Full Moon Features: The Art Collection is a 2018 book featuring artwork promoting Full Moon movies. Here’s the blurb:
“Full Moon is thrilled to be releasing the massive Full Moon Features: The Art Collection, an 84 page, 12×9 coffee table tome that collects a library of arresting promotional artwork culled from dozens of our legendary franchise horror films.
Inside this incredible book you’ll find lush and lively posters for films from the Puppet Master, Killjoy, Demonic Toys, Trancers, The Gingerdead Man, Evil Bong and Subspecies franchises and many more besides. Here, collected for the first time, fans can have the original art they grew up with, couple with jaw-dropping international poster and one-sheet art used to promote these immortal pictures in various countries and territories around the world.
With the holidays fast-approaching, Full Moon Features: The Art Collection is the ultimate gift idea for the serious Full Moon fan and for lovers of weird and wonderful cinematic promotional art.”
While we’d take issue with 84 pages being a “tome” (the definition being: “a book, especially a large, heavy, scholarly one”), the artwork for Full Moon movies has always been excellent in terms of how to sell a ‘B’ movie and as it seems to be full-colour this book is certainly well-worth $20. Only available direct from Full Moon
Also recommended is Dave Jay’s entertaining and informative Empire of the ‘B’s: The Mad Movie World of Charles Band
I’m a longtime Full Moon fan, dating back to the third grade. Once I discovered Puppet Master, it all ballooned from there. When I started diving into the Charles Band filmography though, I was amazed even as a kid to learn that I’d actually been a fan of the man’s work from some of my earliest memories, thanks to the Moonbeam imprint which had produced several kid-friendly features in the early 1990s. Dragonworld and Beanstalk were among the titles I was fond of, but my three favorites were without a doubt the Prehysteria! trilogy. I definitely have not revisited them since I was in the single digits, but as a dinosaur kid, they were in regular rotation in my household, driving my parents crazy, I have no doubt.
It’s a testament to how much I loved this franchise in my youth that as soon as the film started, after easily over twenty years, everything came rushing back. I remembered the names of every dinosaur before they were introduced, I pieced together why Dolls and Robocop 2 actor Stephen Lee has always felt extremely familiar to me, because he’d been the bad guy in one of my early childhood favorites. I was also delighted to see that Prehysteria! holds up about as well as any other Full Moon favorite of the era. Which is to say: pretty damn well, if you know what you’re in for.
A lot of that is due to the new Blu-ray transfer. Since the releases of the early Puppet Master features, Full Moon has been absolutely crushing it in this regard. With a few exceptions here and there, the Blu-rays look great. Prehysteria! definitely keeps that trend going. This is as crisp a transfer as Full Moon has ever put out. Not only is the transfer incredibly vibrant and clear, but it also—most importantly—allows for the David Allen FX work to shine better than it ever had a chance to on VHS.
The story is extremely simple. A coked out fossil collector finds actual dinosaur eggs and places them inside a cooler, only for that cooler to be switched with one belonging to a down-home country dad and his two kids, who regularly sell fossils to this collector. The family dog keeps the eggs warm and weirdly becomes a mother figure to the baby dinosaurs that hatch. The group of dinos are, in pure Charles Band fashion, very small. There’s no real concrete explanation given as to why, either, I think it’s just accepted that that’s simply what you get out of a Full Moon/Moonbeam movie at this point.
Silly and campy as the film might be, it actually holds up surprisingly well—which is a huge relief to me, considering how much I loved the series as a kid. There’s an E.T. element with the kid befriending the dinosaurs and enlisting the help of his uninterested older sister—who almost seems like a cross between both the older brother and younger sister in E.T.—to keep the little critters out of the hands of the guy who only wants to use them to escalate his own profit and fame. Still, I wouldn’t go as far as to call Prehysteria! Amblin-esque. Low budget ‘90s family films had an aesthetic all their own, and it’s an aesthetic that this movie definitely helped to define, somewhere between a Disney Channel movie and the low-stakes family drama of Critters 3. Coming from me, that’s actually a glowing review.
