The Burning Moon (1997) – By Duane L. Martin

A degenerate and depressed junkie gets stuck babysitting his young sister, and after shooting up with heroin, he heads into her room and tells her two horrific bedtime stories. The first is about a serial killer who goes on a killing spree and breaks out of the mental hospital he’s incarcerated in because a hand wringing female doctor took him off his meds. He then proceeds to kill his blind date’s family, and once they’re dead, he comes after her. The second story revolves around a psychotic priest who rapes women and then kills them. A simple man from the village is blamed for the murders, and eventually killed by some of the townspeople.

Ok, here’s my review. This film sucked balls. The end.

There ya go. Simple, straight forward and to the point. What? You want to know why it sucked? Jeez, ok. If I must.

First off, this film was made by a German film maker named Olaf Ittenbach, who apparently made several crappy films, with one or two exceptions. This is the only one I’ve actually seen though, so this is the only one I can comment on.

The film itself is in German and has English subtitles. It looks like it was transferred from an old VHS tape, as both the visual quality and the sound are less than stellar. Still, I’ve seen worse, and it is watchable.

The fact that it’s in German made it really hard to focus on, which is odd because I watch films from all over the world, and I’ve never had a problem following along with the subtitles, but there’s something about either this film or the German language that made it somewhat difficult to focus on the story.

The overall quality of the film making, the acting, the make-up and gore effects, and just about everything else in this film is absolutely horrible. The only somewhat entertaining part of the film is at the end when they do this Hell scene where people are being tortured and what not. The sad part is, that part of the movie is only enjoyable because it’s so cheap looking and cheesy that it makes it funny. I will give them some credit for creativity with some of the stuff that was on display in this part of the film and some of the tortures they came up with, but that wasn’t even remotely enough to carry the entire film. In fact, if this was a short with no story and the entire film simply consisted of this Hell scene, I’d have actually probably enjoyed it more. As it is, the film just feels way too long, and in general, it probably is too long for the quality of the story.

Fans of Ittenbach’s films will no doubt want to add this one to their collection, as apparently it’s been hard to find. I guess some people might enjoy it, but aside from that last part, I was really just wishing it’d be over.

So to sum it up, a kind of a cheesy thumbs up for the Hell scene at the end, a sideways thumb for the rest of the gore in the film, as it was generally of the same quality but mixed in with the crappy story, and a big thumbs down for the story, which was tedious at best. Fans will want it, everyone else should probably steer clear.

This DVD was released by Intervision, and the DVD contains a 47 minute making of featurette and the film’s trailer as special features. If you’d like to grab yourself a copy of the DVD, it’s available from Amazon here.