• MikeSlash

RETURN TO OZ (1985)

What’s that you say? Return to Oz a horror film? The same OZ with Dorothy? The sequel to the syrupy-sweet family oriented ’39 flick? Ummmmm….that’s an astounding yes! So let's see...this is marketed as family fare…all is good when the movie begins...we get adorable little Dorothy trying to communicate her stories to her aunt and uncle. Awwww…isn’t that sweet…this will be a family support film with returning characters eventually making their way into the story. Wrong! The only family support is getting little Dorothy into a hospital for electro-shock therapy…in a run-down dirty hospital. But after that little venture? Dorothy somehow is whisked away back to Oz, which is now in ruins. That’s okay, the munchkins will make it all better…if they still existed. No, we get these ‘Wheelers’ made up of humans/creatures on all fours but wheels for hands/feet...one of the weirdest mashups out there. The desert that turns people to sand isn’t freaky enough, we also need a woman who literally collects heads and decides to imprison Dorothy, with her talking chicken friend, in the attic where we meet the ‘Scarecrow’ equivalent of this outing, Mr. Jack Pumpkinhead. I’m sorry…he creeped me out but not as much as the actual scarecrow when we see his return near the end. Both appear full puppet and while practical puppetry/costumes are great over CGI…given the context of the whole atmosphere of the film it adds to the unwholesome factor. But that’s not all...we get a ‘Nome King’ who turns people to stone. How fun! Yeah, this isn’t horror at all…just a kids nightmare that thought they were getting more wholesome fun but instead were traumatized for life at the sight of literal screaming floating heads and fears of being subjected to shock therapy in the middle of the night during a rainstorm. Utterly terrifying. Use this one as your next babysitter.


SLASH SCENE: The heads

SLASH SCORE: 4/5

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