The characterization of the young kid, Jerry—played by none other than Last Action Hero star Austin O’Brien—is both endearing and weirdly specific. He’s a ‘90s kid who feels totally out of place in his own era, with jokes from the older sister that he might as well have come from the stone age because he still listens to Elvis. It’s totally on the nose in a way that family comedies get away with better than any other genre. It not only links the kid to the dinosaurs in an unexpected way, but paves the way for the boy naming the T-Rex “Elvis” because they were both the king of their respective eras.
Each of the dinos is named after a musician, in fact, from Madonna to Jagger, and each of the creatures looks great. They’re all different—from a T-Rex, to a Brachiosaurus, to a Pteranadon, Chasmosaurus and Stegosaurus—and each of them stands out in their own way. From the individual characterizations and specific vocalized mumbling or growling, the dinosaurs actually feel very reflective of the stars of Band’s flagship Puppet Master series.
There’s no question that even on Blu-ray, the stop-motion and puppetry effects look dated, but that should never have mattered in the first place. Every movie is reflective of its era, and even though it’s a family film, Prehysteria! is totally representative of early Full Moon at the height of its powers, when the movies were coming out like clockwork and selling (and renting) extremely well. David Allen was specializing in stop-motion years after the technique had stopped being popular in live action film, and managed to turn what most considered an outdated—extinct, if you will—technique into genuine spectacle. That was the magic of the work he did with Band, and Prehysteria! is a terrific example of it.
While the movie is a lot of fun and the transfer looks excellent, Prehysteria doesn’t come loaded with special features. Having said that, the ones that it does come with are still a treat. Like most of the Full Moon releases, this Blu-ray contains the original Video Zone, something I had actually forgotten was done for the Moonbeam movies. For those unfamiliar, the Video Zones were billed as a “behind-the-scenes video magazine” that gave viewers a glimpse at the making of the film as well as a sneak peek at future releases, years before the onset of DVD and the popularity of bonus content.
The only other special feature is a commentary by Charles Band and Austin O’Brien. Despite his massive filmography, Band’s commentaries can wildly vary in quality, as evidenced by the Puppet Master II commentary in which he mostly discussed then-ongoing deals at Full Moon Direct. But having Band and the star together helped to stir up some interesting tidbits and, especially, fuel the nostalgia that drove a release like this to begin with.
All in all, this is a fairly slim release but still a fantastic one for fans of the movie and old-school Full Moon in general. As someone who’s been wanting to revisit Prehysteria for a long time, I was admittedly already something of a mark for this, but the transfer alone absolutely makes the new Blu-ray worth it. If you love quirky ‘90s straight-to-video flicks, Full Moon, or some of the offbeat family features of the era, this one’s actually kind of a must. Prehysteria! is available on Blu-ray, now.
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Charles Band is one of the most successful independent producers in the genre’s history. He helped spearhead the VHS boom with Wizard Video, he helped create two of the first licensed horror games ever with Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Halloween for Atari. And, of course, with Empire Pictures and later Full Moon, Charles Band produced some of the most successful, bizarre independent horror and sci-fi films ever, including Ghoulies, Re-Animator, Terrorvision, Puppet Master, Subspecies, Trancers and literally hundreds more.
Over time, Full Moon has proven to be experimental in both its storytelling and its merchandising, finding success in everything from action figures to comic books. Their latest project, Bunker of Blood, is a testament to that. The first installment in this new series of features is a clip show, like Puppet Master: The Legacy and When Puppets and Dolls Attack, but Puppet Master: Blitzkrieg Massacre introduces a story told through comic book art that will continue throughout each of the Bunker of Blood titles.
We caught up with Charles Band to talk about this latest venture, as well as the future of Puppet Master and finally finishing David Allen’s masterwork, The Primevals.
Wicked Horror: There have been Full Moon and even Puppet Master compilations in the past, but not with this kind of ongoing narrative to connect each one. What was the genesis behind the idea for Bunker of Blood?
Charles Band: It was in part because over the many, many years, especially doing all the Road Shows, people would always say “Dude, you should put together all the most rad kill scenes!” And of course they cite Puppet Master, and sometimes all the other puppet and doll movies and all the Death Head movies, but just to do a straight up compilation—even if we did it really clever—was not that appealing. And then we needed to frame it in a way that was different.
