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on August 20, 2004
Yep, that DVD company that just can't get it right strikes again!

WARLOCK MOON - a fun little independent 70's horror flick finally sees the light of day on DVD. And thanks to Shriek Show, the version we now have is CUT! Over 10 minutes of the film are cut out! Unbelievable! Thanks Shriek Show - for nothing!

Do not support this shoddy release. Seek out the old UNCUT vhs version from Unicorn Video instead.
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on September 1, 2004
I really don't like repeating myself but yeah, this DVD is missing several minutes of footage and basically everything I said about the Hell High DVD applies here as well, except this time I can not recommend the purchase of this release one bit. As of this writing, Media Blasters have released six Joe Bob Briggs DVDs, and of those six, two of them (Hell High and this one) are missing several minutes of footage as well as the Joe Bob commentary which accompanies this footage. Since the only reason anybody would really want to buy these DVDs is for the Joe Bob commentary, I consider this a very big negative. Somebody in the quality control department is obviously sleeping on the job at Media Blasters, and with three more Joe Bob DVDs slated for release before the end of this year, I fear for my fellow Joe Bob fans.

Avoid this DVD and tell Media Blasters you'll continue to avoid their future releases until they get it right.
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on February 23, 2012
Nothing can hurt a horror movie more than being a victim of bad timing. When "Black Christmas" was released in 1974, American audiences weren't ready for an intelligent slasher featuring an unstoppable boogeyman that had little backstory. It wasn't until "Halloween" was released in 1978 that audiences were willing to buy such a premise. Sadly, the same thing happened to our underappreciated slasher gem of the week, "Warlock Moon." Released shortly before "Texas Chainsaw Massacre", audiences didn't know what to make of a cannibalistic family horror story. The awful title sure didn't help matters much either.

"Warlock Moon" begins with young lovers John and Jenny (this being the 1970's, they are young lovers who literally have JUST met) who decide to go for a drive in the countryside one day when they happen upon the remains of a long-abandoned resort spa. After doing some exploring, they find that an elderly couple is still living in the crumbling building. They tell the youngsters that the resort was shut down long ago because it was the headquarters of a satanic cult that performed cannibalistic rituals on unsuspecting visitors, and then invite the pair to stay for dinner. Will John or Jenny make it back to civilization alive? Will anyone believe their story?

"Warlock Moon" isn't a movie that always plays fair. It tries to combine slasher elements (creepy guys with axes at the spa) and supernatural elements (an old bride who was suppose to be married at the spa but was killed and eaten on her wedding day) to a troubling twist ending that doesn't quite provide the shock that it should. So why is "Warlock Moon" a masterpiece? This is the kind of movie that would never be made today. It is independent filmmaking at its finest. This is the sort of film in which the filmmakers and actors wear their hearts on their sleeves. It may be too ambitious but it has a sense of dread, atmosphere, and suspense that is sorely missing from horror today. The cherry on top of the sundae? A hilarious commentary featuring the wonderful Joe Bob Briggs who goes to great detail to tell why witches are misunderstood today as well as why "Warlock Moon" is the worst title for a horror movie ever. It's a hilarious listen but the movie is well worth checking out as well.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 10, 2012
Warlock Moon (1973) is a tale of suspense, that despite humble production values and sketchy story, still manages to be rather effective. The film features Laurie Walters, who would later become known for playing Joannie Bradford, on ABC's Eight is Enough, as a college student who finds herself entangled in a web of evil. With a grainy image and frequent soft focus, the movie which is also known as "Bloody Spa", has the authentic "drive-in look" that some modern films attempt to emulate.

College students Jenny MacAllister (Walters) and her new friend John Devers (Joe Spano), head out into the country for a picnic, and find the Soda Spring Spa, a rundown facility that is the home of an old woman named Agnes Abercrombi (Edna MacAfee). Looking around, an inquisitive Jenny sees a sign of the evil to come. Devers who works for a newspaper, is intent on doing a story about the spa, and a reluctant Jenny agrees to meet him there. At the spa, more strange things begin to happen, as Jenny is terrorized by a man with axe, is visited by a ghost, and is targeted for a sacrificial death. She miraculously escapes from the spa, but the power of evil extends quite far.

