Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Bloodmoon (1990) Alec Mills

One of the less feted slashers to still earn a release on a non poundstore/fly-by-night DVD label, Bloodmoon is generally taken as proof positive that the slasher genre had well mouldered away its last worth by the late 80's, and that Australians were never good at making them anyway. Apparently their older effort Nightmare is actually quite a solid giggle but I haven't seen it yet. Easy to see why Bloodmoon gets little love, it's a copiously flawed work, yet I found it difficult to really dislike. Problems first, starting with plot which is sloppily worked out with several fudged motivations and a lack of clear central protagonist. In the first half hour a teen rivalry subplot weighs heavy, but that dissolves completely into cheesy romance, which is then largely set aside for luridly schlocky soap operatics. Of course murder is bubbling away at the heart of it all and things catch alight sometime in the second half with a turn into suspense shocker, but even as things come to a head the impression remains of two fairly distinct scripts hastily pasted together. Along with plot deficiencies the kills mostly aren't up to much, poised without much suspense, staged with little skill and perhaps worst of all displayed with little grue. There's some blood and a couple of nice after the fact body shots, but given that the killer's weapon of choice is a loop of barbed wire for garroting purposes the general absence of rent flesh and gushing red is coming on tragic. And adding to the malaise is an unmemorable score from the usually reliable Brian May (not to be confused with the shaggy haired Brit astrophysicist), spiced up with a couple of typical for the era wuss rock tunes which are really no match for the butt rock of its genre contemporaries.

But for all this, a good time for me. The younger cast members cast are bright and enthusiastic, performing without guile and selling the material with charm. There are a number of attractive girls and a bit of nudity, but in a nice departure it feels innocent and fun rather than sleazy and deliberate (even if it was indeed sleazy and deliberate, which I suspect was the intention). The older members do well too, especially a creepy, toadishly pathetic Leon Lissek as a cuckolded teacher and Christine Amor a delight as his ice bitch wife. The locations are pleasing and the direction randomly atmospheric, one of the kills is surprisingly vicious and others achieve in random shots a certain offbeat charm. And due to the well stuffed plotting there's always something to entertain going on even if it is decidedly inane. So I rather enjoyed it all and was never bored. Not a film I'd ever recommend as "good", but worth a watch for bad slasher junkies.

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