Title: The Burning Moon

Also known as:

Year: 1992

Genre: Splatter / Horror / Anthology

Language: German

Runtime: 96 min

Director: Olaf Ittenbach

Writer: Olaf Ittenbach

IMDb: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0103898/

Goodnight stories shouldn't be told by drugged up teenagers, but that's exactly what happens when a young man has to look after his sister and put her to bed. He tells one story of love and murder, "Julia's Love". The second story, "The Purity", is about a priest that rapes and kills women, and finally goes to hell for it.

Our thoughts:
"The Burning Moon" is the only of Ittebach's German classics that I never saw (even though I only saw "Black Past" in a cut state up until the other day). I don't count "Riverplay" to this because it's not as talked about. The reason I never watched "The Burning Moon" was because it seemed like such a hassle to me to find it, especially uncut. After falling victim to the cut "Black Past" release by Laser Paradise, I didn't feel like risking it with this one. "Premutos" was always the more accessible of his first three films, with a release by Shock-O-Rama.

Where "Black Past" tells a simple story to give us lots and lots of gore (and turned into a charming first effort) it feels like "The Burning Moon" repeats the mistakes "Black Past" had without giving us the extra charm. Ittenbach might have felt more confident with it and actually attempted to tell us some good stories (a mistake he nowadays repeats in most of his work - we want his gore). But that's not to say that the film doesn't give us the gore we want, just that it's harder for us to care up until we get it.

Olaf Ittenbach plays a drugged up criminal teenager who comes home after a gang fight, to look after his younger sister. He starts telling her stories to get her to sleep, and these stories are "Julia's Love" and "The Purity". The first one feels more like a first time effort than "Black Past" ever did. It's just a slasher story. With gore, yes, but without the great gore. It's mostly blood splatter and stabbings. "The Purity" is a slightly better story, with a killing and raping priest that goes to hell. This story is the highlight of the film mostly because of the ending scene where we get Ittenbach's infamous "vision of hell". It's a gore-soaked and creative little vision and is one of the stronger points in Ittenbach's career. It's actually fantastic, I think, and is the only scene that makes "The Burning Moon" an okay movie instead of a bad movie. Well, it is bad, but fun bad because of that scene. Up until that scene it doesn't have much to offer.

Yes, "The Burning Moon" is another gory movie from Ittenbach, but gore alone rarely interests me unless the movie is either good, simply entertaining or bad-but-charming. "The Burning Moon" is mostly bad. And too long. But I guess it's fine, being his second feature and all. He shows us that he knows how to play around with gore in fun and creative ways and that's what makes Ittenbach work even to this day. We're not watching his films for the great plots, fantastic acting or the suspense. "Black Past" survived by being gory through-out and had the debut film charm. "The Burning Moon" will please the people who loved "Black Past", but it certainly lacks a certain touch to make it work the entire movie. Maybe it's the runtime of almost 100 minutes.

Positive things:
- The "vision of hell" scene!
- Good gore, even though "Julia's Love" is pretty weak in that sense, even if bloody.
Negative things:
- Just a gore movie.
- Too long.

Gore: 4/5
Nudity: 0/5
Story: 2/5
Effects: 3/5
Comedy: 2/5

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