5.7/10
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26 user 25 critic

Shanks (1974)

A mute puppeteer uses a deceased scientist's invention to control dead bodies like puppets.

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Malcolm Shanks / Old Walker
Tsilla Chelton ...
Mrs. Barton
Philippe Clay ...
Mr. Barton
...
Celia
...
...
...
Biff Manard ...
Goliath
Mondo ...
Read Morgan ...
Policeman
...
Grocer
Phil Adams ...
Beethoven
Lara Wing ...
Little Girl

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Storyline

Malcolm Shanks is a sad and lonely man, deaf, mute and living with his cruel sister and her husband, who delight in making him miserable. His only pleasure, it seems, is in making and controlling puppets. Thanks to his skill, he is offered a job as a lab assistant to Dr. Walker, who is working on ways to re-animate dead bodies by instering electrodes at key nerve points and manipulating the bodies as if they were on strings. When the professor suddenly dies one night, Shanks gets the idea to apply their experimental results to a human body, and then to start exacting some revenge. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Deliciously Grotesque. See more »

Genres:

Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

PG
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Details

Country:

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Release Date:

9 October 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A bábmester  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film, as a director, of William Castle. See more »

Goofs

After Mrs. Barton moves Celia's placemat, Malcolm cocks her body to her left. In the following shot, she's cocked to her right. See more »

Crazy Credits

Right before the closing credits roll, a quote from William Makepeace Thackeray is featured: "Let us shut up the box and the puppets, for our play is played out." See more »

Connections

Featured in Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Hard to Watch
31 July 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am sure the cult followers of this film will not like my review, but that's partly what makes this film a cult classic--either you like it or you don't. Even with nothing else to do on a late Friday night, and a stiff drink, a bag of chips, and the need to escape from the cares of the week, I found myself flipping to other channels during the painfully slow segments of this film. The (un)editing and overall incredibly slow flow of this story made it a struggle to stay tuned in. If properly edited, it could have easily been a half-hour "Tales from the Dark Side." In fact, the quality of the shots and lighting made me convinced that it was a made-for-TV film.

All that said, it's interesting to see the movie once, as if it was assigned in a "70s film appreciation" class. But be prepared with something else to do--like sorting receipts for taxes, or playing solitaire.

You may find yourself yelling at the screen--"How many times does the editor have to cut back to his face? We've got the point! Now move on with the action!!!" and, "could he walk down that hallway any slower???" My favorite part of the movie was watching the great body movement of the actors who played the re-animated zombies. And it's funny that Marcel was NOT the best one of these!


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