Trophy Heads (2014)

trophyheads_1Starring Adam Noble Roberts, Maria Olsen, Linnea Quigley, Jacqueline Lovell, Denice Duff, Brinke Stevens, Michelle Bauer, Darcy DeMoss, Irena Murphy, Jessica Morris, Jean Louise O’Sullivan, Amy Paffrath, Robin Sydney, Carel Struycken, Kristine DeBell, Gregory Niebel, Stuart Gordon, David DeCoteau, J. Scott

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: As long as it’s fun I’ll be satisfied, and with this many classic scream queens I don’t see how it won’t be fun.

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-movie scale:
threestar


For many years now, Full Moon has made movies that a mainstream viewer, or even an old fan from the glory days who missed Full Moon’s last 15 years of questionable movies, wouldn’t hesitate to call “strange” or “out there” or “shit.” For those that stumble upon the movies unaware of what they’re getting themselves into (like the Redbox patrons), I’m sure the general reaction is something close to, “Who would watch this?” Hardcore Full Moon fans, that’s who! Throughout changing video landscapes and formats, Full Moon continues to pump out films for their fans (and pretty much no one else). So it makes perfect sense that their latest venture, Trophy Heads (which debuted in June as a five-part web series exclusively on Full Moon Streaming), is not just a film for their fans, but a film about those very fans.

Well… perhaps that’s a little too broad, as I doubt most Full Moon aficionados would kidnap our favorite stars, murder them, and mount their heads on the wall, but you get the idea. Anyway, yes, Trophy Heads is about a fan who rounds up six of his favorite ’80s scream queens, keeps them in his home-built basement dungeon, and then murders them while making them recreate situations from one of the Full Moon movies they were in way back when. There’s not really any depth beyond that, but as this is something directly for Full Moon fans, I don’t think anyone really cares. I certainly didn’t.

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Head of the Family (1996)

Head of the Family (1996)
AKA The Brain (Germany)

Starring Blake Adams, Jacqueline Lovell, Bob Schott, James Jones, Alexandria Quinn, Gordon Jennison Noice, Michael Citriniti, Vicki Skinner, Robert J. Ferrelli

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: High. This one should be a load of fun.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Where do you start with a movie like Head of the Family? Something like this could only come from the twisted mind of Charles Band, so it’s interesting that he chose this movie out of many hundreds to use an alias on. I have a feeling he did this not to obscure the fact that he made it, but instead to trick people into watching it who might have been burned by the low-budget entrepreneur one too many times. The quality is definitely here, and even though it dips deeps into depraved territory and has about four too many sex scenes to be taken seriously, Head of the Family is actually pretty good.

Howard is a Grade-A asshole. He’s married to Loretta (played by the ever-gorgeous Jacqueline Lovell), but Loretta’s been gettin’ busy with restaurant owner Lance in the stock room. When Howard forces Lance to partner up with him in the restaurant business, the sneaky couple do their best to think of a way out of their plight. Killing Howard comes up, but that pesky “getting caught” thing is just so hard to get around. Enter the very odd Stackpool family who come to town every once in a while for supplies. One night while driving, Lance and Loretta come upon a makeshift roadblock set up to direct travelers directly to the Stackpool’s home. Lance notices a man being dragged inside, and the wheels in Lance’s mind start turning. Something’s fishy at the Stackpool place and he sets out to blackmail them into disposing of Howard’s body.

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The Killer Eye (1999)

Starring Jacqueline Lovell, Jonathan Norman, Nanette Bianchi, Costas Koromilas, Blake Adams, Ryan Van Steenis, Dave Oren Ward, Roland Martinez

Directed by David DeCoteau (as Richard Chasen)

Expectations: Low, I’ve heard this one is one of the poorest Full Moon films.

On the general scale:
onestar

On the B-Movie scale:
twostar


The Killer Eye is the epitome of a trashy movie. It plays like a textbook example of film filler, with maybe a half hour of actual story and the rest of the film ballooned out into an 80-minute feature with consecutive, extended tentacle-fondling scenes. The only explanation is that every time there was an issue with the story or the film’s production, producer Charles Band must have answered with “Throw in another tentacle scene.” It kind of works for this movie though, because despite all of its shortcomings it remains entertaining overall. I suppose your mileage will vary depending on how much you like gigantic killer eyes peering out of vents and zapping people in the eyes though.

The film opens with a deliberate Re-Animator vibe, complete with an opening title sequence with medical diagrams and whimsical music like the far superior Stuart Gordon film of 1985. In The Killer Eye, a scientist hoping to prove the existence of the 8th dimension, tries out some chemicals in the eye of a street punk that should theoretically allow him to look through the doc’s microscope and into the 8th dimension. I didn’t see it coming, but get this– shit goes wrong and instead of only being able to see the 8th dimension, something is able to break thru into our world! Seriously, never woulda guessed that would happen! Anyway, the street punk’s eye grows to gigantic size (complete with long, dangling eye-stalk tentacles) and scuttles away into the air vents, which instantly makes me think of the eye rolling through the vents on the wheeled contraption that Klaus Kinski used to navigate the vents in Crawlspace. So far so good…

Continue reading The Killer Eye (1999) →

Hideous! (1997)

Starring Michael Citriniti, Rhonda Griffin, Mel Johnson Jr., Jacqueline Lovell, Tracie May, Jerry O’Donnell, Andrew Johnston, Mircea Constantinescu, Alexandru Agarici

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: High, the trailer on Video Zone was pretty awesome looking.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-Movie scale:
threestar


Hideous! falls into that strange category of films that succeed in being entertaining, despite an overwhelming amount of stupid moves that would otherwise equal a film abomination. I suppose one could argue that Charles Band is a master of such feats. Apparently, it didn’t do as well as they would have liked though, as there was never a sequel when it’s obvious they could have gone on a tirade of these kinds of movies if the market supported it. It’s kind of a shame because I’d love to see what other types of fucked up, half-grown human fetuses the team at Full moon could have conjured up.

The plot of Hideous! is played completely for laughs. Right from the get-go the light tone is established with three hard-working dudes working at a sewage treatment plant, fishing out random things from the sludge. With all this talk of sewage I almost thought I was watching a Troma movie for a second! The guys pull out a grotesque blob of flesh and one of the men recognizes it as something special. He quickly whisks it away and puts it in the hands of Belinda Yost (Tracie May), a dealer in all things deformed. This begins a struggle between two of the biggest collectors of rare mutations that eventually lands everyone involved stuck inside a castle, hunted down by the little nasties. Yeah, pretty much the Full Moon go-to plot, but the film is designed strictly to entertain and it does just that, as long as you have your expectations set properly.

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