This week on Anthony T's #TBT, I revisit my 2010 review of The Haunted Casino". This is one of my favorite Full Moon Feature/ Charles Band films from the past couple of years. Here is my review of "The Haunted Casino".
Repost from 11/30/10 with minor changes from original review.
“The Haunted Casino” is a re-release of a 2007 film called “Dead Man’s Hand: Casino of the Dammed”.
Matther Dragna inherits a casino from his dead uncle. He along with his girlfriend and a group of friends go to the outskirts of Vegas, to visit this rundown casino. Soon as they get there, they discover the casino is haunted by the ghost of a Vegas mobster (Sid Haig) and his goon (Michael Berryman) that’s looking to exact revenge for what Dragna’s dead uncle did to them. Soon, they must fight for their lives as the ghosts within the casino are looking for revenge.
Is it me or have the films over at Full Moon Feature just have gotten better in the terms of storytelling and entertainment value, since the folks there released “Evil Bong back in 2006. I gave up on this company when it was in the Shadow Entertainment era. The trailers in that era never caught my interest plus the fact that the films didn’t feel like the full moon films that I was accustomed to seeing. But thankfully that’s changed, even though the budget is much lower from the earlier days. At least, the comic book feel that was present in most of their earlier films are back.
“The Haunted Casino” is a very entertaining film. Charles Band does a great job making this film fun to watch. He directs the film very well by building up the tension and getting you interested in the story. It really helped me get into the flow of the film, as this is important for films of this caliber to do this. Band also does a good job making this film campy with the gore effects and the storytelling. One of the things that he knows very well in his director is handling the acting aspects of his films. He does a good job making sure that the acting is decent enough, so that the flaws are not overexposed with it’s budget. If the acting aspect in these films aren’t directed very well, then they become a distraction to your enjoyment of the film. Also by having the main performances be good, the viewer like myself is not impatiently waiting for Sid Haig and Michael Berryman to make their appearances on screen. That’s when you usually know that you’re watching a good low budget film.
Like most of Full Moon’s recent films, the screenplay was written by August White. This is one of his better screenplays. White does a very good job developing the characters here. I liked, how he doesn’t rush into the action. He spends a good amount of time developing the history of the casino and the characters that are trapped inside. It gets you into the flow of the story, so that keeps you interested in what goes on. White also does a good job keeping the action moving, when developing the characters. He does that well by providing false scares and a little bit of humor. It just makes the film fun to watch and that’s what I want to see from these types of films.
Your not going to find the next “Trick O Treat” or “Evil Dead” with Full Moon Features. But I know that I’m going to be in for a fun film, if the storytelling and direction is good. "The Haunted Casino” fits that description, as this is very fun haunted ghost film that gives you a good time and keeps you very entertained.
Review Rating: Four Stars