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With: Walter Koenig, Bruce Campbell, Leigh Lombardi, Robert Kurcz, John J. Saunders, Reavis Graham, Tom Case
Written by: Tex Ragsdale
Directed by: Robert Dyke
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 92
Date: 04/28/1989

Moontrap (1989)

3 Stars (out of 4)

'Moon' Screams

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Moontrap is a wonderful item from those glorious days when people with imagination could make a cheap sci-fi movie and expect to find a certain audience in the home video market. The biggest selling point is the meeting of two legendary cult figures from two different eras: Walter Koenig (Star Trek) and Bruce Campbell (The Evil Dead).

They play astronauts and best friends, and their comradeship feels genuine. On their latest mission, they bring back a centuries-old body and a weird pod-type thing. The pod opens up, begins grabbing nearby machinery and creates a deadly robot. So our heroes must go to the moon again to see if there are more pods and stop them from taking over the earth. There, they find a live, female space traveler who has been preserved for perhaps thousands of years. Apparently, they inadvertently provide the final ingredient to set a 14,000 year-old plan in motion.

Not for a moment do we actually believe that these guys are in space or on the moon. (I especially loved the inflatable tent that somehow fills the interior with breathable air, so that Koenig and the girl could remove their spacesuits and have a sex scene.) But the ingenuity that went into creating an ambitious sci-fi flick with very little money is worthy of applause. Some of the sets and props are quite impressive, not in a big way, but in a humble way.

Really, it's Campbell and Koenig that carry it. Koenig gets as far away from Pavel Chekov as possible, speaking with a gruff, big city accent and peppering his dialogue with "Goddamn it" and "bullshit" every so often, and Campbell gets to trade some of his typical wisecracks with his pal. If that's not enough, there are not one but two scenes of gratuitous female nudity. This is "B" movie entertainment at its best.

Olive Films released a Blu-ray edition of Moontrap for its 25th anniversary in 2014. It comes with a commentary track by director Robert Dyke and screenwriter Tex Ragsdale, as well as two fairy awkward new video interviews with Campbell and Koenig. The disc's quality is fine. It has no optional subtitles.

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