We are big fans of Charles Band and his company Full Moon here at Arrow in the Head. We’ve followed Full Moon from the VHS rental days to the current days of the Full Moon streaming service. So we thought it was time to compile a list of Best Full Moon Movies – and you can see the results below. Did your favorites make the cut? Let us know which Full Moon movies are among the best in your opinion by leaving a comment below. Listed in no particular order, we have…
TRANSCEORS III: DETH LIVES (1992)
The sci-fi action franchise slicers started at Charles Band’s old company, Empire Pictures (the premiere takes place at Christmas and should be part of any holiday viewing rotation) and continued with several sequels – but not enough – to Full Moon. The best of the suites is Trancers III: Deth Lives, which finds the great Tim Thomerson reprising the role of “future cop” Jack Deth, who travels through time in search of zombie-like beings called transcers. Directed by C. Courtney Joyner, Transducers III reveals that the first transcers were created in 2005 as part of a secret military program run by a truly creepy guy known as Colonel “Daddy” Muthuh (Andrew Robinson). With the help of a soldier who escaped the program, a fin-headed android called Shark, and his ex-wife Lena (Helen Hunt), Deth does his best to wipe out this first batch of transcers. trained by the army.
DOCTOR MORDRID (1992)
Charles Band is a huge Marvel Comics fan, which is why most of the Full Moon movies are set in the same cinematic universe and why he reaches out to fans through video series like Videozone and Full Moon Universe. And if you want to see how Band tells a superhero story, you can watch the movie Doctor Mordrid, which he led with his father Albert Band. Jeffrey Combs plays the title character, who is basically a variation of the Marvel Doctor Strange character and has to fight an evil wizard named Kabal (Cobraby Brian Thompson). Doctor Mordrid is not, as many believe, the result of Full Moon acquiring and losing the rights to make a Doctor Strange movie, but it started with a legendary character created by artist Jack Kirby called Doctor Mortalis , for a project that failed in production at Empire Pictures.
Full Moon introduced the world to an iconic villain with the 1991 film Subspecies, which stars Anders Hove as a creature named Radu, the offspring of a vampire and a witch. So not only does he like to suck blood, but he also has special abilities, like his severed appendages and blood drops can turn into little monsters. Featuring a great autumn atmosphere and a quick appearance by Fantasyis Angus Scrimm, the first Subspecies shows Radu tormenting a trio of students who come to snoop around the castle he lives in. Subspecies went so well, director Ted Nicolaou was brought back to helm four sequels (Subspecies 5 just finished production) and a spin-off called vampire diaries. Hove also returned to star in each sequel, but the role of last daughter Michelle was recast, with Denice Duff taking over for Laura Tate.
CASTLE FREAK (1995)
Stuart Gordon directed some of the most popular HP Lovecraft adaptations ever made. His first two Resuscitator and From beyond, were both distributed by Empire Pictures, and it made its third Lovecraft adaptation for Full Moon. It was castle monsterloosely based on the short story the stranger and filmed in a castle owned by Charles Band in Italy. Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton play John and Susan Reilly, with Jessica Dollarhide as their blind teenage daughter Rebecca. The Reilly family has just inherited a castle in Italy, unaware that a horribly disfigured and emaciated man – the title character – has been held captive there. When this man is freed, he starts killing anyone who crosses his path and crawling on Rebecca. As the credits roll, some very gross things have happened in this castle.
THE DEAD HATE THE LIVE! (2000)
After working in Full Moon’s promotional department for several years, Dave Parker got the chance to write and direct his own movie for the company – and delivered a really fun zombie flick where he got to pay homage to some of his horror heroes. The dead hate the living! centers on a group of independent filmmakers who have decided to shoot a zombie movie in an abandoned hospital. Unfortunately for them, this hospital was also the base of operations for a scientist named Eibon (Matt Stephens), who actually discovered a way to bring the dead back to life. Soon, zombie movie makers are fighting for their lives against real zombies, trying to turn their knowledge of horror into survival skills. It’s the kind of movie where a character will stop to think “What would Bruce Campbell do?” before going into battle with the undead. It’s a blast and one of the best full moon movies.
