Studio: Full Moon Features
Director: Charles Band
Writer: August White, Kent Roudebush
Producer: Charles Band
Stars: Tiffany Thornton, Seth Peterson, Charlie O’Connell, Nathan Phillips, Nikki Leigh, Alex Rose Wiesel, Masuimi Max, Peter Badalamenti, Anna Sophia Berglund, Jeryl Prescott Sales
The cast of a modeling competition reality TV show is beset by a quartet of mythical creatures summoned to steal their souls.
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? If a hen produces an egg while standing in the center of a steepled roof, does it roll down the left side or the right side? In keeping with this theme of riddles that involve laying an egg, who is to blame for “Unlucky Charms” being a pointless viewing experience? The person who made it or the person who willingly watched a movie whose defining characteristic is a title that lampoons a breakfast cereal?
Genre fans whose passion for B-grade fare was nurtured by a steady stream of Full Moon releases in decades past still cling to the hope that Charles Band may one day return to that once proud form. Alas, ever since Band weaned his company off the teats of “Puppet Master” and “Trancers” in favor of even lower brow franchises like “Gingerdead Man” and “Evil Bong,” the quality of Full Moon titles has declined into a state of poor production values that would make even Roger Corman blush.
Five models with disparate levels of attractiveness are vying for the top title of fashion diva on the world’s most boring reality show. Whatever the competition is, it cannot possibly be any good, as there is not a single crew person anywhere in sight. The only cameras capturing the show itself are of the corner mounted stationary security type. Challenges on the show include a house hunt where the ladies must find a hidden egg. Such a dull format for a television series could have only been approved by the same person who greenlit this movie.
Strangely, the judges live in the same house as the contestants, and come from the Acme Talent Agency of Movie Stereotypes. Flanked by the flamboyant gay man and the lecherous sleazeball, the panel is led by pop star turned fashion mogul DeeDee Deville. DeeDee is much older than she lets on, as her good looks come from a quartet of silver charms that summon mythical beings to steal the souls that make her more beautiful. That type of dangerous vanity spells trouble for the catfighting cast of young women.
The creatures are truly awful little beasts. Not their personalities or dispositions so much as their makeup designs and appearances. The leprechaun, who is not the creature featured on the box cover, is given a splotchy face that looks like he is simply riddled with a raging STD. Bloody Bones has a giant eyeball that does not even move, except in a few stray cases where terribly subpar animation is digitized over it. Another character appears to be wearing a Halloween mask and cannot move his mouth. The fourth beast recycles the third one’s design by just making it lean disproportionately in the other direction. More functional makeup has been done in one hour during the foundation challenges on SyFy’s “Face/Off.”
Some of the actors are readily aware of what type of movie they are in and do their best to have fun with their roles. Unfortunately, they have no chance at transferring that fun to the audience with such a stale script to work with. Jabbing at reality television has not been timely for several years, and unfunny dialogue reflects that outdated sensibility with lines like, “that’s perfect, because you’re in the bathroom cleaning toilets and the economy is in the toilet.” Thankfully, one of the Full Moon hallmarks that earns a welcome in this case is the barely feature length runtime. At least the movie is only 70 minutes long and eight of those are credits occupying both ends.
“Unlucky Charms” knows that it is low rent forgettable fluff. And if it were still 1990, this might be acceptable. Except that in the 21st century, it is difficult to justify the use of a more than twenty-year-old formula of buxom ladies making lame attempts at humor while battling pint sized creatures. Even straight-to-video standards have evolved since “Leprechaun,” “Ghoulies,” and whatever else can be lumped into a similar category. Meanwhile, Full Moon is regressing. In the Internet age, do people still rent R-rated horror movies just for a few minutes of women prancing about in lingerie? Charles Band seems to have lost all passion for picking anything other than the lowest hanging fruit. And sadly, Full Moon has become an assembly line for DVD coasters masquerading as worthwhile horror films.
Review Score: 30