It Came From the Video Aisle (2017)

I remember when I was a kid I caught Puppetmaster on Tv on a Saturday afternoon while my mom took a nap. I had to keep it quiet so it didn’t wake her up and so I huddled close to the TV and had the crap scared out of me. It was such a unique movie. I hadn’t ever seen anything like it and after that I always tried to catch the plethora of sequels when they played on TV. I also remember combing the aisles of my local video stores and finding Full Moon movies with great covers. I couldn’t rent them because of those great covers, but I liked to look. Later I discovered the very gory Doll Man, Demonic Toys, and Trancers. Full Moon kept pumping out movies but I have to admit I was never a huge fan of their releases. Most of the time they were dull flicks without enough action that never lived up to the poster art. Some however are actually a lot of fun (Seedpeople, Shadowzone, and the aforementioned Puppet Master flicks). I’m fairly well versed with their movies and I know a little bit about Empire, the studio that predated Full Moon but honestly I was pretty ignorant. That is until I read It Came from the Video Aisle.

It Came From the Video Aisle, written by David Jay, William Wilson, and Dewi Torsten, is a tome dedicated to the disreputable films of Full Moon. The book begins after the demise of Empire, so early on I must admit I was a bit confused. The book assumes that the reader already knows the story of Empire and while I know a little, I don’t know as much as this book thinks I do. Moving past those very early days the book is no longer confusing and paints a highly detailed picture of what it was like (and is still like) at Full Moon. We get tons of interviews from directors, actors, special effects people, cinematographers, writers, you name it. This information, gathered straight from those that were actually there, is very detailed and sprinkled with great anecdotes. No stone is left unturned as the book laboriously goes through each film (and even some films that were never produced). We learn where it was filmed, who wrote it, what it was like to shoot the film, what Charles Band’s thoughts and reactions were and more. Like I said, this is a very well researched and detailed book about the longstanding independent schlock studio.

My only gripe with the book is that some of the information is “inside baseball.” There were references that I didn’t understand and acronyms that weren’t spelled out, but otherwise this is a fantastic book, a clear labor of love. If you are a fan of the studio then this is a must own book. You won’t find another book that will ever go into such detail, with so many great candid interviews and behind the scenes photos. I had fun reading this book and it has rekindled my interest in the studio and those early films that are so much fun.