Best Full Moon Movies

We are big fans of Charles Band and his company Full Moon here at Arrow in the Head. We’ve been following Full Moon all the way from the VHS rental days to the present days of the Full Moon streaming service. So we figured it was time to compile a list of the Best Full Moon Movies – and you can see the results below. Did your favorites make the cut? Let us know which Full Moon movies you think rank among the best by leaving a comment below. Listed in no particular order, we have…

Best Full Moon Movies


The sci-fi action franchise Trancers started off at Charles Band’s previous company Empire Pictures (the first one is set at Christmas and should be part of any holiday viewing rotation) and continued with multiple – but not enough – sequels at Full Moon. The best of the sequels is Trancers III: Deth Lives, which finds the great Tim Thomerson reprising the role of “future cop” Jack Deth, who travels through time hunting zombie-like beings called trancers. Directed by C. Courtney Joyner, Trancers III reveals that the first trancers were created in 2005 as part of a secret military program headed up by a really creepy guy known as Colonel “Daddy” Muthuh (Andrew Robinson). With the help of a soldier who escaped from the program, a fin-headed android called Shark, and his ex-wife Lena (Helen Hunt), Deth tries his best to wipe out this first batch of military-trained trancers.

Best Full Moon Movies


Charles Band is a huge fan of Marvel Comics, which is why most of the Full Moon movies take place in the same cinematic universe and why he addresses fans through video series like Videozone and Full Moon Universe. And if you want to see how Band tells a superhero story, you can check out the film Doctor Mordrid, which he directed with his father Albert Band. Jeffrey Combs plays the title character, who is basically a variation of the Marvel character Doctor Strange and has to do battle with an evil wizard named Kabal (Cobra’s Brian Thompson). Doctor Mordrid is not, as many believe, the result of Full Moon acquiring and losing the rights to make a Doctor Strange movie, but it did start off with a character legendary artist Jack Kirby created called Doctor Mortalis, for a project that didn’t make it into production at Empire Pictures.

Best Full Moon Movies


Full Moon introduced the world to an iconic villain with the 1991 film Subspecies, which stars Anders Hove as a creature named Radu, the offspring of a vampire and a sorceress. So not only does he enjoy sucking blood, but he also has special abilities – like the fact that his severed appendages and drops of his blood can transform into small monsters. Featuring a great fall atmosphere and a quick appearance by Phantasm’s Angus Scrimm, the first Subspecies shows Radu tormenting a trio of college students who come snooping around the castle he lives in. Subspecies went over so well, director Ted Nicolaou was brought back to helm four sequels (Subspecies 5 just recently wrapped production) and a spin-off called Vampire Journals. Hove has also returned to star in every sequel, but the role of the final girl Michelle was recast, with Denice Duff taking over from Laura Tate.


Stuart Gordon directed some of the most popular H.P. Lovecraft adaptations ever made. His first two, Re-Animator and From Beyond, were both distributed by Empire Pictures, and he made his third Lovecraft adaptation for Full Moon. That was Castle Freak, loosely based on the short story The Outsider and filmed at a castle Charles Band owned in Italy. Jeffrey Combs and Barbara Crampton play John and Susan Reilly, with Jessica Dollarhide as their blind teenage daughter Rebecca. The Reilly family has just inherited a castle in Italy, not knowing that a horribly disfigured, emaciated man – the title character – has been kept captive in the place. When this man gets free, he starts killing anyone who crosses his path and creeping on Rebecca. By the time the credits roll, some very gross things have happened in that castle.

Best Full Moon Movies


After working in the Full Moon promotional department for several years, Dave Parker got his chance to write and direct his own movie for the company – and delivered a really fun zombie movie where he got to pay tribute to some of his horror heroes. The Dead Hate the Living! centers on a group of independent filmmakers who have decided to shoot a zombie movie inside an abandoned hospital. Unfortunately for them, this hospital was also the base of operations for a scientist named Eibon (Matt Stephens), who actually discovered a way to bring the dead back to life. Soon the zombie movie makers are fighting for their lives against real zombies, trying to turn their horror knowledge into survival skills. This is the sort of movie where a character will stop to ponder “What would Bruce Campbell do?” before going into battle with the living dead. It’s a blast, and one of the best Full Moon movies.

