Curse of the Puppet Master (1998)Quick Thoughts:Well this was my first foray into the Puppet Master series and I believe that starting at the 5th installment in a franchise may have been the wrong idea. While I have never seen any of the previous installments in the series I take it the opening of this movie is clips from the previous 4 movies which is something very lazy (dont like it in my Rocky sequels, didn't like it here) The puppetry in this movie is very simple (think Hobgoblins level) and only a couple fun puppet/gore moments keep this movie from boredomsploitation. The way the movie is shot though felt like a softcore porn scene could start at any moment (spoiler alert: it doesn't).8 Word Review:These were Andy's toys after his first divorce.
TerrorVision (1986)I must pray to the gods in the hope that I never have to watch such a film as TerrorVision, ever again. I was thrown back thirty years into a film packed to the brim with atrocious erotic art, Heineken product placement, and an irrational idolisation of television. I'm aware that this is a low-budget B film, but who would want to go and see such shit in the first place? Annoying characters. Nonexistent storyline. C'est un film de merde.
Chris straight up hated Planet Terror, Ichi the Killer and TerrorVision, said The Thing's special effects were too dated to be effective, and that Sci-Fi Horror films aren't scary (*cough* Alien.) I don't think this guy should be allowed to watch movies anymore. :)
Charles Band's TRANCERS (1985) on Amazon Prime for the first time.There's an early scene in "Trancers" in which cop-from-the-future-in-1985-Los Angeles Jack Deth (Tim Thomerson) is fighting to the death with a mall Santa Claus whose mind has been taken over by a hypnosis-controlling bad guy named Whistler (Michael Stefani), whose mind-taking-over-an-ancestor's-body has also traveled back in time so his 'trancer' followers can take over 23rd century Los Angeles. Anywho, during the aforementioned fight between Deth and Santa Claus the movie cuts to horrified kids and parents, including a kid smiling ear-to-ear because of what he's watching. That smiling kid perfectly summarizes Full Moon Entertainment and "Trancers": seeing this cast & crew stretch a meager budget and bend over backwards to entertain you will bring out the smiling kid in anyone who appreciates and loves movies.So much to like in "Trancers": L.A. locations, scooters vs. cop cars chase scenes, young Helen Hunt totally committing and looking adorable, Art LaFleur as McNulty (especially in his little girl form), Mac Ahlberg's cinematography (Empire Pictures' secret weapon in the 80's for their no-budget flicks looking above-average), a shoestring version of "The Matrix's" bullet time gimmick (an excuse to do a little Q-like Bond beat), the Christmas punk rock song ('penis in my hand'), the trancer tanning kill room, etc. I haven't seen the sequels, and frankly I'm not sure I want to after seeing Tim Thomerson fumble his way through this one as our hero. Just watch him moving the steering wheel of the car he drives (clearly on a flatbed) or trying to sell the corny one-liners... yikes. Also, for all the hard work that went into it, "Trancers" doesn't really have any major set-pieces or memorable action beats. It makes me want to rewatch "The Terminator" so bad I just might do that. :-) The version of "Trancers" streaming on Amazon is a 4:3 open matte (same as the full-screen VHS release), so the fake walls and lighting grids of the Chinatown "apartment" where Jack and Leena are hiding are visible for all to see. If only Charles Band felt today about making movies as strongly as he did back in the 80's (instead of his current obsession on marketing/merchandising gimmicks) I'd take Full Moon more seriously. Still a lot better than Troma though.
Forgot to mention that, if you read the credits, one of the assistants for "Trancers'" art department was a young P.A. named Frank Darabont. Hmm, "Trancers" => "The Walking Dead"... nah!
I think the 4:3 version is the only one that's ever been available (even on DVD). UK distributor 88 Films is putting the movie out on Blu-ray in September; hopefully then we'll finally get a proper widescreen version.
Head of the Family (1996) – First ViewingI don’t have a lot to say on this one, so here’s a few things I liked about it: The pun in the title. The Head was kind of like an inverse-Dorf with the tiny hands flapping around. I liked the jaunty score. As much as I found this movie a slog to get through it’s tough to criticize it because it knows exactly what it is and is so silly and harmless. I liked this movie well enough to want to see some more Full Moon Features.
