31 Nights of Halloween Horror: Part 2 in a 31 part series.
Join me for 31 nights of horror reviews in the month of October. Every night we’ll take a look at a different horror film, some old and some new. Tonight we’re talking about:
Bloddy Moon | 90 mins. |Dir. Jess Franco | 1981/West Germany/Spain
What would the Halloween season be without a Jess Franco movie?
And before you say “a good season”, this Franco film is definitely worth checking out. So let’s take a trip to the lavish Spanish countryside where murder and mystery, nudity and gore abound.
Luckily for us as far as Franco films go this one is pretty straight forward and coherent. Which is not to say it doesn’t come with its fair share of head scratching, but for the most part everything makes sense.
The movie starts out with Miguel, a disfigured (though we never know how or why other than it is just to creep girls out) guy who, at a costumed disco pool party dons a Mickey Mouse mask and tries to pick up some chick. They go back to her bungalow (the infamous #13) where they start to get it on. When she pulls off his mask and finds out he is not who she thought he was but instead a disfigured freak who starts to force himself on her and stabs her in the stomach with a pair of scissors, turning her innie into an outtie.
Fast forward five years later and Jess Franco playing a doctor releases Miguel from an institution to the care of his sister Manuela. Manuela lives with their wheelchair bound aunt the Countess Maria Gonzales on the Spanish resort of Costa Del Sol that houses a boarding school for young women learning to speak Spanish.
Now here is where the fun starts.
The Countess hates her niece and thinks she’s after her inheritance. Miguel however, is in love with his sister and alludes to an incestuous relationship they had in the past, and because this is a Franco film we, of course, get a sneak peek into it. Manuela tells him their relationship can not continue as people would not understand. Perhaps if there was no one else around and they were the only ones left… And that right there people is all the motive we need to get this film going.
Enter Angela and her band of “let’s get naked!” classmates, who as far as I can tell only take one Spanish speaking class the entire day. Miguel takes a liking to Angela and is always caught spying on her. Once her classmates start getting killed off Miguel is the prime suspect. Or is he? There are plenty of red herrings littered throughout this flick. Half slasher, half Italian Giallo this one holds your interest until the revealing and double cross ending.
As far as Franco goes, and I know he can be a hard one to stomach at times, this one is a keeper. Franco only directed and while it is missing some of his regular cast and sleaze factor there’s enough gratuitous nudity and elegant location shots to still make you feel you are watching one of the maestro’s movies.
But I have to warn you: the movie is poorly dubbed which might turn a lot of people off and cause them to laugh at it instead of appreciating the suspense and gore that I know my Eurotrash loving friends will revel in. And, like the nudity, the gore gets two blood-soaked thumbs up.
A girl gets a knife stuck in her back that comes out through her nipple in the front, another gets her head decapitated by a huge cement band saw, someone else gets a hedge trimmer across the chest and a poor innocent snake gets cut in half with garden shears. Unfortunately, that last one is real; no fake snake here.
The rest is all lovely practical effects that the camera has no problem lingering on. So what do we have here? Gore, nudity, bad dubbing, continuity errors, incest, horrendous European 80s fashion, plot holes, inane dialogue, roller disco, the Spanish countryside and Jess Franco. A fun Halloween treat for the whole family. I’m in!