The American West, 1887. A stagecoach full of mysterious passengers rattles and rolls through the eerie Colorado wilderness. Suddenly an enigmatic gunslinger called Calhoun steps into its path and uses his six-shooter to hail the stagecoach down. Meanwhile, the Marshall of a nearby town is in pursuit of two ruthless outlaws who have just raided the local bank. His only companion is Black Deer, a young Indian woman with some secrets of her own. As night falls and the blood moon rises, all the characters find themselves fighting for their lives in a deserted town where they have to survive not only each other but the fangs and claws of a mythical werewolf-type beast called a Skinwalker.

I’ve got to admit, I wasn’t looking forward to this. I’m not a fan of Westerns and, with the exception of ‘American Werewolf in London’ and ‘Ginger Snaps’, I pretty much hate werewolf films. So why I volunteered to review ‘Blood Moon’ is anybody’s guess. But the thing is, although it hasn’t got a shred of originality, suffers from some dubious creature design in the final Act, and has a tone and style reminiscent of those terrible low-budget ‘Cowboys vs (insert monster here)’ rip-offs you see on the SyFy Channel, I enjoyed it.

Where the film gets things right is in its casting, its set design and a script that is decently paced and doesn’t take itself too seriously. ‘Blood Moon’ was scripted by veteran TV comedy writer Alan Wightman who has a nice line in snappy generic dialogue and fortunately manages to stay clear of the groan-inducing one-liners (well, mostly). There is also a neat midway twist I didn’t see coming, although that could be because I’ve had a long day. The small cast also commit themselves admirably to a hokey premise and very one-dimensional characters. Anna Skellern, as ballsy Saloon owner Marie, and Amber Jean Rowan as a willowy new bride who is more than meets the eye, are particularly fun to watch.

Unfortunately, Jeremy Wooding’s flat TV movie-of-the-week direction doesn’t do ‘Blood Moon’ any favours. A film as low budget as this one, and with such a predictable seen-it-before storyline, needs some directorial tricks up its sleeve and Wooding doesn’t have any. It’s a shame because what he obviously did have were fantastic production and costume designers (Julian Nagel and Helen Woolfenden respectively) who, together with a very realistic-looking location, had me entirely convinced – right up until the end credits – that this was US production I was watching (all credit to the actors for creating that illusion too). It isn’t. It was filmed in England with, it seems, a mostly British cast and crew. For that piece of cinematic sleight-of-hand alone, ‘Blood Moon’ gets my vote. But it’s a vote that comes with a lot of reservations.


VERDICT: [rating=2]

About The Author

Ian White is an author, screenwriter and journalist. His book ‘Witchcraft and Black Magic in British Cult Cinema’ was recently published by Hemlock and he is a regular contributor to ‘Paranormal Underground’ and ‘Starburst’ magazines. He’s currently writing a new book and screenplay and his embarrassingly out-of-date website can be found at