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August 11, 2011

Movie Review: The Burning Moon (1992)

German extreme gore seemed to be dominated by three splatter-loving directors when it was at its pinnacle during the late 80's and early 90's. You had the corpse-banging genius of Jorg Buttgereit (Nekromantik, Nekromantik II, Schramm), the Ed Wood-ian, lowest common denominator trash of Andreas Schnaas (The Violent Shit Trilogy, Anthropophagous 2000, Zombie 90) and my personal favorite of these three auteurs, Olaf Ittenbach (Black Past, Dard Divorce, Premutos). Another World Entertainment is giving Ittenabach's films brand-new releases that include today’s review of The Burning Moon.

Buy The Burning Moon on DVD

 The Burning Moon is split up in two very disgusting, grue-filled stories. These stories, are also particularly perverse in nature and told to a young girl by her caring drug addicted brother (Olaf Ittenbach). The stories are entitled Julia's Love and The Purity. Julia's Love surrounds the sudden escape of a psychotic mental patient and the bloody rampage that ensues. Ittenbach doesn't waste ANY time getting to the splatter as the audience is treated to the most cringe-inducing trip to the dentist this side of Marathon Man. I could feel it in my own teeth; it was that nasty. Not every effect is a gem. One poor schmuck is shown getting into his car when he's hit by the maniac. It's an obvious dummy but it's easy to forgive as the movie progresses . Julia's Love is sick fun but it doesn't measure up as well as the next story, The Purity.

Julia's Love is really just something to ease you into the evil that you're about to see in The Purity. Sometimes it's really easy to forget that both are shot-on-video as they don't have the gonzo amaterishness of movies like Violent Shit or Cannibal Campout. Catholicism isn't shown in the most positive of lights as the plot of The Purity follows closely the heinous practices of a murderess priest - who also enjoys the occasional rape.

This story is culminated by one of the most intense sequences in a low-budget horror history: Ittenbach's ghastly interpretation of Hell. Without giving away too much, at the end you get a true indication of the skill of Ittenbach, not only creating some of the most disgusting FX put on screen but building a mood that makes it a true kick in the stomach. This is intense stuff folks!

Another Word Entertainment utilizes the best looking master for any release of The Burning Moon. As compared to the initial Dead Alive Productions release, it appears a bit more colorful - so more than likely it's Ittenbach's well preserved master. The Burning Moon also includes some perfectly readable English subtitles. If you’re planning on importing this DVD make sure you have a region free player as this is a region 2 release.

There are some cool extra features on the disc that include a couple of rare TV featurettes on Ittenbach. Here you get to see some fun behind the scenes stuff and even better there English subtitles. Ittenbach also hosts a segment on his early short films. He's very humble about them but it's really an enjoyable watch that shows some of his earlier pre-Black Past gore FX. Trailers for other Ittenbach films are also included to round out the bonus features.

Another World Entertainment does an excellent job with The Burning Moon. If you’re interested in getting the best release possible for this feature - look no further, cause it’s here.

(These disgusting screencaps are courtesy of

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