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Die Säge des Todes
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Reviews & Ratings for
Bloody Moon More at IMDbPro »Die Säge des Todes (original title)

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Index 27 reviews in total 

10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Not the WORST film Franco ever made

Author: lazarillo from Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile
2 January 2005

This movie is basically the infamous Jess Franco having a go at the American-style slasher films that were big in the early 80's, and what's most remarkable about it is how unremarkable it is. It's pretty violent, but except for one nasty knife exit wound there's nothing here that hasn't been done in hundreds of American slasher movies. Why this movie got singled out for a banning in Britain is beyond me. The most lurid thing about it is the original (very misleading)Spanish title "Colegialas Violadas". If they had tried to market it in Britain or the US under a title like that (which literally translates to "Raped Schoolgirls") I could see them banning it, but as far as I know it's always gone under the pretty innocuous English-language title "Bloody Moon". Besides there are no schoolgirls here. It's set at an adult Spanish-language school which seems to cater exclusively to incredibly dumb and slutty German and Scandinavian women. And no one would need to violate these girls--they're more sex-obsessed than the horny male teenagers in "Porky's". Why they're learning Spanish god only knows (other than to pick-up Latin disco kings at the cheesy club next door), but these girls are so stupid it's a miracle they ever learned ANY language beyond primitive clicks and grunts. One of these geniuses actually lets a masked guy she has just met tie her to a log in a saw mill ("This is kind of perverted, isn't it?"). You can pretty much guess what happens (she isn't rescued at the last minute by Shaggy and Scooby).

The girls are being stalked by two of the reddest herrings imaginable. One is a burnt youth in a Mickey Mouse mask (Walt Disney must have rolled over in his cryogenic chamber)who killed a girl years back but has been released into the care of his sexy sister for whom he harbors strong incestual feelings (Franco himself plays the psychiatrist who releases him). The other is a gardener who is always laughing maniacally and coincidentally wielding the exact same implement that has just been used to kill the latest victim. The best thing I can say about this movie it is it is so over-the-top with its dumb victims, obvious red herrings, and ridiculously gory murders that it might have actually meant to be a parody of the slasher film. It also has some competent cinematography and is relatively zoom free. It's certainly not the WORST film Franco ever made.

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10 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Great slasher film.

7/10
Author: HumanoidOfFlesh from Chyby, Poland
1 October 2003

"Bloody Moon" is a great slasher film from the master of exploitation Jesus Franco.The plot is obviously inspired by "Halloween" and "Friday the 13th".The acting is pretty average,but there is plenty of gore to satisfy fans of splatter.There is for example very bloody power saw decapitation plus some other killings which involve chainsaws,razorblades and knives.The music score is pretty appalling and the film's theme tune is incredibly annoying.Overall,the film is moderately entertaining,so if you're a Franco fan give this one a look. Here is the plot:"Bloody Moon" takes place in a Spanish language school,where pretty female students are murdered by an unidentified stalker in a variety of grisly ways.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A little flawed, but acceptable

Author: slayrrr666 (slayrrr666@yahoo.com) from Los Angeles, Ca
20 December 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Bloody Moon" is one of the Franco's more marketable films, and is certainly a worthwhile slasher as well.

**SPOILERS**

After being released from a mental asylum, Miguel, (Alexander Waechter) is moved with his sister Manuela, (Nadja Gerganoff) to the Boarding School for young women on the Spanish resort of Costa Del Sol where she works. While hanging around the school, he finds that she's involved in a scheme to gain control of the local Language School where she and boyfriend Alvaro, (Christoph Moosbrugger) work, and students Angela, (Olivia Pascal) Inga, (Jasmin Losensky) Laura, (Corinna Drews) and Eva, (Ann-Beate Engelke) get wind of it as well. When bodies start piling up at the school, the remaining people investigate and find a possible serial killer on campus and are forced to evade the maniac.

