Film geeks will know the name Charles Band. If not the name, then certainly his films. With a career that started in the 1970s, Band has produced and/or directed over 360 feature films–independently, as well as under his Empire Pictures company in the 1980s, and then under the Full Moon Features banner in the 90s to the present. Notable highlights range from Re-Animator, Metalstorm:The Destruction of Jared-Syn, From Beyond, Ghoulies, and Robot Jox in the 1980s, to the Puppet Master, Trancers, and Subspecies franchises in the later years.
His new memoir “Confessions of a Puppetmaster:A Hollywood Memoir of Ghouls, Guts, and Gonzo Filmmaking,” written with Adam Felber, is out today, and Band spoke with Cherry the Geek TV about his life, his career highs and lows, his films, and some of the wild and crazy stories that are featured in the book.
Born into a family of creative artists, Band spent much of his childhood in Rome where his father worked in the film industry. Early visits to movie sets sealed young Charlie’s fate. By his twenties he had plunged into moviemaking himself and found his calling in exploitation movies—quick, low-budget efforts that exploit the zeitgeist and feed people’s desire for clever, low-brow entertainment. Soon, Band was turning out dozens of movies, establishing himself as a major player. His movies crossed genres, from vampire flicks to sci-fi, from Lovecraft adaptations to erotic musical adaptations of fairy tales. He cast his movies with Hollywood icons like Roddy McDowell and Christopher Lee and future stars like Helen Hunt and Demi Moore.
Beyond the set, Band’s life was often like an epic adventure tale even his own vivid imagination could not have dreamed up. Returning to his beloved Italy he bought both Dino De Laurentiis’s movie studio and a medieval castle. After Romania’s oppressive communist regime fell, he circumvented the rules and built a studio outside Bucharest. He bought and sold real estate in Los Angeles and Europe; and made and lost moviemaking fortunes with remarkable equanimity. A visionary, Band was early to recognize the future of home video and created his iconic film company Full Moon, making and distributing direct-to-video movies long before the major studios caught on. On the popular AVOD streaming platforms Tubi and Pluto, Full Moon Features generates millions of views per month.
You can purchase the book here.https://www.harpercollins.com/products/confessions-of-a-puppetmaster-charles-bandadam-felber?variant=39379925893154