Review by Ruth E. Ferguson
Woodrow J. Larchbottom, III, Douglas “Chip” Fir, Peter Feidwood, Leif
Applebaum, Clayton Martinez as “Pjorn and The Cart Puller”
Director: Jurgen Heimann
Audio: English - Dolby Digital (5.1)
Video: Full Frame 1.33:1
Extras: Featurette, Mock Cast Bios, Photo Gallery, Trailer
Release Date: February 4, 2003
hope He is not too upset!” -
Speaking of God, whose role was edited out of the short version of the film.
Elite Entertainment specializes in releasing horror films
on DVD. In February they are
distributing what you might call a horror-comedy performed by puppets that is
fairly original and pretty fun. The
Puphedz: The Tattle-Tale Heart
is a new twist on an Edgar Allen Poe classic.
The Puphedz are hoping to add new life to Poe’s stories and have found
a creative way of capturing the imagination of the teen audience.
The Puphedz is a band of performers traveling via a hand
pulled cart stopping in small towns to present their shows.
The story features a young man driven mad by the deformed eye of the old
man he shares a house with, and they want it clearly understood they live
together only to save money on rent.
Though he tries to avoid looking and the huge eye that continually
rotates, the young man is constantly drawn back to it.
So, he decides to attempt to commit the perfect crime and of course
mayhem ensues when the police show up. The
scenes with the police are very funny, with a bit of satire on racial
stereotypes thrown in.
The puppets are cleverly designed, intricately carved
wooded marionette puppets. The show
is created with various forms of special effects, including live action, stop
motion animation and for the dream sequence, CG.
Jürgen Heimann is the
producer, director, writer and puppeteer for this project, and his impressive
resume includes work on Men in Black 1 & 2, How the Grinch Stole
Christmas and The Nutty Professor (both of them).
The filmmakers received help from such A-List special
effects experts as Oscar winner Rick Baker, who has worked with Heimann on many
of the same projects as well as 2001’s Planet of the Apes. The
Tattle-Tale Heart was nominated and won several awards on the film festival
circuit last fall including Best Animation at the Los Angeles Screamfest Horror
When I plugged the disc in my first clue that this was not
a fly by night production was the fact the look of the feature was top notch.
The transfer is very good, not a stitch of unintended grain.
The menus are grainy but that is because they are going for an old
newsreel type of effect. Otherwise the colors were very sharp and everything about the
look of the film enhances your enjoyment.
The Dolby 5.1 sounds fine.
Sound effects are a bit of a factor, but not a standout part of the
Extra features include a making-of featurette (16:06), an animated slide
show (: 57), mock Puphedz cast bios, the US trailer (1:52), European
trailer (3:03), and a teaser trailer (: 39).
The featurette gives us a peek at how they handled some of the shots,
which is rather interesting because it is a well-done production.
The other items are standard stuff.