Micro Mini Kids (2001)

Starring Chad Gordon, Kyle Chaos, Jessica Taylor, Debra Mayer, Sam Page, Lauren Petty, Robert Donavan, George Cost, Tyler Anderson, Rhett Fisher, Colin Bain

Directed by Bruce McCarthy

Expectations: Moderate.

On the general scale:

On the B-movie scale:

Micro Mini Kids was one of Full Moon’s final kid-focused productions, and it’s a shame because it’s actually one of the good ones! The performances are fun and the characters are oddly well-defined (relatively speaking in terms of Full Moon). The FX sequences are also imaginative and enchanting (despite the seams being quite apparent at times). And probably most importantly in a film directed at kids, it teaches a nice double lesson of learning to accept yourself as you are, and that you shouldn’t assume you know what other people are thinking. The major stumbling point is that it’s very formulaic so the ending is obvious once the pieces are in place, but this doesn’t matter so much because the journey is fun.

Micro Mini Kids was started under the direction of the prolific David DeCoteau, but according to the IMDB trivia he left after only four days of production. Regardless of this, the film feels more like a DeCoteau film than anything else. The movie is credited to Bruce McCarthy but as soon as I saw the bodyguard duo in shades and black vinyl I knew DeCoteau was lurking around somewhere in the film’s development. No one ends up in their underwear, though; a clear sign that DeCoteau did not complete the film. 😀

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Totem (1999)

Starring Jason Faunt, Marissa Tait, Eric W. Edwards, Sacha Spencer, Tyler Anderson, Alicia Lagano

Directed by David DeCoteau (as Martin Tate)

Expectations: Moderate. I don’t know quite what to expect.

In my review for Blood Dolls, I offered up the hypothesis that 1999 might be the turning point year for the quality of Full Moon’s output. I decided to test that theory with Totem, the 6th 1999 Full Moon film I’ve seen. Much to my surprise, I really enjoyed this one as, at least in the beginning, it seemed as if they were actually concerned with making an intriguing film. I know, strange concept, but trust me it works.

The film opens with a four-and-a-half-minute opening credit sequence. Whenever Full Moon extends the credits out like this, it usually spells disaster for the following film, as the need to fill time can only mean that the film is in need of help. When that film is only sixty-seven minutes total (and that’s including 10.5 minutes of credits!), Totem is definitely in need of some TLC, but no matter where it goes wrong it gets a couple of major things right in its first half (that’s minute 4.5 – minute 32.5). Totem actually delivers on the overarching Full Moon promise on a film that contains horror and thrills alongside hilarity. The film is something of a combo of The Evil Dead and Puppet Master, and while it doesn’t come anywhere close to equaling either of those films, this minor Full Moon work is perfect entertainment for fans of the company.

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