Entertainment of the Full Moon – T-Minus 5 Days!

There is a horror snob buried deep within me that would love to tell you that my introduction to horror was one of the big classics like Elm Street or Halloween, alas this is not the case.  I’ve said many a time that accreditation goes to none other then Ernest Scared Stupid.

Ernest Scared Stupid remains to this day as the only movie to ever creep me out long after seeing it.  This movie came on the scene in 1991, though I’m sure it was a couple of years later before I actually got the opportunity to see it.  I would spend months afterwards creeped out every night walking home from hanging out with friends.

Scared Stupid was the first and last movie to have such an effect on me… it’s a feeling I’ve been chasing ever since.

Although this movie holds dear to me in my development as a child of the horror genre, it is not what I envision when I think of my horror origins.  That title is reserved for Full Moon Entertainment(Full Moon Productions/Full Moon Pictures/ they’ve gone through a number of names).

Oh Yeah, this is the company that really brought horror into my life.  Bad Channels, Seedpeople, The Puppet Master series, Dollman, Demonic Toys, I could pretty much name off their entire collection and tie it to some memory of my childhood.

Are they great horror movies?  Um, No.  They were B movies at best back in the day and a lot of their classics are quite dated by today’s standards.   Full Moon productions were the essentially campy, cheesy horror movies that become the basis for how modern media parodies the genre.

It’s entertaining that if you find yourself watching one of these films and another horror fan enters the room, there is a 50/50 chance you’re going to get the heavy sigh and the eye roll… BUT almost all the time the film is going to be recognized.

The effects the company used were actually really well done for it’s time.  Just watching the animation on Puppet Master last night and thinking about what it would have been like in 1989 to see these puppets walking around and being animated really made me remember why I love the genre so much.  I’m really excited to get the retrospective of the Puppet Master franchise up on NoTearsPlease.

The thing about Full Moon is that although they were campy and by today’s standards it can be argued that the effects are really lame (even though I advocate practical effects over CGI whenver possible.)  Full Moon epitomizes what I think of when I remember the horror genre growing up.  There had legitimately creepy and eerie stories combined with a degree of a camp and humor to almost all of their work.  (The Evil Dead 2 formula)

There’s so much I want to say about Full Moon.  Just to speak about the nostalgia I feel when I see that logo at the beginning of a movie can go on forever, but I fear I would just be repeating myself over and over again.

If you are a fan of horror and understand the campy roots this genre has developed from over the years I highly recommend checking out the early works of Full Moon productions.

They have an $80 gift set on their website that has the first generation of the Puppet Master saga (8 movies) that has been calling my name since I first seen it.

The best thing about Full Moon is that they are still at it.  They have new series that I haven’t really sunk my horror teeth into yet like Gingerdeadman and even Evil Bong… (Yes they have a series called Evil Bong, I believe there’s 3 of these).  So I guess this is another project for another day, to get reacquainted with the more recent selections of Full Moon…

The second part of this has got to be used to pay homage to the man behind the Puppet Master series and one of the most underrated men of the genre,  Mr. Charles Band.

Charles Band has sat in the producer chair for 258 films since 1973, of those he has written & directed almost 40 of them.  He is the man behind the moon.  He is the president of Full Moon productions.

Band’s puppet master series kept my interest in horror secured and unwavering through my childhood.  It kept me interested long enough for me to finally experience the joy of the Elm Streets and Crystal Lakes.  So really if not for Charles Band, I would NOT be the horror fanatic that I am today.  Without Charles Band I could’ve ended up being a die hard comedy fan, who knows maybe I would’ve enjoyed things like the Jersey Shore, or *shutters* Glee.

No.. I don’t want to think about it.  I grew up horror, and I will die horror.

Mr. Bands work can even take credit for my early appreciation for Halloween.  As a kid I loved Halloween for candy and costumes, but as a teen I loved the fact that every channel airs its scariest programming in October.  Monster movie marathons, horror themed TV shows, I just soaked it all in.

At a remarkably young age Halloween overtook Christmas as my favorite time of the year, and that’s really saying something when you consider how much I really love the Christmas season.  Thanks in no small part to my growing respect for horror.

Charles Band is a name that should be known and remembered.  If you consider yourself a horror fan and do NOT know this guy then you need to remedy that or remove that title from your name.

Mr. Band, I tip my hat to you and thank you for your many years of service.

