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It Came from the Video Aisle!: Inside Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment Studio

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Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment was the most remarkable B-movie studio of the 1990s, responsible for a barrage of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror classics during the last true "golden age" of the home video era. From Puppetmaster to Trancers and beyond, Full Moon transformed the VHS experience for fans worldwide, bringing the inner workings of the movie-making process i Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment was the most remarkable B-movie studio of the 1990s, responsible for a barrage of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror classics during the last true "golden age" of the home video era. From Puppetmaster to Trancers and beyond, Full Moon transformed the VHS experience for fans worldwide, bringing the inner workings of the movie-making process into the living room, and in turn creating a ravenous fan base that remains to this day. This book tracks the history of the company, from its late '80s birth among the ruins of the American drive-in through to its bid to survive in the modern digital world. Featuring rare artwork, behind-the-scenes photos, and over 50 exclusive interviews with the cast and crew who helped to create the legendary B-movie studio, this is an essential read for any cult film fan still lamenting the death of the "mom 'n pop" video store.


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Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment was the most remarkable B-movie studio of the 1990s, responsible for a barrage of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror classics during the last true "golden age" of the home video era. From Puppetmaster to Trancers and beyond, Full Moon transformed the VHS experience for fans worldwide, bringing the inner workings of the movie-making process i Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment was the most remarkable B-movie studio of the 1990s, responsible for a barrage of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror classics during the last true "golden age" of the home video era. From Puppetmaster to Trancers and beyond, Full Moon transformed the VHS experience for fans worldwide, bringing the inner workings of the movie-making process into the living room, and in turn creating a ravenous fan base that remains to this day. This book tracks the history of the company, from its late '80s birth among the ruins of the American drive-in through to its bid to survive in the modern digital world. Featuring rare artwork, behind-the-scenes photos, and over 50 exclusive interviews with the cast and crew who helped to create the legendary B-movie studio, this is an essential read for any cult film fan still lamenting the death of the "mom 'n pop" video store.

30 review for It Came from the Video Aisle!: Inside Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment Studio

  1. 5 out of 5

    John

    Exhaustive look at the Full Moon Entertainment. Quit renting their stuff around 1996 or so and had no idea how prolific Charles Band and crew were into this century. Only problem is their product eventually became less interesting and cheaper throughout the years and is less interesting to read about in the last 100 pages. Major point of history: Full Moon was the first studio to make movies in post-commie Romania, now a standard thing.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Justin Decloux

    I wish it were longer! Everyone that had anything to do with the company was interviewed. EVERYONE. Even at a shocking 470+ pages, I was surprised to find only about 200 dedicated to the FULL MOON VIDEO we know and love, with the rest a step-by-step death march through the waning years of Charles Band's film empire - a torturous law of diminishing returns. Weirdly, the insane merchandising of the films and the existence of things like the Full Moon Video club are mentioned only in passing. If you I wish it were longer! Everyone that had anything to do with the company was interviewed. EVERYONE. Even at a shocking 470+ pages, I was surprised to find only about 200 dedicated to the FULL MOON VIDEO we know and love, with the rest a step-by-step death march through the waning years of Charles Band's film empire - a torturous law of diminishing returns. Weirdly, the insane merchandising of the films and the existence of things like the Full Moon Video club are mentioned only in passing. If you have a passing interest in Charlie Band, Full Moon, or the dream of a micro-budget film studio that pumps out the product, you have to buy this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Horror DNA

