Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Bloody Moon (1981)

Jesus Franco. Really, there isn't a whole lot that needs to be said. The man is an exploitation legend, having been a director since 1957 and has directed 192 movies. He's had his fingers in all kinds of pies-art house erotica, sexploitation, pornography, cannibals, vampires, zombies and more. And while some (okay, many) of his films aren't what one would call good, he's garnered a devoted cult following, and even some serious academic study. So I guess it was only a matter of time until I reviewed one of his movies. So, for the first Franco feature to get reviewed, I picked his 1981 entry in the slasher movie craze "Bloody Moon."

A disfigured man named Miguel (Alexander Waechter, sporting the least convincing make-up job since Al Adamson's "Brain of Blood") has been let out of a mental institution by his sister Manuela (Nadja Gerganoff), whom he has a bit of an incestuous relation ship with. Miguel has his eyes on a cutie named Angela (Olivia Pascal), and to make things worse, there's someone killing off beautiful girls in the local language school.

From the get go, "Bloody Moon" isn't a boring movie, but it is a mess. The dubbing is awful, the direction ranges from insipid to inspired and the script by Erich Tomek pays no attention to things like logic or story structure. So in other words, it's your usual Jesus Franco movie. What's also worth noting are the bad attempts at sex comedy, which come off as a poor man's attempt at "Porkys" with horny women instead of the other way around.

It's a slasher movie, so how do the kills measure up? Very well actually. The death scenes in "Bloody Moon" are gory and sadistic (obviously landing it into trouble with British censors, as it made the notorious "video nasties" list), not to mention hard to shake off. There's some ugly strangulation scenes, stabbings, a burning, a blade to the back exiting through a nipple (ouch!), and most memorable of all, a bloody as hell circular saw decapitation. When it comes to violence, Franco knows what slasher fans want, and he delivers the gory goods.

Apart from the murder set pieces and the fact that it was a video nasty, there isn't a whole lot to remember about "Bloody Moon", as it really isn't that different from other, more mediocre slasher movies from the period. Not one of the directors best, but I'll take it over crap like "Devil Hunter" and "Oasis of the Zombies" any day.

Rating: 5/10

Fun fact: Franco had been told that Pink Floyd were going to do music for the movie, and I guess you can know how that went (hint: they didn't.)

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