During my reckless teenage years I developed an addiction to Jess Franco flicks. My favorite Franco flick, other than those made with Klaus Kinski, is Bloody Moon. Severin recently released Bloody Moon on dvd so now I’m finally able to see Jess Franco’s only slasher uncut. And boy does the blood flow now.
A scarred man wearing a Mickey Mouse mask kills a girl at a party. Five years later the killer is released from the asylum and returns home with his sister only to discover his property is now a school for girls trying to learn foreign languages. And then the murders begin again . . . but there are a few plot twists along the way that help elevate the story above the standard stalk-and-slash formula.
Franco’s special brand of sleaze permeates Bloody Moon. The scarred guy is banging his sister, who teases her brother by roaming the house at night in the nude. Most of the female cast spend a great deal of time nude or in see-through tops. Even the kills are sleazy. One victim is stabbed in the back but a close up reveals the blade exits her body through a nipple. Power tools chew up flesh and pretty young things in a bloody orgy of death. Franco gets bonus points for having the guts to off a kid on screen. While not as graphic as the other deaths, it’s still shocking to see a child turned into a speed bump.
Despite the copious amounts of blood and breasts, Bloody Moon suffers from a dull patch half way through the film. Watching the students struggle to learn a new language is pretty damn boring. The film’s score is murder on the ears, the clothes are murder on the eyes, and the dubbing is just plain murder. Severin has received a large amount of criticism for releasing Bloody Moon dubbed. To be fair to Severin, I don’t think the original dialogue was recorded on set during the filming of Bloody Moon. Sound equipment costs money, y’know, and Franco is notorious for being a penny pinching director.
The dvd extras include a trailer for Bloody Moon and a fascinating interview with the director. Franco reveals some of the behind-the-scenes bullshit producers used to lure him in to direct the film. First, he was told Pink Floyd was providing the soundtrack. Next, producers promised a great director of photography. Finally, a major effects man was handling the gore scenes. All three promises turned out to be lies. Franco also discusses how he tried to change the script, but couldn’t because it was written by a production manager hiding behind the pseudonym Rayo Casablanca. During the interview Franco admits he considers Bloody Moon to be one of his “shit” pictures. I respectfully disagree with the old boy. I consider Bloody Moon to be an entertaining fusion of stalk-and-slash with Eurotrash sleaze.