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November 23, 2010

The Movie Burrito: Volume 7 - Full Moon Fever

This edition of Cinema Head Cheese's Movie Burrito covers some new releases from Full Moon Features, Echo Bridge Entertainment, Cinema Epoch and Subrosa.

There’s going to be one name consistently mentioned on this helping of Cinema Head Cheese’s Movie Burrito: Charles Band. First up , we have two budget packs from Echo Bridge in conjunction with Full Moon Features: one consisting of Gingerdead Man and Gingerdead Man II:The Passion of the Crust and the other a triple-feature showcasing Full Moon classics, Dollman, Demonic Toys and Dollman Vs. The Demonic Toys. Gingerdead Man is a much like Child's Play but instead of the immense talents of Brad Dourif you have...well..Gary Busey.

Buy The Gingerdead Man Double Feature on DVD

Busey isn't bad as Gingerdead Man (A.K.A Millard Findlemeyer).The veteran actor does bring plenty of his natural maniacal self to the character, as either the killer cookie or his flesh and blood counterpart psycho-killer Findlemeyer. Band does a fine impression of Tom Holland in this outrageously cheezy but enjoyable endeavor. Passion of the Crust, however is another story. Now Gingerdead Man is terrorizing the cast and crew at horror film producer, Kevin Cheatam's studio. It's nice to see a few cult favorites popping in for cameos, like Michele Bauer - whose aged very well. Gingerdead Man II trys to hard to be a Troma film though. The jokes just aren’t that funny and the lack of Busey (who was probably at Celebrity Re-hab) make it a chore to sit through. Both Gingerdead Man and Gingerdead Man II look ok but appear to be ports of the past DVD releases. They are budget DVD's, so don't expect pristine picture and audio.

Next up is another DVD from Echo Bridge’s budget Full Moon releases, Dollman, Demonic Toys and Dollman Vs. The Demonic Toys. For pure entertainment value, these three films are much better than both Gingerdead Man features. Brick Bardo(Tim Thomerson) is the lead character in Albert Pyun's, Dollman. Poor Brick is stuck on earth after his spaceship crashes in a garbage dump deep inside the projects. This mini Dirty Harry soon becomes a pint-size hero to a neighborhood run by ruthless gang members.  

Buy the Dollman vs. Demonic Toys Box Set on DVD

Demonic Toys is basically a cash-in on the popularity of The Puppet Master Series, except these toys are a bit meaner than Pinhead, Blade and Leech Woman. These little bastards make a young sexy detective(played by Tracy Scoggins) miserable when the dolls decide to “play” with her in a haunted wherehouse full of toys. Watch out for the foul-mouthed baby-doll, whose easily the highlight of both “Demonic” films. Finally we have a melding of both movies, Dollman Vs. Demonic Toys. The concept might sound completely crap-tacular but it's actually a hoot. Tim Thomerson has a knack for making some potentially lousy movies passable. He's back here as Brick Bardo and he ain't taking shit from the hideous Demonic Toys. All three films, again, look ok. These are tape masters but do not bare the squiggly lines you may have witnessed on budget releases for other companies.

The Full Moon, Charles Band-wagon continues to pack the movie burrito with more old-school Full Moon product that's being re-released. The original Puppet Master has now been re-mastered for new DVD and Blu-Ray incarnations. If you’re not already initiated with the Puppet Master story, it involves the plight of Andre Toulon (William Hickey) and his very loyal but deadly puppets.

Buy Puppet Master on DVD or Blu-ray

In the first film, Andre decides to put a bullet in his brain while confined in his hotel room by the sea - after discovering he's being stalked by some gentleman in trench coats. This doesn't go very well with his puppets. It makes them pretty angry actually. Now anyone entering the hotel, including a band of quirky psychics - has Andre Toulon's blood on their hands, in the eyes of the puppets. The DVD is a definite improvement on the previous release. Grain is present but the jitter on the Echo Bridge budget pack is absent. This is the official Full Moon release so it does have a few extras including an introduction by Band that covers the origins of Puppet Master and an always welcome trailer reel.

