Customer Reviews: Head of the Family
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VINE VOICEon July 26, 2005
Lance (Blake Bailey)--protagonist of the ultra-low-budget direct-to-video flick HEAD OF THE FAMILY (1996)--is the owner of a greasy-spoon diner in a small southern town, but a successful entrepreneur he is not. As with most of his fellow small-town denizens, Lance is the sort of white-trash American citizen who is more likely to wind up as a guest of Jerry Springer than in an issue of FORTUNE magazine.

Adding to the day-to-day problems of running a struggling business, Lance is having an affair with Loretta (former soft-core porn actress Jacqueline Lovell), the attractive wife of Howard, the town bully. Howard seems perpetually on the verge of discovering the ongoing extramarital trysts--after all, everybody else in town already knows--and this is starting to make Lance and Loretta fear for their lives. So during their obviously choreographed lovemaking sessions, the two discuss the possibilities of choreographing Howard's demise. But can they devise a plan that will succeed AND keep them both out of the electric chair?

Enter the Stagpooles, a mysterious family of freakish quadruplets who live on the edge of town in a dilapidated old mansion. Only three of the four are ever seen in public--Otis (Bob Schott), a muscular, oafish brute; Wheeler (James Jones), who seems to have eye problems and always wears thick, dark sunglasses (even at night); and the drop-dead gorgeous Ernestina (buxom hard-core porn star Dianne Colazzo), whose supply of gray matter is inversely proportional to her breast size--when they come into town for food and supplies. And even then, the trio rarely talks. They simply pass along a grocery and supply list made out by their brother Myron (J.W. Perra), the sibling who always stays at home. And though none of them work, they always readily pay cash for their purchases. Only two things, therefore, are certain about the Stagpooles--they have plenty o' money, and they value their privacy.

One night, however, Lance and Loretta are out driving by the Stagpoole place and discover, quite by accident, a little secret that the reclusive family wouldn't want revealed to their neighbors. Crafty opportunist that he is, Lance arranges a meeting with Myron, and after confirming that the heretofore unseen sibling is, quite literally, the titular Head of the Family, Lance blackmails the Stagpooles into disposing of Howard. But Lance lets greed cloud his judgment, and he uses his special "knowledge" in an attempt to also gouge the Stagpooles out of a large chunk o' their change. Unfortunately for Lance and Loretta, such an action enrages Myron and pushes the couple towards their ultimate demise. Fortunately for the audience, however, it also drives the movie towards its hilariously tasteless and delightfully "hot" B-movie climax.

Though touted as a horror film, HEAD OF THE FAMILY is actually schlocky, humorous burlesque (as are most flicks from Full Moon Home Video) that both pays tribute to and spoofs the horror genre. Accept it as that and expect nothing more, and the film will entertain you in that way that only a B-movie can. Take it seriously--which the filmmakers clearly did not intend for you to do--and you'll come away with the proverbial sour taste in your mouth.

The DVD from Full Moon Home Video offers the direct-to-video HEAD OF THE FAMILY in its original aspect ratio of 1.33:1, and the transfer is quite good with only occasional filmic and digital artifacts. Bonus features include trailers for this film and other fun Full Moon schlock, as well as a feature commentary with J.W. Perra and "Myron." All in all, the DVD edition of this low-budget flick is well worth the reasonable cost and should be added to the collections of all connoisseurs of the tasteless and the outrageous.
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on October 10, 2003
The Stackpooles are different from the rest of the town. They have money. They keep themselves apart from the town except when stocking up supplies. They are also quadruplets mutated in unusual ways.
One brother is dumb but super-strong. Another brother has super-senses (and really big eyes), the sister has unresistable powers of sexuality. The last brother, Myron, has all of the brains. He is the head of the family with a head as big as most peoples' torsos. They are also connected telepathically.
Grifters, infidelity and bribery drive a plot that reveals what the Stackpooles are up to in their isolated home. But Myron really hates not being in control and the battle of wills and tortures begins.
With liberal amounts of nudity, sex, and colorful characters this is an enjoyable and sometimes silly horror film that is very light on the blood and guts (although there is some finger breaking). I found it to be quite rewatchable and one of the better thought out Full Moon films. Myron is a wonderful evil genius.
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Myron Stackpoole is a super-genius mad scientist. He is also a humongous head w/ a tiny body. He lives w/ his giant, incredibly strong brother, Otis, his bug-eyed brother, Wheeler; and his voluptuous sister, Ernestina (yowza!). Myron controls the actions of his three siblings through his titanic force of will, and a strong psychic connection between them. This allows Myron to gather supplies and capture fresh victims for his nefarious experiments. Everything is great, until two star-crossed lovers named Lance (Blake Bailey) and Loretta (Jacqueline Lovell) get mixed up w/ the Stackpoole clan. Things get very interesting from there! HEAD OF THE FAMILY is a well-made full moon production. I love the dungeon, the house, the Stackpooles, the biker-guy, the frequent nudity, the love-scenes w/ on-going conversations, the humor, the tribute to Joan of Arc, and the general oddness of it all! One of my favorite movies...
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on December 12, 2013
Directed by Charles Band (Puppet Master, Dark Angel: The Ascent, Ghoulies, Netherworld) and penned by bonkers horror writer Benjamin Carr (Hideous!, Curse of the Puppet Master, Thirteen Ghosts), this campy Full Moon release left me with a constant, guilty grin.

Forming the keystone of this weak story, Loretta (ex-adult film star Jacqueline Lovell; Hideous!, The Killer Eye, Femalien) has been cheating on her husband with Lance (Blake Adams; The Killer Eye, Lurking Fear) and the two of them need to find a way to get her abusive hubby out of the picture.

Somehow, their answer comes in the form of the local weirdoes, the Stackpooles. The members of the misshapen Stackpoole family include the over-sized man-child Otis (Bob Schott; Gymkata, Vamp), the rigid bug-eyed Wheeler and the statuesquely out of place Ernestina (adult film star Alexandria Quinn). They move like lobotomized drone-ish automatons and have all the personality of a blow-up doll. They are led by their quadruplet brother Myron (J.W. Perra; The Creeps), a wheelchair-bound mastermind with a freakishly large head that shares a telepathic mind-controlling link with his siblings.

Whether for their own macabre entertainment or the thrill of scientific discovery, our mutant Stackpooles perform domestic surgical experiments on the local townspeople. When Lance learns of this he blackmails them, threatening to reveal their crimes unless they "take care of" Loretta's husband and pay him a fee to keep his lips sealed.

You'll like the special effects behind Myron's huge head. I giggled at the green-screened-in head. Since regular human arms accompany this giant head, it almost looks like a big ugly animatronic muppet. Watch out for the scene when Myron and his head fall down the stairs…and when Myron gets a little fresh with Loretta…both are laughable.

Something that stands out about this DTV horror release is its sense of sleazy humor. About half of this movie's dialogue is delivered during sex scenes. Now, despite the half dozen sex scenes, this movie really isn't too raunchy or smutty. Almost as if done by comedic intention, Lance and Loretta seem to do all of their criminal plotting while having sex. Jacqueline Lovell may spend as much time naked in this movie as she did back in her adult film days. Lance is even abducted by Otis in the middle of a sex scene--again, this may be a cheap way to show some skin on the screen, but it was also done in a funny way complete with a POV punch to the camera's "face."

Another noteworthy observation would be that there is no gore. This movie and its humorous sleazy style didn't seem to need it, though. This movie was just zany and I spent a lot of time grinning like a fool for reasons other than nudity. It's like someone woke up and said "I want to make cheesy, bad, schlocky B-horror movie. But I want to do a good job of it!" And you know what? They did.

If you take this movie about as seriously as the filmmakers did--so, not at all--then you should get some solid B-movie entertainment out of this stupidly fun little gem.
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on April 15, 2012
By all accounts, this shouldn't be a great movie, or even a good one for that matter. And yet, I was amazed at how quickly I accepted the premise, the place, and the people in this wacky world. This is a carefully controlled, purposefully constructed film from start to finish. They created a world where all this lunacy makes perfect sense, and they didn't deviate from that one iota. I think that's why it works. They had a conviction and went with it.....with wild abandon. Everything matches, all the performances, the story, even the cartoon music that accompanies it; everything is pitch-perfect. It's hard not to have a begrudging admiration for what they made. They made a BIG head believable, and more importantly, funny.

