RELEASED 29 AUGUST 1978 | 18 | Blu-ray
Director Alan Birkinshaw
Cast Anthony Forrest, Tom Marshal,
Nigel Gregory, Jane Hayden
A product of the raw, nasty tendency of British horror of the ’70s, Killer’s Moon is almost comical in its shameless titillation. It sees four escaped psychopaths, dosed with LSD as part of dream therapy (one is David Jackson, Blake’s 7’s Gan), menacing a busload of clearly-far-older schoolgirls. Cue much ripping open of Victorian nightdresses and strangulation.
Though the killers repeatedly talk about how “It’s only a dream”, the high-concept is hard to swallow; a few psychedelic POV shots might have helped. And
Owl sound effects can’t disguise day-fornight blue skies
owl-hoot sound effects can’t disguise the day-for-night blue skies, or the studio-bound nature of some camping exteriors.
Remarkably, novelist Fay Weldon did a script polish (she’s the director’s half-sister), which may explain the escapees’ oddly grandiloquent turn of phrase. That’s one of several eccentricities, like a killer quipping “I should’ve gone private!”, incidental cues riffing on nursery rhymes, and intrusions by a drippy ballad, which just about manage to render this seedy, shonky effort watchably peculiar.
Extras 88 Films’ bonus upgrades include a critical commentary by Alexandra Heller-nicholas, who argues, at length, that the film critiques “the systemic failure of broken patriarchal institutions” – a, er, rather grand claim. A career overview chat with director Alan Birkinshaw (56 minutes – 13 on Killer’s Moon) has entertaining anecdotes about the likes of Oliver Reed and Donald Sutherland.
Actor Joanne Good (25 minutes) cheerfully pooh-poohs any idea that the cast were exploited (“It was so innocent!”), and seems sincerely disappointed that she didn’t have a nude scene. A video essay (13 minutes) highlights the film’s bizarre tone. Plus: trailers. Ian Berriman
According to actor Joanne Good, the girls’ school uniforms were reused from The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie.