Monday, December 26, 2016

Ravenwolf Towers Episode 1: Bad Mary

Director - Charles Band (Trophy Heads, Evil Bong: High 5)
Release Date - 2016
Genre - Horror
Format - DVD (Personal Collection) (Screener)

Rating (out of 5):
     Full Moon is hit or miss with most horror fans.  Most of us grew up with Puppet Master, Subspecies, and the Trancers series but newer fans are getting films like Evil Bong, Gingerdead Man, and their crossovers.  I like them all but there is a difference in quality when you compare their recent outings with their films from the early 90s.  A few days back I received a press release regarding a new series from Full Moon called Ravenwolf Tower.  I really enjoyed their short series Trophy Heads so I was excited to see this one.  I reached out to them about the show and was told that a DVD copy would be sent my way.  I was under the impression that the DVD would be of the entire show but it was only the first episode.  I'm grateful that they sent it my way but it makes me wonder if only one episode, a pilot, was commissioned or the others are not finished yet.  Either way, thank you for sending it my way!
     Episode one follows the new assistant manager of an apartment building, Ravenwolf Tower, who is slowly becoming acquainted with the residents until he meets a beautiful young woman.  He learns, the hard way, that she is related to the family who owns the top floor of the building.

     Full Moon goes through phases with their films.  In the 90s we saw the rise of the puppets that slowly phased into the gothic films like Subspecies, Meridian, and the like.  These ran their course for several years before Full Moon set out to shock fans with Evil Bong, Gingerdead Man, and Ooga Booga.  Trophy Heads was a more serious approach to an absurd story but it worked very well.  Ravenwolf Tower, though was only 30 minutes, was a solid start but there was some flaws.  The acting in this one is decent but there was room for improvement.  The cast are all charismatic but it feels as if they don't know where to take their character.  Direction is vital for their characters and each scene shows it was lacking that.  The story for this one is standard Full Moon carnage but there was a lot of missed opportunities.  The show could have been a semi-anthology setting where each room/tenant had a different story that connected through the tower but it didn't.  Instead it follows an evil family raising hell in the tower.  This is a solid story but one episode isn't enough to truly get the impact from that.  Finally, the film does have a little blood but nothing memorable or worthwhile.  We get a man without a shirt covered in blood with his arm missing but that is about the extent of it.  The practical effects are lacking as well.  In fact, it is pretty low considering other Full Moon films.  At one point you can see through the prosthetic due to the lighting.  We do get some decent visual effects but they are short lived.  Overall,  Ravenwolf Towers is a solid effort from Full Moon.  It's really difficult to judge a series from just one 30 minute episode but so far, so good.  When you can, check it out.  

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