Demonic Toys (1992, Peter Manoogian) This was like Puppet Master, only not as good. The toys themselves lack much personality and the single-location-three-four-actor format is already in place. I can't totally dislike a movie that climaxes in a fist fight between a 10-year old demon boy and 10-year old incarnation of the hero's unborn son (dressed as a toy soldier), but I didn't like it as much as several other flagship Full Moon titles.
Puppet Master (1989)Better than you'd probably expect, but needs more puppets. Also, why is that one dude's blood green? Is he a Vulcan?
Puppet Master 2 (1991) This movie is crazy. (in a fun way) I know the acting isn't great but, I feel like every one is trying. I 1st saw this movie years ago and I'm still asking people if they've "ever smelled roasting entrails?!" I've spent more time than I should wondering where that van drove off to and what became of it's passengers....
Plus Charlie Spradling.
DARK ANGEL: THE ASCENT (1994)Veronica is a demon, who flees from Hell and escapes to Earth. From there, the movie sorta/kinda riffs on THE TERMINATOR, but with demons and Hell in place of time travel and the future. Only there’s a lot less action and a lot more hokey romance between Veronica and this good-looking doctor she meets. If this movie’s famous for anything, it’s for the lavishly painted Boris Vallejo-style poster/cover art, which was totally rockin’. No movie could live up to such an awesome image.
This was written by the same guy who wrote Forbidden Zone!
Trancers (1985)Film gleefully slams together elements from Blade Runner, The Terminator, noir, and zombie flicks – and that’s just in the first 15 minutes. The movie has a welcome sense of humor about its own preposterousness, and the two leads have great chemistry (Helen Hunt can be so charming). The movie also has a very funny and unique version of cockblocking. Memo to New Year’s Evil – now THAT’s punk music!Not only had I never seen this movie before, I had never seen a single Full Moon production before. That’s just one more reason why Junesploitation is unadulterated awesomeness.
Tourist Trap: I was in the mood for this one even though it is kind of a cheat! I really liked this one. I thought it was really good and super creepy! The faces that are just that bit different from a normal human's in the mannequins that it really makes your skin crawl.
Re-Animator (1985)Though I suppose watching Ghoulies in 4-minute chunks on YouTube might be the modern equivalent of a grindhouse experience, I figured I'd just take Patrick's advice and watch this instead. Glad I did - this one's a lot of fun (unless maybe you're a cat lover) and though I watched them in the wrong order, is a great companion piece to From Beyond.I did subscribe to FMS so I'll catch up with some genuine Full Moon stuff at some point - I'm probably the only person left with a desktop computer instead of a laptop, so I just need to figure out how to get it to play on my TV...
Ragewar aka The Dungeonmaster (1984) fuckin' kickass trailer / full movie"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" A computer repairman and his girlfriend get sucked into his (sentient, female) computer by Satan (Richard Moll!) who forces the guy to complete seven challenges or else he steals his girlfriend. Why? No clue. Each challenge is handled by a different writer/director, though it's all part of one narrative. It's a real kitchen sink affair: there are stone giants, dwarves, zombies, a post-apocalyptic segment, an appearance by W.A.S.P., Jack the Ripper, Einstein, and more laser effects than in any other movie not set in outer space I can think of. It's a lot of fun and very one of a kind, but hard to get a handle on. Wiki says that an unreleased 30-minute sequel shot in 1988 will premiere on FMS soon!
Re-Animator (1985)Loved the over-the-top everything in this, but must admit, there was ten minutes surrounding a lot of meowing that I just couldn't watch. It's funny when a man's eyeballs explode out of his face... But killing a kitty? That's just taking things too far.
Spoken like a true Cat-Fan.Everyone congratulate Melissa on getting engaged! Congratulations Melissa!!
HAHA! Exact same thing when I watched The Collector (2009). Ughhh.... I'm pretty sure all the humans had it coming, but geez, why oh why does a cat have to get involved?! YAY!! Thank you so much Patrick! I'm so excited!! All the F! Heads are of course invited to attend... As Canadian winters are no treat, we are heading to a beach somewhere warm. (All inclusive is the way to go... First round's on me!)