Charles Band, the producer behind films like Castle Freak, Puppet Master, and Evil Bong, is set to release an autobiography, titled Confessions of a Puppetmaster: A Hollywood Memoir of Ghouls, Guts, and Gonzo Filmmaking, from William Morrorw, an imprint of HarperCollins in November. the book will be co-written with Adam Felber, a panelist on NPR's Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. This will be the second time in a relatively short period that Band has been heavily featured in a book. Last time around it was It Came From the Video Aisle!: Inside Charles Band's Full Moon Entertainment Studio, a 2017 book that looked at the history of Full Moon from its inception to what was then the present day.
Of course, getting Band's story in his own words is a bit different. Here's how the official press release for the book describes it.
“Zombies, aliens, a little skin, lots of gore — and even more laughs — the cinematic universe of Charles Band is legendary. From the toilet-invading creatures of Ghoulies to the time-travelling bounty hunter in Trancers to the pandemic-crashed Corona Zombies, Band has spent four decades giving B-movie lovers exactly what they love. It’s been a wild ride as Band has surfed the ebbs and swells of the industry, his own life often as outrageous as the movies he produces. In Confessions of a Puppetmaster: A Hollywood Memoir of Ghouls, Guts, and Gonzo Filmmaking, this congenial master of Grindhouse cinema shares the incredible story of an ordinary movie-loving guy who lived his passion, constantly reinventing genres — and himself.”
Born into a family of creative artists, Band spent much of his childhood in Rome where his father worked in the film industry. Early visits to movie sets sealed young Charlie’s fate. By his twenties he had plunged into movie-making himself and found his calling in exploitation movies — quick, low-budget efforts that exploit the zeitgeist and feed people’s desire for clever, low-brow entertainment. Soon, Band was turning out dozens of movies, establishing himself as a major player. His movies crossed genres, from vampire flix to sci fi, from Lovecraft adaptations to erotic musical adaptations of fairy tales. He cast his movies with Hollywood icons like Roddy McDowell and Christopher Lee and future stars like Helen Hunt and Demi Moore.
Beyond the set, Band’s life was often like an epic adventure tale even his own vivid imagination could not have dreamed up. Returning to his beloved Italy he bought both Dino De Laurentiis’s movie studio and a medieval castle. After Romania’s oppressive communist regime fell, he circumvented the rules and built a studio outside Bucharest. He bought and sold real estate in Los Angeles and Europe; and made and lost moviemaking fortunes with remarkable equanimity. A visionary, Band was early to recognize the future of home video and created his iconic film company Full Moon, making and distributing direct-to-video movies long before the major studios caught on.
You can pre-order the book today at your bookshop of choice.