Horror 365 Movie 230: Full Moon Friday, Head Of The Family

I’ve said this about Full Moon a number of times before, and there’s no doubt I’ll say it again, but one of the best things about Full Moon and Charles Band is the fact that they’re not afraid to make the movies they want the way they want. And while sometimes they aim for “legit” horror and hit the mark, they’re never afraid for a movie to be completely fucking bananas. They give no fucks, these people, and I have nothing but utmost respect and admiration for that.

And so we come to one particularly batshit little flick, Head Of The Family. First of all I can’t see an image of Myron Stackpool (the aforementioned “head”) without thinking immediately of MODOK. I mean come on. No way that’s an accident.

 

The rest of the, uh, “family” are Myron’s brothers and sister. As Myron explains at some point, they are quadruplets, each with one exaggerated ability–kinda like X-men but horrifying (so I guess more like the outcast Morlocks in the Mutant Massacre story arc,..but that’s for a different gaggle of geeks). Anyway, Ernestina is the silent sexy siren, Otis is the muscle, and Wheeler has superhuman sight, sound, and smell. They’re controlled by Myron’s superior telepathic mind.

For the most part, things were going fine. They’d waylay the occasional traveler so Myron could do brain experiments in his search for a body/brain combination to house his towering intellect. Naturally there’s a complication, and it all starts with a guy named Howard. Howard is a petty thug and shakedown artists who goes around “partnering” with local business owners. His latest “recruit” is Lance, owner of the town diner.

The problem is, Lance is bangin’ Howard’s wife Loretta and apparently has been for a while. Loretta decides that it would be best for all parties concerned if Lance were to eliminate Howard. As fate would have it, Lance happens upon the scene as Otis clobbers a wayward motorist and drags him into the Stackpool residence. He uses this information to extort Myron and his kin to wipe out Howard for him.

And that’s where things could have stopped, but no. Lance decides to up the ante and blackmails Myron (they’re apparently loaded, those Stackpools). His intent is to milk his position for $2000 a week. Way to hitch your wagon to a star, yeah? Still, this incurs Myron’s wrath, and he uses Wheeler to spy on Lance and gain the upper hand.

The saving grace of this thoroughly bonkers feature is that it never, not for a single frame, takes itself too seriously. The waiting-to-be-tortured Lance remains full of smartass one-liners. Myron is a regular monologue machine. Lance and Loretta have actual conversations during sex. The whole thing is tongue so far in cheek it’s gonna come out someone’s ear.

Head Of The Family is a shitload of fun with surprisingly little gore for an R rating. There are, however, some impressive practical effects for a low 1996 budget and especially in terms of Myron. I also like the score which could be perfectly at home in, say, Beetlejuice or The ‘Burbs.

There’s no stellar acting here, and why should there be? But J.W. Perra does a fine job as Myron, and Jacqueline Lovell is entertaining as the shrewd, conniving, and it turns out endlessly practical Loretta. After Myron she’s truly the smartest character of the bunch. I won’t give away the less than surprising ending, but it’s every bit as much fun as everything else jammed into 82 minutes of runtime.



SKULLS- 12
BODIES-surprisingly only 1 onscreen
Stream- Full Moon, Tubi
Rent- Prime

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