Originally published in Bleeding Skull! A 1980s Trash-Horror Odyssey!
On the seventh day, God rested. On the eighth day, Jess Franco made a slasher. It was a very good week.
In December of 1985, the British government released the DPP39 “Video Nasty” list. Thirty-nine controversial trash-horror films ranging from Night Of The Bloody Apes to Unhinged were banned, and instantly elevated to near-urban legend status. Jesus “Jess” Franco, being no stranger to perversion with films such as The Erotic Rites Of Frankenstein, made the list.
Bloody Moon was produced to cash in on the American slasher volcano. According to Brewster, Fenton, and Morris’s Shock! Horror!, the film made the DPP39 due to “shots of blood-on-breasts and an unforgettable scene involving decapitation by circular saw.” That’s all good and well, but this is Jess Franco we’re talking about. Bloody Moon is not Final Exam or Silent Madness. Bloody Moon is sis ‘n’ bro incest, a soundtrack inspired by Herb Alpert, Bill Haley And The Comets, and Sparks (often at the same time), and a little kid who gets run over by a Rolls Royce.
At The International Youth Club Boarding School Of Languages, a group of girls learn Spanish, hang out topless by a pool, attend the “Disco Club,” and lust after Antonio, the gardener/tennis instructor. The headmistress, who sits in a wheelchair and yells a lot, will be leaving a large fortune to her children after passing. Her children, the incest couple (she: a pries in purple spandex, he: meatloaf-faced killer), obviously have a few issues. But what of the retarded handyman? The girl who pretends to make love by herself in the name of social equality? The Grace Jones sweatshirt?
“As they say, suffering is good for pleasure!”
Bloody Moon has “Property Of J. Franco” written all over it. That’s why it’s so appealing. But, there’s no Dracula humping or Frankenstein whipping. Just a bunch of hula-hoop synth sound effects, stylish photographic urgency, insanely poor dubbing, and yes, even a little comforting monotony, all wrapped up in the guise of a cheap American slasher. This film wields the familiarity of our beloved trash-slashers. But thanks to Franco’s personal flair, the end result is always exotic and rarely conventional.
And on the ninth day, Jesus Franco rested. But only for a moment.