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.

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Flashback Approaches!

Our first real convention since October of 2019 is only 2 weeks away, and it looks like it is going to be HUGE! Moving to a new location, the Hyatt Regency O’Hare, this place looks to be not only a much bigger location, but is going to allow for even more fun. I can’t wait to be able to hang out with all our convention friends and family once again. It really has been way too long.

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Charles Band Tells It All

Whether or not you’re a fan of his movies, you can’t be unimpressed with his legacy, from the movies he produced back in the Empire Pictures to his Full Moon empire, he definitely had his hand in the creation of direct-to-video film production. From titles like From Beyond (1986) to the Subspecies and Puppet Master series, he has continued to put his stamp in the world of low budget film production.

Now, coming this November from Harper Collins, you will be able to read how it all started, and what Band went through, all the ups and downs, to get where he is today. Priced at $27.99 for the hardcover edition, Confessions of a Puppet Master will be released on Nov. 16th and gives us all the juicy bits from Band and co-author Adam Felber, through his 40-year career in the business, working with a wide variety of talented directors, actors, and movie magic creators, learning of all the wins and losses that he has taken over those four decades, all covered within the 320 pages.

For all the details, just click HERE.

Need More Horror Books?

Of course you do. What a silly question. Here are a few that have recently come out, or will be coming out this year that you might want to add to your library.

Puppet Master Complete: A Franchise History by Nat Brehmer

For better or for worse, Full Moon’s Puppet Master series is one of the longest running straight-to-video horror series since the first one came out in 1989. Author Brehmer covers all 14 films (to date, at least!), with an in-depth exploration into each of them, including the made-for-TV crossovers, and theatrical reboots. He also covers the action figures, comic books, and the other merchandise that has been coming over the last 30+ years. It features new interviews with the people behind the franchise, as well as dozens of behind-the-scenes photos. If you’re a fan of the series, you are probably going to need this one!

This is being published by McFarland with a price tag of $39.95. No exact release date yet.

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Flashback Weekend Just Days Away!

flashback logo

Being that my “real” job has been more than a bit stressful these last few weeks, I’m even more thrilled to have this year’s Flashback Weekend coming up in just a few days. Nothing more enjoyable than escaping from the real world and getting to hang out with a bunch of like-minded horror fans. And Flashback Weekend is just the place to do it!

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Book Review: It Came from the Video Aisle!

IT CAME FROM THE VIDEO AISLE

It Came from the Video Aisle!
Published by Schiffer Publishing, 2017. 480 pages.
By Dave Jay, William S. Wilson, & Torsten Dewi

You couldn’t have grown up in the video store era of the late ’80s/early ’90s, and not know who Full Moon Entertainment was. In fact, their product was usually all over the shelves in the horror section. They really were a staple of the horror market back then. Sure, it didn’t matter if most of the films weren’t any good, there were sure enough of them to make you hope that maybe the one you were currently holding in your hands would be one of the good ones! All seriousness aside, we all know the quality of the end result in a majority of Full Moon titles are, but no matter what, you have to give them, and Charles Band, credit for what they were continuing to do, which was making low budget features the old fashion way…a lot of work and a lot of ballyhoo. There are more than a few of Full Moon’s titles that I actually enjoy, but nowhere near is that a high percentage. But just as started into this new book on the company and the man behind it, I was amazed at how it drew me in more and more into the world of Full Moon, and those fighting for the cause of low budget filmmaking.

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Book Review: It Came from the 80s!

it-came-from-the-80sIt Came from the 80s!
By Francesco Borseti
Published by McFarland, 2016. 294 pages.

Why are there not more books like this? With all the low budget films that were made in the 80s, there has to be an over abundance of incredible and fascinating stories that us movie nerds would eat up, from the high stress levels and time constraints, to no money, to dealing with once popular actors on their way down and young ones fighting their way up, to so many other things that were just a normal part of that kind of guerilla-style of filmmaking. But thankfully for us, Francesco Borseti has given us a chance to revisit some of these films, and hear from some of the different people behind them. Each chapter will cover one specific movie that will have different input from several people from the film. Might be the screenwriter, director, cameraman, effects artists, or all of the above, with each one giving their thoughts and memories of working on that particular title.

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