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Blood On Méliès’ Moon (Intervision Picture Corp.) Blu-ray Review

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    Ian Jane
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  • Blood On Méliès’ Moon (Intervision Picture Corp.) Blu-ray Review

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    Released by: Intervision Picture Corp.
    Released on: November 25th, 2022.
    Director: Luigi Cozzi
    Cast: Luigi Cozzie, Philippe Beun-Garbe, Alessia Petregnani, Barbara Magnolfi, Dario Argento, Lamberto Bava
    Year: 2016
    Purchase From Amazon

    Blood On Méliès’ Moon – Movie Review:

    Before the release of this 2016 film, Luigi Cozzi hadn't directed a narrative feature since 1989's utterly bizarre The Black Cat. Blood On Méliès’ Moon, however, confirms that the director hasn’t lost his touch for cinematic insanity, even if he’s now shooting on digital video and with what would seem to be a considerably lower budget – in fact, if anything, Cozzi’s penchant for insanity has been ramped up in this recent endeavor, so much so that writing a proper plot synopsis for this movie is going to be a bit of a challenge. But let’s give it a shot...

    In the movie, Luigi Cozzi plays Luigi Cozzi and early in the picture, a friend named Barbara (played by Barbara Magnolfi) has left him a book titled The Roaming Universe. Barbara winds up murdered in the basement of the Profondo Rosso shop in Rome, a store dedicated to horror and horror movies that Cozzi operates and which contains a museum in its basement dedicated to Dario Argento, killed, somehow, by a statue of the killer from Mario Bava's seminal Blood And Black Lace, on display in the horror museum operation out of the store's basement. Barbara was given the book from a weird old lady who somehow vomited it up during a séance.

    Later, Cozzi receives a lamp that somehow hips him to the fact that an evil version of inventor Louis Le Prince, who played a big part in the birth of cinema, posing as a magician, has opened a portal to Hell that will unleash an apocalypse of some sort with film used as the weapon to bring it about. Thankfully, a weirdo named Pierpoljakos (Philippe Beun-Garbe) is on hand to help Cozzi travel from one dimension to the next, a talking severed heard and a lot of odd characters in plastic masks to keep us as intrigued as we are confused. All of this somehow ties into a lost Georges Méliès movie.

    It's hard to tell is this is very clever and meta, or just very strange and unintentionally confusing - the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle as the film seems to be part fiction, part documentary. Cozzi, at one point wandering around in a sequin covered fedora, seems to embrace his status as a B-grade filmmaker quite openly here, referencing his work and the critical response to it in plain sight, and the movie seems to be, if nothing else, an outlet for both his creativity and his passion for filmmaking.

    Rife with references to classic genre films from decades past and featuring odd cameos from the likes of Lamberto Bava and Dario Argento, the movie wears its low budget on its sleeve, using digital techniques to create strange dimensional travelling sequences and throwing in a few gory murder set pieces to somehow tie it into Cozzi and Argento’s connections to giallo cinema. Cozzi talks to the camera a lot, as if he were some sort of demented Italian version of Werner Herzog hosting one of his own documentaries, albeit one where peoples’ eyes light up and neon green vomit plays an important part in the plot and everything looks like a cut scene from a Playstation 2 game.

    Blood On Méliès’ Moon – Blu-ray Review:

    The movie is presented on Blu-ray in an AVC encoded 1080p high definition transfer on a 50GB disc, framed at 1.85.1. While this looks like it was shot on a cell phone, the transfer is probably as good as it can realistically get. The two hour movie (why was this two hours?) gets a decent bit rate on the disc so compression artifacts are mostly avoided. Detail is about as good as the source will likely allow for and colors, while not always consistent, generally look pretty good here.

    Audio options are offered in Italian only in 24-bit DTS-HD 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo Master Audio tracks with removable subtitles provided in English only. Audio is clean and balanced, there aren’t really any problems to note with any hiss or distortion. The movie’s decidedly odd score is replicated well.

    Special features for this two disc special edition release are spread across the set as follows:

    Disc 1:

    Extras start off with an introduction To Blood On Méliès’ Moon By Director Luigi Cozzi. In this ten minute piece he talks about where the idea came from, originally proposing it to Cannon Films but not getting anywhere, why he took such a long break from making movies, how he came to collaborate with the people he collaborated with on the movie, making the movie with no budget over a two year period and not being able to use clips from Méliès’ movies in his own movie.

