Bloodmoon was an Australian slash ‘n’ stalk flick made in 1989. Financed by Village Roadshow, the country’s major producer, it is also an undeniably mainstream affair. Substitute the Australian accents for American ones and it differs not one bit from standard US fare. Indeed, there’s nothing here that you wouldn’t have seen before.
The site for the slashing and stalking is Cooper’s Bay, home to a Catholic all girls’ school conveniently situated near an isolated patch of woodland. Yet anyone hoping for the setting to recall Bruce Beresford’s The Getting of Wisdom, Peter Weir’s Picnic at Hanging Rock or one of John Duigan’s early coming of age dramas will be sorely disappointed; a more typical reference point would be Mark Rosman’s The House on Sorority Row from 1982. Indeed, there’s the constant feeling that a formula is being adhered to throughout. We open not only with the obligatory first murder (complete with process shot of a red moon to explain away the otherwise pointless title), but also the communal shower scene.
Trite though this may be, it does at least suggest that Bloodmoon is getting straight down to business. Except that, following these initial scenes, it sadly isn’t. From hereon in we get lumbered with a hefty dose of exposition and a number of digressions that are seemingly paying homage as much to fifties B-movies as they are the eighties slasher flick. Indeed, Cooper’s Bay plays host to school rivalries, a “lover’s lane”, a police officer who commands little respect from the faceless teen cast and a local dance replete with your usual hi-jinks and spiking of the punch. In fact director Alec Mills get so caught up in this that he almost completely neglects the killer.
The sad fact, however, is that we get to a point where we no longer care. The fifties fixation (though this is a film supposedly set in the late eighties) may proffer a certain innocence, yet this only seems at odds with the later gore and violence once Mills gets back on track and picks up on the stalkings again. Moreover, by this point any hint of suspense has sadly dissipated and the eventual revelation of the killer’s identity is completely uninteresting. Indeed, the overall reaction to Bloodmoon as a whole is likely to be a simple “so what?”
Note that on this disc 'Bloodmoon' is missing the "fright break" which accompanied its theatrical showings.
Though presented anamorphically, Bloodmoon’s Region 2 DVD incarnation is rarely impressive. The disc is completely lacking in extras whilst the picture quality suffers from being a touch on the soft side. Moreover, it also has to contend with artefacting and the occasional flicker. Of course, it remains watchable and is perhaps what should expected from a low budget, comparatively obscure horror flick, but a disappointment nevertheless. The soundtrack fares better with a simple DD2.0 mix which rarely demonstrates any overt technical flaws.