Reviewed by: Dave Murray
What's it about
In an all girl (okay....all woman) language school, a killer is on the loose! Is it the creepy incestuous brother recently released from the asylum, the lusty gardener with the huge clippers, or is it someone else! From Jess Franco, one of the masters of gory Eurotrash sleazefests, comes his spin on the late, great slasher films of the 80's.
Is it good movie?
Seriously, compared to some of Franco's other "masterpieces" (meant with all possible sarcasm), this one is positively Disney. Aside from the nudity and gore, it's a little tame to have made the U.K. "video nasties" list. Even the uncut version, with the infamous "mill saw" scene restored, it is a weak sauce compared to some of the others I've seen. Maybe it was the incest and rape that got it banned (although how anyone could call what happens here rape is beyond me, the women at this school, aside from being the dumbest creatures on earth, are probably the sluttiest too!), but all of those selling points are beside the point. Ultimately, the movie itself is at times watchable, and at others it is a complete mess, albeit a good looking one.
Wait, did I just call a Jess Franco movie good looking? Yes I did. I don't know what it is, but I love the look of late 70's, early eighties Euro horror movies, from Franco to both Bava's to Fulci and everything in between. The greasier it is, the more dirty and grainy the film stock is, the more I like it. It's a personal quirk, and I actually like these movies when they are at their visual worst. Not the trippy, 70's acid holdover sequences that they sometimes indulge in, but just the whole raw feel of the movie's visual style, and in essence, of the movie itself.
With that said, the visuals in this movie make up for the lack of a story. Said story was ripped off of almost every Western slasher that came out in the 15 years before this one, but with some galactically dumb misinterpretations. It's location is a school for women, as opposed to the more often seen school for girls, and these women are so hopelessly dumb it's a wonder they have the brain power to breath and walk upright let alone go to a "language school". And it's all a piss poor set up anyway, like that old gardener who uses the same tool the women are getting killed with (so of course he can't be the killer), because do we ever see them learning anything, and do we even care. Even the nudity is uninspired (except for the sister who stands topless in her window) and it really hurts a guy to have to admit that. The gore, however, is inspired, and nasty in most places. It's not on the level of some of its contemporaries (or even its predecessors), but there are plenty of scenes scenes that are twitch worthy. Of course, I'm not going to wreck it, aside to tell you there are beheadings, impalings, some chainsaw and strangulation action, and some burning to boot. If you are a fan of the subgenre, check it out. Just remember that depravity is the name of the game, exploitation is the special of the day, and all logic took a gigantic f*cking leap out the window in almost all of Franco's movies! Nobody does them cheaper or sleazier than Jess Franco (even Uwe Boll can't sink to the depths this man has), and while Bloody Moon is not the best example of his career, it's not the worst either. It's really bad, actually it mostly sucks, but it does have a few moments of inspiration mired in filth, and for that, it gets a place in history. A dubious place, but hey, it's better than nothing. So it's worth watching, despite what other people may say.
Video / Audio
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen - 1/85:1. Again, I love the way this looks, even though it has been cleaned up for DVD. But it's almost impossible to remove some of the visual mess that is the charm of this subgenre of Euro sleaze.
Audio: German (Dolby Digital 2.0) with subtitles in English. If the music in this movie doesn't make you want to kill yourself, than you are no longer human and need to do so anyway. Enough on that.
There's not much here besides a Trailer, with improved lighting, another trailer for the softcore porn Linda, a Still Gallery and a booklet that isn't written for laughs, but gets them anyway. Whoever translated this thing doesn;t have a stellar grasp on English, and the results are pretty damn funny.
Drawing heavily on (okay, downright stealing from) American slasher films, and even from his own contemporaries (Fulci, Bava and Deodato to name a few), Franco was known for creating quick, cheap and trashy movies that pushed the envelope of nudity, good taste and gore, even by European standards. Bloody Moon is no different, but it is often overlooked as it's not one of the more extreme examples of his shite. Badly acted, with some tasty gore bits and lacklustre nudity, this is more like the lame cousin to "classics" such as Vampire Lesbians, Canibals and Lulu's Talking Ass (contender for best title ever). But it is a rare gem from a director who continues to work today, and has directed almost 200 movies under about 50 different names. Derided and misunderstood, it's not as bad, or as nasty as you've been told. At least here it is presented uncut, and without all of the censorship bullshit it's been subjected too over the years. But in the end, it is a shitty movie, albeit an entertaining one for the crap value alone. Go figure. Much like the career of the director, this movie is all over the place, and it certainly can't be pinned down easily. Some of it is good, but mostly it's crap.