HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Full Moon High An American Werewolf In America
Year: 1981
Director: Larry Cohen
Stars: Adam Arkin, Roz Kelly, Ed McMahon, Joanne Nail, Bill Kirchenbauer, Elizabeth Hartman, Louis Nye, Demond Wilson, Jim J. Bullock, James Dixon, Kenneth Mars, Alan Arkin, Tom Aldredge, Pat Morita, Janet Villella, Laurene Landon, Julius Harris
Genre: Horror, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Tony Walker (Adam Arkin) is in his last year of high school and a keen football player, no wonder as he is probably the team's star player. But his father, the Colonel (Ed McMahon), is often sent away on missions by the government, and this weekend, seeing as how Tony's mother left many years ago, he will have to accompany his dad on a trip to Romania on official business. Tony is none too enthusiastic, mostly worried about missing the big game, but he goes anyway, and while wandering the streets as his father entertains a couple of local "nurses", he hears a snarling and snuffling which alarms him. Not as much as it does when the noise is followed by a ravening beast bearing down...

Larry Cohen had a sense of humour, you just had to watch his horror movies to see that element of subversion was never too far away, but also an amused awareness of how much of his output might come across, even if it was not intended as comedy. This made Full Moon High more unusual in his career as while it was a horror flick nominally, it was more focused on making the audience laugh, though "focus" was not really the correct word to use here as he was all over the place in picking his targets. Not helping was the fact the film disappeared after a bare minimum of a release, only briefly reappearing to surprise unwitting viewers of late night television and never on DVD.

It's a little easier to track down now, but there are plenty who would say it was not really worth it, a Cohen misfire that showed up his limitations, mostly thanks to low budget and undisciplined writing. Nevertheless, Full Moon High does have a cult of fans who are happy to laugh at its silly, and often downright odd, jokes, and in truth it is best not to set it alongside the nineteen-eighties werewolf genre where the advances in special effects were able to create transformations and makeup like never before owing to the wizards behind the scenes letting their imaginations run riot in latex and stage blood. Cohen had no access to any of that: transformations were cheaper than Lon Chaney Jr's.

What made up for it, if you were on his wavelength, was a number of pretty decent laughs; the writer-director-producer was evidently trying out his satirical leanings which again, were all over the other films he helmed, only here they were the point. According to Cohen, his film was about how much his country had changed since the early sixties, twenty years that had rendered the culture unrecognisable to what it had been back when the Tony character was first bitten by the werewolf. The conceit was that while the curse allowed him to stay the same age, preserved immortally, everyone else he grew up with are now middle-aged and full of all sorts of neuroses they would never have dreamt of entertaining when they were kids. All very well, but that reading did not quite deliver.

For a start, Tony came across as a child of 1980 even in the sixties, and the jokes were unmistakably of that era as well, digs at subjects a twenty-first century audience may rack their brains or do a spot of internet research to understand why they were supposed to be funny. Despite that, for a dumb comedy it did show smarts, and the outright goofy material was so daft that you couldn't help but giggle, assuming you were in the mood; not exactly Cohen's Airplane! but apparently the bar he was aiming for. Extended celebrity cameos abounded, with coach Kenneth Mars who likes to join his students in the showers, Adam's dad Alan Arkin as a psychiatrist who uses "shame" to deal with people's problems, insulting them with ludicrous insensitivity, and the tragic Elizabeth Hartman supplying comic skill as a mousy teacher who turns sexually adventurous (but nothing racy). Joanne Nail, too, as Tony's girlfriend was able to conjure a talent for comedy that really should have been capitalised on - she more or less retired shortly after, our loss. So as with many a Cohen effort, actor fanciers had more than enough reason to watch. Music by Gary William Friedman.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2826 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Larry Cohen  (1938 - )

Talented American writer/director who often combines exploitation subject matter with philosophical/social concepts. Began working in TV in the 1960s, where he created popular sci-fi series The Invaders, before directing his first film, Bone (aka Dial Rat), in 1972. A pair of blaxploitation thrillers - Black Caesar and Hell Up In Harlem - followed, while 1974's horror favourite It's Alive! was a commercial hit that led to two sequels.

God Told Me To and Special Effects were dark, satirical thrillers, while Q: The Winged Serpent and The Stuff were witty modern monster movies. Cohen directed Bette Davis in her last film, Wicked Stepmother, and reunited Blaxploitation stars Pam Grier, Fred Williamson and Richard Roundtree for Original Gangstas in 1996. Cohen has also had considerable success as a scriptwriter, turning in deft screenplays for the Maniac Cop films and mainstream pictures like Best Seller, Sidney Lumet's Guilty As Sin and most recently Joel Schumacher's Phone Booth.

 
Review Comments (1)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: