charles band, dollman, full moon features, jackie earle haley, puppet master, tim thomerson, trancers, tubi
If you haven’t already come across Tubi yet, you’re missing out on some little gems from this online streaming platform. And best yet. It’s free.
We’re going to be looking at some of these movies in a regular feature that we’ll call Trash Night Tuesdays on Tubi with a weekly recommendation.
First up: Dollman.
When Charles Band formed production and distribution company Full Moon Features, he had one goal in mind: To create horror, sci-fi, and fantasy movies on a low budget with a quality look and feel. Surprisingly, one of their earliest films spawned a cult franchise in Puppet Master and tapped into the home entertainment scene. With its use of small scale figures running amok in a larger world, it was somewhat fitting that the movie would come to represent a metaphor of the production outfit.
Using the same principles, Band then took to creating another film series that features intergalactic space cop Brick Bardo who whilst in pursuit of his greatest enemy, Sprug, inadvertently travels through an electric band that shrinks him to 13 inches in height and transports him to planet Earth.
Bardo (played by Tim Thomerson who was already cast in another film series Trancers spearheaded by Band as the hard-boiled Jack Deth) is an archaic representation of testosterone-fuelled, no shit, full-attitude masculinity with the Dirty Harry vibes that was typical of action films from the time. For some, this may appeal to their appetite for action and adventure on a small scale, but possibly more interesting to me was the appearance of Jackie Earle Haley (A Nightmare On Elm Street) in one of his earlier roles and he certainly stands out as Braxton Red, a low-life thug who runs a group of degenerates in the Bronx, New York. Braxton is suitably unhinged and when on-screen adds enough menace to the fold to give Bardo a challenge and keep the pace of the movie going.
It won’t set the world alight, but its short running time (79 minutes) ticks along nicely enough with and lifts it above your run-of-the-mill low budget flicks of its time.
- Saul Muerte
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