Wednesday, March 31, 2010

'Talisman' is a film to leave in last century

Talisman (1998)
Starring: Billy Parrish, Walter Jones, Ilinca Goia, Jason Adelman, Oana Stefanescu, Constantin Barbulescu and Claudiu Trandafir
Director: David DeCoteau (as "Victoria Sloan")
Producers: Kirk Edward Hansen, Vlad Paunescu and Charles Band
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

A new student (Parrish) arrives at an isolated boarding school for the troubled sons of the rich... just in time for the student body to be turned into dead bodies.

This film is a sort of mirror image of the usual "boarding school of evil"/"trapped girls in peril" horror film, with a small group of cutesy late-teen boys being murdered and running around in their underwear instead of the usual nubile teen girls. It was also Full Moon's attempt to cash in on the growing "end of the world" craze that was gripping pop culture during the final years of the 1990s.

Unfortunately, even at a brief 74-minute running time, the film draaaaaags. The film is populated with mostly unlikeable characters that portrayed by actors who are handsome and flat in an Abercrombie & Fitch print-ad sort of way. The promise of some character development and maybe even a little humanity is quickly dispelled by the sleazy shadow of incest when the story's heavily-telegraphed "secrets" emerge as the plot comes together.

Even worse, the gore effects--which come into play when the film's Uncle Fester-looking demon pulls people's hearts out of their chests--are so cheaply done that even the attempt at camera trickery can't make them look good and the blood that sprays upward like a malfunctioning lawn sprinkler whenever the demon rips a heart out only makes it look even more ridiculous

There are really only ten minutes of the film that are truly scary, where the demonic rituals come to a head and the film's pretty-boy hero comes face-to-face with his long-lost sister. But even this is ultimately ruined by a lame attempt at a "shock twist-ending". (Which is itself an odd touch, since many Full Moon pictures are more in the "classic vein", in the sense that they end the moment they're over, with no denouement of any kind.)

All in all, there's no reason to watch this movie, unless you're doing a research paper on homo-erotic themes in the films of David DeCoteau.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A rare sequel that's better than the first film

Subspecies II: Bloodstone (1993)
Starring: Denice Duff, Anders Hove, Melanie Shatner, Kevin Spirtas, Michael Denish, Ion Haiduc and Pamela Gordon
Producers: Charles Band, Oana Paunescu and Vlad Paunescu
Director: Ted Nicolaou
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Young Michelle (Duff) has recently been turned into a vampire and is on the run from the evil vampire prince Radu (Hove) and his twisted, immortal mother (Gordon). Her sister (Shatner) arrives in Romania hoping to help her, but what can a mere mortal do against an ancient vampire who is not only chasing Michelle because he want to possess her, but also because she has stolen the magical Bloodstone?

"Subspecies II: Bloodstone" is a direct continuation of the original "Subspecies"--it picks up just one single night after the final scene of the first movie--and it's one of those very rare sequels that manages to turn out better than the movie it follows. This is an especially remarkable feat because a near-total cast change has taken place and the film takes some very unexpected directions as far as story goes.

The only actor to return in the sequel is Anders Hove, who repeats his performance as the extremely vile, supremely creepy Radu. Although Radu doesn't actually kill anyone in this film--or even sink his vampiric fangs into a single neck!--he's an even more menacing presense than he was in the first film. He develops a maniacal need to possess Michelle, the mortal woman who was made a vampire by Radu's brother Stefan and he seems to start deluding himself into thinking that she will care for him, partly because he murdered Stefan to gain her as a possession. This insanity makes him even spookier than he was in the first movie.

Radu also seems more creepy because of superior camerawork and lighting present in this film. From beginning to end, there is a consistent mood of dread and darkness in every frame of the film, most of it created with simple lighting techniques and camera angles. (The same is true of a number of low-cost effects that seem to make the vampires beings of living shadows--something that is created through well-considered placement of spotlights and cameras and the result is far more effective than more costly special effects could ever have been. (The one time where there is an animated shadow, it looks cheesy, but every time Radu's arrival or departure is demonstrated with shifting, giant shadows it's very dramatic and cool.)

Aside from the competent camera work and lighting, the film also sports a great soundtrack that is fresh yet still reminiscent of the one present in the first film. The featured actors also do an excellent job in their various parts, with Denise Duff being particularly noteworthy for stepping into the role of Michelle quite nicely (even if one has to wonder why they chose to go with her as Michelle when Melanie Shatner, the actress who plays Michelle's sister, bears closer physical resemblance to the actress who played Michelle in the first movie) and Michael Denish for serving as the film's comic relief as a scatter-brained Van Helsing-type scholar.

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the film when one considers it was produced by Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment is the fact that the film follows continuity from the first film very closely. Even with a near-total cast change and the film shifting in tone from Hammer-style gothic horror to a more modern sensibility, the storyline and all the characters remain consistent. Other Full Moon series, like "Puppet Master" and "Trancers" seem to almost go out of their way to screw up story continuity between the various movies, but writer/director Ted Nicolaou chose to actually pay attention to what he'd done before and remain consistent with it even though he took the story in a very different direction than the ending of "Subspecies" seemed to be leading toward.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

'Dollman'... 13 inches with an attitude

Dollman (1991)
Starring: Tim Thomerson, Kamala Lopez, Jackie Earle Haley and Humberto Ortiz
Director: Albert Pyun
Producers: Cathy Gesualdo and Charles Band
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Brick Bardo (Thomerson), the toughest cop on the distant world of Auturus, crashlands his spaceship on Earth while pursuing a dangerous criminal through a spacial anomoly. He proceeds to defend a single mother (Lopez) against a violent gang in the South Bronx, proving that size isn't everything because Brick stands only thirteen inches tall, and he is now in a world of giants.

"Dollman" is a fun, fast-paced sci-fi action comedy where Tim Thomerson gets to show off his roots as a comedian even while playing one of the toughest action heroes to ever grace the silver screen. (Has any Bruce Willis characters taken on an army of giants carrying automatic firearms? How about Vin Diesel? Arnold Schwartzenegger? James Cagney? Douglas Fairbanks? No, they have not!) Thomerson has some very funny interplay with his new giant friends, even while doing a very funny take-off on Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry character in the way Brick Bardo talks and carries himself. (The opening scene on Bardo's homeworld where he deals with a hostage situation in a fashion that would make Harry proud is one of this film's high points.)

It might be the New York setting or the way the street gang behaves, but "Dollman" feels more like a Troma Film than a typical Charles Band production--it's closer in feel and tone to "Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD" than any Band film I've seen so far. This isn't a bad thing, though... it can lead to all sorts of "what-if" fantasies regarding possible creative bi-costal team-ups by two of the greatest B-movie moguls of the late 20th century, Charles Band and Lloyd Kaufman. (How about "Toxic Avenger vs. the Demonic Toys", "Surf Nazis Must Kill the Puppet Master" or "Sgt. Kabukiman, NYPD: The Case of the Killer Bong" anyone?)

The film is blessed with a talented cast, all of whom are perfectly cast in their parts and who have good lines to deliver. The special effects are passable and the action and humor is top-notch.

Unfortunately, this is another Full Moon feature that is simply too short for it to be as good as it might have been. This would have been a much stronger film if more time spent on developing the characters in the movie, primarily some of the connections between the people Bardo encounters Earth-side. (For example, there seems to be history between the gangleader and the single mom, but we never get to learn what that is. Knowing that could have lent more impact to the film's conclusion.)

It's also unfortunate that instead of adding such character development scenes, the filmmakers chose to pad the already brief running time with several stretches of random city scenes. Director Albert Pyun establishes the rundown Bronx neighborhood every effectively when Brick Bardo first crashes there, but then he establishes it again and again, for no real good reason. The end result is a film that clocks in about 70 minutes, but it really probably just shy of an hour long.

However, the padding isn't to the degree where it's destructive; it's just a shame that it's there in place of more important story matter that should have been present in the film. Despite its flaws, "Dollman" is one of the best films to issue forth from Charles Band's idea factory and it's another reason why the late 1980s and early 1990s is the Full Moon Golden Age.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

'Bleed' is junk with two good scenes

Bleed (2002)
Starring: Debbie Rochon, Danny Wolsky, Allen Nabors and Laura Nativo
Directors: Devin Hamilton and Dennis Peterson
Producers: Charles Band and JR Bookwalter
Rating: Three of Ten Stars

A masked killer is slaughtering everyone who comes in contact with Maddy (Rochon), an emotionally disturbed young wowman who was tricked by her new boyfriend (Wolsky) into thinking she can gain membership in something called "The Murder Club".

