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Shanks [Blu-ray]

3.3 out of 5 stars 8 customer reviews

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(May 28, 2013)
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Editorial Reviews

From William Castle, the director of The Tingler and Strait-Jacket comes this one-of-a-kind cult classics starring the world-renowned mime Marcel Marceau in a dual role as a mute puppeteer and an eccentric inventor. The legendary gimmick-master and horror great's final film is genuine and strikingly effective experiment in filmmaking. After the death of the inventor, the downtrodden puppeteer gleefully discovers that he can re-animate the dead with electrodes and manipulate them like marionettes. The great cast includes mimic greats Tsilla Chelton and Philippe Clay as Mr. and Mrs. Barton, Marceau's evil sister and brother-in-law. One of the film's highlights is the beautiful and haunting score by the great Alex North (Spartacus).

Product Details

  • Actors: Marcel Marceau, Tsilla Chelton, Philippe Clay, Larry Bishop, Don Calfa
  • Directors: William Castle
  • Writers: Ranald Graham
  • Producers: William Castle
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, NTSC, Widescreen, Anamorphic, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Studio: Olive Films
  • DVD Release Date: May 28, 2013
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00C3ALLQM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #97,070 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A. Griffiths on April 10, 2013
Format: DVD
This must surely be one of the most neglected fantasy films of all time. By all accounts a flop at the time of it's release, it has become the hardest to see of all William Castle's movies - until this BluRay and DVD finally come out it has been impossible to get hold of. It's also in colour, which is another rarity from this director.

French mime/actor Marcel Marceau plays the title role of Malcolm Shanks, a deaf mute puppeteer who scratches out a living putting on shows for children, while bearing the brunt of a miserable home life with his money grabbing brother and sister-in-law, who take all the money he earns for themselves. One day, an elderly professor (also played by Marceau in a dual role) sees his puppet show and offers Shanks a job - to come to his home to assist him is some experiments involving the artificial stimulation of dead animals via electricity, or something...why or how it actually works is not expanded on, but it involves small implants being attached to the muscles and these are then activated by means of a small control box.

Due to his background with puppets, Shanks proves to be very adept at controlling the movement of his first animals (a dead frog, and later a rooster). However things take an unexpected turn when he turns up for work one day only to find the professor dead in his armchair, seemingly from natural causes. Shanks has all but been hounded out of his own home by his cruel relatives, and he realises that desperate measures are needed to avoid going back there...and so the professor becomes the first human subject for re-animation.

What follows is the beginning of a macabre and dreamlike fantasy. The "awakening" of the dead professor is one of the most ghoulish things I have ever seen.
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A cult classic with mime Marcel Marceau playing the part of a deaf mute puppeteer (Shank) who works for a scientist who has learned to animate dead animals. Beginning with a frog, then a chicken, Shank later animates the corpse of the scientist (played by Marceau who speaks as this character) when he dies.suddenly, Then the movie really gets weird. Hard to believe, but the musical score won an Oscar. The score was rejected by Kubrick for 2001: A Space Odyssey and Kubrick then used classical music for the movie. The plot is crazy, the dialogue is terrible and the acting is marginal. It is not surprising that Marceau never acted in another film.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
One of the most surreal and bizarre movies made, which is one of the many reasons I love it so much. Love him or hate him, you must admit that William Castle is a fun director that knows what he's making. This is by far my favorite Castle movie.
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Oddly uneven but VERY unique. Got to give William Castle credit for ending his career with something different. Soundtrack is great and good to see Castle's final cameo. Marceau did a very nice job and his choreography is wonderful!
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