Die Säge des Todes (1981) Poster

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Not the WORST film Franco ever made
lazarillo2 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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a must for Francophiles
sangue13 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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Great slasher film.
HumanoidOfFlesh1 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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Gory Jess Franco Slasher
Witchfinder-General-6664 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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A little flawed, but acceptable
slayrrr66620 December 2006
Warning: Spoilers
"Bloody Moon" is one of the Franco's more marketable films, and is certainly a worthwhile slasher as well.


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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Sporadic laughs
latherzap25 May 2005
Warning: 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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The king of sleaze makes a slasher
warsystem045 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Jess Franco is well known for his over the top, extremely sleazy and sexualized women in prison and exploitation flicks, but here he makes an American style slasher. Influenced by the stuff that was coming out in the states at the time, this one follows the same general formula and takes a lot from Friday The 13th and the like.

The main upsides to this one are definitely the female cast members, who are all top notch EuroBabes, most of whom get naked. I wish I was the character Antonio... The kills are also particularly brutal, the stone mill watersaw scene being the most memorable. The gore however is pretty laughable, so don't expect a Tom Savini style job here. The plot is neither groundbreaking nor terrible, and figuring out the identity of the killer(s) shouldn't be too tough.

The incest subplot is probably the most "Franco" touch to the whole thing, it's pretty clear he has to implement his filthy flair whenever possible. The film is extremely silly at times, and overall is not incredibly engaging. It is no doubt an entertaining watch though, and any Franco or slasher fan needs to see it at least once. The real hero in "Bloody Moon" though is Miguel's leather jacket... Just WHAT is painted on the back of that thing?!
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Standard early 80's slasher.
insomniac_rod8 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.

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Jesus Franco's entry to the slasher genre...
RareSlashersReviewed20 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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Killing beauty queens...Jess Franco Style !!
Coventry25 October 2003
Warning: 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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pretty good gory slasher
alucifer7 September 2005
nothing new in this slasher movie from the 80's but every slasher fan should have this in their collection.lots of pretty girls getting killed in a variety of inventive and gruesome ways.i am not going to describe how the ladies get killed because other people on IMDb have already did that.there are quite a few good and gory graphic killings in bloody moon.so if you are like me and love gory slasher movies and not mainstream garbage like scream go and find this movie.just make sure you get a version that is uncut because there is nothing worse than buying a horror movie and all the gory killings have been cut out.so slasher fans go buy this now
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Silly, gory giallo take from Jess Franco
ehoshaw2 April 2000
A girl is stabbed to death by a disfigured young man. He is put into an asylum, but later released. Of course, more gruesome murders occur at a Spanish school, and we see lots of hilarious disco scenes and ditzy guys and girls being splattered. Unintentionally funny, and when you find out who the killer really is, you won't care by that time. Believe me, I didn't. Not a very good film at all.
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Bloody Moon
Scarecrow-8814 May 2009
Warning: 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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Wacko slasher from Jess Franco
Leofwine_draca5 December 2015
A derivative but strangely appealing slasher flick from that auteur of Spanish sleaze and zoom lens-inspired madness, Jess Franco, which opens with a masked killer murdering a young girl and being sent to an asylum for the crime - just to prove that Franco's copying HALLOWEEN a little bit too much, we even see POV shots from the killer looking through the eyeholes in his mask! From then on, BLOODY MOON a cheap and nasty swathe through a series of badly-acting young women, as a mysterious villain murders them off one by one. Despite being set in a language school, there are never more than four or five girls around at time, which somewhat betrays Franco's low budget roots. The plot is pretty ludicrous, with a really dumb script - the English dubbing reaches new levels of absurdity with some of the trite dialogue that the girls constantly spew.

The acting isn't much better, and it's obvious that Franco picks his actresses for their looks rather than their acting ability. The identity of the killer is pretty easy to guess, especially seeing that the red herring is so obvious in this case - could it be the mysteriously scarred man who was previously convicted of murder, who constantly lurks around the school watching the girls? I don't think so. Technically, the film is rather poorly made, with sloppy editing and a tendency to shoot scenes in the dark with little lighting, making the viewing experience sometimes a test of endurance rather than genuine entertainment.

