Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bloody Moon: Uncle Jess Does a Sleazy Giallo

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Director: Jess Franco

Cast: Olivia Pascal, Christopher Brugger, Alexander Waechter

Severin Films / Color / Unrated / NTSC R0 / Anamorphic Widescreen (1.85:1) / DTS-HD Mono / English Dubbed / 81 mins

EXTRAS: Franco Moon- Interview with Director Jess Franco / Theatrical Trailer

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Manuela and disfigured Miguel are an incestuous brother and sister who go to live with their Aunt Maria who owns and operates Europe's International Youth-Club Boarding School of Languages (or the "EIYCBSoL" as we lazy Americans like to call it) after Miguel is released from the asylum after 5 years for sexually assaulting and murdering a young girl. Luckily for him, the school is nothing but nubile, young hotties! Auntie Maria doesn't like Manuela very much and tells her that even when she dies, Manuela will never inherit her estate and Miguel will be the sole heir. One of the students, Angela (Pascal), begins to suspect that something is amiss when her friend disappears. Everyone thinks she is just overreacting because they think the girl is out doing the campus gardener stud. It doesn't take long before others start to disappear and begin to turn up brutally murdered. But everyone other than Angela is oblivious until they are the one on the wrong end of the blade. Is psycho-freak Miguel to blame? What about that lurid landscaper? The hunky teacher? Hell, maybe Manuela has it in her to kill off the student body for her own gain.

Bloody Moon, with all of the elements of an Italian giallo, this infamous Video Nasty delivers on the bloody goods. Director Jess Franco does a better than usual job on the very stylish direction and cinematography. I dare say he even got a little "artsy" with some of the shots. After the opening sexual attack, the nudity is pretty tame by Franco standards but still makes for a deliciously sleazy affair in context. The famous saw murder is presented for the first time uncut in the U.S. The rest of the kills are pretty inventive. My favorite being a knife through the back that exits out of the girl's boob. Ooooooh, pointy! With most Euro offerings, the English dubbing is hysterical. The dialogue may be the cheesiest, most ridiculous I have ever heard, especially during the sex scenes. "I want to have sex with you over here in the dark, where no one can see us. Let your body melt into mine. Oh, yes...". I would really love to know what they are actually saying. I guess I could take some lip reading lessons, but then I would need to know how to speak Spanish... forget it. Too much trouble.

I digress to something that I can understand... the music. Oh, the terrible music. It sounded like a porn music guy trying to do Pink Floyd, well, their musical style anyway. Which is ironic since, in the special features interview with Franco, he says that he was promised Floyd to do the music for Bloody Moon when he signed on. Severin's new Blu-ray transfer is a step up as usual. The transfer is great with very minimal age debris in some of the darker scenes. The only problem I saw was a couple seconds in a few scenes that seemed to have been inserted after the fact that are of downgraded quality. Maybe these few seconds where cut from the previous releases and couldn't be fully restored? In any case, it doesn't detract from the overall picture. The colors were vibrant throughout (not considering the aforementioned added scenes) and the new DTS soundtrack was crisp and clean. The extras include a trailer and a short but interesting interview with the always candid Franco. This is one release that any Franco or Euro-horror fan will be sure to love and is worth the upgrade from the Severin DVD.

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