"Bleed" is perhaps a one-of-a-kind movie in the Charles Band Collection, as it is one of the very few films he's produced that doesn't include some sort of fantastical element, be it restless spirits, living puppets, or invaders from outer space. In fact, it is such an unusual film for Band that he chose not to release it under the Full Moon label, but instead created Shadow Entertainment to keep the other brand "pure."

Unfortunately, this film is yet another failed collaboration with JK Bookwalter and the usual suspects associated with his productions.

"Bleed" is a third-rate slasher film that at one point in its existence had a script had asperations of being a character-driven piece. But, either that script was written with great incompetence, re-written with great incompetence, or never properly finished, because for a film to be character-driven, there needs to be believable relationships between the characters. No such relationships exist in this film, with the romance/relationship between the two main characters being the least believable of all.

Maddy arrives in a new city and a new job, completely unknown to anyone she meets here. Yet, after two dates and a couple of nights of sex (safe sex, with condoms involved the film civic-mindedly points out) these total strangers are spouting lines as if they've known each other for years ("this isn't like you!") and other characters consider covering for Maddy when she murders someone in an apparent attempt to get into "The Murder Club." None of this rings true due to the fact that she is a stranger to everyone, including the guy she is banging.

Another problem is the absolutely awful attempts at misdirection included in the film. On multiple occassions during the film, Maddy has vivid nightmares about the murders, including the pre-credit sequence killings which she has no knowledge of. She she psychic? Is she the killer? Does she have some sort of psychic link to the killer? Two of those questions are answered as the film unfolds, but the third results in a huge, gaping plot hole that sucks most of this film's entertainment value into it more efficiently than a black hole. It is such a tremendous flaw that I am flabbergasted no one said, "You know, we really should just drop those murder flashbacks. They're dull and they are more cheats than misdirection. And how do they make sense when compared to the end of the movie?"

Or maybe no one had the opportunity to object? Maybe they were added later in the process, during final editing, because someone wanted to spruce up the film in a very misguided way? Maybe two directors and two producers were too many for the soup in this case?

Whatever the reason, the numerous dream sequences make no sense in light of the film's ending, with one exception: The dream that gives us a little background on Maddy. It's also a fun scene all around, as it features cameos by Brinke Stevens (playing against type) and Lloyd Kaufman (in one of the many tiny roles he's played in low budget films as larks or favors to other filmmakers). It's also provides one of the film's strongest moments, aside from the ending.

Speaking of the ending, it's the one thing that works 100 percent in this film. I've always said that endings can make or break a movie, because it's the main thing viewers take away from it. Here, we're given a spectacularly creepy ending--and an unexpected one at that--but it comes after a movie so fatally flawed that it barely managed to save it from ending up in my "Movies to Die Before Seeing" category.

All in all, this is film you don't need to bother with. It's an interesting detour for Charles Band and Debbie Rochon gives one of the better performances I've seen from her, but there are simply too many other things wrong with this film to make it worth sitting through. Even if it finally delivers something cool in its closing moments.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

'Subspecies' is good start to great series

Subspecies (1991)
Starring: Laura Mae Tate, Irina Movila, Michelle McBride, Anders Hove, Ivan J. Rado and Michael Watson
Director: Ted Nicolaou
Producer: Ion Ionescu and Charles Band
Rating: Six of Ten Stars

Three pretty grad students (McBride, Movila and Tate) working on disertations are in Transylvania to study the local legends and folk customs, only to find themselves in the middle of a vampiric family feud that's been brewing for centuries and that is now reaching it's brutal, bloody finale.

"Subspecies" is one of the better vampire movies to come out of the 1990s, despite the obvious budget constraints it was made under. It's an interesting merging of the hideous monstrosity vampires from the real legends and early movies and the sexy vampire that grew increasingly popular during the second half of the 20th century, reaching the pinnacle of pop culture success by the mid-1990s.

The story feels a tad slow-moving, partly because the film telegraphs where it's going by leading with the vampires and their blood-feud and then cutting to our three soon-to-be damsels in distress--two very cute blonds and an androgynous brunette--for extended sequences as they wander around old castles and a beautiful countryside, broken only by scenes of the very creepy and disgusting vampire Radu (played by Anders Hove, in a fashion that makes Max Schreck's Count Orlock in "Nosferatu" look like a GQ cover model) rising from his coffin. Radu is so vile that you know he's going to be chewing his way through the cast, so you're going to be feeling a bit impatient with the film as it works its way toward the expected carnage.

