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  Bloodmoon Beat The Teacher
Year: 1990
Director: Alec Mills
Stars: Leon Lissek, Christine Amor, Ian Williams, Helen Thomson, Craig Cronin, Hazel Howson, Suzie Mackenzie, Anya Molina, Brian Moll, Stephen Bergin, Christophe Broadway, Samantha Rittson, Tess Pike, Jo Munro, Michelle Doake, Jonathan Hardy
Genre: HorrorBuy from Amazon
Rating:  4 (from 1 vote)
Review: At this Catholic school for girls in Coopers Bay choir practice is winding down one night, and the rest of the students are getting ready for bed in their dorms, but one is in tears. She is Jackie (Jo Munro), and because she has fallen for one of the pupils at the nearby boy's school she believes her strict father will take her out of the place and into another college, an idea which has left her distraught. But there is a solution she sees, and that's to elope with the love of her life, yet when she slips out to meet him in the surrounding forest she has trouble finding him as arranged...

There's a good reason for that: he's dead. That's because this was a late addition to the first slasher cycle from Australia, which rehashed some already well-worn clich├ęs and made them come up as fresh as a daisy. Or that was the idea, but really if you seen even a fraction of such horrors then you'd have a pretty good idea of where this was heading, though you might not have been expecting the first half to resemble an extended episode of some Aussie soap like Neighbours or Heartbreak High. So while you were ruminating on the possibility that the filmmakers had forgotten about the thrills, you could sit through uninteresting relationship drama.

Stuff like one pupil's obsession with seeing the science test papers before it was meant to be set so she would get an A as her father demands, or another girl's budding romance with a boy from the other school, which was offered so much screen time that it threatened to take over the whole movie. She was Mary Huston (Helen Thomson), who is supposed to be the daughter of a movie star from Texas, but you only know she's American because it's pointed out in the dialogue, as the actress was either not bothering at all with the accent or was so hopeless at it that it was difficult to make out. Such was the level of Bloodmoon, though the did have an alternative way of keeping you watching.

That was the nudity, as director Alec Mills (better known as a cameraman on James Bond movies here with the first of two Australian shockers) proved very able at persuading the cast out of their clothes for the camera, but when that included the short, fat, hairy biology teacher Mr Sheffield (Leon Lissek) maybe you shouldn't be thanking him too much. Anyway, as all that naked flesh was beginning to look like a desperate ploy to sustain interest, along came the plot again as someone else is murdered, not that the police are too adept at tracking down the culprit. Pausing not briefly enough to note how much space is given over to a black lipstick-sporting rock band at the school dance, we could finally get on with the horror.

Yet even then the damage had been done, and though Australian audiences got a "Fright Break" as in William Castle's Homicidal to sort out the men from the boys should the cowards in the audience not wish to see the rest of the movie, the uncertain nature of proceedings was only sufficient to make this largely of camp value. One interesting aspect was while you expected the killer to be revealed at the very end, evidently the screenwriter decided this would be more exciting if he was revealed quite some time before the climax, and in a way he was accurate, but in another it simply ushered in more soap opera theatrics, only this time with a chiller tinge. As the Brian May score builds, you began to notice its odd resemblance to There Ain't Nothing Like a Dame from South Pacific, another reason it was tough to take Bloodmoon seriously, though gorehounds would appreciate the amount of blood thrown around the further it went on, barbed wire garotte and all. Otherwise, it was mildly embarrassing.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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