    Full Moon Entertainment is the brainchild of Charles Band and has been around for thirty years in one form or another. The independent filmmaker/ mogul has turned his creative desires into a sometimes-flourishing empire, but like any studio, Full Moon has faced both ups and downs. Unlike the others however, Band really is the man in charge of his company and everything flows through him, both good and bad. I say bad in that many who know him admit Band is not the savviest business man, but he is Full Moon Entertainment is the brainchild of Charles Band and has been around for thirty years in one form or another. The independent filmmaker/ mogul has turned his creative desires into a sometimes-flourishing empire, but like any studio, Full Moon has faced both ups and downs. Unlike the others however, Band really is the man in charge of his company and everything flows through him, both good and bad. I say bad in that many who know him admit Band is not the savviest business man, but he is creative and resourceful when it comes to keeping his company afloat. Authors David Jay, William S. Wilson and Dewi Torsten trace the long and storied history of Full Moon in their new book It Came from the Video Aisle. Readers are treated to countless interviews with more than fifty participants, all of whom have had a close working relationship with Band over the years, many from the beginning. Numerous directors, writers, editors and effects artists sit down to share their memories of working for the company and not all the experiences are sugar-coated. Band himself is interviewed throughout the book and is pretty straightforward about both his successes and failures. More than once he is compared to a used car salesman-type huckster, determined to get the most out of every dollar spent. In the studio’s heyday this was commendable, but over the years as budgets were slashed and output increased, things took on more of a quantity over quality position that has cost him more than expected. You can read ZigZag's full review at Horror DNA by clicking here.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    Very mixed response to this. I picked it up because I'd just read Don Coscarelli's book, and was interested in learning more about low budget filmmaking. Full Moon is a company I've always known, but I'm not particularly familiar with them: the covers for DOLLMAN and DEMONIC TOYS and many of the PUPPET MASTER films are instantly familiar from a childhood (and young adulthood) spent loitering in video stores. The good: I can't imagine a more detailed resource than this, if you're interested in Ful Very mixed response to this. I picked it up because I'd just read Don Coscarelli's book, and was interested in learning more about low budget filmmaking. Full Moon is a company I've always known, but I'm not particularly familiar with them: the covers for DOLLMAN and DEMONIC TOYS and many of the PUPPET MASTER films are instantly familiar from a childhood (and young adulthood) spent loitering in video stores. The good: I can't imagine a more detailed resource than this, if you're interested in Full Moon. It's almost 500 pages, and contains excerpts from numerous interviews and a pretty expansive narrative of Full Moon as a company, from its inception to the present. The bad: it is desperately in need of some editing. Because it is group-written, there are a number of redundancies. There is also a lot of bad writing: I couldn't help but notice a plethora of dangling modifiers and other style crimes that made the reading more laborious than it should have been. More to the point, though, the book suffers from falling into a pattern within the first fifty pages that it repeats throughout: a project is announced (let's say, DOCTOR MORDRID). The concept and script-writing process is discussed, there are snippets of interviews with the writer, FX guy, and maybe the lead actor, and then the budget isn't there and the film gets rushed and the end result isn't great. And that's the story of every Full Moon film. That's probably accurate, but that means that the writers need to come up with some other way of approaching their subject. Full Moon has its own weird brand and its own weird fans, but it would be hard to tell why just by reading this book. It's too bad, because the story of Full Moon is pretty bonkers. The fact that Charles Band ran an entire company by coming up with titles and poster work, selling those ideas to Paramount, and *then* hiring people to write scripts and make the movies is so counter-intuitive.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Zachary Owen

    This is an excellent, in-depth look at genre movie studio Full Moon (responsible for popular B franchises such as Puppet Master, Subspecies, Trancers, Josh Kirby, and Prehysteria). There will probably never be a more detailed account of the trials and tribulations of Charles Band and company and certainly not a more entertaining one. Much of the information contained in It Came from the Video Aisle! is eye-opening and fascinating. Full Moon started off quite well and, when partner Paramount spli This is an excellent, in-depth look at genre movie studio Full Moon (responsible for popular B franchises such as Puppet Master, Subspecies, Trancers, Josh Kirby, and Prehysteria). There will probably never be a more detailed account of the trials and tribulations of Charles Band and company and certainly not a more entertaining one. Much of the information contained in It Came from the Video Aisle! is eye-opening and fascinating. Full Moon started off quite well and, when partner Paramount split with them, fell off a cliff. The budgets shrank. Time became more pressing. And yet the creative teams persisted. Movies were made. Sometimes in only six days (and once, astoundingly, in just two). While the quality of the films seems to be spiraling further and further downward, Full Moon has always maintained a unique and singular vision distinctly their own. This book is a must-read for fans of Full Moon, aspiring filmmakers, and anybody intrigued by the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of B movies. The odds against Charlie Band were often incredible. While many may wonder why he even continues to make movies, others might be impressed by his ability to overcome seemingly any obstacle. And in many ways Full Moon were trend-setters, capitalizing on the direct-to-video market, shooting in Romania, digital film making, and streaming ahead of the curve...not to mention introducing many great talents to the entertainment world who went on to do bigger and better things. It Came from the Video Aisle! may be one of my favorite books on sub-Hollywood film making, joining the ranks of Lloyd Kaufman's Make Your Own Dam Movie and Bruce Campbell's If Chins Could Kill.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mark R.