However, the film is never dull, nor will you likely be tempted to turn it off. The cast are all good actors and they all play their parts well. The camerawork is excellent and the true Romanian settings lends an atmosphere of realism to the film that few modern-day vampire films can muster.

But when it gets going, it delivers vampire material running the gamut. We've got a disgusting, drooling taloned vampire that's a late 20th century take on the "Nosferatu"-style vampire, we've got sexy vampire babes in nightgowns who might have just flitted over from one of Hammer's Dracula movies, and we've got the male model modern vampire hunk love interest of one of the girls (played by Michael Watson, who was a soap-opera star when the "Subspecies" movie were made).

With all of the good things I'm saying about the film, why am I only giving it a Six Rating, you ask? Well, it's because of the inconsistencies and strange logic surrounding the pint-sized monters that are a mainstay of Charles Band-produced films whether they belong or not. Here, the tiny creatures are nasty demons that are created from severed tips of Radu's fingers, but they fail to seem real because of the truly crappy effects used to bring them to life. For example, in all but one scene, no one bothered to trick in shadows under the creatures, so they appear to be floating over the floor instead of walking on it. They look exactly like what they are: Puppets that have been placed in the scenes via special effects, and they ruin almost every scene they're in because of it. (The bad effects and near-pointlessness of the creatures isn't the worst Band will deliver in this department--that comes much later in 2009's "Skull Heads".)

Despite its flaws, "Subspecies" is a vampire movie that has a little something for everyone, including bare breasts. Those of you who enjoy vampire movies with more of a gothic flavor to them than we've seen in recent years will be especially appreciative of the tone and nature of the film. It's a good start for a series features some of Full Moon's most accomplished releases. It's a shame it's not been as popular as some of their other creations, such as the Puppet Master films.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

'Skull Heads' fails to come together

Skull Heads (2009)
Starring: Robin Sydney, Samantha Light, Kim Argetsinger and Rane Jameson
Director: Charles Band
Producer: Charles Band
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

Lonely and emotionally backwards teenager Naomi Arkoff (Sydney) lives in an isolated castle with her strange and abusive parents, along with a number of dark secrets. She longs to visit the outside world, and the closest she is able to come to this is when a film crew arrives to use their castle for a backdrop.

"Skull Heads" is a return to the past for Charles Band and Full Moon in many ways. First, it is filmed in the same castle that served as the setting for true classics like "Castle Freak" and "The Pit and the Pendulum". Second, it revisits elements that worked extremely well in yet another true Full Moon Classic, Band's own "Head of the Family." Finally, it introduces yet another set of tiny terror (and potential merchandising tie-ins), the Skull Heads. Heck, it even has gratuitous nudity in the form of Robin Sydney undressing and "getting busy" with herself in front of a mirror. Yes... this film is jam-packed will all sorts of things that were present in some of the greatest Full Moon features from the 1990s.

It's too bad this film can't hold a candle to the great pictures it brings to mind.

The problem with the film starts with the casting of Robin Sydney as Naomi Arkoff. She is playing a character who is five or ten years younger than she actually is, and the result is that Naomi comes off as being retarded. (Now, given the twists and shock-revelations at the end of the film, it could be that she was SUPPOSED to come off that way. But, given that none of the outsiders who enter the castle comment on her juvenile behavior, I don't think so... I think that Band just went with an adult actress to portray a younger character.

Secondly, Band ruins a rather intense and twisted story by shoe-horning the Skull Heads of the title into the film. They are the film's obligatory "tiny terrors," included either because Band hopes to create toy spin-offs or because he thinks the audience expects it. Sadly, if Band had left them out of this film, it would have been better for it. The Skull Heads add absolutely nothing--the jokes surrounding them are not funny, the puppetry used to animate them is so obviously no-budget that it makes the homunculus from the "Decadent Evil" movies look like something from the original "Puppet Master" film, and even the nature of the curse on the Arkoff family and the castle would have been more interesting without the little critters to add unneeded fluff and distraction.

