Digi-Schlock: THE BURNING MOON (InterVision DVD)

Severin Films sublabel InterVision has to be given credit: they’ve delved into the backwaters of 1980’s and 1990’s shot-on-video horror in a way few cult movie labels could be bothered with.  Movies like Sledgehammer and Things are the kind of stuff you really have to love to try and make money by releasing it.  InterVision has stepped up to the plate with their release of The Burning Moon, creating a release that the camcorder-grunge addicts who adore this material can get behind.

The Burning Moon was shot using the pre-digital era video equipment of the early 1990’s.  That means it’s got the kind of soft, flat look you would expect from vintage video material.  The transfer has a nice, first generation look to it, making things as sharp and colorful as the medium’s limitations will allow.  Fans who have gotten by with non-translated bootlegs of this title can be happy because it presented here with nice, easy-to-read English subtitles accompanying its German language soundtrack.  That soundtrack sounds fine here, with no distortion and a solid use of the film’s doomy synthesizer score.

Extras are limited but worthwhile.  The key item is a lengthy making-of featurette produced by Ittenbach himself during the film’s original shoot.  It’s built around an extensive amount of on-set footage, with the focus being how the various makeup effects were pulled off.  These behind-the-scene bits are also accompanied by the gore scenes from the film itself, making this a de-facto highlights reel.

The making-of piece is given structure by talking head bits with Ittenbach, looking unexpectedly professional in a tie as he discusses the challenges of shooting extreme material on a low budget and his desire to take the audience out of their comfort zone.  He also reveals how doing the film’s stunts fell to him: there is some unforgettable footage of him doing a fire stunt with no paramedics or fire extinguisher in sight (after he does the stunt, a friend comes running over with a blanket to put the flames out!).

Elsewhere on the disc, there is a charmingly low-brow trailer for The Burning Moon from the film’s original U.S. video release (“from the people who brought you the Traces Of Death series”) and a few bonus trailers for other InterVision releases, The Secret Life: Jeffrey Dahmer and The ABC’s Of Love And Sex In Australia.  All in all, this is a strong release for such an obscure cult item and anyone into the shot-on-video horror scene will want to snap it up.

To read Schlockmania’s film review of The Burning Moon, click here.

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