The story is fairly simple, and has many holes, but is still surprisingly effective. Displaying doubt, frustration, and terror, Laurie Walters is pretty good in her role. While as Devers, Joe Spano plays an oddball character, that is a bit inconsistent and at times annoying when attempting to be funny. Spano would later find great success in television, earning an Emmy nomination for his work on TV's Hill Street Blues, and also appearing in reoccurring roles in other series like Murder One, NYPD Blue, and NCIS. Edna MacAfee steals many of the scenes she is in, as the sweet old lady with a very dark disposition.

Very much an atmospheric period piece from the 70's, Warlock Moon is the kind of film where you just sit back, turn off your critical brain, and go back in time for some creepy scares. The film is dated, low budget, and not pretty to look at, which contributes to its nostalgic and fun "drive-in movie" appeal. There's not much explicit gore, but the horror is nicely staged, as a supernatural element emerges, and unexpectedly strikes. Rating: 2.5 stars. The film is also part of the Shriek Show compilation, Cannibal Lunch Box.
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A man and woman (Joe Spano and Laurie Walters) go out for a drive, winding up at a seemingly abandoned old spa. They meet a nice old woman who makes them tea, and talks a lot. Uh-Oh! Granny's been slipping something extra into the tea! Soon, well, eventually, the young couple are in the middle of a hideous nightmare, involving hippie cultists and their sharp axes! The plot stops, starts, and meanders quite a bit, but has its moments. Spano spends much of his screen time being "funny", in true rubber-crutch fashion. The "twist" toward the end isn't a big surprise, but it does make the story a lot more fun. In summation, don't drink the tea, and for god's sake, don't eat the food!... P.S.- This had to have been a great influence on Ti West, as his HOUSE OF THE DEVIL comes to mind whenever I see the MOON finale...
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on October 19, 2009
I liked the movie.

As no other reviewers said, there were twists in the story that made it interesting. Not much gore, bad language, or nudity, which is a minus. It was good vs evil, but who was good and who was evil?
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on August 15, 2011
The good news is that there is a Joe Bob Briggs commentary at the beginning of the film. The bad news is that without it, the movie isn't worth watching. The movie starts out talking about deviant behavior such as incest, cannibalism, and homosexuality. (Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger.) Joe Spano, plays John, a colorful character who role plays and does bad accents (This is the good part of the film.) He ends up taking his gf to an abandon spa that still has old Mrs. Abercrombi still living there...or is she?

The movie includes a couple of ax murderers, some bad camera angles, and near zero special gore effects. It certainly has potential as a Rob Zombie remake and it could be done rather cheaply and done well also. Sorry, but this is not a cult classic or drive-in classic.

No f-bombs. No sex. No nudity. Laurie Walters does show a lot of leg in one scene after an attack. Was that an upskirt?
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on June 17, 2013
I liked the movie.

As no other reviewers said, there were twists in the story that made it interesting. Not much gore, bad language, or nudity, which is a minus. It was good vs evil, but who was good and who was evil?
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on July 12, 2014
At about the same time as Tobe Hooper was creating a miniscule budget. cult horror legend with "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," another aspiring filmmaker, Bill Herbert, was going over pretty much the same cinematic territory in another miniscule budget horror film from 1973, "Warlock Moon." However, Hooper's film will always have a place in horror movie history, while "Warlock Moon" has vanished into obscurity. Anyone watching this DVD will quickly understand the reason for the complete obscurity of "Warlock Moon."

"Warlock Moon" does boast two talented leads at the beginning of their careers, but little else. Laurie Walters (of TV's "Eight is Enough") and Joe Spano (most recently Mark Harmon's FBI buddy on "NCIS") are a pair of college age youngsters whose picnic goes awry when they take the proverbial wrong turn and wind up at an abandoned spa in the middle of nowhere. Agnes, the old lady caretaker at the spa shows them around, but, other than some eerie mood music, nothing much happens. So, naturally, they go there again. Walters arrives first and finds the place completely rundown and in disrepair and runs into a hunter who tells her the spa's history. It seems the place closed down 40 years earlier after a bride disappeared on her wedding night, which featured a banquet with a very tasty, but somewhat unusual, main dish.

