FULL MOON FAVORITES
(Posted: 26 October 2014)

After working on our '90s Halloween list, Ronny made the suggestion that I (Preston) put together my own favorites list since I rarely make any on my own. Of course making a list based on Full Moon movies only seemed natural since I love b-movies. Even back when I was young, I always gravitated towards the low-budget b-movies because they gave me what I wanted in movies at the time: nudity, gore and entertainment.

I also feel that making a list based around Full Moon movies will serve as my penitence since I was dismissive of the company for the longest time because I felt like they were only interested in turning out "Puppet Master" sequels -- my least favorite films from Full Moon. Regardless of how people feel about Charles Band, he has, in many ways, helped shape the horror movie and b-movie culture and has had a hand in making a number of classic films; both good and bad.

It's something that made making this list a bit of a challenge since I thought about considering films that were made under the Empire Pictures banner, which would include things like "Re-Animator", "Ghoulies", "Troll" and "Psychos in Love". But I wanted to try and stick with titles that I considered were associated strictly with the Full Moon brand.

So, here it is, in no particular order. Film Bizarro's 10 Full Moon Favorites:


OBLIVION (1994)
Director: Sam Irvin

One thing that I enjoy the most about Full Moon is that they have a wide variety of genres available. Horror and Science-Fiction being the most predominantly used genres, but they've done erotica, noir and even kid movies. "Oblivion" is the Full Moon equivalent of the Western serial but on the campy b-movie spectrum. It's a movie that bounces between being a serious attempt at the merging of the Sci-Fi and Western genres, while other times, being extraordinarily goofy and ridiculous. By swinging between both extremes "Oblivion" can be off-putting for some but it does a lot of things right, and is a great early representation of a genre crossbreed (Sci-Fi/Western) that would become more popular with TV shows like "Firefly". The sequel, "Backlash: Oblivion 2", while a bit of a rehash, is an enjoyable follow-up so if you're going to watch one you might as well watch the other.

 

TRANCERS (1984)
Director: Charles Band

Even though a majority of the movies produced by Full Moon are those so-bad-they're-good movies. Not to mention that more than a few were never intended to be taken seriously, but "Trancers" is one of the few straight-forward movies from the company that works in a non-ironic sense. Perhaps audiences will laugh at a few moments in the movie, like Santa Clause and an elderly black woman being turned into zombie-esque trancers. Even so, the movie itself is actually a fairly well done mixture of Sci-Fi and Noir movie with an odd concept about time travel. It's not the most exciting movie in the Full Moon catalog, but again, it's not only nice to see a straitlaced movie from the company but one that's actually well made for what it is. Unquestionably it is the best thing Helen Hunt has ever done.

 

SORORITY BABES IN THE SLIMEBALL BOWL-O-RAMA (1988)
Director: David DeCoteau

Much like "Slave Girls from Beyond Infinity", "Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama" owes some of its success from having one of the most perfect names for a b-movie. Who wouldn't want to watch a movie called "Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama"? Nobody I want to know, that's for sure. With its collection of nudity, cheap humor, schlock, moderate special-effects and bizarre plot, "Sorority Babes in the Slimeball Bowl-o-Rama" embodies everything that makes midnight-cult movies so wonderful to watch. It's a movie that works perfectly whether you're watching it by yourself or in a group setting.

 

 

SEEDPEOPLE (1992)
Director: Peter Manoogian

Sure, "Seedpeople" is a cheap knockoff of "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", but the fact that it is the b-movie equivalent of a larger movie is why we all love Full Moon isn't it? "Seedpeople" is a bit of an odd movie since it feels like it was almost intended to be a kids movie but at the same time not. There's not enough hard material for adults but there's nothing in the movie that I think would keep a child's attention. It's a movie that sort of exists in a limbo state of who it would appeal to the most. Regardless, it should be a fun movie for almost anyone since it is unadulterated low-budget schlock-tainment featuring rubber monsters . It also did something unique for it's time; what you saw on the VHS cover for "Seedpeople" is what you actually got in the movie. Not something that would happen too often during they heyday of VHS, as many people will attest to.

 

VIRGIN HUNTERS (1994)
Director: David DeCoteau

While I much prefer the movie under its original title, "Test Tube Teens from the Year 2000" (another perfect b-movie title), "Virgin Hunters" is a movie about teenagers trying to get Morgan Fairchild laid. No, really. Another inherently ridiculous movie from Full Moon but in the form of a teen-sex comedy. Perhaps not a movie suited for a party environment due to the ample amount of nudity and softcore sex scenes featured -- unless the group of friends you've gathered don't mind showing off their respective boners and lady-boners at the end of the movie. Regardless, "Virgin Hunters" is one of those late-night cable movies that still works and is always fun to watch because, while it is ludicrous, the comedy and overall concept is fun and funny. It's also one of the few sex-comedies that remains entertaining.

 

KILLJOY GOES TO HELL (2012)
Director: John Lechago

I even surprised myself with this pick since the first two "Killjoy" movies are unbearably awful and practically unwatchable. Full Moon's demonic killer clown would eventually redeem himself in the third installment, even though the movie was a bit too basic and redundant for it's own good. "Killjoy Goes to Hell" is something very interesting because it's a movie that borders on satire. It feels like it mocks horror franchises where a movie's killer is perpetually fucking up the one thing they're suppose to be good at: killing teenagers. With "Killjoy Goes to Hell" we get to see what happens to one of these franchise killers who fails at their job in a silly Full Moon flick that's a lot of fun. There are some great characters within the movie and it also features an entertaining performance from Trent Haaga as the titular anti-hero.

 

CRASH AND BURN (1990)
Director: Charles Band

Perhaps a bit of a controversial choice to go with the unofficial sequel to the much more known and loved "Robot Jox". And don't get me wrong, I love "Robot Jox" and it's a movie that holds a special place in my childhood memories since I watched it constantly when I was young. Also, I think not only "Robot Jox" is worth watching, but "Robot Wars" as well. I went with "Crash and Burn" since it is the most consistent in its content (there's a whole lotta nothing going on in the middle of the "Robot Jox") and probably the most approachable out of the three mecha-based Full Moon flicks. "Crash and Burn" is like the bastard offspring of "Terminator" and an '80s slasher movie; it's campy but lots of fun with a great a performance by everyone's favorite horror madman, Bill Moseley.



BAD CHANNELS (1992)
Director: Ted Nicolaou

Charles Band and his company, Empire Pictures, produced the movie "Terror Vision"; a movie that made the idea of owning basic cable terrifying in a ridiculous, campy sort of way. Band would then strike back in a similar way but with a focus on radio waves with the movie "Bad Channels". With its noteworthy soundtrack (composed by Blue Öyster Cult) and a comedic approach to its story of an alien taking over a radio station, "Bad Channels" looks and feels, at times, like Full Moon's biggest movie. One downside with Full Moon's films is that they feel like they never go as far as they could, and that's probably due to their budget limitations. "Bad Channels" is a movie where it came across like they did everything they wanted to do with the movie about aliens abducting women through the radio, and with great success at that. The only downside to "Bad Channels" is that it is impossible to get some of the music out of your head. One song in particular by Sykotik Sinfoney.

 

CREEPOZOIDS (1987)
Director: David DeCoteau

Full Moon produced two "Alien" knockoffs with "Shadowzone" and "Creepozoids". While I did consider adding "Shadowzone" because of the cool creature designs in the movie (minus the mutant prom queen) but I had to go with "Creepozoids" since it is the sleazier movie of the two and perhaps a bit more audacious as well. Extremely schlocky, "Creepozoids" gives you everything that you could want out of a creature-feature: nudity, monsters, goop and gore. Hell, they even get a bit old-school with its schlock and have the actors attack themselves with a giant motionless rubber rat monster. Campy? Sure. Ridiculous? Absolutely. Borders on being terrible? Probably, BUT there is never a dull moment in "Creepozoids" and it never fails at being entertaining. No matter how many times you see it.

 

TOURIST TRAP (1979)
Director: David Schmoeller

"Tourist Trap" is a movie that has maintained moderate success within the cult arena. Yet slowly, but surely, it continues to gain more popularity over the years, which I can only surmise as being the result of the fact that "Tourist Trap" is one of Full Moon's most successful horror titles in their catalog. Next to "Castle Freak", "Tourist Trap" is a horror movie that exceeds at being creepy (still to this day) and avoids most of the pit traps of the slasher sub-genre. As I said before it's fair to say that a majority of Full Moon's films fall under the so-bad-they're-good category, but "Tourist Trap" is one of their few gems that's good because it's a good movie. Unique and atmospheric, "Tourist Trap" seems to leave a lasting impression on a majority of those who watch it.

 

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Castle Freak - A great sleazy horror movie and one we've mentioned before but in our A '90s Halloween list.
Dr. Alien - Another teen-sexy comedy with plenty of nudity and silly comedy to keep you entertained.
Hideous! - Basically a remake of "Puppet Master" but with tiny mutant monsters.
Fairy Tales - Mentioned in our Sexploitation/Erotica list but worth checking out if you're looking for a sexy offbeat musical.
Slave Girls From Beyond Infinity - It's "The Most Dangerous Game" but with interstellar slave girls. Oh, yeah!

 

Well, there you have it. Some of our favorite Full Moon movies and ones that would be recommend to almost anyone to check out. If you still find yourself too timid to venture into the wild and wondrous world of Full Moon films, the bodacious and buxom horror hostess, Elvira, has returned with a new show: "13 Nights of Elvira". You can join the always lovely and entertaining Elvira as she guides you through 13 classic (and I use the word "classic" loosely) Full Moon movies on Hulu.

I know I'll be watching! Unfortunately while I sit on my hands because Cassandra Peterson still has that affect on me.

...It's a masturbation joke.





 

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TOP 10 OF LAST YEAR:
1. Fires on the Plain
2. What We Do in the Shadows
3. We Are Still Here
4. Spring
5. Makeup Room
6. Kumiko, the Treasure Hunter
7. A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
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Taken from Best of 2015



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