[Editorial] There Goes the Neighborhood: Nine Times Full Moon Films Went Totally Left Field
In the middle of the Eighties Golden Age of slashers and silver-screen horror, Charles Band opened up Full Moon Productions. Set to satisfy the tastes of gorehounds and film fanatics alike, Full Moon has been the voice of underground horror cinema, and with the advent of their over-the-top streaming service, the distributor has secured their own mark on the rabid video on demand market.
With the upcoming Corona Zombies, premiering exclusively on the Full Moon Features channel and app on April 10th, Full Moon is getting ahead of the curve, taking the ever-present COVID-19 pandemic to the absolute extreme, with a handful of horror tropes popping up in the 30-second teaser trailer alone. While the argument could be made that such a film might be “too soon,” this is far from the first time that Charles Band and Co. have gone with a completely bonkers premise. From marijuana to megalodons, Full Moon have had plenty of cracks at weird, outrageous subject matter, and here are just a handful of examples.
Also, be sure to enter our "Corona Zombies Survival Kit" giveaway!
Timely, given that it is April 2020, this franchise started in 2006 with a group of college potheads chasing the biggest high possible. After toking from the titular device, the group is trapped in an otherworldly strip club, full of poles, pasties, and… breasts with mouths. And that’s not even the only reference to mammary maws on this list.
The Gingerdead Man
Anything in this millenium featuring Gary Busey is bound to be batshit, and The Gingerdead Man is no exception. After an executed killer’s ashes are mixed with a spice blend, a small-town bakery whips up a batch of seemingly harmless cookies that creates carnage in its wake.
Texas, man. Texas.
This 2000 urban horror is a revenge tale that doesn’t clown around. The first of what would be five films, it sees black magic, ice cream trucks, and possession in a sundae of insanity. While the eponymous clown would be played by Angel Vargas in the debut, Trent Haaga would play Killjoy in the rest of the franchise so far, with 2016’s Killjoy’s Psycho Circus being the latest installment.
This family affair is far more zany than gory, but such was the M.O. for Moonbeam, a Full Moon label that focused on friendlier tales of fantasy. The film gained a cult following in the shadow of Jurassic Park, with its tale of a mix-up of dinosaur eggs causing prehistoric pandemonium for a suburban family.
Weedjies: Halloweed Night
One of the most recent Full Moon films, Weedjies is another ganja meets gore affair. After a Halloween party trick gone wrong summons creatures who consider “blood is their munchies!” a group of young adults has to save the party and themselves from going up in smoke.
With respect for knowing what brought them to the dance, 1992’s Demonic Toys was Full Moon’s take on their own Puppet Master franchise. The two worlds even collided for a 2004 crossover for the “plasticweight championship of the world,” as the promo poster decreed. Thanks to a 2019 Kill Count episode by YouTube horror channel Dead Meat, the original films was re-introduced to a modern audience.
The Pit and The Pendulum
While the titular story and “The Cask of Amontillado” are excellent yarns woven by Edgar Allan Poe in their own rights, what would come if the two were woven together? The late Stuart Gordon answered this with his 1991 film, which features horror icons Jeffrey Combs and Lance Henriksen. It is a Brompton cocktail of literature past, adding in the storyline of “The Sword of Damocles” for the lead character.
A re-imagining of an Empire Pictures release from 1986, this tale centers around a vampiress once murdered by puritan villages, only to be reborn in the vessel of a writer who now finds her home in her death place.
Oh, and this was the other mention of boobs with mouths. Don’t believe me? Watch this hilarious video that Full Moon themselves released.
This totally un-PC film was a spin-off of Doll Graveyard, and sees a caricature doll imbued with the spirit of a young black man killed by police in a grave misunderstanding. This film barely predated the Black Lives Matter movement, and perhaps that’s not such a bad thing, given the wild nature of the film, and the poor man’s Screamin’ Jay Hawkins design of the titular doll.