Written by: Michael Den Boer on June 9th, 2014
Theatrical Release Date: West Germany, March 27th, 1981
Director: Jesus Franco
Writer: Rayo Casablanca
Cast: Olivia Pascal, Christoph Moosbrugger, Nadja Gerganoff, Alexander Waechter, Jasmin Losensky, Corinna Drews, Ann-Beate Engelke, Peter Exacoustos, Antonia García, Beatriz Sancho Nieto, María Rubio, Otto Retzer, Jesus Franco
BluRay released: July 8th, 2014
Approximate running time: 85 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 Widescreen / 1080 Progressive / MPEG-4 AVC
Sound: DTS-HD Mono English
BluRay Release: Severin Films
Region Coding: Region Free
Retail Price: $24.98
Synopsis: Miguel is sent to an insane asylum after murdering a young woman who spurned his sexual advances. Years later and now rehabilitated Miguel returns to the scene of his previous crime a resort that his family owns. Shortly after Miguel’s arrival guests staying at the resort start to disappear. Has Miguel killer instinct returned or is someone framing him for murders’ he did not commit?
Bloody Moon is Jess Franco’s take on the slasher film genre that gained prominence throughout the 1980’s. Due to the success of the Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween films series. On the surface Bloody Moon looks like a murder by numbers horror film and nothing more. All the horror film cliches and red herrings are present. One interesting twist exploited in the plot for Bloody Moon is Miguel’s incestuous relationship with his sister Manuela.
Visually Bloody Moon is far from Franco’s most stylish or memorable still it is very effective especially in the way his sets ups each kill. Franco’s most memorable moment visually is a scene wear a young woman is decapitated by a large circular saw. The rest of the killings are bloody and at times brutal. The only killing that comes off half ass is when a young child is run over by a car. In the film the killer uses a wide variety of weapons succors, a knife, cutting shears, a circular saw and their hands.
Alexander Waechter is cast in the role of Miguel a disfigured and misunderstood young man that at times is reminiscent to Gaston Leroux’s the Phantom. Alexander Waechter is nothing more than a prop in Franco hands. His wooden performance lacks emotion and menace. Cast in the role of Angela is a German actress named Olivia Pascal (Vanessa, Behind Convent Walls). Angela is your typical hysterical girl being menaced that no one believes when she cries out for help. Even though her character is one dimensional Olivia Pascal is convincing enough in the role. The most memorable role in the film is Nadja Gerganoff as Manuela. Her performance is equally seductive and devious.
The dialog in the film is laughable and the majority of the cast sleepwalk their way through their perspective roles. One thing which most Franco films feature is a solid score and the score for Bloody Moon is another winner. The score for Bloody Moon was composed by Gerhard Heinz who also composed the score for Jess Franco’s Linda. Ultimately Bloody Moon is delirious film that pushes all the horror genres cliches to their limits and then some.
Bloody Moon comes on a 25 GB single layer BluRay. The film is presented in a 1080 progressive widescreen. Colors look vibrant, details look crisp throughout and black levels look very good. Grain looks natural, there are no issues with compression or DNR. In order to present this film completely uncut there are a few very minor instances where the image does not look as crisp and this is most likely due to that some of the footage was taken from a lesser source. This same footage is also present on Severin’s DVD release for this film.
This release comes with one audio option, a DTS-HD Mono mix in English. There are no issues with background noise or distortion. Dialog comes through clearly and everything sounds balanced. Range wise though things are rather limited, the more ambient aspects of the soundtrack fare well and the films score sounds appropriately robust.
Extras for this release are the same as the extras that were included with Severin’s DVD release and they are as follows a English language trailer for the film (1 minute 38 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen) and an interview with Jess Franco titled ‘Franco Moon’ (18 minutes 50 seconds – 1080 Progressive Widescreen, in English with English subtitles). Topics discussed his difficulties working with the producers of the film, how he was promised Pink Floyd for the film’s score, working in the horror film genre and the interview ends with some comments about his film Linda. Overall Bloody Moon gets a Hi Def makeover that is a marked improvement over Severin Films previous release for the film.