Blu-ray Review: FULL MOON HIGH

FULL MOON HIGH, was written, produced and directed by Larry Cohen and stars Adam Arkin, Roz Kelly, Joanne Nail, Bill Kirchenbauer, Elizabeth Hartman, with appearances by Ed McMahon and Alan Arkin.

The most important thing to quarterback Tony Walker (Adam Arkin) is to win the big game against archrival Simpson High. But this plan soon changes when his ultra-right-wing dad (Ed McMahon) drags him along on a spy mission for the CIA. In Romania, Tony is bitten by a werewolf – and that’s when things really start to get hairy! Now, whenever there’s a full moon, he transforms into a growling beast that hungrily chases down beautiful girls. Cursed to live forever as a teenager with uncontrollable urges, Tony realizes he must find a way to the end this cycle of animalistic excess.

Years before Teen Wolf took a bite out of the big screen there was Full Moon High and even though it didn’t make the splash that Teen Wolf did, it’s still one heck of a fun horror-comedy that never takes itself too seriously. The story follows the classic formula where the central character travels to a foreign land and ends up cursed – in one way or another. In this case, Tony is bitten by a werewolf that leaves him with this eternal curse that causes all kinds of problems with his social life in high school. So much so, he has to drop out only to re-enroll years later so that he can finally play in the big game.

Okay, I thought Adam Arkin did a great job as the likable main character who gets cursed plus we get to see Ed McMahon play his father and this is the only acting role I’ve ever seen the legendary sidekick from “The Tonight Show” star in. What’s funny about Arkin’s character Tony is the fact that he’s not only battling his uncomfortable werewolf curse but he has to deal with pressure from the opposite sex. Also, when Tony is a werewolf it appears he likes to bite the booty of his beautiful victims. The movie is a lot of cheesy fun so the only downfall really is the fact that it didn’t have a big budget for the make up effects. Still, this B-movie obscurity is another one of my personal favorites from Larry Cohen.

The front of the packaging features the classic artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The reverse sleeve features an image from the movie. The Blu-ray disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for the high-definition disc were crisp and clear. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio for this release. Scream Factory did a great job with the upgrade for this obscure cult classic.

Bottom line is, Full Moon High is one of those movies I caught late at night on one of the premium movie channels when I was a kid but it’s become an obscurity over the years because it’s kind of hard to find a place to watch it these days. Well, once again Scream Factory comes to the rescue and has given this cheesy good movie a high-def upgrade and it looks and sounds great for its age. Larry Cohen is a master at his craft and is known for his classic horror movies but Full Moon High is more of a mockery of the genre and werewolves were hot at the time of its release. I liked the story and thought the cast did a really good job with their characters. Here we get to see a very young Adam Arkin who plays the cursed victim turned monster but he’s still going through the growing pains of high school. Adam Arkin even gets to play opposite his legendary father, Alan Arkin, towards the end of the movie and I thought that was really awesome. I know this movie isn’t for everybody but I freaking love it. Larry Cohen’s 1981 horror-comedy will finally make its Blu-ray debut on April 10th.

Distributor: Scream Factory

Run Time: 93 Minutes

Rated: PG

Blu-ray Video: 1080p High-Definition Widescreen (1.85:1)

Blu-ray Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0

Subtitles: English

Special Features: There’s not much as far as the extras go but this Blu-ray does include some new audio commentary and the theatrical trailer.

  • NEW audio commentary with writer/producer/director Larry Cohen, Moderated by KING COHEN filmmaker Steve Mitchell
  • Theatrical Trailer (02:58)


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