So why did I enjoy this movie? Well, it's just plain trash for sure, but Franco never expects you to think it should be anything else. BLOODY MOON is just about a series of young, sometimes naked girls being offed gorily by a perverted murderer, and that's exactly what Franco delivers. His deaths are all mean-spirited and graphically gory, which earned the film some notoriety when released in the UK - in retrospect the effects are all so cheesily staged that the fuss over such "nasties" is simply ludicrous. This is a fun, barmy and genuinely amusing slasher that doesn't pull any punches.
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Quite Underrated & Innovative Slasher
robertbisceglia24 April 2018
This film presents quite a simplistic story line, hot foreign girls attending a language school and partying & getting into trouble. One by one everyone seems to die, the film doesn't really dull out which is pretty surprising. Lots of kills, and good ones, you really get a good look at it. That being said, the budget was low and take it as it is. I was entertained by the inventiveness of this picture.
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Spoilers follow ...
parry_na19 May 2017
Warning: Spoilers
Miguel (Alexander Waechter), a man afflicted with a particularly unrealistic facial scar, is sent to an asylum for rape and murder. With little evidence that he is cured, he is released five years later and immediately resumes his hobby of peering and leering at highly made-up women bedecked – barely – in stunning early 1980's attire. One reason for his behaviour appears to be his forbidden love for his sister Manuela (Nadja Gerganoff), who is happy to parade herself around him in suggested poses and revealing clothes but is appalled at continuing their forbidden relationship.

Various characters come and go, sinister suggestions of stalking young girls is accompanied by Gerhard Heinz's mostly magnificent score (Pink Floyd were originally approached), and improbable and brightly coloured murders take place.

Euro sleaze, eurotrash, eurotica or euro-horror: there are plenty of labels for allegedly exploitation films such as 'Bloody Moon', but a lot of them are unfairly maligned by the lazy definition. A lot of films directed by Spanish Director Jess Franco are far better than their reputations suggest. This, however, fits squarely within that category (Franco himself has labelled it s**t). It is Franco's contribution to the slasher genre.

The first half is remarkably tame. For the most part, watching this is something of a chore, with much of the running time seemingly made up from scenes spliced in from other films. Stunning locations and pretty girls and boys aside, this is something of a chore, especially when the characters display such unstinting stupidity, often on the promise of sex.

Yet it is worth continuing. The murders increase in frequency and bizarre gratuity (beheadings, stabbings and a knife protruding somewhat improbably from a nipple). The character of Angela (Olivia Pascal) staggers from witnessing one obscene set-piece after another and understandably is the scream-queen of this particular project. The scenes she witnesses actually gather together the somewhat isolated moments from earlier on and give them a coherency I wasn't expecting.

In the end, against my earlier misgivings, 'Bloody Moon' ends up with a satisfying bloodbath filled with imaginative moments and a fairly convincing twist. Not Franco's best film, then, but somewhere in the middle.
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An Average Mystery Thriller With Average Gory Effects
stephenabell24 April 2017
Another murder mystery placed under the Horror banner due to the gory content.

This is the story of a twisted and murderous affluent family set in Costa Del Sol, Spain. Miguel's psyche is broken. He is in love with his sister and their love has been consummated, though Manuela has now stopped his amorous attentions; she tell's him their feelings are wrong and that he should go back to the party and enjoy himself. At the party, he picks up a blonde woman and they go back to her room. Unfortunately, when she spurns his advances Miguel picks up a pair of scissors and brutally and fatally attacks the girl.

This opening sequence, while setting the scene and Miguel's character doesn't feel realistic or believable and that is a big drawback to the story and the movie.

Then after just five years in a mental asylum, he is released into his sister's custody. Once again this doesn't make much sense as their incestuous affair should have been the talk of the asylum as this is the supposed cause of his breakdown and subsequent murder spree. It's this and following inconsistencies in the story that make the movie less than it should be. The writer, Erich Tomek, who didn't want to put his name to it so used the pen name Rayo Casablanca, needed to tighten these elements up and the viewer would have gotten a much better film. That said, the twists are pretty good, shame they weren't managed better.

The other thing which lets the movie down is the lackluster direction by Jesus Franco, who has a pretty standard and average style. Again, some differing camera angles and a few artistic shots wouldn't have gone amiss to bring this movie out of its averageness.

The special effects are okay and passable, though not too realistic. The big stone cutting saw sequence is actually let down by how fake the decapitated head is; it's pretty close to being laughable.