The Good News: One of the weirder entries in the early 80s slasher films, this one certainly has a lot going for it. One of it's best features is the skillful mixture of the slasher clichés and Franco's typical sleaziness. The plot is a typical one to be found in the time, being simply an excuse to get a body count available for hacking by the main villain, who has the disheveled appearance in a secluded place with no help possible from the outside. There are the usual subjective shots of the killer watching and stalking the victims, and that the victims are the typical kinds of the genre. Mix these with the typical zooming shots and the large amount of nudity normally found in Franco's films are mixed in together with great ease. The sleaze found in the film also extends into the incestuous relationship found within, and that allows for some disturbing and erotic moments. The one where they're looking longingly at each other through the window naked is the best example of this. It goes as a reminder of the sleaze found in within that mixes with the slasher style. It's refreshing to see these two elements together that fit well together. This is also an exceptionally gory film with some great kills in it. One is set on fire while still sleeping in bed, there's a knife in the back that comes out through a body part in the front, a chainsaw slicing open the chest, several stranglings and a very brutal stabbing in the stomach with scissors. The real highlight, though, is the infamous band-saw decapitation, where a victim is strapped to table with a running band-saw that eventually saws their head off. This wins out for two special occasions. The first is the execution, since it's a quite show-stopping scene that's incredibly realistic and brutal, but the second is the very set-up for it. Truly original and quite sadistic while being pretty suspenseful and quite out of the ordinary. The climax has a real zing to it, where the final character finds their roommates' dead bodies meticulously strewn about her room. This wasn't a half-bad entry in the slasher genre.

The Bad News: There is a couple things in here that don't work in the film. The biggest thing that hurts this film is that it really seems like a collection of scenes from other films put right into the film. The most obvious genre piracy is the reworking of an obvious masterpiece of revenge. The elaborate, knotty embezzlement plot closely resembles that film, with the school property replacing the bay. The film even begins with an identical opening sequence where a wheelchair-bound character is killed by an unidentified assailant. The film also steals liberally from another defining slasher by showing an initial kill from the point of view of a party mask. Even using the clichéd conclusion feels like a rip-off from other films. Finally, it's overly obvious that the school campus is a flimsy substitute for the more familiar and well-worn summer camp setting utilized in countless slashers. The other major big strike is the film really doesn't feature all the usual Franco features. That may not sound like a detriment, but the fact that the zoom seems like a contrivance more than a practical one, and it's not a major factor. That he also tones down on the sleaze is a departure. Rather than exploit the painfully obvious fact that it's at a women's center, there's no scenes that capitalize on this and it's quite shocking when that happens. While these are big factors against it, there's another one that harms it, and that's the slow pacing. It takes a long time to get to anything interesting, as most of the time is spent with the characters talking amongst themselves for a long period of time. The conversations here ramble on for long periods of time, and it mostly feels like they're there simply to pad out the time, and it's a really obvious one at that. The killings don't really begin in earnest until the hour mark, and it's a real sprint to the finish, but the journey to get there is a long one. These factors hurt the film in the long run.

The Final Verdict: While it's a more-than-decent attempt to bridge the slasher cycle with Franco's sleazier side, the plodding pace and obvious genre cliché-borrowing strike this one down. It's still a perfectly capable film, so it's a very worthy look for slasher fans and Franco films, who will find a lot to like in this one.

Rated R: Nudity, Graphic Violence, Graphic Language, themes of incest and animal violence

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Gory Jess Franco Slasher

6/10
Author: Bensch from Salzburg, Austria
4 December 2007

"Bloody Moon" aka. "Die Säge Des Todes" (literal translation: "The Saw Of Death") of 1981 is a gory slasher from exploitation's most prolific filmmaker - Jess Franco. I personally am a big Jess Franco fan, and it must be said that his repertoire of 180+ films ranges from brilliant ("Venus In Furs", "Count Dracula",...) to poor ("Sadomania"). "Bloody Moon" is not one of his truly great movies, but it is definitely a highly entertaining and gruesome flick that should not be missed by fans of gory European Horror exploitation. For Franco standards, this film does not feature a lot of sleaze, but even more gruesome brutality and graphic gore in exchange.

The movie takes place in a language school in Spain, where a bunch of hot German girls are enjoy the sun, alcohol and sex more than practicing the Spanish language. A maniac is loose in the little Iberian paradise, however. A maniac who enjoys murdering pretty young girls in most atrocious ways...

The movie begins a bit slow, but it gets really nasty and brutal later, and actually becomes quite suspenseful. The performances are, of course, not top-notch, but they're not terrible either, and actually quite good regarding what can be expected from young actresses most of whom never appeared in another movie. Furthermore, I found some of the performances amazingly convincing. Sexy Olivia Pascal fits very well in the leading role, for example. Director Franco also once again has a cameo appearance in the beginning of the movie. The eerie score composed by Gerhard Heinz, who has also composed the scores for a bunch of mainstream productions, is probably the greatest aspect of the film, and makes the whole thing a lot more atmospheric.

All said, "Bloody Moon" is a brutal little slasher that I recommend to my fellow Eurohorror buffs, especially Jess Franco fans should not miss it!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Sporadic laughs

3/10
Author: latherzap from USA
25 May 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Bad, boring slasher horror movie. But some laughs are scattered about. Some of the women are hot. Some of the music is very dated and funny. There's a great bit of bad, redundant dubbing near the end. A woman is threatening somebody, ordering them to keep their mouth shut. It goes something like this "Just remember it. Don't forget. Remember. And just be damn sure to remember it!".

My favorite scene has a girl visiting a friend's house, only to find her dead in the bath tub. Frightened, she runs out and returns a few minutes later. A man is now at the house, and he takes her to the bathroom to show her there is no body. It was your imagination, he assures her. She JUST saw the dead body, and yet he convinces her that nothing happened. She comes back the next day to snoop around, and now sees that the tub has a significant amount of blood in it. We immediately cut to a scene of her wandering around town calling out her friend's name, as if the girl had only been injured and might still be alive. Hilarious!

I used to own a VHS copy of this, but tossed it in the garbage last summer. I sort of regret that. On the other hand, don't go out of your way to watch it.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Killing beauty queens...Jess Franco Style !!

6/10
Author: Coventry from the Draconian Swamp of Unholy Souls
25 October 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Die Säge des Todes - probably best known under the title BLOODY MOON - is Jess Franco's response and share to the popular trend of teen slasher films. This subgenre was merely founded by John Carpenter when he released Halloween and it reached his top in 1980, when Friday the 13th came out.

Jess Franco is, apart from being a very creativy filmmaker, also a pretty good marketeer because he immediately joined this trend and presented us : Die Säge des Todes. True, this movie is far from being the master of exploitation's finest achievement...but his fans certainly won't be disappointed and even horror fans and gorehounds in general won't mind watching this film.

Franco's style is clearly present in several aspects of the movie. The violence and nudity is shown very explicit and the murder scenes don't leave very much to the imagination. You need to have a pretty strong stomach and nerve-system to keep watching some of these massacres !! ( if you're interested in the most brutal decapitation ever shown in films ... this is your movie !! ). The acting performances are overall better than I feared and you forgive these actresses for their lack of experience. All of them are just so pretty and the scream in such realistic ways... I hope the leading actress was payed for each yell she gave, she must be a millionaire then. My highest praise concerning this movie goes out to the great use of atmospheric and creepy music. The theme and the sound effects provide the film with a bit of tension at least... The plot is not highly memorable.***SMALL SPOILERS *** It takes place in a Spanish language school which is being led by a middle-aged, fancy looking lady. Well, she leads it but all the money and decisions being made belong to the old aunt of her. Her brother, the horribly mutilated Miguél, just got released from a mental institution and since then ... terrifying murders are being commited. It's seems fairly obvious that Miguél isn't quite cured yet but is he really the murderer ?? *** END SPOILERS ***

Recommended to all kind of horror fans : Those who like exploitation stuff ( especially FRANCO exploitation-stuff ), fans of violent and bloody slasherfilms and even to the extreme gorehounds... Enjoy !

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

a must for Francophiles

Author: sangue from san diego
13 August 2000

okay, so this isn't as good as most Italian Gialli, but to be fair, it is head and shoulders above 90% of American slashers of the early-mid 80's.

Jess Franco certainly delivers the goods with this one, with lots of bloody stabbings (including a girl stabbed in the back, the knife protruding through her nipple), strangulations, a hedge trimer attack, and an awesome band saw decapitation. the German title of this film is "die sage des todes" which translates into "the saw of death" so they must have been impressed too. it's not too original, the basic "girl stalked by a sex maniac" but, Franco filters the standard formula through his own twisted vision and throws in some incest to keep things lively. also, the film ends with a great twist,twist ending that wraps things up nicely, no sequal here! be on the look out for the Franco Cameo at the beginning of the film, he's the doctor.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Standard early 80's slasher.

Author: insomniac_rod from Noctropolis
8 November 2004

I found this title as "Colegialas Violadas" (Violated School-girls); a title that is far from the movies' purpose. When I first watched this one I was very pleased mainly because I had fun. There are plenty of disturbing moments like the infamous saw decapitation.

The masked killer concept started two years before the movie when John Carpenter's "Halloween" stormed the genre.

The opening sequence gave me the creeps the first time and I think it's the most frightening moment in the movie.

There's plenty of gore but not in great quality. The make-up is very lame but you can't ask much from an 80's slasher. Even worse, I could only get a cut version.

The whole situation to undercover the "real" killer is pretty interesting for a slasher flick with no pretensions.

Watch it only if you're an avid slasher fan and you'll enjoy it, that's for sure.

7/10.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Bloody Moon

6/10
Author: Scarecrow-88 from United States
14 May 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I have a pretty good feeling that BLOODY MOON will appeal to Jesús Franco's non-fans rather than his most appreciative cult audience. I mean compare this relatively straight-forward slasher flick to something like MACUMBA sexual, for instance. Two very different kinds of films. Franco has admitted in a very engrossing interview(..his often always are)that BLOODY MOON was a not a particularly fond experience because he had to direct the script he was given(..which may be cause for celebration for those who hate his challenging style of film-making which doesn't operate within a certain linear way)..due to the fact that is was written by the executive producer who wanted no changes if Franco desired to try something different. It's mostly a gore-effects film anyway modeled after the violent films popular of that time. I prefer to call BLOODY MOON a Spanish version of the Italian giallo because of the European setting, the sinister truth behind the killings(..very identifiable to the conclusions of many Italian giallo thrillers with it's being ties to murders based on greed and desire for wealth), and the lasciviousness of the characters populating the locale.

And, I often felt I was indeed watching an Italian giallo, much in the same way as BLUE EYES OF THE BROKEN DOLL. Lovely young girls attending a language school are being attacked by a killer in a ski mask, wearing black gloves. The "final girl", a student named Angela(..played by the gorgeous Olivia Pascal)attempts to warn others about a friend murdered in her bungalow(..the place where a scar-faced Miguel, played by Alexander Waechter, viciously stabbed a girl to death with a pair of scissors). Everyone considers her mad, but soon those she warns fall prey themselves to a psycho using an assortment of weapons to slaughter them such as a bandsaw(..that slices off the head of a girl who thinks she was being tied up, by rope no less, for sex games), tongs(..which grips around the neck of a girl, strangling her), and a knife(..which goes through one poor girl, out her breast nipple). You also see an act of retaliation result in one victim's chest cut into with a chainsaw and Angela uses a screwdriver to puncture the throat of her attacker. I think when one watches this, comparing it to Franco films of the past, they'll realize this isn't typical of his output..is that a bad thing?

Miguel is released from an asylum and rejoins his sister Manuela(Nadja Gerganoff). Currently the language school is operating within the estate of a wealthy aunt who has already said quite bluntly that Manuela will be disinherited. Manuela has Alvaro(Christoph Moosbrugger)teaching the school's classes. The main portion of the story is devoted to Angela, though, and her fear for her life as Miguel is often peeping on her from the woods outside the bungalow and elsewhere. Obviously those who are familiar with slashers/gialli know that he's a red herring..it really shouldn't be too difficult to guess who actually is committing the heinous crimes. The dubbed dialogue for the characters are very reminiscent to gialli of the 70's..shockingly frank in regards to sex, and, at times quite vulgar. One trait of Franco's that remain's intact, nudity, just not as much as you'd expect. Pascal doesn't get nude, quite unusual as most female leads in Franco's work often remain barely clothed for the duration of the film's screen time.

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Jesus Franco's entry to the slasher genre...

Author: RareSlashersReviewed from London
20 February 2004

Like most exploitation directors from the eighties, Jesus Franco had his own attempt at creating a ‘Halloween' for the once-bankable slasher market. Spanish-born Franco has helmed over a hundred and eighty movies, using up to sixty pseudonyms and he's still working today, even though he will soon reach his seventy fourth birthday! He is reputedly the sleaziest of all European filmmakers, with a (clearly unconfirmed) reputation for making up to three movies out of one production budget. I personally haven't seen many of his wayward creations, but I'm sure that I have an uncut copy of Faceless somewhere in my collection, which didn't impress me too much. To the best of my knowledge, Bloody Moon has yet to garner an unedited release in the United Kingdom, although there are plenty of anaemic copies floating around that leave out some fun gore. I really doubt it will remain restricted much longer, like many of the video nasties that were once deemed ‘offensive', the shocks have become somewhat thin over the years. I was lucky enough to pick up this uncensored print at a recent film fair, which was originally intended for release in Australia!

The psychotic family at the centre of this plot makes the Voorhees look like the Flintstones! There's Miguel, the severely disfigured brother with a temperamental temper. His sister Manuela isn't much of an improvement, and their Auntie – the contessa – gets a little hot under the collar too (quite literally)! It all kicks off when Miguel heads off to particularly ‘groovy' dance party to perve on some of the crumpet that's boogieing away to the ‘inspirational' music. Feeling a little left out just standing around watching, he swipes a Latin Casanova's Mickey Mouse mask and heads for the dance floor! (Cue a steady-cam shot through the eyeholes to show that Jesus' done his research!) There he meets a disco bunny that confuses him with her fancy man and after they cut a rug or two for a while, she decides that they should head for her apartment. His ploy seems to have worked, because once inside they begin tearing at each-other's clothes as the unsuspecting women entices him into the sack with lines like `I've been waiting so long' and `Hold me tighter… take me!' As the heat of passion rises between the twosome, off comes Miguel's mask revealing a rather tainted mush! Clearly shocked, the girl struggles off the hulking and clearly disappointed soon-to-become killer, sparking him to retaliate by stabbing her repeatedly with a large pair of scissors… Five years later Miguel is released from an asylum (keeping things in tradition, of course), although the doctor doesn't seem all that convinced that he's recovered, but frees him anyway. He heads back to a Spanish language school where (hey, what d'ya know) the students are all dumb, attractive teens drowning in make-up that seem to constantly talk about how their Latin lovers measure up between the sheets. Sounds like an execution-worthy slasher sin to me! Before long the plot narrows out our ‘surviving girl', obvious because she's the only one that doesn't slut it up as much as the others. Next up the unseen psycho (with a stocking over his head) begins to murder her buddies while at the same time terrorising her with somewhat leisurely threats that include: ‘ I'm gonna cut you in two… like a piece of wood… with a hacksaw (!)' Before long Angela is being constantly stalked by the wacko and it's our job to guess whom it is!

For a director with as many movies under his belt as Franco, he's managed to make this look like some amateur film-student helmed it on his lunch break. The camera-operator looks as if he's had ‘one too many' and the editor either suffered a temporary hands-only disability or he'd also been ‘out on the sherbets' with the cameraman. But just when you decide that you've written Bloody Moon off as a complete disaster, Franco springs back with a couple of plausible set pieces. The scene where the killer places all of Angela's friend's bodies around her chalet whilst he stalks in the shadows was superb, although one has to wonder how it was possible for him to get the corpses there in the first place. She'd spent the last half of the movie with the windows and doors tightly barricaded! But any credibility is desultory, mainly ruined by the endless jerky zoom shots or the comical dubbing that makes Godfrey Ho and Joseph Lai's Ninja films look like theatrical masterpieces.

There are long spaces when not a lot happens aside from watching the humorous females struggle to look convincing, and at times things feel like they're moving far too slowly. The only redemption is the murders that at least chuck in some imaginative gore. The renowned decapitation involving a girl unwittingly letting her own self be tied up before she looses her head over (or under) a circular saw is about the most fun of the lot. It's especially amusing because she thinks she's actually going to get drilled (if you know what I mean) and instead she gets sawed and totally screwed! The director really attempts to build the shock-factor when a curious child is methodically run down as the killer escapes in his Mercedes. Another girl is stabbed through the breast so that the blade pops through her nipple and one guy is attacked with a hedge-trimmer, which just about rounds off the best of the tacky effects. My favourite thing about Bloody Moon was the wonderfully cheesy disco-tunes that rock when the cast frequents the nightclubs. Listen out for ‘Shake your baby', which sounds like Rolf Harris has reinvented Presley's Blue Suede Shoes for the holiday resort generation! It's hilarious!

This is honestly pretty poor and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone that's not a true slasher collector. It's a twisted beast for sure, but hardly endearing. There are some laughs to be had at the lamely dubbed speech and the endless talk of sex, but if that's want you want then buy a German porno. Someone who can't handle trash cinema probably wouldn't let this get past the five-minute mark and admittedly even I found it hard to keep my interests raised! If you fancy some European slashings, then head over the Mediterranean to Roma where I'm sure you'll find something a little more competent! Put it this way one girl sums the movie up perfectly in her dialogue, `What you saw was not a murderer, but just a dummy!' Exactly…

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