Five Underrated Full Moon Movies

Full Moon is still trotting out films to this day and while they haven’t released a bonafide classic in literal years, they’re at least embracing their history and still give classic Full Moon fans their rewards and due. Being a fan of Full Moon since the old days when me and my family were at the mom and pop video store every Friday scowering the shelves for that evening’s entertainment, I thought I’d list five underrated titles from the whole Full Moon umbrella. This also includes Moonbeam, Pulse Pounders, and Monster Island, et al.

Many of these films can be found on their official streaming service, as well as Tubi TV.

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Enter the Video Store: Empire of Screams (1984-1989) – Limited Edition [Blu-ray]

Charles Band and Empire Video and his sub-labels like Full Moon, Moonbeam, Action Xtreme and others were a huge part of the Video store shelves in the eighties and nineties. There was rarely a time where you could walk in to a video store without seeing something from Charles Band on the shelves. Now with Arrow Video unleashing their gargantuan “Enter the Video Store” box set for film collectors, fans can re-live a lot of their favorite titles from Charles Bands’ studios, along with a plethora of vintage extras and even some mementos for good measure. If you fancy yourself a Charles Band fan like I do, “Empire of Screams” will prove to be a treasure trove covering the his golden years from eighties with titles newly, digitally restored.

I’m assuming there’s a second box set planned spanning the 1990’s. Fingers crossed.

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Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared-Syn (1983) [Blu-Ray/Blu-Ray 3D]

“Metalstorm” is another one of the Not Brand X movies from the eighties where fans of “Mad Max” were treated to a long list of movies that desperately emulated its formula and aesthetic. If you survey most of the late seventies and eighties, you could probably build a whole sub-genre of post-apocalyptic movies that emulate “Mad Max” and “Escape from New York.” There’s a whole library from various studios who aimed to capture the same success and pop culture momentum as the aforementioned. “Metalstorm: The Destruction of Jared Syn” is by no means a bad movie. It is a hokey but fun movie, though. It has all the hallmarks with films of this ilk including a desert wasteland, a hot rod driving “road warrior,” and his blonde babe.

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Excalibur Kid (1999)


Yet another iteration of “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court,” this time around Antony Anderson focuses on what happens when an out of time teen is set to become the king in place of King Arthur. Jason McSkimming gives a tolerable performance as young Zack, a teen who is angry about moving away from his home and longs to be a part of medieval times where honor and evil were easy to tell apart. Or some nonsense like that, I was never sure what he was rambling about. Zack is so anxious to go back in time he wills it thanks to the magic of the evil Morgause.

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Puppet Master 4: When Bad Puppets Turn Good (1993) [Blu-ray]


As we saw from the chronological mythology that unfolded in the first half of the “Puppet Master” series, the puppets owned by Toulon were once kind and heroic. The puppets were the products of a man kind at heart, whose own lust for vengeance and hatred for the Nazis turned him evil. And in effect, he transformed his puppets in to evil beings that did his bidding. Toulon was once a nice man, and evil transformed him in to the villain we eventually met in “Puppet Master 2.” The third film, which is my favorite by far, features the origin of the puppets and how they were just beings living and doing their own thing until they found an inherent purpose in snuffing out the ugliness in humanity.

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Dolls (1987): Collector’s Edition [Blu-Ray]

I’m not sure I understand Charles Band’s obsession with tiny terrors, other than they’re much more cost effective to film. I’m assuming. “Dolls” is a fun precursor to the “Puppet Master” movies that mixes fantasy, comedy, and horror altogether to compose some kind of twisted meta-horror film about a little girl whose daily monsters begin turning in to actual monsters without her realization. Director Stuart Gordon’s horror fantasy moves along at a brisk pacing, making the best out of its minuscule budget, and transforming its house of dolls in to a house of terrors. Continue reading

Puppet Master 5: The Final Chapter (1994)


“The Final Chapter” of the Puppet Master series isn’t the final Puppet Master movie, but it’s definitely the final installment of the true series for me. I consider the rest of the installments nothing but filler and greatest hit clip compilations. In the first two films, we watched the evil puppets and their master Toulon wreak havoc, part three was the origin of how Toulon became evil and how the puppets were once capable of good, and the final two installments are Toulon and his puppets redeeming themselves by saving the world from interdimensional demons.

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