20 February 2004 | RareSlashersReviewed
Jesus Franco's entry to the slasher genre...
Like most exploitation directors from the eighties, Jesus Franco had his own attempt at creating a Halloween' for the once-bankable slasher market. Spanish-born Franco has helmed over a hundred and eighty movies, using up to sixty pseudonyms and he's still working today, even though he will soon reach his seventy fourth birthday! He is reputedly the sleaziest of all European filmmakers, with a (clearly unconfirmed) reputation for making up to three movies out of one production budget. I personally haven't seen many of his wayward creations, but I'm sure that I have an uncut copy of Faceless somewhere in my collection, which didn't impress me too much. To the best of my knowledge, Bloody Moon has yet to garner an unedited release in the United Kingdom, although there are plenty of anaemic copies floating around that leave out some fun gore. I really doubt it will remain restricted much longer, like many of the video nasties that were once deemed offensive', the shocks have become somewhat thin over the years. I was lucky enough to pick up this uncensored print at a recent film fair, which was originally intended for release in Australia!
The psychotic family at the centre of this plot makes the Voorhees look like the Flintstones! There's Miguel, the severely disfigured brother with a temperamental temper. His sister Manuela isn't much of an improvement, and their Auntie the contessa gets a little hot under the collar too (quite literally)! It all kicks off when Miguel heads off to particularly groovy' dance party to perve on some of the crumpet that's boogieing away to the inspirational' music. Feeling a little left out just standing around watching, he swipes a Latin Casanova's Mickey Mouse mask and heads for the dance floor! (Cue a steady-cam shot through the eyeholes to show that Jesus' done his research!) There he meets a disco bunny that confuses him with her fancy man and after they cut a rug or two for a while, she decides that they should head for her apartment. His ploy seems to have worked, because once inside they begin tearing at each-other's clothes as the unsuspecting women entices him into the sack with lines like `I've been waiting so long' and `Hold me tighter
take me!' As the heat of passion rises between the twosome, off comes Miguel's mask revealing a rather tainted mush! Clearly shocked, the girl struggles off the hulking and clearly disappointed soon-to-become killer, sparking him to retaliate by stabbing her repeatedly with a large pair of scissors
Five years later Miguel is released from an asylum (keeping things in tradition, of course), although the doctor doesn't seem all that convinced that he's recovered, but frees him anyway. He heads back to a Spanish language school where (hey, what d'ya know) the students are all dumb, attractive teens drowning in make-up that seem to constantly talk about how their Latin lovers measure up between the sheets. Sounds like an execution-worthy slasher sin to me! Before long the plot narrows out our surviving girl', obvious because she's the only one that doesn't slut it up as much as the others. Next up the unseen psycho (with a stocking over his head) begins to murder her buddies while at the same time terrorising her with somewhat leisurely threats that include: I'm gonna cut you in two
like a piece of wood
with a hacksaw (!)' Before long Angela is being constantly stalked by the wacko and it's our job to guess whom it is!
For a director with as many movies under his belt as Franco, he's managed to make this look like some amateur film-student helmed it on his lunch break. The camera-operator looks as if he's had one too many' and the editor either suffered a temporary hands-only disability or he'd also been out on the sherbets' with the cameraman. But just when you decide that you've written Bloody Moon off as a complete disaster, Franco springs back with a couple of plausible set pieces. The scene where the killer places all of Angela's friend's bodies around her chalet whilst he stalks in the shadows was superb, although one has to wonder how it was possible for him to get the corpses there in the first place. She'd spent the last half of the movie with the windows and doors tightly barricaded! But any credibility is desultory, mainly ruined by the endless jerky zoom shots or the comical dubbing that makes Godfrey Ho and Joseph Lai's Ninja films look like theatrical masterpieces.
There are long spaces when not a lot happens aside from watching the humorous females struggle to look convincing, and at times things feel like they're moving far too slowly. The only redemption is the murders that at least chuck in some imaginative gore. The renowned decapitation involving a girl unwittingly letting her own self be tied up before she looses her head over (or under) a circular saw is about the most fun of the lot. It's especially amusing because she thinks she's actually going to get drilled (if you know what I mean) and instead she gets sawed and totally screwed! The director really attempts to build the shock-factor when a curious child is methodically run down as the killer escapes in his Mercedes. Another girl is stabbed through the breast so that the blade pops through her nipple and one guy is attacked with a hedge-trimmer, which just about rounds off the best of the tacky effects. My favourite thing about Bloody Moon was the wonderfully cheesy disco-tunes that rock when the cast frequents the nightclubs. Listen out for Shake your baby', which sounds like Rolf Harris has reinvented Presley's Blue Suede Shoes for the holiday resort generation! It's hilarious!
This is honestly pretty poor and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that's not a true slasher collector. It's a twisted beast for sure, but hardly endearing. There are some laughs to be had at the lamely dubbed speech and the endless talk of sex, but if that's want you want then buy a German porno. Someone who can't handle trash cinema probably wouldn't let this get past the five-minute mark and admittedly even I found it hard to keep my interests raised! If you fancy some European slashings, then head over the Mediterranean to Roma where I'm sure you'll find something a little more competent! Put it this way one girl sums the movie up perfectly in her dialogue, `What you saw was not a murderer, but just a dummy!' Exactly