Bloody Moon (1981)
By: Drexl on May 27, 2003  |  Comments  |  Bookmark and Share
European Shock (Holland).Region 2, PAL. 4:3 English DD 2.0. Dutch Subtitles. 82 minutes
The Movie
Director: Jess Franco
Starring:Olivia Pascall, Christoph Moonsbrugger, Alexander Waechter
Screenplay: Rayo Casablance
Music: Gerhard Heinz
Country: Germany/Spain
AKA: The Night Of The Cut Up Corpses; Profonde Tenebre
It's fair to say that the majority of eighties slashers share the same plot, and this effort from sleaze king Jess Franco is certainly no exception. Substitute the usual summer camp setting for a language school, have the pretty female students despatched by an unidentified assassin in a variety of grisly ways, repeat until a reasonable running time is reached and then reveal the killer in the final few frames. Hurrah - job done. Grab pay-cheque and split, pronto. Simple enough really.

You could of course attempt to figure out the killer's identity - if the need really struck you that is. Could it be pizza-faced burn victim Miguel? He did spend a couple of years in the loony-bin after butchering a young female who resisted his lustful advances - I guess he would be prime suspect then. Maybe it's his oddball sister, (with whom Miguel has a very 'strange' relationship), who's main hobby in life is standing in front of her bedroom window, exposing her breasts to the full moon (I bet house prices have rocketed in her neighbourhood). Just to widen the field beyond these two weirdoes, Franco trundles a fair few other strange characters and red-herrings in front of the viewer in an attempt to inject a little 'whodunit' into proceedings; but does anyone really give a damn?

So Bloody Moon certainly isn't going to win any awards for plot, originality or character development - what else does it have to offer? Gore, that's what. The victims are trashed in a variety of nasty ways - all of them graphically shown for the benefit of the viewer. People are burnt, strangled, skewered and gutted with chainsaws - nice. One unfortunate young lady, in the films gory highlight, has her head removed with a huge circular stone-saw - all in unflinching detail and complete with gushing neck wound (or 'porn-gore pop shot' as Kerekes and Slater so amusingly described it in their 'nasties' bible - 'See No Evil'.) The effects are pretty lame but that only adds to the 'fun' and gorehounds will probably be quite pleased with the splatter on display here. Special mention must also go to the film's theme tune (in the loosest sense of the word) as it is probably the most annoying piece of 'music' ever recorded. Worse still, it is almost constantly repeated throughout the movie. At one point, one of the characters pops a record onto the record deck, raising the viewers hopes that their ears will be briefly spared the pain, only to discover that the record is the same feckin' tune! Jeeezzz…

That's about it; Jess Franco's Bloody Moon in a nutshell. The acting is dire, the direction average at best, the music score is one of the most abysmal I have ever heard but; if gore is all you want, gore is all you get - there really isn't anything else to say about it. I could mention the occasional half-hearted tip of the hat to other genre movies, but it's hardly worth the bother as this film is about as run-of-the-mill as slashers get - even by this particular sub-genre's standards.
Not an especially good job from Shock. The print itself is in average condition with flecks and some minor scratches throughout the movie; plus the image is a little on the soft side. The daylight scenes are quite colourful but the night-time scenes are way too dark, making it quite hard to see what is going on through this, at times, murky transfer.
The appalling music score is, unfortunately, clearly presented here. Dialogue is clear also. A serviceable audio presentation.
Extra Features
Not much in the way of extra features to be found. A trailer is provided which, annoyingly, is much brighter than the feature presentation. At least it provides the opportunity to see what the heck was going on during some of the darker scenes in the movie. Another trailer follows for a film called Linda, a soft-core skin flick that I'd never heard of before. Next is a slideshow consisting of stills from the film. Can't say I've ever seen the point of these but it's there all the same. Also included is a little fold-out booklet which has a brief rundown of the plot and a few bits of promo art and a few stills. The write-up is in something approximating English and raised a few chuckles from me. That's the lot as far as bonus goodies go. One more thing; the main menu is scored - guess which tune gets the honour…
The Verdict
A pretty lame, by-the-numbers, gimme the pay-cheque effort from Franco - even by no-brainer slasher movie standards. Gorehounds will get their money's worth, splatter-wise, and the buzz-saw scene will make it all worthwhile for viewers in the aforementioned group. Truth be told though, it's all been done before - and done much, much better at that. Bloody Moon certainly doesn't have the charm of, say, the Friday The 13th movies and is light years away from Bava's Twitch Of The Death Nerve in terms of quality. As a comparison, Bloody Moon probably sits comfortably alongside other mediocre splatter movies such as The Burning and similar drivel. It is moderately entertaining over the last 25 minutes or so and I will confess to having seen worse (scarily enough), therefore it is saved from being awarded a rock-bottom score. Just about. For the record, in case anyone was about to ask, this disc does carry the uncut print of the movie, (it has suffered from censorship in some territories.)

Seeing as Franco's movies are showing up on the little shiny money-pit at an alarming rate, I would have thought that this film will get a North American release sooner, rather than latter. Anyone wishing to add this film to their collection (you know who you are) might be best advised to wait for a better option than this rather weak disc from Shock.

I could sign off with a lame attempt at humour along the lines of 'Bloody Moon'? - 'Bloody Awful more like!' But that would be as unoriginal and uninspired as the feature itself, so I won't. Then again, maybe it's quite appropriate…
Movie Score
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