Bloody Moon

January 4th, 2010 by shuizmz

Bloody Moon   BloodyMoon Keyart severin 85x120 reviews horror Director: Jess Franco
Writer: Erich Tomek
Release year: 1981
German Title: Die Säge des Todes

If only every slasher film had a stone mill saw at its disposal.

A boarding school is plagued by grisly murders. Cult director Jess Franco, with his inimitable ways of poor or artistic taste – you be the judge of that – gives us his take on the late 70′s/early 80′s whodunit slasher format.

(mild spoilers may follow…)

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Jess Franco‘s Bloody Moon a.k.a Die Säge des Todes is one of those films that I went into knowing nothing about, minus what was read on the back cover of the dvd case. There was some mention of an infamous stone mill power saw scene that apparently was cut from this video nasty by the film censors. Because the cover of the film graces imagery from this scene, I was hoping there would be no letdown after having viewed the film. There was not.

The film starts out with Miguel (Alexander Waechter), a horribly disfigured young man, who sneaks into a costume party wearing a mask and fools a girl posing as someone else, going back to her apartment for some sex. Once the girl discovers it’s not who she thought it was and sees how repulsive he looks, she starts freaking out, leading to Miguel trying to rape her, but he just ends up stabbing her with a large pair of scissors.

Bloody Moon   bloodymoon plastic wrapped girl 300x168 reviews horror Fast forward to five years later, after Miguel has served his time in a mental institution. Well, he still is disfigured and is still acting creepy. His sister has taken over caring for him, Manuela (Nadja Gerganoff). She and her brother have an Aunt that owns a nice boarding school for young women. Manuela is not a favorite of her niece, but Miguel is (go figure). Miguel will be inheriting the lush resort-like establishment that only takes in gorgeous and promiscuous young women as students at the school, apparently. Manuela has some help running the boarding school with another man, Alvaro (Christoph Moosbrugger), who seems to be taking care of most of the day to day activities, mostly supervising Spanish class and picking out what girls he thinks are worthy of sleeping with him. He does have competition, though, for the young groundskeeper and instructor, Antonio, seems to be the hired-hand of the whores whose job is to service any slut that wants some meat.

Bloody Moon   bloodymoon bloody head 300x168 reviews horror One by one, murders begin to occur and they are quite grisly. As well as having some excellent gory murders. My favorite scene in the film is the stone saw mill scene. In this scene, another of Angela’s friends is murdered, as her friend lets a masked man tie her up to a slab of concrete that is used as the base for the saw. Once turned on, the saw slowly creeps over to her and decapitates her head off completely, sending geysers of blood shooting out, audience members not missing one gory detail. The fake head looks better than I thought it would and the idea for the murder was splendid. If only every slasher film had a stone mill saw at its disposal. While the masked murderer was watching as the saw was about to take its victim, a meddlesome boy tried to turn it off, was stopped, and then just ran off. In another scene that I laughed out loud at, the killer takes the car he drop up there with and mows down the little boy as he is running away. Its not often that you see kids killed in such a grisly manner. Jess Franco pulls no punches.

Bloody Moon   bloodymoon see through gown 300x168 reviews horror So, Angela is being stalked by the killer, for who we are led to believe is Miguel, the only recently released wack-job in the vicinity. But things begin to get creepy when Miguel’s sister, Manuela, is seen wearing a sheer nightgown in a scene featuring what one would call quite a bit more than sibling affection. Manuela tells Miguel that their relationship can no longer go on, for Miguel was locked up for murdering a young girl and that if there was nobody else around they could continue their incestuous love affair:

“Only if we could get rid of everyone, then things could go back to the way they were.”

Miguel may have had some psychological damage done to his mind, with the banging of his sister and all. Really? Do you think that may have happened?

Bloody Moon   bloodymoon mountain 300x168 reviews horror Franco throws quite a bit of gratuitous nudity  and a decent amount of gore and blood in a film that turns into a “whodunnit” towards the end of the film’s satisfying climax. I was not pleased to see that Olivia Pascal (Angela) was fully-clothed throughout the whole film. I just will have to rent Vanessa (1977) if I want to see some flesh from Pascal. The only drawback to this whole film is the truly atrocious music they chose for the soundtrack. Frank Duval, composer of the song “Love in the Shadow”, turns out one of the most appalling songs that I have ever heard. But fear not, Gerhard Heinz has topped him by creating an atrociously ear-bleeding soundtrack to the movie. Upon watching the special features portion of the film, Franco divulges that originally he was told that Pink Floyd was going to be doing all the music for the film - Is this the best joke I’ve heard regarding a Franco movie ever, or what? – (VG) . I would have enjoyed hearing Pink Floyd throughout the film, but no such luck. Even director Franco thinks the music in his film is questionable.

The lovely gore was executed by Juan Ramon Molina (Cannibal Killers – Human Beast (1980)) and he did a very fine job, especially the scene in which a long skewer is plunged through someone’s neck, exiting out the side. There even is a scene in which a living snake’s head is chopped off by large garden shears, not to mention a death by bush trimmers. My humblest condolences to all you animal lovers out there.

Bloody Moon   bloodymoonPROMO miguel 150x109 reviews horror Included in the special features is a featurette, directed by the ever so talented David Gregory, that is about 19 minutes long and was very informative, as well as the trailer for Bloody Moon. It would have been nice to have had an audio commentary by Franco as well, but one can’t have it all.

If inventive and gory kills are your bag, as well as some beautiful women running around topless here and there, then Bloody Moon is a film that should definitely be seen. Severin Films has released Franco‘s film – a video nasty back in the days when the UK was on a censorship crusade -  in its uncut and complete form. It looks and sounds great, for all gorehounds to enjoy.

Rating: Bloody Moon   star reviews horror Bloody Moon   star reviews horror Bloody Moon   star reviews horror Bloody Moon   star reviews horror Bloody Moon   blankstar reviews horror

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Dutch Shock DVD edition:

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Belgian 1986 Flash Video VHS release:

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