October 3, 2011

Bloodmoon (1990)

Directed by Alec Mills. Starring Leon Lissek ("Mylse Sheffield"), Christine Amor ("Virginia Sheffield"), Ian Williams ("Kevin Lynch"), and Helen Thomson ("Mary Huston"). Rated R.

Source: Region 1 DVD (Artisan)
Running time: 01:40:47
Country: Australia

Screenshot from Not Quite Hollywood

If you saw NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD, you may remember a segment towards the end where one of the talking heads brought up a slasher movie with a title card that pops up at some point, giving viewers the option of leaving the theater and getting a refund if they feel what they're watching is too much to handle. Accompanying this person's commentary was a clip of a topless pale-skinned blonde having her breasts groped. The talking head proceeded to say how he opted to get a refund, but only because the movie sucked. Well, BLOODMOON is the movie he was talking about. And I was pretty much sold on the topless blonde.

BLOODMOON revolves around a bunch of murders taking place at a private Catholic school. A killer dressed in black strangles unsuspecting teens with barbed wire in the event they sneak out of their rooms at night and into the woods surrounding the campus. Mary is the archetypal final girl who spends most of the movie in a developing relationship with a surfer dude. Whereas most typical teen slashers barely have any adult characters, this one feature adults prominently: the teen-hating cop, the guilt-ridden nun, and the private school's authority figures. Many supporting characters are introduced and established as playing somewhat of an important role in the story, only to disappear for most of the film, or in some cases to never be seen again. Not a big deal, the character thing, but it was one of the many aspects of the film that made me say to myself: "Why?" Why introduce all these characters if you're not even gonna do anything important with them, or even kill them off for that matter? Why blatantly establish red herrings in the first act of the film, only to reveal the killer's identity about half way through?

According to IMDB, Robert Brennan was the sole screenwriter of BLOODMOON, but the final product seems like the results of outside forces intervening (re-writes). That's all I'll say about that. Now, aside from the fact that I'd eventually like to watch every single movie mentioned in the excellent NOT QUITE HOLLYWOOD documentary, I'm a big slasher movie fan, as some of you may know. Especially 80's slashers. This one came out a few months too late to be technically considered an 80's slasher, but it's still very much an 80's movie in terms of look and feel. Teased hair, fashion faux pas, and an overwhelming synth-heavy SAVED BY THE BELL-esque musical score by Brian May. There's even an atrocious Glam Metal band called Vice, who play a couple of tunes during the school dance sequence. Vice's vocalist rocks a Canadian tuxedo with leather chaps. Not exactly worth the price of admission, but a wonderful sight nonetheless.

As a slasher, BLOODMOON is decent but leaves much to be desired. As I mentioned earlier, the reveal of the killer's identity comes way too early. The kills are disappointing and the body count is fairly low. Another problem I had was that there was never a time in the film where I felt like the safety of the final girl was in any jeopardy, mainly because the killer never had any solid reason to target her in the first place. I had a bunch of other issues with the script and the plot and so forth, but there's really no point in bringing them up. Right from the start, you know right away what's in store when you watch this movie, and all you can really expect from it is to be entertaining. That being said, BLOODMOON is a standard, formulaic slasher with a few entertaining moments and, at least, a decent amount of gratuitous female nudity. Had it been produced in America, BLOODMOON at best would simply be a footnote in the book of slashers, but that fact that it's Australian makes it somewhat refreshing.

Score: 5.5


  1. Very nice review sir. I'd like to check it out. Not Quite Hollywood was great. If you haven't seen Next Of Kin (not Patrick Swayze) you should. Richard and I covered it in our second episode.

  2. Thanks, Brad. Yeah I actually listened to that review twice. It looked interesting in the NQH documentary, but your review really sold me on it. I need to track down a copy.