DIE SAGE DES TODES (1981)
aka Bloody Moon
Article 5002 by Dave Sindelar
Directed by Jesus Franco
Featuring Olivia Pascal, Christoph Moosbrugger, Nadja Gergenoff
Country: West Germany / Spain
What it is: Slasher, Franco style
Someone is murdering students at a women’s boarding school.
Being neither a particular fan of Jesus Franco nor of the slasher genre, I can’t exactly say I was looking forward to this one with baited breath. I can say, however, that the ending of the movie is so over-the-top that I found myself looking at the movie in a different light then I had while watching it; that is, I began to wonder if it was actually intended as a tongue-in-cheek send-up of the genre. Granted, it’s hard to tell; the slasher genre descended into self-parody fairly quickly, and I can’t exactly say I have my finger on Franco’s pulse enough to know when he’s pulling my leg (in fact, I’ve seen many of his movies where I have no idea of what he’s trying to do). But if it is a send-up, that may explain why some of the dialogue is laughably bad, or why some of the behavior by various individuals is truly stupid (example: if someone is casting a scary shadow on your wall, don’t back away from the shadow – back away from what’s casting it). It might even explain why one of the “scary” musical sounds is reminiscent of a hopping effect I heard in Rolf Harris’s novelty single, “Tie Me Kangaroo Down”. At any rate, I find it more rewarding to look at it as a parody than a straight horror film, and I do find it interesting that Franco took on a horror sub-genre that strikes me as primarily American; I really can’t think of many slasher films that aren’t either from the U.S.A. or Canada.