Jess Franco’s Bloody Moon + other merry sexploitation misadventures

July 26, 2014 | By

BloodyMoon_BRAs Severin Films digs into their back catalogue for virgin Blu-ray editions, it’s inevitable the films of Jess Franco would benefit, and Bloody Moon (1981) makes its HD debut this month.

Written by the film’s production manager, Erich Tomek, Bloody Moon was also a video nasty in Britain when it made its home video debut in the early 80s, and it’s not far-fetched to say the brilliant poster art (ported over by Severin for their DVD and Blu-ray editions)  pricked the sensitive nerves of censorial tightwads.

I’ve augmented the review with two other Franco films: the dopey cannibal sleazefest Devil Hunter / Sexo-Canibal (1980), also released by Severin and reviewed by moi for Rue Morgue back in 2009; and the sex slave idiocy Linda / The Story of Linda/ Orgy of the Nymphomaniacs (1981), Franco’s other film with writer / production manager Tomek.

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SolarCrisis1990_posterCompletely aside: CTV news reported Friday of a NASA admission in which had a giant solar flare in 2012 faced our happy Earth, ‘humanity would’ve been in big trouble.’

The footage is eerie, but what I found intriguing is the use of a clip from Richard C. Sarafian’s Solar Crisis (1990), then reportedly the most expensive Japanese sci-fi film, which was recut and released as  ‘an Alan Smithee film.’

I first learned of the movie when American Cinematographer ran a cover story on Richard Edlund’s fancy visual effects… and then the film vanished, until Vidmark spat out a VHS release. A friend held a longer widescreen laserdisc edition in his hands during a trip to Japan, but that cut and any release in the film’s proper 2.35:1 ration has never appeared on DVD.

It seems Vidmark (or rather, Lionsgate, which is now part of  EOne) still owns the rights, but never felt it was worthwhile to release the film beyond a crappy full screen edition, which is bizarre considering the VHS review screener sent to critics was widescreen.

Why do I bring this up? Because Solar Crisis is an orphan film that even its Japanese owners show little interest in releasing on DVD or Blu-ray. It makes no sense, and the movie remains a minor Holy Grail, even though I know it’s a mediocre 70s-styled space disaster film headlined by Charlton Heston.

I may end up reviewing my screener because it seems the film will never arrive in a proper HD edition.

We all have our guilty pleasures, and this one’s mine.




Mark R. Hasan, Editor

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