BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
Bloody Moon is probably director Jesús Franco’s most accessible movie. I’m not saying it is his best movie, mind you, but – considering the unique weirdness of his vast body of work – it is a relative straight shooter of horror schlock. A giant circular saw beheads one woman and another is stabbed with a knife in the back so hard it comes out through her boob; all while a David Gilmour sounding (it’s not) guitar solo echoes in the background.
While banned in the UK and a part of the notorious Video Nasties list, the sex-obsessed director of flicks like Vampir, Vampyros Lesbos, Venus in Furs, and a slew of other titles that involve women rubbing crucifixes on their nipples keeps things a bit simple inside the halls of one Spanish learning school. He still makes sure this horror film is Franco-stamped bizarre, though. And his use of shadows – especially in one crucial scene in which we KNOW there is a stranger in one girl’s apartment – is to be commended; however, the general shoddiness of the film’s assemblage kind of stabs itself in the back…repeatedly.
Only beautiful blondes learn Spanish. That’s according to screenwriter Erich Tomek, who sets this slasher on the Spanish resort of Costa Del Sol. There’s sun and fun to be had and the female Spanish-learning students – with Angela (Olivia Pascal) being the brightest among them – are there to disco down and, of course, practice their foreign language skills both in and out of bed. Everyone is hooking up in this one.
The girls – one of which who winds up in a plastic bag hanging in a closet – are surrounded by a lot of genuine weirdness. There’s the creepy groundskeeper who leers at them like no other; the brother and sister duo of disfigured Miguel (Alexander Waechter) and Manuela (Nadja Gerganoff) who share the same desire (for each other), their creepy wheelchair-bound relative, and an even stranger Professor Alvaro (Christoph Moosbrugger) who sees each student as a sexual conquest all his own.
Turns out that everyone has something to hide in this school/manor. Even American Slashers don't have this much dysfunciton. And the sexual tension - even among relatives - is cut, time and time again, with a steely and highly reflective blade. Thankfully, Franco’s camera is there to catch all the dripping goo. Severin Films presents the movie in its uncensored version, restoring all the previous cut scenes of gore. Back again is the circular saw death; the stabbings; and the many, many scenes of violent action.
Don’t expect much character development, though. The working assumption by most of those caught in the pages of this screenplay is that nothing is wrong. Even when the girls start to go missing and Angela protests; there’s nothing wrong. It’s all in her head. She reads too many scary movies. It becomes hilarious to see the lengths that the men will go to in denying her version of events…and still try to sleep with her.
Hold this title against some of the American slashers released in and around the same year and, truly, it fits like a missing puzzle piece. We just get a bit more European flair and general aloofness. And no Pink Floyd. Even though the producers promised it, there was never any Floyd involvement in the score.
Severin Films continues to spoil Horror Hounds and Gore-Gore Girls with this retro release. If ogling euro blondes while wearing Mickey Mouse masks is your thing, Bloody Moon delivers the goods.
MPAA Rating: Unrated.
Runtime: 90 mins
Director: Jesús Franco
Writer: Erich Tomek
Cast: Olivia Pascal, Christoph Moosbrugger, Nadja Gerganoff
Tagline: Don't Panic... It only happens once in a... Bloody Moon
Memorable Movie Quote: "I'm so afraid. Miguel, I'm terribly frightened. If we could just get rid of everyone around us. Then things could be as they were."
Theatrical Distributor: Megastar Films
Release Date: October 7, 1983
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: July 8, 2014
Synopsis: As the 'body-count' genre stabbed its way into audiences' hearts in the early '80s, EuroTrash auteur Jess Franco (Sadomania, Mansion Of The Living Dead) was asked to create his own saga of slaughtered schoolgirls complete with gratuitous nudity, graphic violence, and gory set pieces. But just when you thought you'd seen it all, Franco shocked the world by delivering surprising style, genuine suspense and a cavalcade of depravity that includes incest, voyeurism and roller disco. The luscious Olivia Pascal of Vanessa fame stars in this twisted thriller that was banned in England yet is now presented uncut and uncensored – including the complete 'stone mill power saw' sequence – for the first time ever on Blu-ray!
Home Video Distributor: Severin Films
Available on Blu-ray - July 8, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Audio: English: LPCM 2.0
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc
Region Encoding: Region A
Owning this title is a no-brainer. Severin Films, using the original German negative, have cleaned up the dark transfer and restored some of the censored bits for the film’s HD debut in 1080p. While the film quality in these uncensored nuggets of gore dips a bit, nothing about the film suggests that the remastering job was mishandled. Colors are pure. Shadows are dark (if somewhat murky), and skin tones are quality. The day scenes are vivid and the night scenes are underscored with nice, thick lines. The sound is presented in an English PCM mono audio track
Look, the fact that the entire, uncut stone mill circular saw scene is back in this release is a special feature unto itself. Be happy. If you aren’t, though, know that we also get an interview with the late director conducted in his home. He is cranky, discusses how and why Pink Floyd wasn’t involved in the music (hint: he was lied to), and so on. A theatrical trailer is also included.
- Franco Moon – Interview with Director Jess Franco
- Theatrical Trailer