MORTAL MAN (2005)
One of the more recent examples of Full Moon creating an iconic and recurring character, The red-dead man begins with Gary Busey killing several people as the rampaging maniac Millard Findlemeyer. Busey isn’t on screen for long, his character is captured and executed – but when Millard is resurrected as a homicidal gingerbread man so he can go after Sarah Leigh (Full’s regular Moon/Charles Band’s longtime girlfriend Robin Sydney), Busey also provides the voice of the “dead-redheaded man”. Of course, Busey didn’t return to voice the character in the many sequels and crossovers Gingerdead Man has appeared in since that film. The red-dead man received two direct sequels and appeared not only in Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong but several other installments in the evil bong franchise. It starts very simply in this movie, which is about the killer cookie attacking people in a bakery. Things get crazy from here.
PUPPET MASTER III: THE REVENGE OF TOULON (1991)
Charles Band’s company Empire Pictures collapsed in 1988, but within months he had created Full Moon. The company’s first release was the 1989 killer puppet classic puppet masterwhich launched a franchise that is still getting new installments to this day. Puppet Master III: Revenge of Toulon is widely regarded not only as the pinnacle of puppet master series but also one of the best Full Moon movies ever made. Directed by David DeCoteau, this one shows us the puppets’ origins in 1941 Berlin, revealing that André Toulon (Guy Rolfe) turned them into living beings by imbuing them with the life essence of slain friends and loved ones. by the Nazis. He then used the puppets to fight the Nazis, going all the way back to the man who murdered his wife: Major Kraus (Richard Lynch), whose appearance inspired the design of the most popular puppet, Blade.
DEMON TOYS (1992)
Charles Band always had a penchant for small terrors, and he was not satisfied with puppet master being the only small terror franchise in Full Moon. So he teamed up with director Peter Manoogian and screenwriter David S. Goyer to create Demonic Toys, which is about a group of people trapped in a toy warehouse called Toyland, where they are tormented by evil dolls who follow the orders of a demon. The demon is played by child actor Daniel Cerny, who would play evil again in Children of Corn III: Urban Harvest several years later. The main characters are the jack-in-the-box clown Jack Attack, the vicious teddy bear Grizzly Teddy, the robot Mr. Static and the mouth doll Baby Oopsie Daisy. They’re a fun group that’s earned their own franchise; not as prolific as puppet master, but entertaining. They even crossed with puppet master and doll man.
Another of Full Moon’s little terror films, Hideous! may not be well known by its title, but it has one of the most memorable sights of any film by the company: that of a topless Jacqueline Lovell standing in the snow, wearing a gorilla mask and holding a gun. Lovell’s character is the personal assistant of Dr. Emilio Lorca (Michael Citriniti), a collector of oddities whose biggest rival is Mel Johnson Jr. as Napoleon Lazar. These and other characters reunite at a castle in rural Pennsylvania (the movie was actually shot in Romania), where they end up being attacked by some of the oddities Lorca and Lazar want in their collections: a quartet of deformed human fetuses. This wacky horror-comedy was directed by Charles Band himself and features ridiculous, over-the-top characters. The fetuses didn’t get another movie, but Lorca would return in Demonic Toys 2 thirteen years later.
BLOOD DOLLS (1999)
One of Charles Band’s favorite Full Moon movies is the bizarre 1995 outing Householder, about a family of mutants controlled by the giant-headed Myron. For decades, he has hoped to make a sequel titled wife of the head of the family – which would link the Head movies with 1999 blood dolls. This one stars Jack Maturin as Virgil Travis, a rich, short-headed lunatic who has two servants (Phil Fondacaro and William Paul Burns), a caged all-girl rock band and a sadistic streak. He turns some of his enemies into living dolls, which he sends to kill his other enemies. Written and Directed by Band, blood dolls is an absurd film steeped in its own absurdity. It’s full of funny dialogue and strong comedic performances, and doesn’t get as much love as it deserves.