Starring Brett Hargrave, Victoria Strange, Yo Ying, Johnny Jay Lee, Denise Milfort, James Adam Tucker, Nelson Hayne, Derek Petropolis, Chad Ridgely, Roy Abramsohn, Shellie Sterling, Sebastian Fernandez, The Don
Directed by Danny Draven
Expectations: Not much, but it does look fun.
On the general scale:
On the B-movie scale:
It’s no secret that recent Full Moon movies are a different breed than the films of their ’90s heyday, but Weedjies: Halloweed Night does its best to recapture the old spirit. Dagnab it, they do a pretty effective job of it, too! It’s more than simple nostalgia, though; Weedjies is dedicated to the memory of FX artist & director John Carl Buechler. His unique style and skilled hands helped shape the look and feel of many Empire/Full Moon movies, and they wouldn’t be the same without him. Weedjies specifically hearkens back to the Ghoulies movies, and while it isn’t on par with them, it’s a welcome return to the horror-comedy fun that typified Empire/Full Moon films at their best.
College friends Madison (Brett Hargrave), Dallas (Victoria Strange), and Frankie (Yo Ying) are throwing a giant Halloween party in Las Vegas, and they’ve rented out an entire hotel for the occasion. The party must be a great success, or else Madison won’t be able to afford her tuition next semester. How can they rent out a hotel on a holiday night if they need money, you ask? Never you mind, Mr. Armchair Accountant, we’re here to have fun! They’ve teamed up with chemistry nerd Claude (Johnny Jay Lee), who created a most desirable scavenger hunt prize: a potent marijuana strain named the Golden Nug! This attracts a healthy crowd, but it also brings along The Baroness (Denise Milfort), a mysterious woman with a unique Ouija board.
Despite the title and set-up, Weedjies is much less of a stoner movie than it appears. I assumed it would be similar to the Evil Bong movies, but it’s actually kind of family friendly and inoffensive, believe it or not! I doubt there’s too many families who would gather around the Samsung to take in Weedjies: Halloweed Night, but who knows? In this age of 24-hour news and impending doom we all have to find solace somewhere, and if Weedjies fills your family’s void, then by all means enjoy! Your kids are going to learn about Paraphilic infantilism sometime, why not now?
The Weedjies of the title are Ghoulies-like creatures who spawn from the Baroness’s Ouija board. They aren’t as iconic as the Ghoulies, but they’re fun and unique in their own ways. My favorite was the one who got the least amount of screen time: the lil metal head who explodes heads with his furious guitar shredding. For the families considering this film as your child’s introduction to head explosions, I’d instead suggest the classic works Scanners or Dawn of the Dead, as the CG head explosions in Weedjies rank among the worst I’ve seen. This is unfortunate, since the rest of the FX work (both physical and digital) is believable and well done for a film of this budget.
The main acting quartet holds the film together well, with better acting than you usually see in newer Full Moon movies. I imagine they have bright futures ahead of them. Thanks to their performances, I was invested in their characters’ success, thinking things like, “They better catch that rascally Weed Wolf so Madison can stay in college next semester!” Equal credit must go to director Danny Draven and cinematographer Howard Wexler, who deliver a nice-looking, colorful digital feature in 2.35:1 widescreen ratio, a rarity in the Full Moon catalog.
In terms of Full Moon output of the last 10 years, Weedjies: Halloweed Night is one of the best. It’s certainly not a great movie, but they recaptured the creature feature fun of their earlier films and that’s enough for me. If you’re a lapsed Full Moon fan, this would be a good one to get back into the groove with.
On a side note, it’s been a while since my last Full Moon reviews, and there’s a new Full Moon streaming site at FullMoonFeatures.com! It’s much better than their previous streaming site, and it’s jam-packed with offerings old and new. It’s also available as an Amazon Prime Video channel, but I prefer to get my Full Moon straight from the source.
Next time I get around to a Full Moon movie, I plan on checking in with David DeCoteau’s side-sequel to his Brotherhood series… 2004’s The Sisterhood! See ya then!