Little did I know when I picked up this gem at my local gas station, that it was directed by none other than Charles Band, founder of Full Moon productions and creator of such masterpieces as Puppet Master, Prehysteria!, and soft core werewolf porn title Meridian. All I saw on the cover was a man wearing a prosthesis the size of Guam, and the tagline Upset the head, and you’re dead! A rhyming tag like that really requires no further convincing on my part, so you can imagine the happy surprise with which I realized Head in the Family was created by someone who is has produced over 250 horror films, some of which aren’t just pure schlock.
Let me set the record straight. Head in the family is definitely schlocky, and I definitely wouldn’t call it good. This is the sort of flick that presumes gratuitous nudity is necessary in order to help the viewers swallow the pill that is the rest of the film. In fact, the creators of this movie clearly realized how bad it was, so they ramped up the sexiness to the point of pure absurdity. Let’s face it, this tactic is often Full Moon’s selling point. The acting is somehow horrible and perfect at the same time, as the actors ham up their podunk accents, and react to the mutant family Stackpool with their jaws dropped down to the level of supreme yokel slack. Speaking of the Stackpool family, you should know that they are comprised of a set of quintuplets, all of which are controlled telepathically by Myron, the guy on the cover with the giant noggin. This concept might be lost on viewers, if Myron’s lines didn’t spell it out for them within his first minute on camera. I was never sure if it was because of Alexandria Quinn’s terrible acting skill, or her potential lack of comprehension of English as her primary language, that she had no real lines. Quinn’s character Ernestina (right?) Stackpool seemed to only fulfill the purpose of making sure there was cleavage on screen at all times.
Head in the Family was released during a period in which quickly produced, direct to DVD horror was booming, and so the film also boasts no quality effects. The mutations of the various Stackpool family members and their medical experiments range in appearance from being cursed with chocolate-crunch candy eyeballs in place of their real eyes, to simply being a big Swedish looking fellow in what appears to be a turn of the century circus leotard, and jeans. One of the captors might have had fake vomit attached to their head. There is literally nothing to brag about with this film, except that it is utterly hilarious. At one point, head Stackpool Myron parades his experiments onto a small stage and instructs them to perform his rendition of the story of Joan of Arc. Complete of course with a nude body burn against heresy. All of these magnificent elements are at play, and to top it off, the soundtrack sounds like it was made on my Casio keyboard toy from 1989.
If you aren’t offended by unnecessary sex scenes and a cast made up of former porn stars, and if you like movies in the Troll 2 vein of “so bad it’s good” this movie is totally worth your time. I will certainly say though, one viewing was more than enough.
(Seriously though. This was garbage. Hilarious, hilarious garbage).