You Get What You Pay For - Or Not
If you are a fan of horror movies like I am, then you probably are familiar with what is considered the number one horror magazine since 1979, called Fangoria. If you haven't seen it before, give it a look. Of course these days, it also has a website as well as a Facebook page. It was from this Facebook page (yes, I still go there from time to time) that I saw an interesting offer.
Fangoria was kind enough to provide notice (you can't really call it an endorsement, since I'm sure they received nothing for it) of a new horror movie streaming service - Full Moon Features (or Productions or Entertainment - depends on what article you read). I later learned that this was not a new service at all, it has been there for some time. I don't know why Fangoria would print something about it - I don't think they checked it out first.
If you're not familiar with that particular company, think Demonic Dolls, Puppet Master, hell think of any horrible, horrible horror movie that was massively, massively cheap and you've probably got yourself a Full Moon movie or one of their offshoots in your hands. I checked it out. This streaming service is self-described as a kind of Netflix for B-movie and cult flick fiends.
It's like Netflix all right – because they charge you money. They want $6.99 per month for the privilege of watching crap without close captioning or steady streaming. They offered a free week (ending June 24, 2014) as long as you register a credit card with them. Usually I run far, far away from those types of services, but because they were in Fangoria, I gave them a shot. They failed in the first five minutes.
First failure: the website refuse to load. My computer system's movie streaming usually is instant, especially when I'm using Google Chrome. However, this time I sat watching a little circle going lazily to the left (this is not a good sign) for the longest time before I got an error message. I waited a couple of minutes, and tried again.
After an interminably long time, the damn website loaded. I reluctantly entered my information. I picked my first movie. It did not run. This particular website offers you the option of low, medium, high, and high definition (I have no idea what the difference between high and high definition is) and I tried each one of those options trying to get that movie to work. Nope. I wrote to their so-called support and told them that their website did not work.
The next day, I got an email from somebody who explained to me that because of Fangoria, their website experienced technical difficulties which their technicians have since fixed. Number one, it's really not very nice to blame the company that gives you free advertising. Number two, I am not at computer expert, but I do know that a if a website won't load it's because it can't handle the amount of traffic it's experiencing. Second failure.
Already figuring out that they probably had a high volume of users at night, I decided to try a movie in the early morning hours (4:00 a.m. PT). Guess what friends? It didn't help. Even if you can get the website to load, login, and actually get a movie on the screen, your struggles are not over. Failure number three. The first movie I attempted to watch stuttered, stopped, restarted itself several times, and generally was a massive pain in the ass just to try to see a horrible, horrible movie.
I tried every definition they offered, and that did not make any difference whatsoever. Now I have a good computer system. It plays movies like a charm on Netflix. In fact, when I watch movies on Netflix, I can have other Windows open all I want – I can text, I can Facebook, I can look at other things, and still Netflix will continue to run without a hiccup. That is a quality streaming service that I am willing to pay for. The monthly fee for Netflix (for those who are grandfathered in) is $7.95 per month.
I hear Netflix is going to raise their rates a whole dollar. $8.95 per month is still a freaking sweet deal for a service that not only works, but will give you close captioning when you need it. Believe you me, people, I need it. Now people have complained it doesn't have the best of selections, however, for the money it has plenty for me.
Coming up are reviews of those horrible movies that were approximately 90 minutes apiece and yet took me three hours to watch because of their horrible streaming. And they want $6.95 for the privilege. People let me give you a warning – Full Moon and its affiliates do not have that many movies. Even under its other names such as Wizard Studios, Moonbeam, Grindhouse (and don't ask me how they managed to get a hold of those), merchandise for their own movies, plus of course selling DVDs of their movies, it still doesn't amount to much.
On their advertisement it says dozens and dozens of movies. Well, I guess 24 and slightly above is more than two dozen. That would be dozens and dozens, right? And if you're like me and have watched B movies for years, you've probably already seen most of these anyway. It does boast a re-mastering of the classic Puppet Master, but you can find that movie on other sites. You do not have to come here.
The service offers a quick way to cancel your subscription, saying you still will have the rest of whatever time you have paid for, however when I canceled, that was the end of the movies. I would've had to sign up again in order to watch and I was not about to do that.
Do what you like, try what you like, but be warned: This website seems to have an agenda besides selling DVDs and other merchandise. They also want to sell you what is called Roku. I had no idea what that was, so I had to look it up. Depending on how much you want to spend, anywhere from $50-$100, Roku seems to simply be some sort of memory stick that supposedly smoothly streams movies. So besides paying $6.99 a month, they want you to buy these little gadgets to watch their garbage with.
Now the following is from a forum I looked up about this relationship and I found a complaint plus allegations against Charles Band (supposed owner of all of this mess). Yes, Full Moon wants you to buy Roku. No, that does not guarantee that your movies will work. One who had one and tried to watch the movies said each movie needed a different 'setting' or it wouldn't play right. Hmm.
This is hearsay but hey, never stopped me before. Charles Band has been accused of reprinting old Wizard Label video boxes and selling the VHS tapes for $50. Other sites also link people who have different claims but it all adds up to one general accusation: Charles Band is not a particularly likable guy. I looked several places on the internet and there are pages of different people blasting him and his business practices. 'Nuff said about him.
And folks, these movies are garbage. Yes, I really liked Puppet Master, and there are others silly B movies that are fun to watch, but not here. Save yourself some real frustration and a whole lot of excuses. If one of these movies you really, really like, buy the damn thing. Do not subject yourself to the torture that is Full Moon streaming. Just for some validation, I went back to the Fangoria Facebook page to see what other people said. Some were excited, but obviously had not started yet.
Those that had, complained as I did that the site would not load. Others who I suspect worked for Full Moon, suggested buying that damned Roku stick or gadget, depending on how much you wanted to spend. Apparently, many have been burned by this company. I do not plan to be one of them, and I would advise that you do not either.