The Haunted Casino (2007) Poster

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Charles Band Rolls Out The Expected
gavin69423 February 2008
After inheriting a casino from his great uncle, a young man and a few of his friends decide to check it out and spend the night. Guess what? Past employees of the casino who have been killed by the uncle haunt the place and are eager to get their revenge on the new owner. Can the curse be broken? Will they survive?

Charles Band... that name conjures up all sorts of thoughts, but most of all it should bring to mind one thing: low quality horror films. Once upon a time, hits like "Puppet Master" came from Band, as did other cheesy (but enjoyable) movies like "Head of the Family" and "Troll". Now, we are treated to low-grade smut like this and "Evil Bong". Are they still enjoyable? Sadly, yes. But if there is anything Band lacks, it is artistic merit.

Veterans Sid Haig and Michael Berryman are here, which is nice (but not necessary). Kristyn Green appears, as she did in "Evil Bong" and one other Band production -- she has the chance to get big, but must escape his territory. The other actors are good, but we will likely never see them again outside of a Full Moon film. And I do not feel bad about that... they were more or less here for the higher body count.

The film is rather vague about why the ghosts haunt the casino and how they can be stopped. (It seems they want the uncle's silver, but that begs the question -- what can ghosts do with silver if they are dead?) The background of the characters in general seems lacking. A guy inherits a casino from an uncle he does not know, because he is the next of kin. Well, where are all the other family members? I understand these things make the plot workable and the story easier, but they are also illustrative of Band's shortcomings -- he is great at dirty jokes and senseless violence, as well as topless women (which does not come up as much here as you would expect). He fails at three-dimensional characters. That may be writer August White's fault, but Band is White's boss, and therefore to blame.

When a film needs three titles ("Dead Man's Hand", then "Casino of the Damned" and now "Haunted Casino") I get worried, and when Band is attached I get even more worried. In the end, you get what you would expect from Full Moon. Cheesy horror and not much more. If you are with another horror fan and have some booze, you might enjoy this. But it is not a date movie or anything you are going to want to see again and again or talk up to friends. There is a reason that "straight-to-DVD" was invented and this film is it.
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an absolute zero...awful...awful
badgerz9417 July 2007
Saw this on Charter on demand. This is a 75 minute movie and nothing and I mean nothing happens until minute 57 leaving you with 18 minutes of pathetic action. Sid Haig and Michael Berryman are in this for 6 or 7 minutes. How did they spend $200,000 on a grad student at UCLA in Theater I can tell you that this easily could have been shot in 2-3 days. They use 2 locations, a hotel room and a casino the size of a 4 bedroom house. Michael Berryman is no longer scary, he looks 110 years old and can barely speak. Sid Haig looks like he just came off a 3 day can tell that he was looking at cue cards(watch carefully and you'll see. This is a low point even by Full Moon Standards.
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Aces and Eights.
cllangkjaer25 July 2007
In my opinion Dead Man's Hand is mostly made for the younger audience that are just getting started in the Horror genre. I have been following Director Charles Band since his Empire and ealier Full Moon days and growing up watching movies like Trancers and Dolls which are filled with charm in my opinion, then you know of the quality he can produce. But like I started out, this movie and the once he have directed and produced since 2000 are more or less made for a younger and newer audience. I'm sure I can follow his trail of thoughts, because as a director and producer, I could imagine you really needs to keep up with what is hot and what people what to see. It is a business after all. These Movies really need to be seen in the light that Full Moon is not as big as they were back in the day – due to the 2nd collapse of he's company in the late 90's these productions are made for under half of what the budget where on the pictures he made doing he's collaboration with Paramount Pictures. After reading a couple of reviews on Dead Man's Hand and a few of the movies Charlie has done lately. I think it is a shame that people keep comparing Full Moon today to what Full Moon use to be, Instead of looking at Charlies company in the light of today. A consistent felling all over is, that the films he makes today are to short. Dead Man's Hand has a 75 min running time. If you take a look, at his most loved films, like Dolls and Trancers, they not much longer than this. Dolls is a 77 min feature. Though I do agree that they are short, I still think that they work marvoulsly. I do think the idea of a haunted Casino is a really good idea and Dead Man's Hand does have some of the better special efx. compared to the movies, Full Moon has done lately. The story line is a little thin, but hey this is a horror movie right? Still it is an interesting little movie and I think Charlie managed to make it look well. About the DVD, it is nice to see that Charlie is back shooting on 35mm and the transfer is done nice and clean. The stereo sound is done well and set a good mood for jet another late night of horror. The DVD also includes a nice behind the scenes program and a trailer for the upcoming Decadent Evil II.
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Yep, a beginners horror flick
helibobber2 October 2007
Someone earlier mentioned that this movie was like an introduction to horror flicks. That pretty much says it I think. To those of us who really enjoy a solid, memorable horror flick this one is a vast disappointment. I fell asleep twice while watching it and had to rewind back to see what I missed. It didn't matter to the continuity though. Some suggestive sex but nothing really bad. Sid Haig is excellent as usual. I think he is the most underused horror actor around who can really be pretty menacing when he's on his game. The special effects involving the apparitions are so bad it really bothers me to think about them. I think I've seen some better homemade ones on Youtube truthfully. If you like crappy movies you should see this one. You won't be disappointed.
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Mediocre scary movie...
dwpollar7 August 2012
1st watched 8/4/2012 – 4 out of 10 (Dir-Charles Band): Mediocre scary movie about a haunted casino inherited by an only relative of a great uncle that just happens to have killed five people in the casino and their ghosts are bothering the inheritant and his five friends. The movie starts with what appeared to be an insurance person with an inspector checking out the abandoned Mysterion Casino in Las Vegas for the inheritant, played by Scott Whyte with his girlfriend played by Robin Sydney. The initial visitors get gruesomly murdered by some unknown beings, and then we hear about the inheritant's story as the six friends are camped out in Vegas looking to check out the place. The acting is OK and the storyline is interesting, but I think the movie fails because of it's slow pacing and lack of humor. Director Charles Band is a veteran of low-budget schlock movie-making who sometimes surprises with his combination of the gruesome with tongue-in-cheek humor, but this one kind of just lays there and does very little. There are no writing credits listed in the movie but that was probably done by Band as well, and it seems like it was done off the cuff with some subplots just abandoned. Some of the special effects were interesting and I liked the way the card playing ghost dealer tried to keep the inheritants by making them lose limbs if they lost. The ghost characters came across like in "The Shining" as real people imagined or seen at times and not at others. Sid Haig, with top billing, played a rival casino mobster-like ghost who ofted the grand-uncle in the late sixties with an attached personal vengeance against him, but is just OK in the role. The words mediocre and OK are used a lot in this review because that's what the movie was for me. Not horrible, but just OK – which doesn't make for a very worthwhile movie-viewing experience.
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Time Is Money!
jamesbourke5921 February 2008
People all around the world are full of many wise old sayings or I guess some would call it sage advice.