    The disc also includes a bonus movie in the form of 2018 film, I piccoli maghi di Oz (or, in English, The Little Wizards Of Oz). It is presented in AVC encoded 1080p and framed at 1.78.1 widescreen with Italian language 2.0 Stereo audio and English subtitles. The itent here was to document the Wizard Of Oz as seen through the eyes of children. To do this, Cozzi essentially gives us a quick history of The Wizard Of Oz before then bombarding us with some rapping kids and then a whole lot of footage of kids reading essays (and maybe fan fiction?) that they wrote about The Wizard Of Oz, shown in strangely animated form. Sometimes the animation is done using puppets and tangible things, other times it is poorly rendered on a computer, other times it is done using childrens' drawings - you don't really know what you're going to get here. There are subplots about teaching methods and different types of learning tossed in here, but it all leads back to these kids reading their essays and the weird animation until, in the final half hour, some of the people we saw earlier turn into characters from The Wizard Of Oz themselves... and before it's all over, those fucking kids will rap again. I don’t know what this is or why it exists.

    Cozzi also provides an introduction to The Little Wizards Of Oz. This eight minute piece lets Cozzi talk about making the film between 2017 and 2018 after finishing Blood On Méliès’ Moon, how his producer helped put the project together, letting kids work with the filmmakers to create a unique environment, how much fun the kids had making the movie, where the idea for the movie came from and the use of animation in the movie. It sort of explains why the movie exists without really actualy justifying why it exists.

    Disc 2:

    The main extra on the second disc is FantastiCozzi, a seventy minute documentary about Luigi Cozzi's life and work made in 2016 by Felipe M. Guerra. This is presented in AVC encoded 1080p framed at 1.78.1 widescreen with Italian 2.0 Stereo audio and English subtitles. While the sound and picture quality is uneven in spots, this is a pretty interesting piece as it's essentially Cozzi himself explaining how he got into moviemaking and then telling stories about various films that he worked from, from Star Crash to his take on Godzilla to Contamination and plenty more. There are archival clips and photos from plenty of his movies, and the piece does a really nice of painting a pretty charming portrait of a man who is extremely passionate about genre cinema and who just really and truly loves everything there is to making movies. This almost makes The Little Wizards Of Oz forgivable. This is 100% worthwhile just for the great stories about making the Hercules material for Cannon Films and the stories about Klaus Kinski.

    The Making Of Blood On Méliès’ Moon is an eleven minute piece where Cozzi alks about the work that inspired the movie, how wanting to make this movie goes back decades, the influence of stop-motion animation, his love of special effects, wanting to use effects work to surprise his audience (at least he succeeded in that part), Costa's work on the movie and the use of CGI in the movie and wanting to recapture the spirit of old genre films.

    The Making Of The Little Wizards Of Oz runs eleven minutes and it goes over the work that Costa did in the special effects department, how CGI and compositing was used along with green screen technology to create some of the set pieces featured in the picture.

    The Art Of The Little Wizards Of Oz is a seven minute piece that is basically an animated still gallery showing off some of the artwork created by the kids in the movie that was used in the movie itself. As we see this art, a text scrawl at the bottom of the screen talks about its significance and how it was used in the movie.

    A Trip To Alain Schlockoff, Founder Of L'Écran Fantastique Magazine is a quick three minute piece that shows Cozzi visiting Schlockoff, and just sort of hanging out for a bit looking around his office.

    Finishing up the disc is a trailer for Blood On Méliès’ Moon, menus and chapter selection options.

    Blood On Méliès’ Moon - The Final Word:

    Blood On Méliès’ Moon is absolutely as baffling as it sounds (yet somehow not nearly as baffling as The Little Wizards Of Oz!) but if nothing else, it’s…. unique! The fact that Cozzi is still out there making movies that confound and amuse definitely matters to some of us, and if you fall into that admittedly very specific demographic and what to see what he can do now that digital filmmaking is the norm, there is a lot to like here, or at least experience. The presentation is fine and the disc is loaded with extras. Cozzi fanatics take note, this release is for you.



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    Ian Jane
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    Last edited by Ian Jane; 11-28-2022, 02:44 PM.
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