The idea of doing it the way we’re doing it, especially now that we’re working with some really talented comic book writers and artists, we’ve published a series and there’s another one right behind it. I thought it would be cool to come up with a story that could bookend these various features and chapters, that could tie into at minimum a graphic novel or feature that we could shoot. Next year will be the rebirth of a lot of films that we’ll hopefully be able to make. The idea is that Bunker of Blood as a standalone idea could translate to 60-70 pages of comic book story, if you take all of the bookends off of all of the features.
They’re very cool. Now, they’re very ambitious, which is also something great about comics when done correctly. You write a screenplay, come up with a storyline, every moment you’re mindful of what you can afford to do. And when you have a small budget you can’t afford to do a lot. On a comic book page, man, you can go crazy. So, it’s combining what the writers and artists are conjuring up with the idea of “You know, I might make that movie one day.”
So, I thought it would be a fun way to frame what are essentially compilations. Bunker of Blood, at least the first one, Puppet Master: Blitzkrieg Massacre is just endless puppet death, but I think they’re strung together in a clever way. If a body flies out a window and it lands, it will land in the next cut. If it’s Blade landing on top of something or, you know, we’re trying to make it so people can sit back and do whatever they do to relax and entertain themselves and just watch this madness. Even though Puppet Master: Blitzkrieg Massacre just came out, we’ve completed the second one which is called Deadly Dolls, which is cut and is now in the process of mixing and tweaking. And the third one is called Death Head. At the very least, it’s fun, it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. People can say, “Oh, it’s a cheat, it’s another Puppet Master movie,” but it really isn’t. It’s kind of a “best of” of gore. I don’t really know what to call it, but that’s how it all happened.
Wicked Horror: Blitzkrieg Massacre also hit the same day that Littlest Reich hit Blu-ray, I believe.
Charles Band: Yeah, I think it was a week later, but it was very closely tied.
Wicked Horror: Was that kind of an effort to make it clear to fans that the original timeline is still alive and well?
Charles Band: Well, I did a bunch of interviews and I think I made that clear. Even though I keep running into people with extremely different reviews on Littlest Reich, “It’s awesome and I love it” or “Oh my God, it’s so insulting,” I fought hard to be able to remain in the Puppet Master business. So that’s why Blitzkrieg Massacre is not really a Puppet Master film, but we’ll stay true to our look, the vibe, the story as we develop various Puppet Master films. Littlest Reich, they went in a different direction, and it wasn’t by accident that the few puppets that are called Tunneler or Torch or Blade look different, so that they can exist in their own universe and if a sequel is ever made to Littlest Reich, that’s great. They can be in their bizarro puppet world. They’ll exist in their universe and we’ll exist in ours. We’re not going anywhere.
But, you know, it seems like just yesterday I made the last Puppet Master, Axis Termination, and for our budget—which is a fraction of The Littlest Reich’s budget—I’m really proud of the film. From the locations to I think the most puppet FX scenes we’ve ever done, going back to the third one. I don’t intend to make another Puppet Master film any time super soon, probably within another two years we’ll make another one of our Puppet Master features.
Wicked Horror: From that very first Video Zone on Puppet Master II, you likened the Full Moon characters to comic book characters. You’ve licensed them out to other publishers twice, so it just felt like such a natural fit to make your own. How did Full Moon Comix come about?
Charles Band: It only took 28 years to finally do our own. Well, both Action Lab and Malibu, back in the early ‘90s, I think they did a really good job. I did have my hand in it a little bit, but from a distance, saying “Yeah, that’s cool” or “that artist is really good” but I wasn’t that involved. I was super busy doing other stuff like making movies. And in the back of my mind, I was thinking “One day I’ve got to be more involved.” As it turns out, we waited and not by accident the first series, Dollman Kills the Full Moon Universe, was intended to be something that would pull the Full Moon fans and also educate people who didn’t really know too much about our various franchises.
