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.
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.
Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich
Released by Lakeshore Records, 2018
13 Tracks with a Total Running Time of 31 min.
Music by Fabio Frizzi
I must admit, seeing the offer to review the soundtrack for the latest Puppet Master movie didn’t fill me with excitement. But when I saw the composer was none other than Fabio Frizzi, the Italian maestro who composed the scores for films like Fulci’s The Psychic (1977), Zombie (1979), City of the Living Dead (1980), The Beyond (1981), not to mention a few other classics, I quickly changed my mind. And I’m glad I did because he once showed me that you can never judge a book by its cover. Or a score by its title., as the case may be.
The score for Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich is a smaller and simple score, much like I expected, but Frizzi is still able to create a great mood here. The opening title track is a beautiful piece of music, simple and elegant, and not what you’d think you’d hear for a Puppet Master film. But right when the second track picks up, Third Floor Hallway, the atmosphere kicks in. We have a slow and low sound of the keyboard, with a low pounding in the background. Then a violin (maybe?) kicks in bringing up the eerie factor slightly higher. About halfway through this track, we hear some bells, like from a wind chime or doll’s toy, which at first might sound innocent, but the way it is used along with the already existing sounds, it just makes it plain creepy.
If you are a fan of Full Moon’s Pupptet Master series, then you hopefully should know that director David Schmoeller was the guy that started it all. But he also made a few other great genre pic, including getting to work with the infamous Klaus Kinski. This interview was conducted at the Cinema Wasteland show on March 31st, 2012.
Kitley’s Krypt: What made you decide to get into filmmaking?