June 22, 2011

Head Of The Family (1996)

Directed by Charles Band. Starring Blake Adams ("Lance"), Jacqueline Lovell ("Loretta"), Bob Schott ("Otis"), and James Jones ("Wheeler"). Rated R.

Source: Region 1 DVD (Full Moon/Koch)
Country: USA

Originally posted on The Bone Throne. Stats and exact running time unavailable.

The Stackpooles are the local weirdos in the random Southern sleepy town that this film takes place in. Myron Stackpoole is the titular "head" of the family, figuratively and literally. He's basically made up of a giant head and tiny extremities. Unable to walk, most likely because of his freakishly large cranium, Myron is confined to a wheelchair. Fortunately for him, he's able to control his three siblings using telekinesis, and thus they carry out his dastardly plans for him. I'm not sure what said dastardly plans are, but they involve experiments of some sort, as evidenced by the brain-washed slaves he keeps locked up in the dungeon. Otis Stackpoole is the oaf of the family. Wheeler was born with heightened senses and wears shades to conceal his unusually large eyes. Ernestina (Alexandria Quinn) is a silent-but-deadly busty blonde whose specialty is espionage. Actually, no, not really. Her special talent is sex.

Lance (Blake Adams) is the owner of a diner in the aforementioned sleepy town, and he's also quite the ladies' man. His mistress is a sexual firecracker by the name of Loretta (Jacqueline Lovell). Together they conspire to eliminate Loretta's controlling husband Howard, who's also trying to strongarm his way into gaining co-ownership of Lance's diner and claim a percentage of the profits (which probably aren't much in the first place). By chance, Lance witnesses the Stackpoole clan roughing up a passerby one night and presumably killing him, so he blackmails them by convincing Myron and his siblings to do his dirty work. For lack of a better term, things don't exactly go as planned, especially when Lance begins to mock and take advantage of the Stackpooles.

HEAD OF THE FAMILY is a somewhat meandering film that doesn't seem to know what direction it wants to go, especially in the third act when Myron puts on a stage play in his house and directs his mindless slaves as they act out a witch trial, with Jacqueline Lovell stripped naked and ready to be burned at the stake. However, we can overlook this bit of nonsense for the simple fact that Lovell is completely exposed for a couple of minutes. And, of course, by "we" I mean me. There's lots of plotting and random fucking on Lance and Loretta's part, while Myron cuts promos in some dark corner of the Stackpoole residence, promising to get the last laugh and whatnot. Still, HEAD OF THE FAMILY is one of the better representatives of the extensive Full Moon catalog, in my opinion; that I've seen, anyway. It's genuinely funny and makes up for its lack of budget and resources with a lot of heart. When we're dealing with a movie in which one of the lead characters is basically a giant head, all we can really expect from the movie is for it to be fun, and luckily this particular film is just that.

Lovell, who you may be familiar with if you stayed up late to watch Skinemax at some point in the '90s, stands out and turns in a fun, energetic performance. It goes without saying that HEAD OF THE FAMILY isn't a great film, but it's a rather enjoyable one and that's all that really matters.

Score: A generous 7

1 comment:

  1. I remember really loving this flick. There's something about full moon films that I just eat up. When the terrible (see the creeps) there is watchable but when they are good they can be pretty great. I once unapologetically stole “every word you say his deposit in the paying bank, it's almost time for withdrawal” in live professional wrestling promo.