"Skull Heads" is actually one of the better films from Band in recent years. The character of Naomi is more fully realized than any others--and she would have seemed even more convincing if Band had cast a younger actress and skipped the masturbation scene--and she is likable enough that the audience both relates to her and cares about her fate. The story, thin as ever and fairly standard Full Moon fare (except for the final twists) also flows a little better than a number of other Band efforts recently. If the Skull Heads had been left out, this film would have been on par with "Doll Graveyard," an almost-good effort and a more fitting return to the good old days that the old Italian castle represents for long-time Full Moon fans.

In the final analysis, "Skull Heads" is worth checking out if you're a fan of Charles Band and Full Moon-type movies... but it's not one you necessarily need to make a priority.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

'Re-Animator': Fun with severed body parts

Re-Animator (1985)
Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale and Robert Sampson
Director: Stuart Gordon
Producer: Brian Yunza
Rating: Eight of Ten Stars

Dan's new roommate and fellow third-year med student, Herbert West (Combs) draws him into his bizarre (and successful) experiments with re-animating dead bodies.

"Re-Animator" is one of the craziest movies ever made, and it ranks up there with "Dead Alive" as one of the funniest creepy movies ever made. While it is nowhere near as gory as "Dead Alive" and the slapstick isn't quite as sharp, it features a cleverer script and a superior cast.

Jeffrey Combs is particularly excellent as Herbert West. We get the sense that he's a bit weird early in the film and highly strung; Combs performance puts the viewer in mind of Peter Cushing's Victor Frankenstein in the first couple of Hammer Frankenstein films... coldblooded, arrogant and probably sociopathic but not necessarily completely bonkers. When West calmly a bone saw through the chest of a zombie and then immediately sets about reanimating its recently deceased victim, it's clear not just from his actions but from Combs performance that he more than a little off. And when he later animates the severed head of an obnoxious rival (likewise brilliantly played by David Gale), it's clear that he is completely unhinged.

Speaking of the severed head, it gives rise to some of the most unnerving moments in the film, as well some of the funniest. I don't want to go into too much details, because I'd ruin the shock value. Suffice to say, it's something that needs to be seen.

Credit also needs to be go to Bruce Abbott and Barbara Crampton. While Combs and Gale are giving performances that seem like they just teleported in from a Hammer Films set in 1960, they play their characters mostly low-key. This, combined with the fact that their characters are nice and normal people, give the audience someone to identify with as the film unfolds and provide an island of calm in the middle of the evermore turbulent sea of madness that is this movie.

"Re-Animator" elevates Herbert West among the great movie mad doctors, even if, according to the very informative interview included on the Anchor Bay edition of the film, he was actually a minor character in the script and through most of the filming. It wasn't until "Re-Animator" was crafted into a releasable movie that the emphasis shifted to Herbert. (Comments in the interviews on the DVD even make me wonder if the filmmakers knew they were making a comedy until late in the process....)

Whether intentional or accidental art, this is one of those movies that gets everything right, from the mood-setting prologue, through its score (which spoofs Bernard Hermann's famous music for "Psycho") to its chilling end. It's also feels as fresh as when it first released in 1985. This is one of those very rare horror movies that actually deserves the label "classic."

If you are inclined to add this film to your personal library, make sure you get the limited edition "unrated" version from Anchor Bay. The cut presented there may be shorter than the R-rated version, but the humor and shocks are more outrageous than its tamer and slightly bloated counterpart. The disc full of extras is also something that you'll find extremely interesting if you have any interest at all in the filmmaking process. (The same is true of the commentary tracks.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

'Murdercycle' is a ride for kiddies

Murdercycle (1999)
Starring: Charles Wesley, Cassandra Ellis, Michael Vachetti and Robert Staccardo
Director: Tom Callaway
Producers: Charles Band, Kirk Edward Hansen, Donald Kushner and Peter Locke
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

A psychic spy (Ellis) and a Marine squad battle an alien invader shaped like a motorcycle and rider in an isolated CIA secret base. Meanwhile, a CIA agent (Vachetti) is trying to conceal the real reason for the alien attack.

"Murdercycle" is the sort of movie that a 12-year-old boy would get a kick out of--lots of gun play, a little bit of blood, a little bit of strong language, and an alien motorcycle that can turn invisible and that blows the crap out of everything it comes across with laser beams and missiles.

