Ravenwolf Towers (2016)

Starring Shiloh Creveling, Evan Henderson, Maria Olsen, Michael Citriniti, George Appleby, Sonny King, Jesse Egan, Rosemary Brownlow, Arthur Roberts, Robert Cooper, Nihilist Gelo, William Paul Burns, Tarashai Lee

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: Not much. Perhaps a variation on the Evil Bong store format.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


Usually I try to keep up with the latest offerings from Full Moon, but Ravenwolf Towers slipped through the cracks. It originally debuted as an episodic series in December 2016, with new episodes to be released every subsequent full moon. My intentions were to review the complete series, like I did with Trophy Heads, their previous episodic release, but Full Moon stopped releasing new episodes after the third came out in February 2017. For a while I assumed they were just behind schedule — it happens to the best of us — so I continued to wait, and in November 2017 they released a feature-length version combining the three released episodes. My intentions were to review it ASAP, but then I got behind schedule myself and now here we are in the latter half of June 2018 and I’m finally reviewing Ravenwolf Towers. Why do I relate this long-winded history of putting off Ravenwolf Towers? Well… because Ravenwolf Towers is fantastic, a real achievement for Full Moon, and I’m sorry I ever waited to watch it. I imagine there are others who were similarly waiting to watch it, and I hope by relating my story I might get people off the fence and onto their favorite Full Moon streaming platform to watch it!

Ravenwolf Towers takes place in the titular building, a rundown hotel in Hollywood that’s been around since at least the 1920s. Jake (Evan Henderson) is hired on as an assistant manager, and things get weird before he even has a chance to settle in. The entire top floor is leased by a single family, access to this floor is only available via a special key to the elevator, and the family is not to be disturbed unless absolutely necessary. Ivan Ivanoff (George Appleby) — a character from the Decadent Evil movies and, most recently, Puppet Master: Axis Termination — rents a room and pays cash to avoid the standard forms and questions. His presence suggests a supernatural evil is afoot, but perhaps a better clue is the deformed monstrosity of a man who hides in a wardrobe and rips off a man’s arm during the film’s intro! 🙂

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Cemetery High (1989)

cemeteryhigh_1AKA Scumbusters, Hack’em High, Assault of the Killer Bimbos

Starring Debi Thibeault, Karen Nielsen, Lisa Schmidt, Simone, Ruth Collins, Tony Kruk, David Coughlin, Frank Stewart, Kristine Waterman, Michael Citriniti

Directed by Gorman Bechard

Expectations: Bechard’s other movies have been pretty good, so I’m hopeful.

On the general scale:
halfstar

On the B-movie scale:
onestar


Ah man, it’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie this bad. Cemetery High is awful, but in this case there’s something of a story that might explain why it came out as bad as it did. I don’t claim to know any specifics, but when the film’s director posts a public message on the film’s IMDB page stating how much he detests the film and how it was re-edited and drastically changed in post-production, you know something’s not right!

Cemetery High began its life as Assault on Killer Bimbos, and it was a dark, black comedy about a group of women killing scumbag men. For some reason, Band decided that the title should be used on another movie, one that it doesn’t really fit at all (especially after seeing how well it would’ve fit Cemetery High), so that’s how Assault of the Killer Bimbos got its name. Band apparently also wasn’t fond of the dark tone (which makes sense, his films are rarely dark), so he set about re-editing the film and re-shooting a bunch of stuff to make Cemetery High the “masterpiece” it is today! Gee, I can’t imagine why Cemetery High ended up as the final film in the relationship between director Gorman Bechard and Charles Band!

Continue reading Cemetery High (1989) →

Galactic Gigolo (1987)

galacticgigolo_6Galactic Gigolo (1987)
AKA Club Earth

Starring Carmine Capobianco, Debi Thibeault, Frank Stewart, Ruth Collins, Donna Davidge, Michael Citriniti, Tony Kruk, David Coughlin, Angela Nicholas, Barry Finkel, Todd Kimsey, J.E.L. Gitter, Don Sirasky, Bill Gillogly

Directed by Gorman Bechard

Expectations: Moderately high.

On the general scale:
twostar

On the B-movie scale:
twohalfstar


After a few weeks off from the Full Moon series, I wanted to come back with a bang — an intergalactic bang! Galactic Gigolo tells the story of Eoj, a traveler from the planet Kroywen who won a two-week trip to Prospect, CT (AKA “The Horniest Town in the Galaxy”). Its reputation is apparently legendary universe-wide. Eoj is a broccoli on Kroywen (which is populated entirely by sentient vegetables), but thankfully he has the ability to transform himself into anything imaginable while visiting Earth. For his trip to Prospect, he chooses the form of “The Loveable Sleaze-oid” (Carmine Capobianco) and creates quite the stir upon his arrival.

