Bloodmoon (1990)
By: James Gillett on November 9, 2010  | 
Madman | Region 4, PAL | 1.85:1 (16:9 enhanced) | English DD 2.0 | 97 minutes (Full Specs)
The Movie
Cover Art
Director: Alec Mills
Starring: Leon Lissek, Christine Amor, Ian Williams, Helen Thomson, Craig Cronin
Screenplay: Robert Brennan
Country: Australia
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Bloodmoon is an Aussie slasher best described as too little too late. Released at the dawn of the 90's after having been cut down from its original length to accommodate an M rating (there was no MA15+ in 1990), the film met with a rather cold reception from critics and genre fans alike. These days it's probably best remembered for its William Castle inspired 'Fright Break' that gave audiences a chance to leave the cinema and collect a refund about two thirds through if the tension was getting too much to handle. It backfired, with many audiences simply opting to leave the cinema out of shear boredom.

Not long after, the VHS hit the shelves with an R rated "Never before seen Uncut Version!" And with that, Bloodmoon set about disappointing a whole new wave of viewers hoping for a grizzly good time. Alas what they received was still a rather tame and bloodless effort, quite undeserving of its 'Occasional Graphic Violence' consumer advice (well, apart from the occasional part). Instead the film presented something more akin to a soapy than a slasher, with a strange seemingly Psycho inspired turn in the second half that saw the film's focus shared between the typical (in this case very Aussie) high school students and the plight of the killer. Strangely, the Fright Break remained, but in the context of home video it seemed superfluous at best, and only managed to mess with the pacing of the scene it interrupted.

Which brings us to this disc from Madman, which marks the film's first DVD release in OZ. The good news is twofold. Firstly, the version of the film presented here is the Uncut Version as per the VHS release (despite the M rating on the cover). Secondly, the terrible Fright Break has finally been removed, allowing us to view the film uninterrupted!

As for the film itself... that's about where the good news ends. It's not great, but admittedly I actually did find it rather enjoyable this time round after having hated it on VHS some years ago. The story tells of a bunch of teens in a small town divided by economic circumstance, clashing and pranking in the good old 'Poor Townies Vs Rich Private School Kids' tradition. Amongst all this, working class teen Kevin (Ian Williams) and rich girl Mary (Helen Thomson) strike up a relationship, while the wealthy Scott (Christophe Broadway) gets in-between the sheets with the posh school's head mistress (Christine Amor)! Meanwhile some students have been disappearing, and the town's sheriff is desperate to find an explanation.

There's plenty of problems with the film beyond its out of place soapy elements. It's adequately if unremarkably shot (director Alec Mills' served as a DOP on a number of large budget features overseas), but the performances are mostly mediocre, and the score is often heavy handed or distractingly at odds in various scenes. The scripting is also largely uninspired, but to be fair, strong scripting has never been a staple in the sub-genre. Problem is, the film just doesn't work on a suspense level, and that's its real downfall. On the bright side there's plenty of late 80's cheesiness and even some titties, along with a particularly memorable kill scene inside a classroom. Beyond that there isn't a lot here to get excited about, apart from the sheer novelty factor of a late 80's style Aussie-made slasher.
Bloodmoon get's a pleasingly strong 1:85:1 anamorphic transfer courtesy of Studio Canal and Madman.
A perfectly fine 2.0 stereo track.
Extra Features
Nothing at all, which is a shame since a retrospective would have been interesting.
The Verdict
I don't know if I could ever really recommend Bloodmoon as such, but slasher completists and lovers of bad cinema (you know who you are) might just find themselves with a little bit of cheesy entertainment. I know I did.
Movie Score
Disc Score
Overall Score

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