Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Ravenwolf Towers: Full Moon in Webisode Form

In the lunar cycle, there are 29.53 days between full moons. Those of us whose jobs do not depend on the tides ordinarily do not keep track of such things, but fans of Charles Band and the particular style of his horror movie production company Full Moon Features now have a reason. His new web series will premiere a new episode every full moon, which will make its airings even less predictable than NBC’s NewsRadio in the late 1990s. Yet, if you are a diehard brand fan, you will probably be checking anyway. Casual genre viewers will also be amused by the Full Moon aesthetic applied to the Grand Hotel formula when Bad Mary, the first episode of Ravenwolf Towers premieres today on Full Moon’s Streaming site.

The titular hotel was once an opulent palace, but it has degenerated into a skid row flop, except for the top story. A family of apparently financially secure inbred mutants keeps the 11th floor all to themselves and they expect management to respect their privacy. As of episode one, this now includes Jake, the new assistant manager. He is a bit of a sad sack, but he perks up when he meets Mary from the top floor clan, who happens to be rather attractive, like Ravenwolf’s Marilyn Munster.

Band helms a surprisingly atmospheric premiere, but thanks to his showman’s instincts, he also has the commercial sense to open with a sex scene, making Ravenwolf totally cable-ready and fanboy-friendly. Right from the start, he doles out some intriguing backstory and the run-down setting is rather evocative. The cast largely plays it straight, including Evan Henderson as the somewhat spaced-out Jake. Cult movie fans will also get a kick out of super-busy horror movie regular Maria Olsen chewing some scenery as Mabel, the duly sinister daughter of the freaky clan’s ailing patriarch.

Based on the thirty-one minute first installment, Ravenwolf definitely has potential, like a riff on the old James Brolin Hotel series, but with body horror, deformity exploitation, nudity, and at least two mad scientists. (We’ll let you know if subsequent episodes are open for review.) Of course, a season one DVD has already been announced, but in the meantime, Band and Olsen fans can keep watching the moon. For Full Moon subscribers, Bad Mary is now available on their streaming platform.