The Haunted Casino (2007)

The Haunted Casino (2007)
AKA Dead Man’s Hand, Dead Man’s Hand: Casino of the Damned, Ghost Poker

Starring Scott Whyte, Robin Sydney, Wes Armstrong, Michael Berryman, Kristyn Green, Sid Haig, Jack Maturin, Jessica Morris, Lily Rains, Kavan Reece, Bob Rumnock, Rico Simonini

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Moderate. I have a feeling it won’t be pretty though.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


Modern day Full Moon movies can be lumped pretty easily into two categories. The first is the overtly exploitative: movies filled with nudity, inept writing and a general lack of horror. The second category is the overly talkative “Full Moon Soap Opera,” where a group of people find themselves stuck together and instead of anything meaningful happening, they just bicker and whittle away the film’s runtime. The Haunted Casino belongs to the second group, but unlike a lot of other films in the category, it actually delivers a lot of fun at its climax, and the talky parts are far more enjoyable than usual.

Matthew has inherited his uncle’s derelict casino, so he takes his girlfriend and four of their friends to check out the building. Unknown to them (but who wouldn’t see this coming), Matthew wants to stay the night in the casino and have all his friends help him clean it up. Matthew has dreams of renovation, but instead they all get a night they’ll never forget!

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Blood Dolls (1999)

Starring Jack Maturin, Debra Mayer, William Paul Burns, Warren Draper, Nicholas Worth, Jodie Fisher, Phil Fondacaro, Naomi McClure

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Moderate, it sounds fun and it has Phil Fondacaro.


Where do I start with this fucking movie? Blood Dolls goes the trashy route and does its best to shock and awe the viewer into liking it. It’s truly a movie that will only appeal to the most demented group of people in the audience, which realistically is probably a large subset of the people who even give a shit about Full Moon movies. I unfortunately am not so keen on this particular brand of demented film, the “demented for the sake of being demented” variety. So far I’ve seen four Full Moon films from 1999, and with the exception of Mysterious Museum, they’ve all been of a similar poor quality which makes me wonder if this was the turning point year for their quality films. I do have to give Blood Dolls a lot of credit for trying, as the story is a bit more thought out than your general Charles Band affair, it has nice widescreen cinematography and it does feature actors you may know, such as Phil Fondacaro or that bald guy from Darkman (Nicholas Worth).

The story is fairly simple but a synopsis won’t do justice to the absurd nature of the goings-on. Basically there’s an eccentric millionaire Travis that has lost his fortune to a trio of conniving bastards who banded together and fucked him over. Being the eccentric, evil genius type though, he refuses to lie down and take it, instead creating a machine to transform people into subservient killer dolls. Why? Because this is a Charles Band movie and Band really has a hard-on for small things killing people. Also at his command is a butler/henchman dude that perpetually wears clown makeup (played by William Paul Burns, genuinely the best actor in the film), an eyepatch-sportin’ midget played by Phil Fondacaro and a girl rock band in a cage in the back of his office.

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