Posts Tagged ‘Full Moon Entertainment’

If you know the name of Charles Band, you know what to expect when you see his name in the credits as the executive producer.  His studio, known as Empire Pictures ( which would later change to Full Moon Entertainment) made quite a few low budget schlock horror films in the 1980s, including such notable ones as Troll and Dungeonmaster.  The stories were anemic, but the special effects were good for such cheap productions, making them adequate fodder for video rentals and late night cable staples for the horror-loving junkies (such as we). This time we are taking a stab into his, several years too late, a “New Wave” horror film.

The premise of the film revolves around a contest put on by music station R-TV (Rock Television), whereby seven lucky winners are taken up to an old Italian castle in order to compete for a chance to win a million dollars, while also rubbing shoulders with stuck-up, alcoholic rock superstar, Cassandra Castle (played by Bunty Bailey). The only rules are that they can’t leave the castle for any reason or they will be disqualified, and they are discouraged from damaging anything on the property. For this momentous undertaking, R-TV sends their most popular VJ Rex (played by Richard Blade), but only one camera. At this point the movie seems to be nothing more than one long 80s music video. To add to this claim, contestants are consisted of 5 blonde girls, one ugly guy and one gay looking Italian. And they are all too anxious to start their search for the hidden check.

You rang?

The owner of this castle is certain person with appropriate name of Senor Diablo. Obviously evil servant welcomes contestants to the castle and takes them to a tour in which they can see a statue that will clearly come alive. Also someone is watching them through crystal ball. Anyway, they are accommodated each in their own room. Italian guy Tony (played by Marcello Modungo) starts hitting on everything that has two legs and tits. The ugly fat guy Harlan (played by Michael Zorek) started eating the moment after he unpacked his stuff. Myrna (played by Martha Demson) has brought rifle with herself (she is safari lunatic). Tom (played by Harold P Pruett) and Jackie (played by Gail O’Graidy) are making plans to search together for the check (naturally, they are brother and sister), while Teri (played by KIm Ulrich) just dances in front of sinister looking painting.

Now this is the art

Although the contest officially starts tomorrow all of the contestants decided to bend the rules and start their search for the check the very same night. All but Harlan who came down just because he got night munchies. Boy, he likes food. Yvette (played by Traci Linn), on the other hand, is much more hungry for a money. She seduces Rex into giving her a clue of where the check should be (she doesn’t know it is hidden between Cassandra’s tits). Slutty approach always gives some results. Hey, everything is allowed while cameras are off. And they will stay off since camera crew never got to castle. I don’t want to spoil your fun so check below for what happened to them.

 

Following the clue she got from Rex (the check is hidden somewhere on the first floor), Yvette started her search. But she has no clue about what is actually going on. She takes a break and sits on some antique chair. Which devours her! Meanwhile, always drunk Cassandra stumbles into basement where she finds a big pile of skeletons. Which also came alive. Everything in this castle is something. But, unlike Yvette, she lived to talk about that. Of course that no one would believe her. She is such an alcoholic that when Rex angrily spilled her liquor she started licking the floor.

 

The game has officially started. Everybody is looking everywhere. That’s good excuse for Tony to enter the rooms where girls are. He found the check but got distracted by Cassandra’s nudity. She took that opportunity to hide it once again while evil servant was kicking Tony’s ass out of the room. But the check has it’s own ways. It is controlled by Senor Diablo through a crystal ball. And Tony must pay for his rude behavior. The check flies out onto the top of the castle while Tony is pursuing it without paying much attention where he steps. How this scene ended I think all of you can presume.

 

While everybody is running around like insane Harlan takes this opportunity to do what he likes the most – to eat. He orders and gets entire pig for himself. Soon after he is convinced into validity of old saying “You are what you eat”. That’s right, my friends. With just one swift move of the hand above crystal ball Harlan was turned into a pig! I would say that he doesn’t look much different now in his new form. Teri sees him and runs away into her room where she gets devoured by creature from the picture. I believe it was Satyr. Anyway, she wasn’t the only one who ended her search in her own room. Camera girl Jamie (played by always charming Dale Wyatt) was strangled by electric snake her camera produced! She ain’t so pretty no more. Nor is Myrna, who became prey instead of hunter. At least she killed that fat guy who had turned into a pig.

