Director Larry Cohen was renowned for directing and producing exploitation movies such as The Stuff and It’s Alive, often with a satirical edge to grip the audience.
I was looking forward to watching Full Moon High coming in with high expectations, especially with the casting of both Alan and Adam Arkin in the mix but there were a few things that didn’t click into place for me. The movie is filled with that zany mad-cap humour that is typical of American filmmaking back in the day, but it feels strangely offbeat in this setting.
Adam Arkin plays teenager Tony, who is drifting aimlessly through life and disconnected which feels in large part due to his father, Colonel Walker, a man who is brash and ego-centric. When Tony is forced to accompany his father to Transylvania, he is left to his own devices, which unfortunately leads to him being bitten by a werewolf and gifted with the curse of an ever-lasting life. What he does with his life is the question though. Will he learn from his ways or be doomed to repeat the same mistakes all over again?
The cyclical theme is well in abundance here, as Tony returns to his old stomping grounds to reinvent himself, and finds that he wants to rekindle his school years.
Easier said when done, as he is doomed to get his lycanthrope on every full moon, and constantly trapped inside the body of a highly sexualised being.
That and the need to hide his identity from past friends and girlfriends is a constant issue for Tony.
The energy of Full Moon High doesn’t let up however it never feels like there are any downbeats in the movie to take a break from the relentless humour or attempt there at on display. If it wasn’t for the aforementioned Arkins, I may have been inclined to turn off, but they at least are engaging enough to bring you to the logical conclusion.
Maybe it’s just me and that Full Moon High simply isn’t my humour, but the struggle remained throughout the film and I have to mark this down as one I could have easily let pass me by and I would have been content to have let that happen.
- Saul Muerte