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Tuning up the band. The return of the Puppet Master! – T-Minus 6

To begin I need to express my absolute crookedness at the moment, the new work schedule is released and revealed that I will be working till 130am on Halloween night. I haven’t had to work a Halloween night in … ever actually. I’m beyond rotted, but have no right to complain to anyone here because I took for granted that I would be off early that I didn’t bother asking to be free that night.

… *Insert lots of yelling and profanity here* …
Okay. Give me a moment to compose myself, I’ll be with you shortly…
Ahem.

Ahhhhh Yes.  I feel so much better now.  Mr. Band, you do good work. I love this series!!!

You hear it all the time when people talk about the great franchises you will find when you look into the horror genre, you hear of Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, Fred Kruger, Regan MacNeil, and so on.    If you dig into the cult classics you even become familiar with Ash Williams and even personalities like the mistress of the dark, Elvira.

A truly underrated and under-appreciated franchise that seems to be passed over quite frequently by all but only the most avid of horror fans is the Puppet Master series.  The gang is all there, Blade, Pinhead, Tunneler, Six Shooter… the list goes on.  If you were to ask me what is my favorite horror movie of all time, I hope you had a couple of days to spare while I dive into the genre in an attempt to answer that question… if you ask me what my favorite franchise is, the answer is clear.  Puppet Master.

Puppet Master is the baby of a legend in the horror franchise, Charles Band.  Never heard of him?  Well he’s got a near endless amount of movies to his credit.  You won’t find a multi-million dollar blockbuster on his resume but the man started making films at the age of 22, and he’s still at it.  In fact the inspiration for this post is the release of the 10th Puppet Master movie.  If that alone was enough to get me absolutely pumped, this movie is called Axis Rising meaning that it is a return to Nazis!

Blade & Pinhead – Two of the most well-known puppets

…  Upon news of this I have decided the retrospective I had planed to record for the Paranormal Activity saga must be placed on hold because the Puppet Master series is the one dear to my heart and there’s so much to talk about.  Seriously, if I didn’t have restraint in this post, it would go on for hours.

For the sake of this post I’m going to just give a brief over view of the story, but if you are a fan of horror or just want something creepy to watch for Halloween then watch these movies.  The first and second part are more like your classic horror films, part 3-5 they seem to hit their stride of realizing that although the puppets were capable killers and should be feared and respected… they were also VERY likable and developed their own fan base.  The third movie takes place in the second world war where we see the origins of the puppets as they take vengeance on the Nazi’s for the murder of their creators wife.  The 4th and 5th shows the emergence of a new puppet master, and the puppets are displayed in a more positive light defending their puppet master from the antagonist of the movie.  Some people say this is where the series got a little too over the to… I’m getting way ahead of myself.

Sorry.

The story of Puppet Master is the story of Andre Toulon.  Toulon was a puppeteer during the second World War, his specialty was providing incredible puppet shows and miraculously there did not appear to be any strings on his puppets.  Only Toulon ever knew the secret of his act, and it was a secret that he took to the grave.  (You find all this out in great detail in the third movie, which is a prequel showing Toulon in the 40’s)

The discovery of the puppets and the secret behind animating them is the blood line of the series.  In the first movie there’s a very malevolent Puppet Master therefore the puppets are merciless killers, in later installments with a new Puppet Master you see the change in their demeanor.

SixShooter – Another Fan Favorite Puppet

Come to think of it, I think I saw the 4th & 5th movies were the ones I seen before the original because the puppets were never scary to me.  They were systematically killing people off in the first movie, but I always saw them as friendly.  It’s strange how perspective can shape a film.

This is by far my favorite series of any horror franchise but regrettably I have not seen the later installments of the series.  The 5th was intended on being the end of the series and has a pretty good ending to a series, but this is an issue I’m going to remedy very soon.  Puppet Master marathon anyone?

The effects on the original movies especially haven’t aged all the best but they were amazing for its time.  Mr. Band definitely had a masterpiece with The Puppet Master, and the cast of characters (The puppets) is so diverse and creative that it’s hard not to be drawn into the series.

I’m absolutely stoked for tonight now to catch up on some  Puppet Master.

… This post was actually supposed to be about Charles Band more so than Puppet Master, but I am just way beyond excited about this new movie.

Well at least I now have my idea for tomorrow.  Charles Band and more specifically Full Moon Entertainment.  Providing some of the best practical effected horror movies in the genre.