Bloody Moon 1981
(AKA Die Sage Des Todes)
Director: Jesus (Jess) Franco
Cast: Olivia Pascal, Nadja Gerganoff,
Alexander Waechter, Maria Rubio
A disfigured, sexually frustrated, incest inclined psycho Miguel (Alexander Waechter), while wearing a mask seduces a party guest. But when she removes the mask and screams at his disfigured face, he then proceeds to brutally stab her to death with a pair of scissors.
Five years later, supposedly cured, he is released from a psychiatric institute, and returns with his sister, Manuela (Nadja Gerganoff), to the family owned land and languages school. Where they live with their greedy, spiteful, wheelchair bound aunt (Maria Rubio). Who is convinced that Manuela is only after her money, when she intends to leave it all to Miguel. Soon after this an unseen assailant turns the moaning old hag into a human candle.
A quartet of voluptuous young girls gather at the school, taking their lessons and allowing themselves to be seduced by the on campus Spanish gigolo. All of course under the eyes of Miguel.
The girls then begin to get slaughtered one by one. The first one actually killed in the presence of the lead girl Angela (Olivia Pascal). When the cadaver of this dead friend disappears, nobody believes Angela when she says this happened. They all put it down to her reading scary books late at night.
But the corpses keep flooding in, with one girl being chopped up with a giant buzz saw, another being choked, and the unplanned massacre of a voyeur, which is a total shock to the system!
Along comes the Grande Guinol finalé, with knifes, chainsaws and skewers, for a totally sticky ending.
A standard entry in the horror genre, even with the twist in the tale at the end. Which is not entirely unpredictable, but at least an effort was made to make the film not just a straightforward, slash and stalk revenge piece. This one coming about at the same time as the early Friday The 13th movies (only the first of which had any real innovation) and The Burning, which was a Friday The 13th clone made in the same year as Friday The 13th.
I think a great deal of the gore in this film was lost in the version I saw, running at 79 minutes. Sliced up more than the victims in the film by, those fanatics at the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). The version I saw looking like it has lost about five minutes of footage.
Absolutely tons and tons of zooms in this one. Franco uses his zooms as a way to save money and time. Instead of doing three camera set ups for three different shots he sets the camera up once, and will proceed to zoom in on the subject at several different distances, saving a hell of a lot of money and time in the process, but occasionally inducing nausea in the viewer.
The dodgy disco soundtrack does not sit as well as the directors choice of jazz soundtrack does in say Vampyros Lesbos (1970). But I think a hell of a lot of films at the time, had disco soundtracks, which we look at as dodgy now, but were probably really cool (groovy!) at the time, so I guess in this respect the soundtrack isn’t out of place, but it still sounds weird!
All of the night time scenes in the film were actually shot at night, unlike in Oasis Of The Zombies (1981), where they were annoyingly shot day for night, and as a consequence Bloody Moon looks a lot better than Oasis does.
If you are viewing the film for gore and nudity (why else would you? Unless of course you are a Jess Franco fan like me!) try and find an uncut 84 minute version. The crap UK “VIPCO Video” BBFC sliced version I saw pretty much cut all of the gore out, and well reading about the film, it sounds as if there is some of the nudity missing too. So for blood freaks and breast fiends (now there’s a movie title for you!) seek out the uncut version.
Review by Giovanni Pistachio, Giovanni can be contacted at: –
© Owned Giovanni Pistachio.