Movie Review – Bloody Moon (1981)

Bloody Moon
Directed by Jesus Franco
Courtesy of Severin Films
Original Release Date: 1981
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: July 8, 2014

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If you’re any kind of film fan of the 1970s and/or 1980s, chances are you know the name ‘Jess Franco’. Dubbed by many as the ‘King of Euro-Sleaze’, Franco has made many movies, both good and terrible. BLOODY MOON is his foray into slasher flicks, and for its time, it certainly does not disappoint. There’s plenty of blood, some very nice gore, and a decent body count; the result is a classic slasher that every horror fan should own.

If you are not familiar with BLOODY MOON, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Severin Films:

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 in America!

I had not seen this prior to getting it on Blu-ray, but I’m glad I was able to watch it in HD. I’ve read comments about previous versions in different formats that had grainy pictures, poor sound, and even skips. Not to mention others were edited so badly the story made no sense. But this is the complete, uncut version with a great picture and great sound. This is the way you want to watch movies.

BLOODY MOON is shot pretty well overall. There are a few camera angles that made me scratch my head, but I do like how the cinematographer lets the audience look through the killer’s eyes frequently. To me, this heightens the suspense and makes me even more curious as to who it is.

The story is a nice mystery thriller that adds family drama to the slasher aspect. I am not giving anything away here by describing it this way, because you probably won’t be able to tell who the killer is before the big reveal. I sure didn’t see it coming, although thinking back, I feel like maybe I should have. Still, it’s a nice surprise and made me grin.

The gore in BLOODY MOON is top notch. I have to give props to Franco for attempting to show what he does in this film. Granted, the special effects are a bit dated (you’ll see what I mean when you watch them), but they still look great onscreen. I particularly like the ‘stone mill power saw’ decapitation. Although you can tell from a point that it is fake, it still looks phenomenal. I backed up the scene a couple of times and rewatched it again.

BLOODY MOON won’t be for everyone, but if you like vintage horror, then this is a Must See. Be sure and check it out on Blu-ray so you can enjoy the enhanced picture and sound; it’s definitely the way to watch this one. The film hits store shelves in a couple of weeks, so make a note.

MSB

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