Lunatic free-range


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.

 ?? ?? Don’t worry, some Daz will have that out in a jiffy.
Don’t worry, some Daz will have that out in a jiffy.

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