Prior to watching Full Moon Features latest horrific offering, I wanted to check out their making off featurette and once again the man at the head of affairs, Mr Charles Band as ever was offering up his thoughts and words of wisdom.

As is his want, the full moon rule book appears to state, shoot fast and loose and keep the questions to the barest minimum.

For Mr Band, time is money! The vast majority of his movies these days seem to take less than a week to shoot, and as for any post production time, lord only how long that takes.

However watching 'Dead Man's Hand - Casino Of The Damned' I kept thinking about that phrase, time is money! The movie starts with a very slow and very un-involving prologue with two extras spouting forth about the Myteria casino and it's bloody history, now looking at the timer on my DVD player this took about ten minutes, of course anyone who knows their horror movies will know that these two characters are just two lambs ready for the slaughter, but when the inevitable happens it's a pretty lacklustre affair.

I have pretty much resigned myself to the basic fact that Charles Band is washed up, sure he can serve up a pretty decent concept, but the glory days of Empire Pictures are well and truly long gone and once again his writer in residence, August White has let him down badly! However once again, time is money! and I guess that no matter what shape the script is in, Mr Band, wearing his producer/director cap is not going to waste anytime about trying to address any issues that might arise within the scripting department.

The main star of the movie, or so the main credits after the lengthy prologue would have us believe is the legendary Sid Haig, however he does not appear in the movie until forty plus minutes have dissolved.

Up to that point, rather than deliver some heartpounding moments, I say heartpounding, because the set up within a long abandoned and very much haunted casino is just rife for some good old fashioned William Castle type scares.

Alas no, no such things happen, instead the script calls for character development and lame situations. Now of course without character development we as the audience wouldn't be able to identify with who is who on the screen, but within the first scene proper after the prologue, the characters and their traits are pretty much set up for us.

It must be said that at this point I started to get a little restless, and felt a strange desire to reach for the fast forward button, but owing to my allegiance to Mr Band's movies, no matter how bad they have become, I firmly resisted that temptation.

Too bad! as the rest of the movie crawled to it's conclusion, which I won't spoil for anyone, just in case like myself, you are a longstanding and oh so suffering fan of Full Moon or indeed the entire works of Charles Band himself.

Of course it has been noted that this movie contains no nudity, but it does have plenty of pretty young women and there is just enough old style gore to keep the mind just about focused but in a nutshell, as soon as this movie had finished, I had pretty much forgotten about it.

Yes Indeed, time is money and in this case both were not well spent! My rating is 1
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Not worth rolling the dice on this one
event307026 October 2007
This film was not good. In fact, you might even say it was bad.