From there, "Warlock Moon" goes pretty much as you would expect. Against her better judgment and any semblance of common sense she might have, Walters agrees to spend the night. The plot actually does have a couple of twists (albeit more silly than clever), so I won't go into great detail, but I will say that there are a couple of very menacing guys wandering around the place, one looking like a "Duck Dynasty" reject and the other a third runner-up in a Gregg Allman lookalike contest.

The two leads are decent actors, as evidenced by their later careers, and they bring a semblance of quality to the production. Walters plays the scenes in which she is terrorized well, and Spano gets to chew the scenery in a bizarre courtship scene in an abandoned swimming pool. The rest of the cast leaves much to be desired, with a quality level about what you'd expect from the local community theaters from which they probably came. In addition, the production values of "Warlock Moon" are virtually nonexistent. Several murders occur in the film, but unlike the shocking gore level of most independent films of that time, almost nothing is shown. Instead, the film features some rather inept cuts while the killings occur offscreen. The net result is a movie that, were it released today, could probably get a PG rating (according to some reports, the version shown on DVD is about ten minutes shorter than the original cut, which might explain why there is so little blood shown).

The screenplay of "Warlock Moon" is also a mess. Not only does it commit the usual horror movie sin of having the main character act conveniently stupid enough often enough to remain in what should have been easily avoidable peril, but it seems to change its backstory from one scene to the next, as if the writer (also the director Bill Herbert), was completely winging it. For example, Walters sees a woman in a white dress who might be the ghost of the dead bride or might be a figment of her imagination. The script doesn't seem to care one way or another. In addition, the ghost seems to want alternately to want and menace Walters from one scene to the next. There are some other script howlers I can't even go into without spoiling what little enjoyment some people may get from "Warlock Moon." To make matters worse, I was often thinking about some of the script's stupidity during supposedly intense scenes of the movie, which didn't help its shock value.

The only reason I'm giving "Warlock Moon" a second star is a witty DVD commentary, as well as a brief introduction to the film, both provided by so-called "drive-in critic" Joe Bob Briggs, who provided commentaries for a number of low rent horror film DVDs a few years back. The quality of the DVD audio and video is terrible, undoubtedly due to a lack of decent source elements and any funds to restore the movie. However, Briggs is thoroughly entertaining in a commentary that provides some insight into the actors and the director (whom Briggs thinks is someone completely different that the credited "Bill Herbert"), as well as an examination of why a few scenes work and a lot of them don't. Briggs is actually an astute critic and he provides good material for both horror fans and students of filmmaking. He even points out that the film title makes no sense, since "Warlock Moon" has no warlock and no moon (hence the title of my review). Considering the rather complete lack of actual horror, intelligence, or production values in the movie, viewers will be far better advised to skip the traditional version of the film and, instead, just listen to Briggs's commentary.
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on September 11, 2012
I've never seen the Unicorn VHS, but I've read plenty of stuff online that this DVD is missing scenes so I took away a star. The film is very slow moving with only a minimal amount of gore towards the end. The entire film is mostly suspense and scenery. The action is minimal, and many might find the film to be boring. The film is about a couple encountering a cult that lives at a deserted spa, and the decrepit scenery is impressive. Not much happens until the climax, and the film basically uses suspense and its creepy desolate location instead of exploitation stuff. If you want a slow moving and creepy late night film you might like it. There's no nudity either, but it has a really good 70s feel. I don't think the DVD is missing any gore or nudity, but I would've liked to see it complete. The acting and directing are pretty good, but some may be bored by the films slow pace.

The picture quality isn't pristine. It looks like the film print that they used was a little worn out. There's also a commentary with Joe Bob Briggs.
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