For the first time on DVD, from Full Moon Features, Oblivion, the Aliens versus Cowboys epic starring Meg Foster, George Takei, Isaac Hayes and a host of other cult favorites is making its debut. Andrew Divoff (Wishmaster, Wishmaster II) stars as the dastardly extraterrestrial cyclops, Red Eye - bent on raising hell on the poor folks in the town of Oblivion.

Buy Oblivion on DVD

After killing Marshall Stone, all the townsfolk are filling their pants at the site of this scaly bastard. That is until Stone's son Zack(Richard Joseph Paul), hungry for retribution comes after Red Eye and his cronies. Oblivion isn't one of my favorite Full Moon outings but the use of stop-motion to create the creatures inhabiting Oblivion is amusing to see. You also can't really argue with the casting choices of Julie Newmar, Isacc Hayes, Irwin Keyes, Foster and of course Divoff who rarely disappoints as a villain. The quality of the transfer is good, not pristine. It's also full-frame. No extras, but there is yet another trailer reel of Full Moon classic features.

Full Moon fever is certainly in full effect today, so why not close this barrage of Band infused productions with a brand-new DVD release - it's a sequel to.. well...ehh.. Killjoy. I'm not too fond of either Killjoy I or II, as they were poorly shot and just plain dull. I'm thoroughly shocked to say this, but Killjoy III is not only the best of the three films (not a tough task) but it's a hell of a lot of fun. Trent Hagga returns as Killjoy, who's summoned back to earth again, along with an interesting group greasepaint smothered folk who are basically clown cenobites.

Buy Killjoy 3 on DVD

These are some creepy bastards.One of Killjoy's freaky pals even has a baby growing out of his chest. Killjoy also has a clown succubus,appropriately named Batty Boop to take care his needs. Batty may be a clown but she’s a very sexy naked clown during the majority of Killjoy’s running time. Killjoy director, John Lechago is really after the sloppy, doughy, clown-boob-loving guy demographic - which might explain my interest in this film. This ,along with Haaga's most charismatic performance as the murderous clown and by far the best production value (scenes are actually in focus, and lit very well) put this on the Cinema Head Cheese recommended list. Full Moon has provided some extra features including : a couple Killjoy featurettes and a trailer reel to accompany the feature.

Now it's time to take a break from Full Moon fever with a few independent features. SubRosa has just released the completely tasteless horror comedy Horno, from director Terrence Williams. Not to be confused with Gorno or the 70’s XXX oddity Hardgore, Horno stars Carlos Javier Castillo stars as Ron, an ambitious porn producer who's eager to try something new: combine horror with porn and call the genre Horno. His first offering of "Horno" comes in the form of Children of The Cornhole.

Buy Horno on DVD

Ron really wants to make a benchmark film that takes the adult film world by storm but little does Sleazy B Demille know there's a zombie plague that may get in the way of production. If your in the mood for cock-eating plus-sized girls, straight out of Fellini's Armacord gnawing crank, Horno will put you in cinematic heaven. The positive thing about Horno is that half of it is pretty enjoyable - especially if you have a sick sense of humor like myself. At barely over an hour its pretty painless filth.

Cinema Epoch is a company we know so well for their always unique Asian cult film offerings - today though, it's the independent U.S production of director’s Mike McKown and Jim Towns, Stiff. Stiff's is a mildly interesting edition to the necro/horror subgenre at best. Troy (Bill Scott) wants the affection of a Lorri (Lu Lu Benton) a young female necropheliac. Troy's goal is to commit suicide and share his cold corpse with the eager necrophile. Sounds like a possible exploitation masterpice,right? If you come into Stiff expecting the splatter and perversion of Nekromantik or Lucker The Necrophagous, you'll be very disappointed.  

Buy Stiff on DVD

Stiff is a little deeper than both of those features, but I don't think that particularly helps it. I did find the relationship between Troy and Lorri is somewhat engrossing for the last third of the film. Both performances are solid, as is the production value but there are too many areas in the film where just nothing happens and we just see Bill and Lorri talk. Some of the exploitative elements of the other “necro” films mentioned might have actually helped bring Stiff above being what is essentially a missed opportunity. The Cinema Epoch's disc has some nice supplements, including an alternate ending and a commentary with the directors and cast. This is a talented group I believe, it just didn't work for me.

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