Ravenwolf Towers - Ravenwolf Towers(DVD) [Full Moon Pictures - 2018]The name Charles Band has always been a byword for cheap and cheerful schlocky fun. During the 1980s and 90s he was the man responsible for producing/directing such wonderful trashy monster fare as The Ghoulies, Parasite, and The Puppet Master films. Most importantly for me he was the man who brought director Stuart Gordon to my attention when Gordon was to make Reanimator and From Beyond for Bandís Empire International Pictures. The two men have worked together on a number of occasions since that time and itís a relationship that has always interested me. So, when Charles Band sets to work on a project I tend to take notice.
Ravenwolf Towers is one the latest products from Bandís Full Moon Pictures stable, produced and directed by the man himself, it started life as a TV series under the same name, before finding its first three episodes edited together for release as a stand-alone movie on DVD. Ravenwolf Towers is a once opulent residence to the glitterati of Hollywood, that has fallen on hard times, and newly appointed assistant manager Jake is about to find out just how strange the current residents of the hotel really are.
The hotel is owned by a bizarre family of inbred mutants who conceal their nightmarish behaviour behind the locked doors and hidden corridors of the hotel. Jake meets the beautiful Mary, a member of the family who externally appears to be unaffected by the family curse. Appearances can of course be deceptive, and this uncertainty leads Jake and the viewer down a fairly dark twisted corridor as we begin to unravel more details about the beautiful young Mary.
In Typical Band fashion the cast of characters are a colourful bunch, incestuous inbred monsters, strange mutations, sinister dwarves and more besides it really is all here. As mentioned at the beginning of this review, this is typically cheap, cheerful, schlocky fun from a man who has made a living from doing just that. The production values are somewhat lacking; however, it doesnít spoil your enjoyment too much, and if you can manage to switch off and just enjoy the madness of it all I can think of worse ways to pass 79 minutes. The fact that it started life as a TV series does however impact on the filmís flow, it feels like the thing it is, three TV episodes edited together. Worst of all the ending is completely unsatisfactory, having been the first three episodes of the series it comes to an abrupt and unexpected end without anything to really make you feel as though it has completed its journey. I think I would rather have seen them release the full series on DVD in its original format, it may have felt more satisfying.
The disc comes with some interesting special features, besides the usual trailers there are a couple of features looking at the making of Ravenwolf Towers, Room 101:Inside Ravenwood Towers features interviews with the cast and crew and loads of behind the scenes footage, whereas Ravenwolf Origins are a couple of short featurettes looking at a couple of the characters who have appeared in previous Full Moon films over the years.
Overall, itís not the worst experience I will ever have watching a film, however itís certainly not one of Charles Bandís finest hours. If you have the time and inclination to give it a watch it will satisfy your need for some schlocky fun but thatís about all. Darren Charles