The Horror Honeys: Yawn at the BLOOD MOON

Yawn at the BLOOD MOON

A Monster Honey Wild West Review by Jennica

Blood Moon (2015)

Versus films are far from a new subgenre within the horror realm; however, in the millenium they seem to have grown in popularity. With films such as Freddy Vs. Jason (2003), Alien Vs. Predator (2004), and Alien Vs. Predator: Requiem (2007), horror fans get a thrill from seeing their favorite villains duke it out in the battles that were once mere nerdy lunchtime debates. In 2014, versus horror seeped into the UK as Jeremy Wooding and Uncork'd Entertainment provide monster maniacs with a new sort of horror mashup-- cowboys versus werewolves-- in Blood Moon

The Plot: Set in the late 1800s, a stagecoach carrying newlyweds, a gunslinger, a priest, reporter, and a quick-witted widow stop in an abandoned mining town for a stiff drink on their way to Denver. This sounds like the setup for a lame joke, but the funny part is left out. While poking around the local bar, the owner is found brutally murdered and a couple of inbred outlaws step out of the woods to hold them hostage for good sport. However, it's obvious from the wounds on the bar owner that he was not killed by any man or animal. These cowboys have spent years rolling their eyes at Native American tales of Skinwalkers. Maybe this time they will listen...

Told ya'll I'm real!

While recently advising a friend and fellow Horror Honeys reader with his screenplay, I was asked about the build-up toward a monster's initial appearance in a creature feature. How long is too long to delay a monster's monstering in a movie? The answer is Blood Moon. Although the movie teases its audience with a quick glimpse of the lycanthrope thrashing about in the beginning, the real monster action doesn't occur until about a freaking hour into the story. Most of the attempted excitement in Blood Moon centers around the bickering, trigger-happy wild westerners. Until about the last twenty minutes of the movie, Blood Moon plays out like any typical western genre film; thus, for acclaimed western-horror hybrid, it really skimps on the horror.

So... where's the monster?
Just as the movie finally starts to pick up with shots of the hairy skinwalker delivering pain and suffering to the small town drifters, Blood Moon soon comes to an abrupt end. The story dragged on for an eternity before the beast showed up but it didn't waste any time when it came to putting the damn thing to rest. Despite the surprise of seeing the werewolf forced to enter a fiery fate not by silver bullets, the secret identity of the creature was painfully obvious from the start. And instead of responding to being attacked by flailing about in a fit of rage like a respectable member of monster society, this big bad wolf just lies on the ground and waits to be killed. Uh... seriously?  

If there is any one interesting aspect of Blood Moon, it is the secretive nature of its motley crew of characters. The newlywed couple beg the question of whether honesty in a relationship truly is the best policy, a boozy Native American woman with a dirty little secret, and a hero from a mysterious town. ... You've probably never heard of it. As their dark pasts are gradually revealed, it is clear that the hairy skinwalker isn't the only wolf in sheep's clothing.

Blood Moon is the second western film-- and I assume the only horror-western hybrid--to be produced in the UK, and judging from the quality, it will hopefully be the last. Dating the lycanthrope back to late 1800s Native American folklore created an new take on the mystery of the werewolf; however, the film ultimately fell short on the delivering thrills. Declared a festival favorite at FrightFest and other conventions around the globe, I would be lying if I said that Blood Moon is a favorite of mine. 

Jennica's Rating: 2 Yeehaws out of 5
Y'all come back now!... Please?

If you want to see how the menfolk hunted werewolves out in the Old West, Blood Moon will be available on DVD and for digital download on September 1st.

Has Blood Moon already gotten The West of you? Share your thoughts with me on Twitter: @PrmQueenFrmMars