First of all, it wasn't scary. There was nothing scary about it and I frighten easily, so take my word for it. The casino itself failed to create any sort of tense atmosphere. Sure there were spider webs everywhere from not having been inhabited for forty years but that wasn't enough, not even close.

The screenplay is dreadful with some very unfunny lines and characters so uninteresting, you root for them to be killed. You might be better off killing them yourself though, as the so-called ghosts of the casino aren't all that fearsome and you could probably give it to the good guys better than they can.

This film is without special effects or gore, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Some of the better horror films have neither. The weird part is, this film does do some things you'd want effects for. Without them however, it just looks cheap. It becomes funny, not scary.

I give this film a 4/10 because for all of this movie's problems, it isn't completely devoid of entertainment value. Some of the enjoyment comes out of how bad it truly is, for sure. On the other hand, however, the last twenty minutes are kind fun and interesting - still not scary though.

Overall, this film is not worth the time and money it took to make, and it's certainly not worth your time to watch it.
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The Word
nogodnomasters18 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Matthew Dragna (Scott Whyte) inherits the Dragna Mysteria Casino which is run down and haunted. He checks out the property with 5 other people. The ghosts who haunt the place were victims of his uncle. Matthew must gamble for his life against Sid Haig and Michael Berryman.

You would think a film which top bills Haig and Berryman would be a smash. It was not. Their time in the film was limited and they didn't appear until the 45 minute mark. There was an attempt to make this an 80's style comedy horror, but the writing was simply substandard with fake sex and male debasement being passed off for adolescent comedy. Not overly funny or scary.

Guide: F-word. No sex or nudity. Charles Band let down.
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One the worst horrors
as_thomas15 December 2009
You'd have thought that a movie featuring the ever watchable Sid Haig (Captain Spaulding from 'Devil's Rejects') and Michael Berryman (of the same, but also the original Wes Craven's 'Hills have Eyes') combined with a synopsis of a derelict Vegas casino populated by the undead spirits of the criminal underworld, would leap out of the shelves at you like a rabid marmoset, tearing at your attentive glands and filling your pants with excited droplets of uric acid.

You couldn't be more wrong if you were to wear the skin of Mick Hucknall in an Arizona sandstorm. This is a woefully bad movie that would soon have you multi-tuning to QVC for escape if it was aired on Zone Horror. As is traditional to hawk it to the bored younger attention span-deficit generation, we get the usual fare of irritating teenagers of various personalities, i.e. geek, foxy, rebel, good guy/gal, stoner, etc. Amazing how so many demographics end up as friends. The main protagonist, who inherits the casino from his dead mafia great-uncle has more plank on display than a whole aisle at B&Q. His simpering girlfriend seemingly spends the entire movie stuck to him like an icecube to a dog's anus. The rest of the cast would fail a screentest for a porn flick such is their inherent disregard for imparting dialogue with any enthusiasm.

The effects are laughably poor. At one scene the 'foxy chick' encounters an equally sexy female ghost who, prior to dispatching the hormonal annoyance, metamorphoses into a rotten fairground corpse, replete with -get this- eyeballs that roll like one-armed bandits, displaying two death skulls. The soundtrack is hideously inappropriate and seems to have been hived from the abortion floor of 'Diagnosis Murder'. As we'd expect, our plucky heroes & heroines consistently ignore the basic rules of not getting snuffed in a horror movie. Though for this watcher's eyeballs, thankfully none of them did, as it would clearly have prolonged the agonising torment.

Which brings to us to Haig. Clearly this was an easy payday for him, cashing in on his past travails presumably to refurnish his Fresno apartment. Although eminently watchable as always, Haig doesn't even appear to make any semblance of effort ...and he doesn't really have to, surrounded as he is by graduates from a drama school for morons. Sid's no doubt got a few pay days left yet, such is the cultish currency of his demented Spaulding from the great 'Devil's Rejects'. Anyone who's seen his terrifying warning to the small boy in a car he's about to jack will lament the day that he featured in this bucket of bilge. Berryman is simply just himself, locked in that hanging prune of a face, with a lacklustre old look like decommissioned furniture.

In all 'Dead Man's Hand' is something that could (and should) have been circumcised without anaesthetic in order to fit an episode of 'Tales from the Crypt'. Possibly one of the worse and least scary horror movies of the last decade, to rank alongside the stupendously vile 'Catacombs' starring Pink. One can only lick our lips and think of the untold mayhem Rob Zombie could have wreaked with such a storyline. Then again, we probably would have been treated to another scene of Sheri Moon's gyrating bare bottom ...not that we're complaining, eh lads? I'm so sickened by this movie that it will be immediately returned to Poundland for a full refund.
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