I used to love Full Moon films, even though their movie’s weren’t always great, they were fun and the company seemed to have a solid footing in horror back when I was young. One of the things I loved most was they had the special after movie Video Zone segment, where Charles Band would talk about upcoming films, behind the scenes, and general Full Moon news. It was just so cool and this was well before the DVD extras we are so blessed with nowadays. So I have very found memories of the film’s from that time and I have been wanting to try and check a few of them out again someday soon. As well as revisiting old Full Moon films, I have had an urge to look at some of the newer ones like Gingerdead Man and Skull Heads as I have heard they deliver the cheesy goods on an epic level.
This all came together when I decided to give 2002’s Cryptz a viewing. I actually had no clue that it was a Full Moon movie, and while I had no sort of expectations to begin with, when I saw the Full Moon label, I had a good idea what I was in for and I got a little ecstatic, to be honest with you. Seeing that Full Moon logo, I almost knew I would enjoy what I was to see, no matter how bad. I would be blinded by nostalgia. Well, I don’t really know if that was the case with Cryptz, because I think I may have been more blinded by bad taste than anything. Even though this movie is pretty damned terrible, I still found myself entertained by it in all its horrendous glory.
Cryptz follows Tymez Skwair (Choice Skinner), Fuzzy Down (Rick Irvin), and Likrish (Dennis Waller), three aspiring rappers with three of the greatest Hip-Hop names ever created. T-Skwair (short for Tymez Skwair for those of you less than hip) is under pleasure from ma dukes to get a job while he waits seemingly forever for his rap career to take off. T-Skwair heads out to find a job, but not before running into his boys, Fuzzy and Likrish. While walking down the street to go…somewhere, the trio run into a sexy vixen named Stesha (Lunden De'Leon).
With shorts that would make Ronnie jealous and a set of cans more delicious than Chef Boyardee, T-Skwair is no doubt smitten and tries to work a piece on this lovely lady. He asks what her Cryptz shirt is all about and she tells them that Cryptz is where she works and also where she was heading to. Hoping to meet up with Stesha at Cryptz, the guys ask where it is, but she says if they really wanna hang with her, they will have to find it for themselves…and it ain’t in the phone book.
Stesha then proceeds to pinch T-Skwair’s cheek, at which point, time slows and a painful sizzling sound occurs, letting the viewer know, that Stesha has done something sinister to T-Skwair. Not that the Cryptz shirt didn't already tell us that she was trouble.
The trio head back to Fuzzy D’s place and try to figure out where and the hell Cryptz might be, when they decide to call their boy Truck (played by Chyna, but not THAT Chyna).
Truck is into strange things like the occult and meditation, so the crew thinks he may know about this mysterious night club. However, when Tymez Skwair asks him about Cryptz, Truck warns him that the place is dangerous and to stay as far away from it as possible. When Truck learns that T-Skwair came into contact with Stesha (in the form of sizzling cheek pinch), he tells him to have Fuzzy and Likrish tie him down for the night and to call Truck at sundown.
Well, thinking that being tied down by your boys is mad gay, they instead spend their evening watching television, when from out of nowhere, T-Skwair starts freaking out! His cheek begins to burn to the point of pain, the same cheek that Stesha had pinched earlier. Not knowing what to do, they jump in a car and take off, with T-Skwair giving directions, directions that lead down a darkened alley to…CRYPTZ!
As soon as the guys get into the club, T-Skwair’s face stops hurting and they soon realize they are in the hottest strip club with the finest women around! Thinking this will be one hell of a great night, T-Skwair, Fuzzy, and Likrish are psyched, only they don’t know that the club is a front for a coven of Vampires! They’ll figure it out soon enough…
Cryptz has production values and set designs that are lower than my chain hangz, which of course makes it all the more fun. Even many of the cheaper and crappier Full Moon movies from year’s past, had really nice set design, usually because they were shot in Romania and were a little more Gothic in setting. Clearly, that kind of setting wouldn’t work in a film set in an urban area, but still, the Cryptz strip club is fucking hysterical in how cheap looking it is.
Even better than the strip club itself, is when the Vampires reveal themselves and the dungeon style backrooms are used for rituals and such. I really think that Cryptz must have been sponsored by Spencer’s gifts, as every prop looked like something you could buy at Halloween time. My favorite “prop” is this skull chalice used to drink blood from…as soon as I saw it, I knew it was the same chalice that you can buy at any local grocery store, CVS, or Walgreens. You know the one…
For the record, they used the one on the right (though I think the one on the left is much more menacing) and it was so awesome knowing that next Halloween, I will be able to purchase a piece of memorabilia from the film, Cryptz at the drug store.
One thing that Full Moon has always been very good at, is REALLY bad special FX and camera trickery as well as overall technical aspects. I think that Full Moon has really come into its own and mastered the art of terrible camera work and filmmaking techniques with Cryptz and its 1998 home video quality dissolves and Play Station 1 graphic prowess. Every time there is some sort of horror action, the movie goes into slow motion with a mixture of blur effects and multiple color changes…it begins to look like you’re watching Suspiria on fast-forward after being donkey punched by one of the Klitschko brothers. Much like the back of a Spencer’s in a way…hmm…connection?
So yeah, Cryptz is completely awful and 100% incompetent, but a complete blast for how terrible it is. I do have to give a litte credit to the cast that make up Fuzzy, Likrish, and Tymez Skwair though – they are not great, but had very good chemistry together as well as a few funny moments. Surprisingly, I was laughing with them a few tymez instead of at them. While this isn’t exactly what Full Moon delivered back in the day, it’s still nice to know that they can at least bring out the big guns as far as enjoyably bad filmz go.