Half Moon (2011)
Written and directed by Jason Toler
Length of the pre-opening credits scene consisting of nothing but an unseen individual washing their hands and exiting the hotel room in which they've just murdered a hooker, which is then followed by an extremely stretched out opening credits sequence: 6 minutes.
Keep in mind Half Moon is barely 80 minutes long to begin with, and that's including the end credits.
This was the first indication I was probably going to be in for a long haul. The second indication was how amateurish the cinematography looked. I shouldn’t be too surprised since I was watching a movie starring a porn starlet in a non-penetration role. Porn stars don't exactly have the greatest track record when it comes to crossing over into mainstream cinema.
Half Moon is the long-winded story of two people drawn to one another who both long for a different life. Jacob is a mysterious john who hates that his body and actions are dictated to him by his uncontrollable werewolf curse in much the same way Rose, the hooker with the heart of gold and white girl trying to talk gangsta ghetto twang in her voice he hires for a night, detests having her body and actions dictated by the whims of an abusive pimp named Kevin, a pimp so wimpy he can repeatedly punch the crap out of a hooker's face and barely give her as much as a busted lip. The kind of parallel a French filmmaker could have a field day with, overloading their artsy fartsy take of this premise with endlessly long conversations between two or three people filibustering about their lives, their longings, and their inner torment, set almost exclusively within the confines of a single room. Unfortunately, the makers of Half Moon think they're French.
Half Moon isn't so much a horror movie as it is a droning mumblecore arthouse movie that mistakenly thinks it has more going on in its head than it actually does. Mumblecore movies strive to achieve a gritty sense of realism with their characters and dialogue. Even if the first hour hadn't bored me to tears, even if the dialogue wasn't leaden, even if the performers were the slightest bit interesting, gritty realism goes out the window the moment a guy digitally morphs into a shaggy full-body werewolf costume that looks like it was rented from a Halloween costume shop and slaps another guy's rubber hand off. A small part of me wants to chalk this one up as a noble failure since it certainly was trying to be something classier and more thoughtful than the typical blood and guts horror movie. The rest of me overrides this small part demanding I call the film out for being the boring failure that it is.
Tori Black may be a porno pro but is still too much of an amateur actress to carry a film that is predominately a series of long conversations between her and one of two other actors. Marek Matousek as remorseful werewolf guy does okay holding his end of the bargain, but like Black, he has absolutely nothing whatsoever the least bit interesting to say.
Oh, wait. She does have one interesting thing to talk about. Tori Black nearly in tears decrying having anal sex with a stranger? Forgive me if I found this a little funny in an ironic sort of way. I don't watch much porn (and am only fleetingly familiar with Miss Black's body of work), but one thing I do know about modern adult films is that I inevitably find myself wanting to tap the guy in the scene on the shoulder to ask, "You do know that women have vaginas, don't you?"
Writer-director Jason Toler tries to break up the monotonous chitchat with a sex scene. If you really want to see Tori Black naked pretending to have sex with a guy, why wouldn't you just seek out one of her adult films where you can see every square inch of her naked body having actual sex without also having to endure a stifling talkathon?
Still, Black does deserve some credit for trying to stretch her acting muscles as much as her loin muscles... RIMSHOT! She's done that, too! DOUBLE RIMSHOT! That also! I got a million of these! You can hear them all when I open for Don Rickles in the Poconos May 22-24th. Reserve your tickets today!
1 out of 5
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