Directed by: Griff Furst
Starring: Josh Stewart, Candy Clarke, Frank Whaley, Christopher Lloyd, Rachel Brooke Smith, Robbie Kay
In a small Louisiana town, the Larkin family are having a tough time of it - their blueberry farm is in serious debt with the bank and the approaching harvest isn't going to produce as much crops as in the past. Things get even worse when young Margaret Larkin is murdered on her way home by a masked killer. Her mother, Evelyn, makes no bones about who she thinks it the killer - local bank manager Nathan Redfield... Nathan has to not only put up with her accusations but is also terrorised by supernatural forces...
Cold Moon is a strange mash-up of supernatural hi jinks and overblown melodramatics. Set in a small town in Louisiana, the local accent seems to be a real obstacle to the actors, making everyone sound like they are in a Tennessee Williams play.
Once you get past that, and especially a couple of bad early scenes, the film delivers in pulpy violence and supernatural elements. The opening murder, where Margaret is strangled, tied to her bicycle and thrown off a bridge into the river, is a pulse-pounding scene. The killer is dressed in a long leather coat, wearing a hooded mask, giving the film an air of mystery as to where it might be heading.
Then the scares start to kick in. It needs to be noted that the film makes no qualms about who the killer is - it actually is Nathan Redfield, and we know this because he's the only guy in town being haunted by the vengeful ghost of Margaret. Nathan shrugs it off to begin with but soon the apparitions are getting more forceful and grizzly that he starts losing his mind.
Make no mistake, this is not a good film, but it is hell of an entertaining one. The supernatural elements keep varied - the ghost of Margaret never uses the same shtick twice, making her appearances all the more entertaining. One particular moment has a giant snake appear, with Margaret's face, Invasion of the Body Snatchers style !
Director Griff Furst is better known for his directing of low budget films which go straight to the Sci Fi Channel, with titles such as Atomic Shark. Cold Moon is definitely a step up from such fare, with a special fx budget which has been put to very good use.
Josh Stewart has been involved in better films than this, and like other cast member seems to be having difficulty reconciling the accent. Christopher Lloyd turns up as the head of the Redfield family but is confined to a wheelchair for all of his scenes. There is also a very strange, blink-and-you'll miss it cameo from Tommy Wisseau of The Room infamy, turning up as a snake charmer.
There is a particular snake motif to the supernatural element of the film, but it isn't really developed and you never learn how Margaret's spirit is able to wreak revenge from beyond the grave. However, in the long run, who cares when the entertainment value, both intentional and not, is this high?
The Louisiana accents are rather sore on the ear, but this is a fun, pulpy horror which isn't afraid to push the boat out. The opening murder is quite a shocker and is way better than the scenes that preceded it, and the scares have a lot of variety and gusto.
6 out of 10 (MikeOutWest)