Richard Christian Matheson|
|Directed by||Anthony Hickox|
Mario Van Peebles|
Anthony John Denison
|Theme music composer||Gary Chang|
|Country of origin||United States|
David R. Ginsburg|
Richard Christian Matheson (co-executive producer)
Robert L. Levy
Norman Marcus (associate producer)
Tom Patricia (co-producer)
Lee Rafner (line producer)
|Production location(s)||Los Angeles|
|Running time||93 minutes|
Full Eclipse is a 1993 science fiction crime film directed by Anthony Hickox. Starring Mario Van Peebles and Bruce Payne, the story is set in Los Angeles where the police department has assembled a unique squad of officers who possess the ability to turn into werewolves. The tagline of the film was: There's a new police force on the streets... and they only come out at night.
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Max Dire is a Los Angeles detective who is feeling the strain that his profession entails when his wife of two years, Liza, accuses him of bringing his work home and leaves him to ponder her future, while his partner, Jim Sheldon, commits suicide by shooting himself in the head. Realising that Max is experiencing problems, Adam Garou, a high-ranking officer distinguished by his success in reducing crime in other big cities, invites Max to join him at a weekly meeting of other police officers who are experiencing difficulties at his apartment. Adam informs Max that he should try to solve his problems rather than quitting the force as he is a good detective.
Although Max is skeptical as to whether he will derive any benefit from the meeting, as he and his wife had already attended counselling sessions without success, he reluctantly attends the meeting at Garou's apartment where he meets other police officers who have experienced problems such as Casey Spencer and Ramon Perez. Everyone who Max meets at the meeting praises the impact that Garou's influence has had on their fortunes. Max soon realizes that the activities of the group consist not merely of talking but also entail embarking on vigilante missions to clean the streets of criminals.
Max advises Garou that he is not interested in joining the group, but he immediately forgets this and agrees to accompany them to a party where criminals are exchanging weapons. Before gatecrashing the party, Max, being a veteran detective, notices that each of the group members injects themselves with a strange chemical, which he learns has been produced by Garou. After they have injected this chemical, Max notes, thanks to his finely honed powers of observation, that Garou and his group are transformed becoming more powerful and seemingly impervious to injury. The next day Max attempts to advise his incredulous boss of the strange goings on, but to no avail.
He visits Casey Spencer who tries to persuade him to inject himself with the chemical. When he refuses, she shoots him. As Max lies dying on the floor gazing at her in a perplexed manner she injects him with the chemical and he is instantly healed. They sleep with one another and afterwards raid a criminal lair after injecting themselves. As Max and Casey kill the criminals, they sprout long claws from their knuckles, and grow sharp teeth. One of the criminals escapes and informs his crime boss what he is up against. He is given instructions to deal with Garou.
Garou learns of Casey's sexual encounter with Max and angrily advises her that he is 'top dog' before raping her. Afterwards Garou and his group, including Max, gather together for another night of attacking the criminals. After injecting themselves with Garou's chemical the officers enter a vehicle to depart on their journey. The vehicle explodes as the key is turned in the ignition. As the remnants of the vehicle burn, the criminal who had been instructed to kill Garou looks on with glee. This happiness is soon replaced by terror when he notices that all of the officers have survived and that they are in their monster-like state. In the next scene the dead bodies of the criminal and his associates are dropped from a helicopter through the glass ceiling of the crime boss' home.
The same night, Max meets in a holding cell an ex-police officer from a city where Garou used to work. The officer is deformed and speaks badly of Garou. He advises Max that Garou may have cleaned the streets of the other cities, but that all of the officers who had worked with him were killed (though he had escaped). He also explained that his deformity was caused by overuse of the chemical. Garou kills the officer to silence him and Max covers for him, but his suspicions are aroused and he begins to conduct some research into Garou.
After making a startling discovery, he sneaks into Garou's apartment and finds Garou extracting the chemical from his own brain. Max advises Garou that he realises that he is a werewolf. Conflict ensues and although Max and Casey escape from Garou's apartment, the latter is fatally injured. The next day Garou prepares to complete his final operation and Max resolves to stop him. After Garou has killed all of the criminals, including the aforementioned crime boss, Max shoots him with a silver bullet and Garou falls to the ground. Thinking that Garou is dead, Max turns away . Then suddenly, he hears Garou say 'Didn't you get my memo? A full eclipse protects me from everything; including silver'. A full eclipse had passed overhead as these events took place. As Max dreads to consider what will happen next, Garou asks him 'Wanna see something really scary?'. He then turns into an extremely large werewolf, losing his human form entirely.
Max flees as the other members of Garou's group are killed. Garou tries to kill Max, but the latter injects Garou with a solution of silver nitrate. As the eclipse is over, this kills Garou. Before he dies Garou returns to his human form and tells Max that if he lies in his blood he can take his power. In the final scenes of the film, Max is shown to have moved to Denver with his wife Anna and their relationship seems to have improved. She is shown cutting her finger with a knife as she is chopping up food. Max licks her finger and then leaves to undertake some paperwork. She notices that her cut heals immediately and stares after Max bewildered. Meanwhile, Max is shown looking up on a computer the dates of coming eclipses in different American cities. These scenes reveal that he has inherited Garou's power.
- Mario Van Peebles as Max Dire
- Patsy Kensit as Casey Spencer
- Bruce Payne as Adam Garou
- Anthony John Denison as Jim Sheldon
- Jason Beghe as Doug Crane
- Paula Marshall as Liza
- John Verea as Ramon Perez
- Dean Norris as Fleming
- Willie C. Carpenter as Ron Edmunds
- Victoria Rowell as Anna Dire
- Scott Paulin as Teague
- Mel Winkler as Stratton
- Joseph Culp as Detective Tom Davies
The film has received mixed to positive reviews. Kim Newman, who reviewed the film for Empire magazine, described it as "harebrained fun with lotsa guns and lotsa cool lines". Joseph Savitski, who reviewed the film for Beyond Hollywood, stated that "Payne is masterful as Detective Garou, a seductive and evil villain with arrogance and confidence to spare. When he's on-screen, Payne demands the attention of the audience, and you're hard pressed to resist his performance. Payne is also the perfect adversary, the kind you're supposed to hate, but who has the charisma to draw you in nonetheless". The script writer Richard Christian Matheson stated that "most monsters have a sort of grudge against humanity, but I don't think Garou does: he simply dislikes crime. That makes him interesting, and Bruce really brings all of these nuances out. He's a wonderful actor and a very bright man". Matty Budrewicz of UK Horror Scene stated that Payne's performance was 'completely electric..., unleashing a turn of magnetic and seductive evil'.
- Newman, Kim. "Full Eclipse". Empire. Retrieved 30 May 2011.
- Savitski, Joseph (5 September 2004). "Full Eclipse (1993) Movie Review". BeyondHollywood.com. Retrieved 8 May 2011.
- Matheson, Richard Christian. "Full Eclipse: Full Moon Fever: Police Lycanthropy". Fangoria. Retrieved 29 August 2011.
- Budrewicz, Matty (26 April 2014). "COPS AND WEREWOLVES: A FULL ECLIPSE retrospective with director Anthony Hickox". UK Horror Scene. Retrieved 29 April 2014.