The theme is obvious but kind of fun, and little by little Dollman does what he does and kills all these characters and then they’ll come back and there will be a reason to bring everyone back. That’s down the road. But I did want something that would touch on all these movies and franchises and characters that we’ve created over the years. What’s even more exciting to me is some of the things we’re going to come up with and start publishing later this year.
They’re brand new, never seen before and in some cases projects that I’ve wanted to make for years as feature films but could not afford to. So the fact that they’ll first see the light of day in comic book form, to me, is exciting. If money was no object I’d be making a movie every week, there are some very ambitious ones that, because of the way the business is, we can’t afford to do right now. So yeah, it will be exciting to put some of these new creations out as comic books and down the line see which ones we can make into features.
Wicked Horror: I remember you mentioning that on the latest VidCast as well. Would these previously unmade projects include anything like Puppet Wars or Bride of the Head of the Family, or is it too early to tell?
Charles Band: On the top of my list of movies I want to make as soon as possible is Bride of the Head of the Family, because Head of the Family is one of my top five most favorite films that I’ve made. And that movie was ready to go. We had a great gal cast for the Bride, we did a little video on it that made people think “Gosh, it was made, where can I find it?” Of course, right in that period of time, things changed, finances changed, I forget exactly what happened, but we just were not able to make it, which really sucks. But I’m not sure if that would necessarily be a contender for this new series.
It is a movie that I want to make and hopefully will be able to make in the next year or so, we’ve got a script that I think we can afford to pull off. And it’s a sequel, and we kind of want to dedicate this new label to standalone new concepts that I think are really great that are ambitious and don’t tie to anything I’ve done in the past.
Wicked Horror: As a longtime fan, one of the most exciting things you’ve announced recently, you know, I remember being a kid and seeing the Video Zone on I think Puppet Master 5 and seeing you standing in front of that enormous skeleton for The Primevals.
Charles Band: Yeah! Back in the good old days. No CGI, we had to build all that.
Wicked Horror: Obviously you weren’t able to complete it at the time, but what is that like to now be able to finish, dust off and release Primevals?
Charles Band: I’m trying to think of ways to describe the feeling. It’s such a bittersweet adventure, being so close to Dave and promising Dave for twenty years before we finally started to make the movie that “One day, Dave, believe me, we’re going to make your film.” It really was his, too. Yes, we all had our influence, but it really was his baby. Every time I walked into that studio and said “Hey, I need some help for this movie or that movie” he looked at me and said, “And what about Primevals?”
And the fact that I was able to deliver it just as Full Moon was really in good shape, briefly in good shape, financially, and the fact that we’d done all this stop-motion, and then Dave passed away and it was really unbelievable. It also hit at a time when the business was getting really, really difficult. Even if we spent all of that budget shooting the movie and getting maybe the first half of the stop-motion shots, to complete that, financially, was not even feasible. And without Dave, you know, how do you pick up the pieces?
So it took all these years, and this is in large part with the help of Chris Endicott, who was Dave’s right arm guy to say “Okay, with a little help from our friends, because we are going to do an Indiegogo thing next month, let’s get tis finished.” And the fans will finally get to see how cool it is. And it really is. In this latest VidCast, I probably showed more clips than I should have, but you can tell from those clips just how magical those shots are.
And it’s very retro. When you look at it, if people are not familiar with the history of Primevals at all, they just look at it at face value, they’ll swear it was shot in the late ‘60s. I mean, it’s a retro movie the day it gets released, just because of the way it was shot and the pacing and, of course, these endlessly wonderful stop-motion shots. It will be great to finally get it done.
Wicked Horror: And I think it’s the perfect time to release it now, with there being such a hunger for retro content.
Charles Band: I hope so. Our plan is to try and get it out theatrically in a few markets, we’ll have to choose the right time of year, obviously, to not get buried by these tent pole movies. But to get a limited theatrical so at least some people can see it on a big screen, and then eventually it will be out on all the usual VOD channels and DVD and Blu-ray. It’s an exciting deal. We won’t really have the stop-motion studio on the money until mid-to-late November. Once that happens, it’s about a five month stretch to get the shots we need finished. That by itself will be cool, to have this studio slowly putting together and creating these really amazing shots. In there, we’re thinking of pulling one of the tiers from the Indiegogo campaign to let people come over and visit and see what it’s like. Which is kind of rare and probably won’t ever happen again.