This is one time I'm glad I took a chance and went with all the glowing reviews posted here. I wouldn't have missed the opportunity to see this movie for anything. Bonus, I get to keep it for future viewing!
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on August 8, 2000
Full Moon Pictures normally have the cheesiest horror films that I ever seen, which is why I am usually against their films. When I rented this film, I was surprised to actually find ot hilarious. One part that was funny was the man who was just a head that was shaped like a potato.
The story concerns a woman who is having an affair with another man. Her lover stumbles apon a secret, and blackmails a disfigured head. As the head gets angrier and angrier, the movie get more and more hilarious. Although this movie is hilarious, it may not be for some. It contains strong sexuality and nudity, and may be considered offensive to some. I recommend this to anyone who likes horror comedies.
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on August 30, 2012
Jaqueline Lovelle Never really got the parts her skill deserved And that's a shame. She is a suprisingly talented actress despite being known for nudie shlock films. The problems with Head of the Family is that it understands excatly what it is; it's a chance to see Jaqueline Lovell naked. It's not pretensious in believing it's a horror movie or anything but a vehical for Lovell's naked (albeit georgeous) body. Normally this would be a good thing, and I'm sure most will find that it is. It's the sort of movie that doesn't do anything wrong but it doesn't do anything outstanding. The story is shallow but coherant. The sets and the acting are adequate, The nude scenes are adequate but never outstanding. It's almost like a parody of Texas Chainsaw Masacare but they forgot to add humor. And that's my problem with it. The movie is self aware without being fun. No one is chewing set, their are no outstanding sex scenes. It's just adequate all around and that makes it forttable as a whole.
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on April 27, 2003
Once upon a time in the quiet little town of Nob Hollow, there was a boy named Lance who loved a girl named Loretta. Unfortunately, so did Howard. Well, at least Howard was married to her. Howard was also considerably bigger and meaner than Lance. Since nearly everyone within hearing distance of the two lovers were acutely aware of what was going on, it was just a matter of time before the dim Howard picked up on it also.

What to do, what to do. As it happens, Lance comes across some incriminating information about one of the towns wealthier familys, the Stackpools. Thinking a little blackmail would not be amiss, he goes after the money. How this family has lived in such a small town and no one has noticed their little oddities is not explained. Just take it for granted. The HEAD of the family is just that: A huge head. Surely you can take it from here. Lets just say the plan runs amuck and Loretta is the only one to come out, uh, ahead.....

Synopsis: the acting ain't bad, the special effects surprisingly good, and the ending funny. (Take your choice whether that's "funny/ha-ha" or "funny/strange".)

I bought HEAD OF THE FAMILY because I'd just seen Jacqueline Lovell in HIDEOUS and loved her Sheila character. The special effects are better in this one, but the characters aren't as endearing. Still, I liked it enough to wonder what the heck happened to the sequel, BRIDE OF THE HEAD OF THE FAMILY.
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on March 29, 1999
Where else can you find a giant head with a long tongue that performs random labotomies on the people of a small town. A definite must see.
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on April 17, 2013
Lance spots some strange goings on at the Stackpoole house. They are tricking travellers into driving to their home, then conducting experiments on them. Myron, the "head of the family," quite literally, needs an able human body to support his brain. He and his family are quadruplets, only instead of being identical, they all have their own supernatural abilities. Myron is the brains, Otis is the strenth, Wheeler is the eyes, ears, and nose, and Ernestina is the, uh, boobs. Myron's siblings are all linked telepathically to him. Lance hatches a blackmail scheme against the Stackpooles in exchange for making Howard disappear. Howard is a colossal dick. He's a gangster, drug dealer, and a murderer, and Lance wants his girl Lorretta, who is quite naked throughout the film. No complaints here. He knows the Stackpooles have "cabbage" to spare, so he also wants $2000 a week in exchange for his silence. Myron and his family use their powers to get the juicy tidbits on Lance. Ernestina uses her body to seduce him. It is quite disturbing knowing that Myron is really in charge. And Lance knows this. I've gotta say that The Head (J.W. Perra) is quite delicious and sinister as the villain.
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