Best Full Moon Movies


One of the more recent examples of Full Moon creating an iconic, recurring character, The Gingerdead Man begins with Gary Busey killing multiple people as rampaging maniac Millard Findlemeyer. Busey isn’t on screen for long, his character gets captured and executed – but when Millard is resurrected as a homicidal gingerbread man so he can go after rampage survivor Sarah Leigh (Full Moon regular / Charles Band’s longtime girlfriend Robin Sydney), Busey also provides the voice of the “gingerdead man”. Of course, Busey didn’t come back to voice the character for the many sequels and crossovers the Gingerdead Man has appeared in since this movie. The Gingerdead Man received two direct sequels and has appeared in not only Gingerdead Man vs. Evil Bong but several other installments in the Evil Bong franchise. It starts out very simple in this movie, which is just about the killer cookie attacking people in a bakery. Things get wild from here.


Charles Band’s company Empire Pictures fell apart in 1988, but within months he had created Full Moon. The company’s first release was the 1989 killer puppet classic Puppet Master, which kicked off a franchise that is still getting new installments to this day. Puppet Master III: Toulon’s Revenge is widely considered to be not only the pinnacle of the Puppet Master series but also one of the best Full Moon movies ever made. Directed by David DeCoteau, this one shows us the origins of the puppets in 1941 Berlin, revealing that Andre Toulon (Guy Rolfe) turned them into living beings by imbuing them with the life essence of friends and loved ones who were killed by the Nazis. He then used the puppets to fight back against the Nazis, working his way up to the man who murdered his wife: Major Kraus (Richard Lynch), whose appearance inspired the design of the most popular puppet, Blade.

Best Full Moon Movies


Charles Band has always had a fondness for tiny terrors, and he wasn’t satisfied with Puppet Master being the only tiny terror franchise at Full Moon. So he teamed with director Peter Manoogian and screenwriter David S. Goyer to craft Demonic Toys, which is about a group of people getting trapped in a toy warehouse called Toyland, where they are tormented by evil dolls that follow the orders of a demon. The demon is played by child actor Daniel Cerny, who would act evil again in Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest a few years later. The title characters are clown jack-in-the-box Jack Attack, vicious teddy bear Grizzly Teddy, robot Mr. Static, and mouthy doll Baby Oopsie Daisy. They’re a fun bunch that earned a franchise of their own; not as prolific as Puppet Master, but entertaining. They even got to crossover with Puppet Master and Dollman.

Best Full Moon Movies

HIDEOUS! (1997)

Another one of Full Moon’s tiny terrors movies, Hideous! may not be well known by title, but it does have one of the most memorable sights in any of the company’s movies: that of a topless Jacqueline Lovell standing in the snow, wearing a gorilla mask and holding a gun. Lovell’s character is the personal assistant to Dr. Emilio Lorca (Michael Citriniti), an oddities collector whose greatest rival is Mel Johnson Jr. as Napoleon Lazar. These characters and others gather together at a castle in the Pennsylvania countryside (the movie was actually filmed in Romania), where they end up being attacked by some of the oddities Lorca and Lazar want in their collections: a quartet of deformed human fetuses. This wacked-out horror comedy was directed by Charles Band himself and features some ridiculous, over-the-top characters. The fetuses didn’t get another movie, but Lorca would return in Demonic Toys 2 thirteen years later.

Best Full Moon Movies


One of Charles Band’s personal favorite Full Moon movies is the bizarre 1995 release Head of the Family, about a family of mutants controlled by the giant-headed Myron. For decades, he has been hoping to make a sequel called Bride of the Head of the Family – which would tie the Head movies in with 1999’s Blood Dolls. This one stars Jack Maturin as Virgil Travis, a wealthy, tiny-headed madman who has two servants (Phil Fondacaro and William Paul Burns), a female rock band locked in a cage, and a sadistic streak. Some of his enemies he turns into living dolls, which he sends out to kill his other enemies. Written and directed by Band, Blood Dolls is an absurd movie that basks in its own absurdity. It’s packed with amusing dialogue and strong comedic performances, and doesn’t get as much love as it deserves.

Source: Arrow in the Head

About the Author

Cody is a news editor and film critic, focused on the horror arm of, and writes scripts for videos that are released through the JoBlo Originals and JoBlo Horror Originals YouTube channels. In his spare time, he's a globe-trotting digital nomad, runs a personal blog called Life Between Frames, and writes novels and screenplays.