directed by: Jesus Franco (back of video blurb): "Panic and hysteria hit the Spanish resort of Costa Del Sol when a language school loses its pupils in a series of blood thirsty murders." choice dialogue:
starring: Olivia Pascal, Christoph Moosebrugger, Nadja Gerganoff, Alexander Waechter
(back of video blurb): "Panic and hysteria hit the Spanish resort of Costa Del Sol when a language school loses its pupils in a series of blood thirsty murders." choice dialogue:
"Panic and hysteria hit the Spanish resort of Costa Del Sol when a language school loses its pupils in a series of blood thirsty murders."
BLOODY MOON is the demented bastard offspring, from an unholy union between the American ‘slasher’ and the Italian ‘giallo’. An unhinged genre montage from the one time busiest man in Spanish exploitation movies- the redoubtable Jesus Franco. A man who, if it could be exploited, would be there in a flash with his juddering zoom lens ready to film every last twitch of a ladies buttock. A man with a filmography so vast and diverse that it would take a lifetime to track down (what a thought!)- everything from sleazy women in jail pictures, WOMEN BEHIND BARS (1975), to sleazy lesbian vampire movies, VAMPYROS LESBOS (1970)... Ok, maybe not that diverse!... A man worshipped by an insane few- though not by me I hasten to add. And a man who holds the dubious accolade of being the director with the most movies on the official ‘video-nasties’ list in the UK, one of which being BLOODY MOON.
This schizophrenic ‘thriller’ kicks off as it means to go on, with a series of seemingly endless out of focus zoom shots of the moon interspersed with a wheelchair trundling through the shadows. And a woman’s mouth, trying to catch up with the dubbed dialogue- the dubbing is occasionally endearingly atrocious, telling her brother to go back and join the party. It is here that it becomes clear that Franco is intent on making his HALLOWEEN (1978). A figure wanders amongst a groovy pool- side disco party and picks up a Mickey Mouse plastic mask- cue point-of-view shot through the eye holes. He picks up a disco bunny, who is under the impression he is someone else, and they go to her cottage- number 13 no less, for a spot of rumpy-pumpy. Everything is going swimmingly until she pulls off the mask to reveal his heavily scarred face of a stranger. Her screams enrage him and he stabs her to death with a pair of scissors....It turns out that the killer was the dis-figured brother (Miguel) of the woman (Manuela) we saw at the beginning of the movie. And years later he is released into her care after spending a spell in an asylum- she’s warned, "...avoid references to that unfortunate night. He might not be cured.". Naturally they hot foot it back to the scene of the crime, a girls only (naturally, this is a Franco film after all!) Euro language school on the Costa Del Sol where they are greeted by a selection of potential reprobates; the monosyllabic handyman- Paco, a particularly demented looking character who’s idea of putting up a sign seems to consist solely of hitting it randomly with a hammer; the shear wielding gardener; the twitchy proprietor and the Latin lothario tennis ace. Miguel also gets a chance to oggle all the leggy students with Farrah Fawcett flicks and lip-glossed pouts, in a move which would probably not be condoned by care-in-the-community today! The girls, which prove themselves to be a liberated bunch- "It’s the best way to learn a language- in bed!" purrs one floozy, split their time between (what seems like never ending) language lessons, the discotheque- where they play what sounds like Glen Miller (?!), and gossiping about the urban legend that derived from the scissors murder in cottage number 13- "Honestly!...How gruesome. That’s a bit far fetched.", says a blonde with little grasp of sentence structure. And shortly, as surely as night follows day, an unseen killer begins stalking the students and offing them in a series of bizarre and gory ways. Singling out a girl called Angela for special treatment, although it is never explained why, which includes taunting threats on her class headphones and littering her cottage with the bodies of her friends. Naturally no one believes her, not even when she encounters more perils than Pauline- including dodging a, patently polystyrene, boulder pushed off a cliff and avoiding a poisonous snake hanging from a tree, which she could have simply walked around (!), by having the hunky gardener decapitate it with shears- real snake by the way. Things continue in this vein for the rest of the picture- which manages to stay just about linear despite a whole bunch of half arsed sub-plots which almost manage to deaden any attempts at generating suspense. Before grinding to a halt with a brief denouement and a couple of perfunctory plot twists which owe much more to low brow Euro thrillers than to HALLOWEEN et al.
BLOODY MOON could have been a whole lot better, Franco could have made a good thriller- something which he proves in a couple of genuinely tense scenes. He also had ample opportunity to make the film even more berserk, but the oddball touches including Manuela exposing her breasts to the moon as a nightly ritual are chucked into the story without being satisfyingly resolved. On the plus side the cinematography is surprisingly lush and it is one gory little movie- the film’s most (in)famous moment comes when a girl lets herself get tied up by, unbeknownst to her, the killer, "I’m game for anything!" she squeals, before being messily decapitated by a huge buzzsaw. (I bet she wasn’t game for that!). A scene, which if you can’t or don’t want to sit through the whole of BLOODY MOON to see, is shown (along with other gore and terror scenes from the movie intercut with similar snippets of Bava's seminal BLOOD AND BLACK LACE (1964)), in almost its entirety at the beginning of Pedro Almodovar’s black comedy MATADOR (1986).... Finally, BLOODY MOON is probably worth the viewing just for the ample supply of merriment generated by the berserk dialogue and an awe-inspiring soundtrack which haphazardly veers from 50’s spooky sci-fi sounds to 70’s porno wah-wah guitar without rhyme or reason.
BODYCOUNT 9 female:6 / male:3
1) Female teen stabbed to death with scissors
2) Geriatric female burnt to death in her bed
3) Female teen stabbed through back- blade tip exits through nipple!
4) Female teen decapitated with circular saw
5) Pre-pubescent male run down by car
6) Female teen strangled
7) Male stabbed through neck
8) Male has chest gouged open with chainsaw
9) Female strangled
- a (real) snake decapitated.