Not for nothing does its cover brazenly warn, Uncut. Uncensored. Unconscionable. Chances are youd agree with all three, but the average person isnt likely even to complete its trailer.
Shot on video, The Burning Moon is not only a gorehounds delight, but a German gorehounds delight. To put it another way: those with framed covers of Fangoria magazine on the wall, go for it. All others need not submit, because the movies utter grotesqueness got it banned in its homeland for nearly two decades. And if Germany finds something objectionable, imagine what this conservative, knee-jerk nation would think!
Writer/director/SFX guru Olaf Ittenbach casts himself as the quasi host of the anthology film, fronting the framing device as Peter, a jerk junkie who attends a job interview in ripped jeans and asks for a beer. Shockingly not hired, he then has a gang fight, gets slapped by his mama, shoots up and goes outside to look up at the moon. Its burning! Why? Never you mind; at least the enigmatic title has been justified.
Then, after much arguing (Bullshit! I'm not going to look after that bitch!), Peter tells his little sister two bedtime stories while their parents go out for the night. Being quite the storyteller, he even has readymade titles for them: Julias Love and The Purity.
In Julias Love, young, big-haired Julia goes on a blind date with a guy whos escaped the local psych clinic. He has quite a temper; honk your horn and hell throw a dead hookers head at you. But thats beside the point, which is that this would-be Casanova goes on a spree of car-stealing and people-killing, with Julia and her family as his ultimate targets. O chivalry, where art thou?
After a quick break during which Peter asks his sister, Anyways, don't you think these are the best bedtime stories ever?, its on to The Purity, in which a nerdy priest seeks to purify the people, which he does as he rapes, shoots, tortures and kills them, but a simple-minded farmer shoulders the blame. For his crimes, the priest goes to Hell, in a lengthy sequence that likely infuriated a sensitive Germany. While admittedly sick, this scene is so over-the-top and fake-looking not to mention slathered with wall-to-wall moaning on the soundtrack its hard to imagine anyone taking it so seriously.
Peter sure doesnt. Sleep now, little one, he tells his sister. (Spoiler alert: While we were too busy watching nonconsensual dental work, eyeball nailing and taint tearing, he stabbed her to death.)
Its not these ridiculous effects that put me off, but that Ittenbach has no point beyond giving his bloodletting skills an unflinching showcase. All but absent of plot, the proceedings the back half especially stand as nihilism for entertainments sake. While I love horror movies, including those from the so-called and misleadingly titled subgenre of torture porn, I also demand that they suck me into a story first. I can overlook obvious, in-your-face amateurism if a piece is well-written.
Still, Im smart enough to know not everyone asks for the same. Theres an audience out there for The Burning Moon, and its members will lap it up, which is why movies like this are the very definition of to each his own. Rod Lott