Carey Show, True Lies, Bushwhacked, & Nothing in Common) disguised as over the top cowboys who touch down in the Arizona desert town of Cactus Flats. They immediately buy a run down pet store from Barney (played by: Alfred Dennis from Get Shorty, Demon Seed, The Jerk, & The Odd Couple II). Their mission? To lure local children with promises of cuddly companions & then eat them for dinner!
14 year old Dena (played by: Leigh Ann Orsi from Home Improvement & The Favor) with her brother Charlie (played by: David Wagner from Deadly Sunday, Mystery Mansion, & Thrashin’) & mother Marilyn (played by: Joanne Baron from The Dentist, Real Genius, Valley Girl, & Universal Soldier) are forced to movie from New York to this small town after her father Joe Yeagher (played by: Terry Kiser from Weekend at Bernie’s 1/2, Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Mannequin: On the Move, & From a Whisper to a Scream) rats on mob boss Tony Marino (played by: John LaMotta from ALF, Revenge of the Ninja, Ninja III: The Domination, & American Ninja). They are put into witness protection program. Marino sends two goons to track down & kill the family. Dena gets offered a free dog from the new pet shop owners. They give away various other animals to the other neighborhood kids but they ask them not to tell anyone about it. Soon after, all of the pets turn into something different & the children decide to take them to the shop. The owners are waiting for them & they are ready for some dinner. Who will kill them first, the mob or the aliens? Can these kids survive all of these threats????
Pet Shop is a really weird children’s film, the summary sounds way darker than it actually is! It’s more wacky & silly than something that almost hits the horror genre like the story suggests but it’s still lots of fun. Charles Band was trying to capitalize on the Steven Spielberg craze at the time with this. For being a low budget feature, he used all the money exactly where it needed to be & it turned looking like it had a bigger budget than it did. Besides the lame Brooklyn accents, this actually had a real solid cast with a few familiar faces. The greatest thing about Pet Shop is the special/creature effects from Michael Deak (Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare, & Bride of Re-Animator) & Mark Rappaport (Killer Klowns from Outer Space, Child’s Play 3, Army of Darkness, & Puppet Master franchise). I very impressed by it, it looked better than lots of mainstream movies at the same time. It was very entertaining & it had some hilarious moments. I am glad that Full Moon Features resurrected this & the Moonbeam Entertainment catalog to blu ray finally, RECOMMENDED!!!!
Let’s talk about the high definition presentation from Full Moon Features! This 1080p (1.78:1) transfer from the original 35mm negative is better than expected for it’s blu ray debut! Pet Shop hasn’t been available on home video since the VHS days so it’s been a long time since it’s had a proper release. This is the best this direct to video production has ever looked! It has two different audio options which include English: Dolby Digital 5.1 & English: Dolby Digital 2.0 tracks on the disc. It’s huge upgrade compared to the previous low quality VHS presentation from 1995. The dialogue is very clean & the music has a nice boost to it. Both picture & sound are major improvements on this release!!!!
Let’s discuss the special features from Full Moon Features on this blu ray! It has a 20 minute “Moonbeam Video Zone”. It has an introduction by producer Charles Band. He talks about & promotes upcoming projects from Moonbeam Entertainment. He chats a little about the studio. It has a few video clips of the various productions that he brings up from the label. It has a variety of behind the scenes footage from Pet Shop. It has interviews with director Hope Perello, creature effects artist Mark Rappaport, actors Jeff Michalski, Jane Morris, Leigh Ann Orsi, Spencer Vrooman, Sabrina Wiener, & Cody Burger. They chat about working on the film. The kids talk about how acting isn’t as easy as you think it would be & all the school work they have to do to catch up. They mention working with the creature effects for the alien pets in the film. It has a spotlight on Prehysteria 2 & it has an interview with director Albert Band. He chats about the upcoming production. He brings up some differences compared to the original film. It has various clips from it. It has trailers for Dragonworld, Remote, & Prehysteria at the end with a promotion to sign up to the Moonbeam fan club. It also has additional “Trailers” for Prehysteria, Alien Arsenal, Mysterious Museum, & Goobers. It’s available everywhere right now, CHECK IT OUT!!!!