Contrary to what that plot description might lead you to believe, Galactic Gigolo is not a heartfelt, emotional drama. I know… hard to believe. No, Galactic Gigolo is a dumb, stupid, low-brow sex comedy, and I mean that in the best way possible. Galactic Gigolo knows exactly how wild and absurd its premise is, and it revels in that. Therefore, it can be a bit disconcerting if you’re not ready for it. Even if you are properly prepared, it’s still not as funny as it thinks it is, but it’s all in good fun, and it’s definitely the best space-faring sex comedy about a shapeshifting broccoli that I’ve ever seen. The climax is a series of Three Stooges style gags and a bunch of pies to the face, so that should tell you right there if the movie is right for you.

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Psychos in Love (1987)

Starring Carmine Capobianco, Debi Thibeault, Cecelia Wilde, Robert Suttile, Lum Chang Pang, Danny Noyes, Herb Klinger, Wally Gribauskas, Peach Gribauskas, LeeAnne Baker, Michael Citriniti

Directed by Gorman Bechard

Expectations: Low, but it has a funny title, so who knows?

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:


The ’80s were a special time for film. Low-budget cinema came to a real prominence thanks to the home video market, paving the way for fun, depraved movies like this. Psychos in Love was the labor of love of director Gorman Bechard, who shot the film when he had free weekends on the ends of film from other productions (a common cost-saving method when low-budget stuff was still shot on film). The film’s star Carmine Capobianco also co-wrote the film, composed the film’s music and helped out on the FX duties. The methods of production remind me greatly of another filmmaker’s 1987 shot-on-free-weekends film, Peter Jackson’s Bad Taste, but Psychos in Love unfortunately didn’t lead Bechard to ascend to quite Peter Jackson heights. Based on the quality of the filmmaking on display here, he should at least be something of a known quantity in the industry, instead of a largely unknown filmmaker with a few other credits to his name (two of which I’ll eventually visit on my trek through the Empire/Full Moon catalog).

So what is Psychos in Love about, you ask? Well… psychos in love, of course! Joe is a strip club owner who kills random women on the side, and Kate is a manicurist who murders random men on the side. They both hate grapes too, so naturally they get along famously and begin a serious relationship. To say any more would betray the film, as plot and narrative aren’t exactly the strong point of Psychos in Love. It’s not that what’s here is bad, it’s just very light on story. There’s a point where it feels like a traditional narrative could have naturally grown out of the introduction of a third killer, but instead of a genuine plot, it becomes merely a single scene later in the film that’s nothing more than funny.

Continue reading Psychos in Love (1987) →

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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Goobers! (1997)

Goobers! (1997)
AKA Mystery Monsters

Starring Ashley Tesoro, Tim Redwine, Caroline Ambrose, Sam Zeller, Daniel Hartley, Michael Dennis, Michael Citriniti, Tom Thomson

Directed by Charles Band

Expectations: None.

On the general scale:

On the B-Movie scale:


When I picked up Goobers! from the Redbox kiosk, I did so with a resigned attitude. As I venture through all of these Full Moon features, so many of them are less than awesome and so far their films for kids (under the Moonbeam label) have been some of the more trying entries in the series. Before I watched Goobers!, I tried looking it up on IMDB and quickly found out that the film had been released before under the title Mystery Monsters. It had apparently been a Blockbuster exclusive release and was edited down to a paltry fifty-three minutes. So at long last in 2012, Full Moon has unleashed these mystery monsters onto the unknowing public in their uncut, eighty-one minute glory. While you might expect this to lead to a film filled with fat that needs to be trimmed, Goobers! is anything but. It remained funny and entertaining throughout for this B-Movie fan, and if you’re similarly minded I think you’ll enjoy it as well.

The film opens with the taping of the hit kid’s program, Cap’n Mike’s Goobers Show! Tommy is the new kid on the set, and his curiosity about special FX and puppets leads him to question how the goobers are manipulated and created. He is told in no uncertain terms to mind his own business, but ever the intrepid sleuth, Tommy bores a hole in his dressing room wall with a pocket knife (don’t try this at home, kiddos!) and observes Mike and the goobers playing poker and smoking together. Mike is anything but kind to the goobers and keeps them locked in the magical trunk he stole from the evil Queen Mara.

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Demonic Toys 2: Personal Demons (2010)

Starring Alli Kinzel, Lane Compton, Selene Luna, Michael Citriniti, Elizabeth Bell, Billy Marquart, Leslie Jordan, Gage Hubbard, Jane Wiedlin

Toy Cast: Baby Oopsy Daisy, Jack Attack, Divoletto

Directed by William Butler

Expectations: I don’t have many, but I hope to enjoy it. Dr. Lorca is back!

On the general scale:
onehalfstar

On the B-Movie scale:
twostar


Demonic Toys 2 opens with a long credits sequence where gloved hands take the exploded bits and chunks of the toys and sew them back together. Only Baby Oopsy Daisy & Jack Attack get this treatment, presumably because they were the only salvageable toys from all the explosive shotgun blasts to the face, etc… it’s not the budget, I swear. One can imagine that this is essentially what happened in Charles Band’s mind as the characters had sat unused for a very long time. Eighteen years after the original, Full Moon finally decided to give the toys a proper sequel, but unfortunately it’s hardly worth the effort.

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