Wednesday, 1 October 2014

31 Days of Horror: Bloody Moon (aka Die Sage Des Todes) (1981)

Bloody Moon (aka Die Sage Des Todes) (1981)
Director: Jesus Franco
Starring: Olivia Pascal, Christoph Moosbrugger, and Nadja Gerganoff
Running Time: 90 min

  This film was interesting to me for a couple of reasons.  One, it's on the UK's Video Nasty list, which is always fun and the other is that it's directed by  Jesus Franco (Devil Hunter, Oasis of the Zombies). For me, his movies can be hit or miss but there are always two great things you can expect from a Franco film, which are a lot of unnecessary nudity and of course lots of gore.

  After being shot down by his sister Manuela for sex, Miguel, who has a disfigured face, goes to the party and creeps around the bushes watching over young men and women getting it on.  He steals a mask and disguises himself as "Rob" and starts dancing with a girl who thinks that "Rob" has left his girlfriend to be with her.  She of course, invites Miguel/Rob to her bungalow for some sex but when they get there, she unmasks Miguel and freaks out.  Miguel grabs a pair of scissors and then brutally stabs her a dozen times. Oh, Miguel...
  Five years later, Miguel returns to the International Youth-Club Boarding School of Languages, which is run by his Aunt and Manuela, a new man from his stay at the local mental hospital.  Unfortunately, when he arrives he notices a riff between his Aunt and Manuela about the day to day operations of the school and that his sister still won't have sex with him.
  While that is going on, Angela, a girl Miguel scared on the train, arrives and meets up with her friends poolside at the school.  She finds out that her bungalow was the place of a terrible murder and it's the unlucky number 13. Dang it, 13!  The girls decide that they will hit the club that night with the dreamy tennis instructor, Antonio, who the girls all assure her is a great lover. umm, ew.  Anyway, they go to the club but Angela is tired from her long trip and turns in early.  While at her bungalow, she feels an evil presence in the air but she thinks it could be from reading her horror novel.  The doorbell rings! And it's her friend who wants to borrow a sweater.  Angela gives her a sweater and leaves the room for a moment and when she returns, her friend is dead! She's been stabbed!  Angela freaks out and runs outside to find help.  Luckily Antonio is still hanging around and comes back to the bungalow to help her.  When they return, the body is gone, another friend who likes Antonio arrives and is jealous and on top of everything everyone thinks Angela is crazy.  Can Angela prove her sanity by finding her dead friend and the killer before he/she strikes again or is she next on his/her list of victims.

  As far as Jesus Franco (The Awful Dr. Orlof, Succubus) films go, this is pretty good.  There is an interesting giallo style and certain depravity to this film that comes through all the other ludicrous elements.   I'm not sure how far Franco drifted from the script but the screenplay by Erich Tomek (Contamination) had a some good twists and enough of a story to hold my interests.
 Also, gore in this is terrific.  I like that Franco is unflinching on who he kills in this film and the brutality in it. There is a large body count and the decapitation with the giant saw is a lot of fun to watch.  It's a definite must see.

 Of course, a lot of the dialogue can get maddening at times because it goes on and on or explains things that aren't that necessary and don't make sense.  Like Angela's friends telling her what a great lover he is in front of Antonio and then Antonio agreeing. That is really awkward, also the Aunt explaining to Manuela why she has chosen Miguel, the guy who just got out of the Mental Institution for killing someone at the school, to leave the school to when she dies.  Makes no sense and it's mostly rambling. I think the funniest is **SPOILER** That the killer is unknowingly being paid with sex and will not be paid with any money or any compensation.**ENDSPOLIER** I think that's hilarious and after being told that, the reaction is the most natural reaction in this film.
  Also, there are some scenes that are impossible in real life.  Like the killer being inches away from Angela while she's sleeping but the moment she wakes up he disappears.  This dude is either a ghost or a Houdini mother fucker cuz that is impossible.  And then the friends body disappears, there is no way nobody would have seen that.  It's those kind of scenes that drive me bananas because they can take a person out of the picture.  They are more style that function and I am learning to accept this watching Franco films.  So now I just shake my head and laugh.

  I can see why this was on the Nasty list because they're a lot of blood and twisted relationships in this film but also, there is a good mystery.  It's a one of the better Franco films and it may be my new favourite.

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