A Bright and… – Bloody Moon (1981)

Prolific filmmaker Jesús Franco would take a step into the slasher genre with Bloody Moon or Die Säge des Todes, packed full of blood and gore and even a beheading by a giant circular saw. There is a slight bit of luridness to it all, not enough to warrant it getting banned in Britain at the time of its release, yet it would not be a Franco film without trying to push against a few boundaries.

The movie stars Olivia Pascal as Angela, a woman who believes she is being followed by a disfigured man everywhere she goes. The man in question named Miguel is played by Alexander Waechter, a man who has just been released from an asylum and is now in the care of his sister, Manuela as portrayed by Nadja Gerganoff. Once upon a time, the two had an incestuous relationship and now Manuela will have none of it. Soon, Angela’s friends are being murdered by what seems to be Miguel but when it is all said and done, a dastardly cabal which includes his sister is revealed to be at blame and it all comes to a very bloody conclusion.

During his long and lengthy career, Franco became a master at exploitation and this picture finds a lot of his hallmarks within despite setting it firmly in the slasher genre. There are a lot of blondes to be found, many of them obsessed with sex and of course, that also means there is a bit of nudity to be discovered as well, though not as much as many of Franco’s movies seem to sport. None of the women are very smart aside from Angela who looks to have a good head on her shoulders so one knows that they are not to last very long. The kills are inventive such as the aforementioned beheading and one scene where a woman gets stabbed in the back and straight through the nipple, a bit of graphic excess yet perfectly suited to this movie. If there is one thing that is for sure, this is a slasher through and through and one that does not disappoint.

Going against it all would be the slapdash nature in which it was assembled, some of the scenes not flowing together as well as they should. The soundtrack was innocuous unless one actually paid attention to it and once that happened, it was hard not to notice as it all went along. That being said, Franco managed to make it look great and it would be hard to take one’s eyes away from what was happening on-screen even if there was little to anything. Whether one is a Franco fanatic or may simply be looking to see a slasher they have never seen previously, Bloody Moon will satiate one’s appetite.

3.5 out of 5

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