JUNE 7 VHS MOVIE REVIEW : BLOODY MOON
FROM S COCKWELL AT EATMYBRAINS.COM
Could it be Miguel (Alexander Waechter), who not only has to cope with a bad prosthetic on his face but a Gary Oldman-hairdo-from-Hell too? Miguel has just returned from a five year stretch in a mental home (very Michael Myers) after killing a girl with a pair of scissors.
Or maybe the killer could be Miguel’s sister Manuela (Nadja Gerganoff), who has a habit of parading around in next to nothing, her assets pert and in danger of taking someone’s eye out. When Manuela isn’t being so vacuous looking and provocative, she takes to teasing her brother with the promise of major incestuous loving, whilst still holding down a relationship with language teacher Alvaro (Christoph Moosbrugger). She’s a busy girl.
Could indeed Alvaro be the one doing the slaying or maybe young stud Antonio (Peter Exacoustos), who attracts the attention of pretty much every female at the school except the one he really wants to get to know? Or perhaps all of this is just a figment of Angela’s imagination and anyway does anyone really care? We just wanna see that circular saw in action!
A frankly bonkers but fun rip-off/cash-in on John Carpenter’s Halloween, with the odd smidgeon of Hitchcock’s Psycho sliced in for good measure, exploitation director Jesus Franco’s Bloody Moon is blessed with some juicy and most outrageous death scenes.
It was because of such deliciously squelchy scenes that the movie was banned as a Video Nasty in the mid Eighties. It doesn’t matter that the scenes tend to make little, if any sense; the censors got their collective knickers in a twist over a scene whereby a woman is somehow being stabbed through her back and straight out through her boobie – blood on breasts is a major no no! Actually, that’s not ALL they got into lather about. There is a wonderfully tacky decapitation scene by a huge circular stone-saw, LOVE that false head, a child being deliberately run down by a car (it’s ok to show this if it’s an accident apparently) as well as a snake’s head being spliced off by a set of garden shears and the camera picking up on the still twitching head on the ground.
Bloody Moon is better than the majority of those I’ve seen that were banned, entertaining in a kind of laugh-out-loud sort of way. To say that it isn’t particularly well acted is kind of pointing out the obvious, that’s a given, I’d expect that. What I didn’t expect was that considering its previous status there’s not quite as much gore as you might expect. Time has passed on and time hasn’t been kind to the standard of the gore, although it would have been very effective for its day. It’s nice to see all the gore back in its lurid red glory.
You’ve just got to love the dubbing! It took me back to my younger days when I’d return from the pub, stick Channel Four on and enjoy some dodgy dubbed horror movie. It’s all very Euro Trash.
With Franco’s career primarily in the exploitation side of things it is hardly surprising to find that the girls are more highly sexed than is the standard for a slasher movie. They are interchangeable and tend to make little or no sense with their verbal banter, unless they are talking about sex, for which they are up for on a basis that would put Annabel Chong to shame. It’s a bit like sharing the last bus home from Bournemouth surrounded by boozed up chav lasses only less intimidating and fortunately more fuller-clothed.
Many critics have gone on about how awful the Gerhard Heinz’ score is. I must say I didn’t actually notice, but then drinking six pints of Stella can do that. There’s too much fun to be had watching Bloody Moon, from the tacky Eighties clothing and hairstyles through to the tunes that the girls dance to at clubs and parties. It is one those horror movies that feels it has to have a full moon every single night just for the effect of having one.
Franco, who appears in the film as a doctor, has plundered John Carpenter’s Halloween shamelessly. Remember when Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie, found her friends recently dead bodies propped up or hanging around at the kid Lindsey Wallace’s abode? Well, there’s a scene exactly like that towards the end of Bloody Moon as Angela finds her gobby friends in various states of dismemberment in her unluckily numbered ‘13’ apartment. In Halloween the set-up is wholly plausible. In Bloody Moon it is so not! When on Earth did the killer manage to get into Angela’s apartment and prop the dead bodies in position given that she had barricaded herself in?
There are other ‘nods’ towards Halloween - the opening shot with camera-through-the-mask perspective, getting locked up in a looney-bin for murdering a girl with a sharp implement, and the potential killer being close to his sister – although maybe not AS close as these two are.
It is pretty easy to suss out who the killer is with the most obvious choice being the most blatant red herring in history! The plot doesn’t really seem to make a lot of sense tying itself up but then something could have been lost in translation, like common sense and a plot structure. Regardless Bloody Moon is perfect after pub fodder, and there’s always a place for that.
Bloody Moon includes a trailer and an interview with the director as extras. The trailer shows pretty much all the grisly bits there are to see in the movie. In fact I can't believe how much it does show.
The interview with director Jesus Franco lasts for around 18 minutes and is quite revealing. Bloody Moon’s much derided score is not just hated by the critics but even Mr Franco too. He talks about how he was promised Pink Floyd for the score and never got them. He was promised the best make-up artist in the world to do the gore and again never got them; Franco was made a lot of promises and never got them. Jesus Franco makes for a refreshingly honest interview subject and this is an extra that is worth sitting down to watch.