Teen Knight (1999)

teenknight_2Teen Knight (1999)
AKA Medieval Park

Starring Kris Lemche, Caterina Scorsone, Benjamin Plener, Paul Soles, Kimberly Pullis, Marc Robinson, Claudiu Trandafir, Dan Fintescu, Eugen Cristea, Sandu Mihai Gruia, Mihai Verbintschi

Directed by Phil Comeau

Expectations: Moderately high.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

Are you looking for lackluster, boring sword fighting? How about a story mash-up of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Jurassic Park? Wizards throwing hadoukens? Ah ha! I knew that’d get your attention. Just don’t expect many hadoukens, because if I get you all fired up for a fantasy-based Street Fighter I’ll never hear the end of the disappointment I’ve brought into the world as thousands storm their local Redboxs in search of a nonexistent hadouken-filled film. But a few hadoukens is better than no hadoukens, right?

The film opens in the year 1383, as the evil Lord Raykin is rakin’ his yard. OK, he’s not rakin’ anything (other than Lord Raykin :)), but he is being thrown into a horse-drawn prison cart along with his evil wizard buddy. As you might expect an evil lord to do, he asks his wizard to get them out of yet another fine mess that he’s gotten them into. The wizard laments that their captors have stripped him of his amulets, he’s powerless, yadda yadda yadda. But then he whips out a magical jewel says a few words and shoots green lasers out of his eyes! So I guess he just needed to vent his frustration before showing the evil lord that he still had the juice. For reasons of world domination or general conquest or whatever, Lord Raykin desires the castle of Prince William. Now here’s where it gets really crazy. The evil wizard casts a spell to change the castle’s crest to Raykin’s, thus allowing them to call the castle back in time whenever he wants so that he can make one more attempt at becoming the king of the castle. Someone get this Raykin guy a medieval Lego set and call it a day.

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The Secret Kingdom (1998)

51TZAVR8HJL._SS500_The Secret Kingdom (1998)
AKA The Tiny Kingdom

Starring Billy O’Sullivan, Tricia Dickson, Andrew Ducote, Gerald S. O’Loughlin, Jamieson Price, Andreea Macelaru, Florin Chiriac, Constantin Barbulescu, Bogdan Voda, Eugen Cristea

Directed by David Schmoeller

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

Like many Moonbeam films, The Secret Kingdom starts out with a fun premise and then drives it into the ground. Well, in this case they drive it under the sink, and I really shouldn’t be that harsh. Most of The Secret Kingdom is unadulterated WTF fun. The film opens in New Orleans, and surprise, surprise — it’s actually New Orleans! Later, the film transitions to the Romanian locales you expect from this era of Full Moon, but the series of events that opens the film would be fantastic no matter where they were shot.

The Secret Kingdom starts with a boy in his early teens, staring at his toy horseman. He compares it to the statue of the horseman in the square in front of the St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans. He goes back to staring at the toy intently, and then walks around New Orleans. Some might call this the most exciting introductory scene to a movie ever, but I thought it went on for a ridiculous amount of time… long enough for me to think, “WHAT IS GOING ON?” Thankfully, it gets a lot more interesting, real fast. And by “interesting,” I mean that it dives deep into WTF territory.

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Clockmaker (1998)

51PT1708TAL._SS500_Clockmaker (1998)
AKA Timekeeper

Starring Anthony Medwetz, Katie Johnston, Zachary McLemore, Pierrino Mascarino, Daisy Nystul, Tom Gulager, Eugen Cristea, Florin Chiriac

Directed by Christopher Rémy

Expectations: Moderate. Moonbeam films are usually kind of boring, but there’s been some fun ones.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

Clockmaker, Clockmaker, make me a clock! Oh boy, I loved this movie. Against all good reason, against my better judgement, no matter what this movie threw at me I ate it up like a kid eating candy on Halloween night. Hands down the best Moonbeam film I’ve seen yet, Clockmaker is actually high adventure and fun story beats from start to finish! Imagine that! No filler whatsoever. I sure don’t expect that when I kick into one of these made-for-kids Full Moon movies, but Clockmaker didn’t disappoint me in any way.

Clockmaker begins in the year 1998, as three kids hang out on their building’s landing. Mary Beth pitches pennies against the wall, Devon spews conspiracy theories about the old man living in their building and Henry feverishly studies his Commodore 64 schematics manual. Y’know… what kids in 1998 did. Anyway, when the aforementioned old man leaves the building, he mistakenly drops his key and the kids snatch it up. Instead of doing the right thing and returning it, they decide that now’s their chance to sneak in and find out what the old man’s really up to. But once inside, will they ever get out? DUH DUN DUHHHHHHHH!

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Mysterious Museum (1999)

Mysterious Museum (1999)
AKA Search for the Jewel of Polaris

Starring A.J. Trauth, Brianna Brown, Megan Lusk, Michael Lee Gogin, John Duerler, Adrian Neil, Eugen Cristea

Directed by David Schmoeller

Expectations: Low, a Full Moon kids movie can’t be good right?

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:

This week I’m taking a chance on a new realm of the vast Full Moon catalog, the dreaded kids film. I’ve been begrudgingly pushing this moment aside for a while now because I’m not generally a fan of kid’s movies (which is understandable as I’m no longer a child) and for some reason a Full Moon kids movie just sounds like an unneeded castration (unlike the necessary castrations in Hong Kong films so kung fu masters can achieve all the wonderful powers of the eunuch!). This is essentially what Mysterious Museum is, but instead of tanking, it actually works marvelously.

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