But, for anyone who is a little older, the film is too aimless and too empty of content to be worth your while. And for anyone who is a LOT older, and who happens to have been a fan of Marvel Comics during the 1960s and 1970s, the film is downright annoying because of the way the characters are named.

Every character in the film is named after a top comic book creator, with the two lead characters being named Kirby and Lee after the creators of the Fantastic Four. The oh-so-clever writers make sure that we don't miss this fact by making repeated references to the Fantstic Four comic book series. And then they proceed to use the names at every possible opportunity just to make sure we all get the gag. It's a gag that becomes very, very labored well before this 90-minute picture is over.

Unless you have some young kid you want to watch a sci-fi/action film with, or you're running a Full Moon-oriented blog like me, this is a picture you can skip.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

'Demonic Toys 2' shows playtime may be over

Demonic Toys 2 (2010)
Starring: Michael Citriniti, Alli Kinzel, Lane Compton, Leslie Jordan, Selene Luna and Elizabeth Bell
Director: William Butler
Producers: William Butler and Charles Band
Rating: Four of Ten Stars

A wealthy collector of oddities (Citriniti) and his entourage travel to a deserted Italian castle to acquire a legendary mechanical dolls known as Devoletto. Once there, however, demonic spirits that have been lurking in the castle for centuries possess other grotesque toys he has collected and a bloodbath begins.

The tagline for this movie reads, "Playtime is over." I fear I must agree.

With not only the promise of the legendary Demonic Toys returning to action, but also the presence of Dr. Lorca from Charles Band's spectacular film "Hideous!" (review here) and the film being shot in the same castle as "Castle Freak" and "The Pit and the Pendulum" this should and could have been a nostalgic return to the Old Days of Full Moon's Golden Age of the 1990s. It's a direct appeal to fans of all those classic Full Moon pictures. Unfortunately, the film falls short of its promise.

The cast gives a performance of typical Full Moon caliber, with Michael Citriniti as Dr. Lorca and Elizabeth Bell as his unfaithful, gold-digging wife being especially fun to watch. The rest of the cast is also pretty good, but they are let down by a script that feels as if it needed another draft or two, and by shoddily done special effects.

First, the puppetry is weak, as has been the tendency in most recent Full Moon efforts--it's not as bad as that featured in "Skull Heads" or "Decadent Evil," but it's also not as good as what we saw in "Doll Graveyard" and it can't hold a candle to the original "Demonic Toys."

Second, the gore effects are also weak and vastly inferior to the original "Demonic Toys." As mentioned above, this film should have been a return to the 1990s since it is built around evoking films from those days. The gore effects should have been Old School--red corn syrup, fake guts... the works. Instead, we're treated to not-very-convincing computer-generated effects (with a supposedly severed head and blood spray from the neck being especially pathetic). Maybe the new generation of Bad Movie Lovers are satisfied with such cartoony gore, but us Grognards need a little more to be happy, especially when it comes to a movie that plays on nostalgia. (On a positive note, the CGI-created muzzle-flashes on the gun that Lorca fires in a couple of different scenes is very well done. Not all the computer effects are poorly done.)

And, finally, there are the demonic toys. Like everything else that invites comparison to previous Full Moon efforts, they come up short. The reason for them being animated is vague and the reason for them starting to kill is nonsensical in the greater context of what's going on in the story. Jack Attack, due to the crew's limited ability to engage in actual puppeteering is ineffectual dramatically because they are completely unconvincing. Worse, the "Baby Ooopsie" in this version is voiced in such a way that most of its lines are incomprehensible. Sure, it's great that it speaks like a baby... but an actor with strong enough ability to enunciate words should have been hired so he could speak like a baby AND still deliver lines that could be understood.

I sat down wating to like this movie. I wish I could give it a better review than I am. I think I might have been able to, if just a little more money and time had been spent on making this movie. Charles Band has always made cheap movies, but they didn't use to look and feel cheap... and with the computer generated gore effects and the substandard puppetry, this film both looks and feels cheap.

In the final analysis, the only truly good things I can about the film is that Alli Kinzel makes an appealing female lead and I hope to see her in more Full Moon pictures in the future, and that I feel Dr. Lorca may not be dead and that he might be back for another misadventure in the future. (The rating I'm giving the film is about as low a 4 as I can give.)