It’s a lost art form. So yeah, August of next year should be a really terrific time and I’m looking forward to making a bunch of these movies that we put off this year. In closing, basically, we’re finding a way to reconnect with fans who for decades found our movies at the local video store. That’s been the challenge of the last six, seven years, just because those stores are all gone. So now with our own channel and Amazon and a few other things, there’s places where you can find all the movies at a really reasonable cost.
In the good old days of the local video store, it was $2.99 or $3.99 and it cost a few bucks back then to rent a movie and today you can subscribe through our channel on Amazon and it’s $6.99 a month. You can watch almost my entire life’s work for seven bucks if you really want to kill yourself and just keep going. In a weird way, it’s a good deal for fans and it’s a different medium, obviously. I do miss taking my kids to Blockbuster or Hollywood Video, and that’s an experience that people don’t get today. It’s not in the cards. But it’s a different world and people go online and they browse and find a title and you’ve got to go with the flow.
Puppet Master fans already had something to look forward to today with the DVD/Blu-ray release of the reboot Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich. As a cherry on top, however, Full Moon has premiered the first in their Bunker of Blood series today, celebrating the original universe puppets with Puppet Master: Blitzkrieg Massacre. The new feature film series uses a combination of comic book art and narration to tell an ongoing story that also celebrates classic Full Moon films, each entry serving as a sort of “Greatest Hits” compilation for a specific franchise or theme.
Blitzkrieg Massacre is similar to Puppet Master: The Legacy, in that regard, although it’s telling a longer, Heavy Metal-esque wraparound story that will continue to build over the course of further Bunker of Blood features.
HOLLYWOOD, September 25, 2018 – Full Moon’s BUNKER OF BLOOD is an 8-part feature film series designed to shock and scare. Drawing from nearly three decades of cinematic splatter and freakish filmmaking, BUNKER OF BLOOD is a gory “Greatest Hits” of the legendary studio’s strangest and sickest sequences framed by an all new, outrageous narrative. Using lavish illustrated comic book panels to tell the twisted tale of the masochistic drifter and the mad “guru of gore,” the series will drive viewers deep into the dark, dank depths of a madman’s macabre lair. This stomach-churning adventure starts off with PUPPET MASTER: BLITZKRIEG MASSACRE, in which The Gore Collector culls the sickest moments from the 11-film deep PUPPET MASTER series, mashing them together with macabre music and brand new moments of body-breaking mayhem.
PUPPET MASTER: BLITZKRIEG MASSACRE goes LIVE on Amazon Prime and Full Moon Streaming on September 25th, 2018. DVD releases of each BUNKER OF BLOOD title will follow soon after, which – when all 8 are collected – will reveal a secret mural painting on the spine.
Synopsis: In an unknown dystopian future, a drifter with an unusually high-tolerance for pain is held captive in a horrific hospital by The Circle of Psycho Surgeons, a clandestine crew of M.D.’s (that’s medical deviants) who are experimenting with human suffering. Suddenly, our shackled hero hears the call of The Gore Collector, a sadistic curator of carnage who is well past his prime and now seeks an heir to take over his evil operation. Escaping from the lurid lab, the drifter enters the underground lair of The Gore Collector – there the perverse programmer pops in a vile videotape and begins the process of trying to warp the man’s mind with some of the goriest and most gruesome moments from Full Moon’s iconic film franchises. It’s an all-out assault to the senses that makes A CLOCKWORK ORANGE’s “Ludivico Technique” look like outtakes from Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood!
Can our hero survive the BUNKER OF BLOOD?
Bunker of Blood Chapter One: Puppet Master: Blitzkrieg Massacre is now available on Full Moon Streaming and on Full Moon’s Amazon Channel.
Full Moon Features are set to unleash a slew of new films which will consist of eight parts under the banner of “Bunker of Blood.” The first film, which is unleashed today on Amazon Prime and Full Moon streaming is Puppet Master: Blitzkrieg Massacre, and below we have the official trailer, artwork and details pertaining […]