 

The only remaining girl Jackie stumbles upon a secret Senor Diablo’s (played by Adam Ant) hideout. There he explains to her that he is a demon and that all those who had fallen to his vicious spell casting are down in hell. Meanwhile, Tom had finally managed to score something. And that person is Cassandra. Let’s see…drunk, scared, washed-up rock star, with low self-esteem. Easy target. She decides to burn the check in a fireplace but instead the check scorched her (?). So she appears at Senor Diablo. It turns out that Cassandra had traded her soul in exchange for becoming rock star. Also, she was bound to bring to Senor Diablo more fresh souls. Wanting to save her brother Tom, Jackie offers her souls in exchange for Tom’s safety and million dollars. A lot of dumb, unconvincing dialogs occur followed by awful acting. Eventually, Cassandra takes the gun and shoots crystal ball, thus forcing Diablo to reveal his true form. Every contestant is alive again and walks into the room. It seems that Cassandra has made a new contract, and Senor Diablo is now new VJ, Cyril St. Michael. What a stupid ending.

 

Conclusion: Spellcaster’s attractive cast, impressive effects and make-up, and relatively light delivery are about the only aspects of the film that make it watchable schlock for those who enjoy cheesy, b-movie horror. The plot of the film isn’t very well thought out at all.  It’s not quite clear how people could win the contest, but even if it were explained, the chance that a brother and sister could both win out of (presumably) millions of entries is ridiculous to believe. It’s amazing how many ideas were squandered in the making of this film.  For a movie centering around an MTV-like international music channel, it boasts almost no music whatsoever. I stayed through the closing credits and counted two generic-sounding songs used in the film, both sung by artists I’ve never heard of. They say you can’t have too much of a good thing, but apparently, Charles Band can’t get too much of a bad thing.  He would repeat the movie’s basic premise again in 1990 in Meridian (two American students go to Italy when one inherits a castle, and strange things occur), and in 1995 with Castle Freak (an American couple and their daughter inherit a castle in Italy, where strange things occur).  There may be others, but with hundreds of movies to his name, I don’t have the diligence to do the research.  It shouldn’t come as a surprise to learn that Band owns the castle in question.  A man’s home is his castle and his castle, his movie set.

After the hit documentary  Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films , we  present you another promising B-movie documentary– produced and directed by Daniel Griffith covering a very interesting company- Charles Band’s  Empire Production! Now, even if you don’t remember the name I’m sure you’ll remember some of their hits.

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Empire Pictures started with limited released such as Swordkill and Dungeonmaster, followed by a string of actual theatrical hits like Reanimator and Ghoulies and also Trancers.

EmpirePictures“2,000 movies by the year 2000!” Well, not really…

Unfortunately it all came crushing down just 5 years later after a scandal with their main financier Credit Lyonnais (a French bank  that was outed for it’s predatory lending practices and actively trying to conceal Empire’s pile of debts from other creditors). It all ended in a mess of lawsuits, and the company was bought out by newly founded Epic Pictures Entertainment with Band leaving to found Full Moon Entertainment which is despite a break of some years still active!

You can enjoy the trailer right here.

 

You can check out the successful Kickstarter campaign here kickstarter.com/projects/ballyhoomotionpics/celluloid-wizards-in-the-video-wasteland  and also follow them along  on facebook. https://www.facebook.com/empirepicturesdocumentary

Over the decades (mostly 20th century decades),at least according to movies, the Earth has been invaded from space numerous times by many different creatures and species. Some invasions were successful, some were not, some were brilliantly planed and again some were complete nonsense (such as invasions seen in “Plan 9 From Outer Space”, “Killer Klowns from Outer Space“, “Invaders From Mars“, etc). Since this is utterly dull movie I’ll keep it short and with low effort in writing thus making this review almost as lousy as plot of this flick.

This incredibly boring creation of Full Moon Entertainment (which is odd since their movies are usually hilarious) starts with a man being rushed in hospital. Doctors are trying to prepare him for surgery. He had a serious concussion. But he is struggling and repeats that he must talk to authorities. His name is Tom Baines (played by Sam Hennings) and he is geologist. In that moment FBI agent storms in demanding to interrogate poor man while he is laying on operating table. Agent seems to know what Tom is talking about so he asks him to tell him whole story. Tom starts to remember everything happening from the time he got to Comet Valley. And that is when this movie is really about to begin.

