Deathmoon (1978)

aka Death Moon
Article 4525 by Dave Sindelar
Date: 5-5-2014
Directed by Bruce Kessler
Featuring Robert Foxworth, Joe Penny, Barbara Trentham
Country: USA / UK
What it is: Horror in Hawaii

An overworked businessman suffering from bad dreams he can’t remember is ordered to take a vacation. He goes to Hawaii, where an ancestor of his was a missionary who offended the natives by interfering with a tribal ceremony. Has he inherited the curse they laid on his ancestor?

When my primary complaint about a movie is that you can’t see anything in the night scenes, I find myself wondering whether or not they were shot that darkly for some reason, or whether my print of the movie is simply not very good. I do know that I can see the daylight scenes just fine. Now I’m not talking about scenes where the action is somewhat obscured by the darkness; I’m talking about scenes where you’ll see a couple of pinpricks of lights that may be eyes, or scenes where you strain your eyes trying to see if there’s anything at all on the screen. I will say this much; when the scenes are this dark, they’re no fun at all, and that’s especially true for horror movies where much of the key action occurs at nights. In a movie like this, I will find myself suspecting that the reason it’s so dark is to cover up the fact that the werewolf makeup is really lame; I know you never get a good look at him here. Granted, the rest of the movie is no great shakes, either; character-wise, there’s something dull about a man who’s a werewolf who hasn’t the slightest suspicion that he is, the investigation isn’t particularly engaging, and most of the movie seems more interested in the man’s romance with a fellow vacationer and location footage of Kaua’i, where this was filmed. You know, sometimes I get the feeling that certain movies exist primarily for the travelogue footage. Lovers of Hawaiian footage will probably like this one more than horror fans.

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