Book Review: Confessions of a Puppetmaster

Confessions of a Puppet Master: A Hollywood Memoir of Ghouls, Guts, and Gonzo Filmmaking
Published by William Morrow, 2021. 288 pages
By Charles Band & Adam Felber

Whether you like Charles Band, or any of his production companies such as Full Moon or Empire, you cannot argue the fact that this man has made his career out of doing the kind of films he wants, usually picking something to exploit and make money from, which then lets him continue what he’s doing. I know that’s a broad statement, especially coming from a guy that doesn’t like a lot of stuff that Band has his fingers in. But there are more than a few of those that I have really enjoyed over the years. Not to mention the fact that Band still believes and practices the good old-fashioned ballyhoo. That alone, I have to give him credit for.

If I was going to have one complaint about this book it would be that it is only 288 pages. I would have expected from someone of his long running career, that this would have been well over 500+ pages. There are plenty of great stories in here, but figured there would be many more. Maybe that’s for volume 2? Band not one to speak truthfully about his past, the mistakes that he’s made and how he’s lost his fortune more than once, so I give him a lot of respect for that. This isn’t a bit of puff journalism on “gee look at all the great stuff I’ve done” but a really inside look of someone that wanted to work in the film business but by his terms. He may not be conventional, but his methods work.

I knew a lot about Band but had no idea to the extent that he had been involved in different things over the years, including when the home video market started, and him being on the forefront of that. We’re always excited about behind-the-scenes stuff in the special feature on the latest Blu-ray release, but Band was doing that back in the VHS days with his Full Moon titles.

So even if you’re not a huge fan of all of his work, if you are a fan of the film business, and especially the horror & sci-fi genre, then I think you’ll enjoy this book quite a bit. Plenty of little tidbits about different films that will have you saying “holy crap … I had no idea he was part of that”. Well worth your time, and it just may make you think a little different about Charles Band.

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