If you like gory murder mysteries then you may like this though I wouldn't recommend rushing out to purchase a copy, however, if the chance comes up to watch it you could do worse.
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Grotty but gory
adriangr19 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I think if it wasn't for the fame that being a "video nasty" brought it, "Bloody Moon" wouldn't be enjoying anything like the longevity it currently has. Set in a Spanish language school for girls (how original), the story sees our heroine Angela in peril as her friend begin to die around her, and nobody believes her. Suspects are all over the place, one gory murder follows another until the truth is revealed. The thin plot is a threadbare mechanism with only enough substance to it to drive the most basic of story events, and all attempts to generate mystery and tension fall completely flat. A lot of this is due to the English language soundtrack which has the most inept dubbing I've seen for a long time. There's an excess of "sexy" giggling and gossiping that goes with every scene of the female cast members, unless they are being stalked or terrorised, in which case it changes to an excess of screaming and wailing. None of the vocal performances match what the actresses appear to be saying in the slightest. Trying to work out whodunnit is hampered by the appalling direction, in which red herring characters pop up and down every few moments before and after a murder scene, making you wonder if anything you are seeing is by design or just random.

Truly awful film-making is here in abundance, in such scenes as the one where Inga is merrily driven to a saw mill and tied up, gabbling the entire time, or the one in which Angela sees a shadow on the wall, walks backwards (??) towards it and stabs the figure hysterically and then runs off, or the one where a snake dangles into view and is snipped to death by hedge cutters, or the one where a huge foam rock bounces out of nowhere to menace Angela, or all the time we spend watching the girls in their language class and nothing actually happens, or the one with Inga (again - she's particularly bad) bouncing on her bed pretending to be having sex, with a dead body in her wardrobe that it would be impossible for her not to notice, and many, many more. The only strength the film could possibly claim to have is the graphic gore, but these scenes are also pretty poorly done. Some work well for being crudely violent (the sawmill decapitation and the knife through breast killing), but the death by neck- clamp is blatantly out of focus, and most of the others are amateurishly accomplished.

If you only want to see a lot of boobs and blood, plus some of the worst 80's knitwear ever put on celluloid, then treat yourself. Otherwise, this is almost laughably terrible. Even the soundtrack, which underscores the drama with lots of deep "bloop-bloop" noises is unforgivable. The 2 stars are for the saw mill murder as it has become almost iconic, and at least the film has enough energy not to be boring.
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Trashy fun Franco slasher
kannibalcorpsegrinder16 September 2016
Starting a new school-year, the staff of an all-girls language school in Spain come to find that the savage killings of the campus' students lead back to the deformed killer supposedly wandering the grounds and must find a way of stopping his rampage.

This here is quite the fun and enjoyably sleazy slasher opus. What tends to work so well with this one is the fact that it manages to accompany the traditional slasher realms with the over-the-top sleaze and violence usually associated with the director's films. The way this one manages to exploit it's slasher leanings, from the opening shot of the killer wandering through the party in a mask while a girl mistakes him for her boyfriend to the tragic past of the brother and the ingenuity of many of the set-pieces here are straight from the playbook of the modern slasher movement at the time, and the decision to feature so much of the film through the killer's eye-view in order to distort their identity is a rather impressive series of call-backs to that scene. As well, the rather suspenseful stalking and tormenting here comes into play straight from those elements as well with the taunting on the headphones while she's in class, the suddenly disappearing bodies of his victims and the quick-shot scenes that show her supposedly being targeted by the killer off in the shadows including dodging a boulder pushed off a cliff and avoiding a poisonous snake hanging from a tree, which when combined with the spectacular series of chases and brawling found in the final half it makes for a stand-out slasher effort. That final half, where the killer runs rampant against the girls resulting in utterly brutal and graphic set-pieces as the sequence in the abandoned mill, her being barricaded in her room with all the furniture stacked up against the walls before finding the bodies scattered throughout the house that becomes quite thrilling overall as the action picks up and the thrilling scenes makes for a wholly enjoyable sequence. Alongside this, the film also goes for the usual sleaze route here with copious amounts of nudity featured here that goes for not only the strange notion of the girls' night-time habit of flashing the moon, the incestuous relationship subplot and the cheesy feature of the lecherous school- teacher screwing everyone which all provides this one generous amount of trashy, sleazy fun. These here hold this one up quite well over the film's few problems. The main issue is the fact that the film doesn't really make any sense as to what's going on with the killer, as the finale revelation is quite at odds with what's going on and really doesn't make any sense as to why that goes through when it rearranges sections of the film beforehand for no reason. As well, the film's so incredibly cheap and somewhat slapdash that it manages to get a lot out the inherently crude work here that makes this look quite lower than what it really could be for those looking for a little more coherent and competent effort here. Otherwise, there's much more to really like here.