Very special agentVery special agent!

After divorcing and leaving graduate school Tom heads back to Comet Valley. He is staying at his old girlfriend’s family house now turned to bed and breakfast motel. Her name is Heidi Tucker (played by Andrea Roth) and at first glance at her we can say she is an irritating, bull headed bitch who makes us to want her to die ASAP in most painful way. Anyway, Tom gets an invite from his old friend to talk about meteorites since couple of them recently have fallen in Comet Valley. In entire story are included deputy sheriff Brad Yates (played by Dane Witherspoon), who is still jealous of Tom because of Heidi, and Heidi’s niece Kim (played by Holly Fields) who is mind-reading conspiracy freak (well, at least when the house lady is around). Also, Heidi’s brother
Frank (played by John Mooney) is the sheriff. Hm seems like the residents of Comet Valley like to keep it in family.

She doesn't need to be afraid of mind readers... There is not anything they could read there.She doesn’t need to be afraid of mind readers… There is not anything they could read there.

Later that night Frank goes to investigate meteorite crash site. There he finds strange plant, and like any other professional would do in such situation, he starts poking it with stick. It turns out that such method of investigation gives plant a sexual release. Now what made us think it is true, maybe someone will ask? You see, after several pokes, plant CUMS onto Frank turning him that way into a fishman! Makes sense? I don’t know for you, but I am pretty sure that it doesn’t for poor Frank. But wait, that’s not the best part of transformation!!! Frank can easily turn back into the human form. Sounds familiar?

Cum shot!

Frank continues his life normally without anyone else suspecting anything. Well, apart of Kim, who now thinks Frank is possessed. Same as house lady Mrs. Santiago (played by Anne Betancourt). Kim is so obsessed with Mrs. Santiago that she spends most of her time hiding in the yard filming poor old house lady with camera which she drags with her all the time. During one of her filming she got attacked by evil tumbleweed and completely freaks out. Anyway, long story short, several other people gets possessed by body snatching plants, Tom discovers that meteorite is seed which brought aliens here together with their plans for world domination (well, duh) and that ultra-violet light is killing them. Now when I mentioned that… It is strange thing how this UV kills them. Plants get blown away by plain 50 volt UV light but they still can walk around in broad daylight without any harm done to them. Do I need to tell you that, during the daylight, UV energy is kind of a million times stronger than the one that actually kills them?

Transformation

As I already stated on the beginning of this review, I am going to keep it short as much as possible, due to endless dullness and boredom this movie provides. After everything that had happened, Tom now thinks that Mrs. Santiago is head alien and if he destroys her he will set free all of possessed Comet Valley residents, including his ex-girlfriend Heidi. Of course, many people have lost their lives (and minds) during this struggle. Even a Doc Roller (played by Bernard Kates) who was of the biggest assistance to Tom in attempts to purge plants from the Earth. Doc electrocuted himself while connecting the power cables in order to power up UV lights on the bridge. What a dumb hero. The final fight between Tom and transformed Mrs. Santiago at the back of pick-up truck ended with truck falling off the cliff with monster in it and then exploding (as it was the fashion in B-movies). The world is saved. Or is it? You see, a moments before truck will fall into it’s death, Tom had jumped off it and hit the rock with his head. Next thing he remembers is waking up ay the hospital and telling his story. After he finished his narration, Heidi (i don’t know what happened to Kim and I don’t care) and Mrs. Santiago (not explained how she have managed to survive her fall) stepped in the room. It turns out that Heidi, Mrs. Santiago and FBI agent are together in this diabolical scheme for plants spreading. Since Doc Roller has been deep fried, the only obstacle between them and world domination is drugged up, tied-to-bed, naive Tom. Seedpeople have won and the Earth is doomed (thanks God for that).

Death

Conclusion: As you may have already noticed this movie is a complete rip-off of far more superior “Invasion of Body Snatchers”, “The Day of the Triffids” and any other alien invasion movie. Full Moon Entertainment had hit the rock bottom here with butchered scripts of already mentioned more successful movies and non-existence of acting, choreography and suspense, while their actors are drowning in sea of plants’ (and director’s) cum. Also, monster costumes are not even worth of mentioning since they look like they had been stolen from “Little Mermaid” child’s play. I strongly recommend you to shoot anyone who even suggests you watching this manure.