It Came from the Video Aisle! | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Dave Jay, William S. Wilson & Torston Dewi

It Came from the Video Aisle!

Published by Schiffer Publishing

Oct 25, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

After being rather unceremoniously booted from Empire Pictures, the B-movie studio he’d founded just years earlier, the ever-pliable Charles Band got up, shook the dust off his slacks, and started another one. His next venture, Full Moon Entertainment, founded in 1988, would be the low-budget mogul’s longest-lasting. Narrowing his focus to producing direct-to-video films to feed the booming rental market, Band smartly capitalized on early successes such as the Puppet Master franchise to expand the scope of his company, turning it from a simple film production house into a full-blown entertainment brand. Full Moon would go on to encompass toys, comic books, a magazine, and more, all centered around a growing library of cheaply-made but typically entertaining genre flicks with such eye-catching titles as Demonic Toys, Evil Bong, and Gingerdead Man.

It Came from the Video Aisle!, by Dave Jay, William S. Wilson, and Torsten Dewi, is an in-depth history of the whole Full Moon saga, from its birth in the ashes of Empire to its perseverance through the collapse of the video rental business and continuation today, in the age of streaming video. (It’s a follow-up to Jay’s 2014 book, Empire of the ‘B’s, which traced the Empire Pictures story.) At nearly 500 pages, it’s as comprehensive a history of the notorious studio and their films as one could ever imagine being assembled. More than 50 Full Moon alumni were interviewed for the book, including Band himself and genre stalwarts such as Stuart Gordon, Albert Pyun, Fred Olen Ray, and David Schmoeller. There’s also a wealth of imagery to illustrate it all, such as marketing materials from the author’s impressively large collection, as well as photos, concept art, and other behind-the-scenes snippets provided by the book’s many interview subjects.

To fully appreciate the grand scale of what It Came from the Video Aisle! was able to accomplish, readers will likely have to be a fan of Full Moon’s style of filmmaking. (If you aren’t the sort who can tune out and enjoy a brainless, straight-to-video horror movie, reading 400+ pages about how those sort of films are made probably won’t change your opinion.) But if your cinematic tastes include movies like Dollman, Shadowzone, or Castle Freak, however, then this book will be a compelling chronicle; a comprehensively-researched tome that dives into a too-often overlooked area of the movie business.

Author rating: 8/10

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