Rated Unrated/R: Graphic Violence, Full Nudity, Language and strong violence against children and animals.
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The Saw of Death, I saw the boredom
Horst_In_Translation16 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
"Die Säge des Todes" or "Bloody Moon" is a collaboration between West Germany and Spain from 1981, so this film has its 35th anniversary this year. The language is predominantly Spanish (despite Austrian writer Erich Tomek), even if IMDb wants you to believe otherwise. It is probably due to director Jesús Franco and this 90-minute film here is not one of his German-language efforts (with Dietrich for example). The main characters are played by German actors, even if they have Spanish names, but there are also a handful Spanish actors in here playing smaller roles. But it really all isn't that important because it does not matter who is who and where they come from as the script (and the acting too to some extent) turns this one into a really weak showing I must say. There is not that much erotics in here as there is in many of Franco's other works, which may have made this at least a good watch for a horny audience. But the way it finally turned out, it is not a good watch for any audience. The horror components, like severed heads on several occasions, feel rushed in and included just for the sake of shocking people and add very little in terms of the plot or story-telling in general. It was a really boring film and the makers' attempts to make this a scary work or succeed from a thriller perspective did not turn out well at all. Oh yeah, and Olivia Pascal was not half as hot as I remembered her. As a whole, this was a failure with regard to almost everything. I absolutely don't recommend the watch. And don't start with this film if you want to get into Franco's work, because you will probably quit immediately afterward and miss out on some of his better stuff. No idea why this film here is actually among his more known works. Stay away.
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Franco who?
paulgeaf12 July 2006
I have watched some pretty awful movies but this one... Hmm where to start? When you sit down to a movie like this you know it isn't going to be the best or most professional you've seen, you expect B-movie slasher European horror. You expect bad dubbing. You expect poor dialogue and cheap effects. That's all fine. Usually the expectations fit the movie. I didn't expect to become so mind numbingly bored within the first half hour as to start wishing I would just fall asleep and be done with it instead of hanging on(most likely, in the hope of seeing one more breast on one of the young students). This film is a horror alright. Not scary or thrilling(apart from the odd breast), just absolutely horrible to watch. I am actually looking forward to re-runs of 'Neighbours' after this. AVOID.
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Franco's very own slasher flick!
The_Void30 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
Bloody Moon sees prolific sleaze director Jess Franco take advantage of the slasher movement that was becoming increasingly popular in the United States around the time that this film was released. Being a European film, the film has a sort of Giallo feel around it, although it's clear that the intention was to draw on the success of films like Halloween and Friday the 13th. Unsurprisingly, Jess Franco is in joint first place for most films on the Video Nasty list back in the eighties along with fellow Eurotrash luminary, Lucio Fulci. Bloody Moon appears on the Nasty list along with Devil Hunter and Women Behind Bars, and while the gore isn't as bloodthirsty as some slasher flicks; Franco still makes sure that the film deserves its place on the list. The plot follows a group of young girls being murdered at a Spanish school. The killer is revealed in the first scene, and he takes the form of a disfigured young man who has a strange lust for his sister! The film pretty much plays out in a familiar slasher fashion for most of its duration.

While Jess Franco isn't the greatest director of all time (as shown here), one thing he has to be admired for is his ability to make his own entry into any popular sub-genre and make it sleazier than most. While Bloody Moon isn't exactly original, Jess Franco makes sure that his slasher is sicker than most by way of the incestuous relationship at the film's centre. Not only is Franco's serial killer a multiple murderer, he's also a disgusting pervert! The film is most infamous for the murder that features a young girl coming face to face with a buzzsaw, but that's not to say the other murders, featuring numerous murder weapons such as chainsaws and razorblades, are suitably nasty. The film has a rather large body count, and it's not hard to see why it got banned...although gorier slashers didn't suffer the wrath of Britain's intolerable censors. The cinematography is rather bland, and unlike many European horror movies (including some of Franco's own films), this film isn't very nice to look at, and this is matched by the uninspired musical score and some truly diabolical acting. To be honest, I can't really recommend this film, although there may be something here for slasher fans.
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Jess Franco Slasher Hilarity!
ObscureCinema10127 May 2012
BLOODY MOON is an interesting film for sure. For one, it's directed by Jess Franco, who was notorious for making several porno movies. So what would a slasher movie directed by him be like?

Miguel is a disfigured man who killed a young woman at an all-girls language school five years prior. His sister Manuela, who runs the school, takes him under her wing once he is released from the mental institution. Soon, students at the school begin getting killed off in gruesome ways. Is Miguel up to his old tricks again? Or is it someone else?

BLOODY MOON ranks alongside 1982's PIECES as an absolutely hilarious foreign horror movie. While PIECES was notorious for its hilarious WTF moments, BLOODY MOON remains hysterical for the horrible dialogue. I could basically list every line in this film, but some of my favorites are, "I want you to melt in my arms!" and "Honestly! How gruesome! That's a bit far-fetched!" Make those lines horrendously dubbed and you have an idea what the BLOODY MOON experience is like.

The other strong suit of BLOODY MOON is the gory, violent, and often hilarious murders. There's the infamous decapitation via giant buzz saw, but it comes across as more funny than shocking. For one, it has to be one of the most obvious cases where an actress is replaced by a dummy, and the girl doesn't realize anything is fishy until the killer ties her to the moving rock! There's also the killer stabbing a girl in the back with a knife (and the tip exiting through her nipple!).

However, BLOODY MOON fails to really deliver on other levels. The score is awful because it mainly consists of this really, REALLY annoying guitar twanging during every scene. Aside from the two murders I already listed, the others fail to stand out in any way. The characters aren't likable or memorable, and it also fails to end on any sort of bang.

All in all, BLOODY MOON is a fun watch mainly for that one fantastic buzz saw kill and the dialogue you'll find yourself quoting for weeks. Everything else is just bad. Only worth a purchase if it's cheap. Otherwise, just rent it.
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Attractive girls carry the weight here, but just barely
Flak_Magnet10 September 2009
OK, look, this is a Jess Franco flick, so know - up front - that it is tacky, Eurosleaze garbage. (Even Franco himself calls the film "s%@#" in the DVD's interview feature). Taken within the confines of the genre, however, I suppose "Bloody Moon" delivers an interesting blend, as a gaillo/slasher hybrid, but the film's dreadful B-movie script and zero believability place it somewhere between camp and outright refuse. The picture has the standard Eurotrash cachet (e.g. retro fashions, pencil thin people, synth-pop soundtrack, etc.), but with more attractive women, a surprisingly clean print, and pervasive chauvinistic undertones. The girls are quite hot, really, and genre fans might recognize the lead - Olivia Pascal - from her role in the infamous "Emanuelle" clone: "Vanessa." Expect about five topless scenes, five gory kills, and endless scenes of Olivia gasping in terror, only to find out her fear is unfounded. Typical Franco calling cards abound, including marginal camera-work, wacko scene direction, and general Eurosleaze tastelessness. The dubbing is terrible, which makes much of the already preposterous dialog sometimes quite funny. Here is an exerpt: (Girl): "Angela - this is Antonio - our gardener, tennis ace, and the best piece of property in Los Olvidos. That's not all! As a lover, he's fantastic. Antonio - am I wrong or right?" (Antonio): "If you'd really want to see, try me out one night.....You're not bad at all, why don't we go inside?" Beautiful....Ultimately, though, and despite some very hot girls and funny moments, "Bloody Moon" was pretty darn pointless. It wasn't boring, really, just a little too average for my tastes. ---|--- Reviews by Flak Magnet
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Franco slasher satisfies
lastliberal7 June 2009
This is a video nasty that was banned in Britain, and released with 1 minute and 20 seconds cut in 1993, and released uncut November 2008.

The movie heavily influenced by Halloween, and there are elements of Friday the 13th, as well. In other words, a typical slasher film.

Miguel (Alexander Waechter) was just released from a psychiatric facility following a brutal murder in the past. His sister Manuela (Nadja Gerganoff) works at the same boarding school where the murder took place. Of course, the relationship between brother and sister is definitely different from Halloween.

It's a European (Spanish/German) film, so the girls sit around the pool topless. They also party a lot instead of studying.

Angela (Olivia Pascal) just happens to occupy the same room where the murder took place, and gets the feeling of being stalked. Of course, Eva (Ann-Beate Engelke) drops in at the wrong time. However, the body disappears before anyone but Angela sees it.

Next up is Inga (Jasmin Losensky), who yaks incessantly while she is being tied up thinking she is in for something kinky. What she is in for is the infamous scene on the DVD cover. I can imagine that was the scene cut in the British release.

I just realized that I haven't seen the killer's face. can it be that Miguel is not the killer? Angela is a death-magnet as Laura (Corinna Drews) shows up and is soon dispatched.

The plotters run their mouths off without paying attention and their plot is overheard. But there are many more surprises in store in this bizarre film.
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