With Full Moon’s recent announcement of their Grindhouse Series, a re-release of many films that were previously lost in transition from VHS to other formats. I got to thinking about a film that I loved growing up that was from a label that was founded by Full Moon in order to release mainly family friendly films called Moonbeam Entertainment. If you grew up in the 90s, you may remember the Prehysteria series, which was the best-received release from Moonbeam Entertainment during it’s lifespan ranging from 1993 until 1996.
In 1995, Moonbeam Entertainment released a kid’s movie entitled simply “Pet Shop”, I was thirteen years old and by this point completely obsessed with Charles Brand and Full Moon after falling in love with Puppet Master, Subspecies, and various other movies they had released. Growing up I knew the layout out of every video rental store in the area major chains and mom and pop joints a like. Out in the middle of no where about 45 minutes or so from my house there sat a lonely mom and pop video rental shop, that for some odd reason always had the most obscure and strange horror selection. Whenever I was able to coax my Mom into driving 45 minutes instead of 5 to the local big chain store, I always knew I was going to discover something new and exciting not offered else where, it was the closest I ever made it to Disney World in terms of comparable excitement.
On one of my lucky trips to what felt like my own personal Fort Knox of b movie bliss, I came across a video they had just got in earlier that day called you guessed it “Pet Shop”, as soon as I saw the Moonbeam Entertainment logo I began to do various victory chants inside my head and added it to the monstrous pile of movies I’d always take home during visits to this particular store. Oddly enough, I remember that Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh was also rented the same visit. While most kids were pleading with their parents for new bikes, I only had one request, and that was a steady stream of movie rentals, a true nerd in the making.
Pet Shop was a family comedy / sci-fi flick about a pair of aliens disguised as a Cowboy and Cowgirl, who purchase a pet shop on Earth as part of a plan to have some of the planets children for dinner. They start giving free pets out to all the neighborhood children that appear perfectly normal at first but soon began taking their alien forms leading to all the children meeting as they return to the Pet Shop after their pets stop eating. It ended up being the last movie of the pile I watched, but ended up being one of the most memorable movies of my childhood. The special effects are cheesy, the acting is terrible, but it is one of those kids’ movies that are so fun and imagination invoking it becomes burned into your subconscious forever once you experience it.
Sadly, this movie as with many 80s and 90s unknown gems has never seen a DVD release. I for one am crossing my fingers and my toes in hopes that the first wave of Grindhouse Series releases do well perhaps paving the way for further forgotten retro releases. Best-case scenario would be a best of Moonbeam Entertainment box set but at this point, I would settle for a simple re-release of Pet Shop. This is one of the big ones in terms of movies that I would want to share with my children if I ever have any and deserves to be released from its VHS prison to be enjoyed by future generations of up and coming movie nerds. Fun random fact Pet Shop was one of the many drive in classics that were featured on TNT’s Monster Vision hosted by the one and only legend Joe Bob Briggs.