    If you're a fan of the classic Full Moon, producer of such great titles as "Puppet Master" and "Subspecies," you'll want to check out "It Came from the Video Aisle!" an indispensable companion to your Full Moon movie collection. If you're a fan of the newer Full Moon titles (and God bless you for your ever-optimistic hope each time one of these seventy-minute shit shingles comes on), again, you'll want to pick up this book. The authors document the history of Charles Band's film studio, beginning If you're a fan of the classic Full Moon, producer of such great titles as "Puppet Master" and "Subspecies," you'll want to check out "It Came from the Video Aisle!" an indispensable companion to your Full Moon movie collection. If you're a fan of the newer Full Moon titles (and God bless you for your ever-optimistic hope each time one of these seventy-minute shit shingles comes on), again, you'll want to pick up this book. The authors document the history of Charles Band's film studio, beginning with the crumbling of his Empire Pictures, and then going through each period of Full Moon's existence, up until the present day. For me, the most interesting part of this book is early on, the "Paramount Years," when Band received distribution and funding from Paramount. This partnership lasted about six years, and then the influential producer joined forces with various other money-men, to varying degrees of success. The book is well-researched, for sure. You may find yourself getting a little bored during the sections about Surrender Cinema (Band's softcore off-shoot) or Moonbeam (his family off-shoot). I didn't care about those movies when they were new, and couldn't bring myself to care now, either. But surely, if these were skipped or glossed over, some Charlie Band fanatic would feel some distress. And when the point of the book is to document each piece of Full Moon history, it wouldn't be fair to leave these titles alone. The interviews are great; they talk with actors, producers, FX people, directors, etc. The one glaring omission is any kind of in-depth interview with the man himself, Mr. Charles Band. We get pieces of older interviews, and plenty of folks talking about Mr. Band, but Charlie himself is elusive. I can't imagine he had a problem with the book; it's a fair portrait, and its authors easily could have come down harder on a man known as well for his tiny monsters as his penchant for making un-fulfilled promises and seemingly having little idea what to do with cash once it hits his pockets. That's part of what makes "It Came from the Video Aisle!" so much fun, the fact that its authors are clearly admirers of Full Moon. I loved this company when I was a teenager. Couldn't get enough of actress and Full Moon spokesperson Charlie Spradling. Eagerly awaited new "Puppet Master" films despite their decreasing quality. This book will bring back lots of memories for those who followed the studio in the early 90s, and will provide extra information for those who need to know just a little more about "Gingerdead Man Vs. Evil Bong."

  7. 4 out of 5

    Neil Sarver

    This book was absolutely what I needed at this moment in my life. It's an entertaining and thoroughly researched history of Full Moon over the years. If I were to have a complaint, I'd say it makes occasional statements that feel like there was a missing chapter about Charles Band's earlier company Empire International Pictures that the authors are referring back to, but that could be more my reading than anything. This book was absolutely what I needed at this moment in my life. It's an entertaining and thoroughly researched history of Full Moon over the years. If I were to have a complaint, I'd say it makes occasional statements that feel like there was a missing chapter about Charles Band's earlier company Empire International Pictures that the authors are referring back to, but that could be more my reading than anything.

  8. 4 out of 5

    R.L. Bailey

    Full Moon is notorious for the quantity of movies they produce and not the quality. This book is very similar. So many movies get covered, but I didn't feel the most important ones had enough time spent on them. Also while there are varying opinions from various sources, I couldn't help but think that there was some white washing going on here. Full Moon is notorious for the quantity of movies they produce and not the quality. This book is very similar. So many movies get covered, but I didn't feel the most important ones had enough time spent on them. Also while there are varying opinions from various sources, I couldn't help but think that there was some white washing going on here.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Chris Duncan

    Tremendous history on Charles Band’s Full Moon Features. So much rich cult movie history and some tremendous research and hard work went into this one. Great interviews and this one is definitely a Full Moon encyclopedia. Highly recommended for Full Moon or Charles Band fans!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ed Dougherty

    Research for something but a pretty entertaining book

  11. 5 out of 5

    Kyle

  12. 5 out of 5

    GuyGrand

  13. 5 out of 5

    Marc Nadeau

  14. 4 out of 5

    Brandon Halsey

  15. 5 out of 5

    Brandon

  16. 5 out of 5

    Craig

  17. 5 out of 5

    Erik Smith

  18. 5 out of 5

    Justin

  19. 5 out of 5

    Alan Hansen

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mavis 69 420 666

  21. 5 out of 5

    Wesley Lunsford

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scott Lesperance

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michael Rowland

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Pruett

  25. 4 out of 5

    David Thurman

  26. 4 out of 5

    Horror Boobs

  27. 4 out of 5

    Janday

  28. 5 out of 5

    Peter Vogl

  29. 4 out of 5

    Pete

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paul Ryan

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