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September 5, 2012

Movie Review: The Burning Moon (Intervision, 1997)

Severin Films' eclectic label Intervision has brought some very interesting titles to DVD recently in the form the 80's SOV oddities Things and Sledgehammer. Say what you will about either film, they do have an audience. Olaf Ittenbach's splatter film The Burning Moon is another one of those "films" that seems to be a perfect selection for the label. After sitting on the shelf with only a VHS release via the long defunct Dead Alive Productions the gore classic is making its debut in the US courtesy of Intervision, and well... it's gonna get messy.

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 amateurishness 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!

Intervision has included a behind the scenes featurette (running at nearly 50 minutes) that will no doubt make fans of The Burning Moon giddy. The footage shows a lot of footage on how the memorable gore FX were achieved. Ittenbach even elaborates on how he, in addition to his other tasks, he was also stuntman on the feature. Now that's some dedication! Other extras include an original trailer for The Burning Moon and a few other Intervision releases.

The Burning Moon is a highly enjoyable onslaught of excessive grue and silliness that's sure to please fans of over-the-top gore and may just manage to bring a tear to the eye of even the most jaded cinefile. Highly Recommended!

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