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Moontrap: 25th Anniversary Edition (1989) - Blu-ray Review

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Moontrap (1989) - Blu-ray Review

3 stars

Your choices are: (a) Ambitious (b) Pedestrian (c) Quaint.  Circle one of the words and you could anchor a review of Moontrap, written by Tex Ragsdale, around it.  For this review, it works best if I take elements from all three words because the flick is all about the gooey cheese, yet somehow manages to satisfy my cinematic needs when it comes to wonky science fiction. {googleAds}

This low budget science fiction film is hilariously in sync with the serial B-movies of yesteryear but, in spite of its own folly, somehow manages to be more engaging now than it ever really was during its original theatrical run in 1989.  Moontrap is definitely not for everyone but, you know what, I have seen much, much worse and – in today’s market – this Detroit-made science fiction flick has its own cult following that will find much joy in it’s blu-ray debut courtesy of Olive Films

"With more pulp that Pulp Fiction, Moontrap is a b-movie blast for those who long for the days of models in their movies and robots in disguise"


 

Moontrap is about a routine mission in space gone wrong.  Two veteran pilots - original Star Trek cast member Walter Koenig (Chekov) and Bruce Campbell of Evil Dead fame – come across an ancient race of robots and duke it out on the moon.  They discover a female human (played by Leigh Lombardi) and her survival is more about humanity’s ending than could ever be imagined.  There's even time set aside for a whole barrel of science fiction clichés to monkey around with before it is all said and done!

Directed by Robert Dyke, the film features some pretty nifty-looking robot killers, known as the Kaalium, who like to blow shit up and cause all sorts of trouble both on the moon and the earth.  Marginally reminiscent of the creatures in Virus – which Dyke’s film predates – these robots take human body parts and add them to their appearance for an even more villainous appearance.  Bruce Campbell as a robot?  Yes, please!

Moontrap (1989) - Blu-ray Review

Without the use of CGI, Moontrap gets its space effect from having the actors “pretend” to be on the surface of the moon.  The special effects wizards also have models in use and miniature dolls for some of the cast members as they go riding around on their moon vehicles and float through space from one shuttle to the next alien surface.  You have to forgive a lot, if you are very particular.  If you are a fan of the fantasy, Moontrap and its low budget might have been made with you in mind.

With more pulp that Pulp Fiction, Moontrap is a b-movie blast for those who long for the days of models in their movies and robots in disguise.  You’ll laugh.  You’ll cry.  Moontrap might even suspend your animation.

Moontrap (1989) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: R.
Runtime:
92 mins
Director
: Robert Dyke
Writer:
Tex Ragsdale
Cast:
Walter Koenig, Bruce Campbell, Leigh Lombardi
Genre
: Sci-fi | Horror
Tagline:
For fourteen thousand years... It waited.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Oh, Christ. That's what we are - spare parts."
Distributor:
Olive Films
Official Site:
Release Date:
No theatrical release
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
November 18, 2014
Synopsis: During a routine flight, two veteran space shuttle pilots discover an alien artifact and bring it back to earth. It soon turns out to be an extraterrestrial war robot, which is able to recycle any biological or technical material for its own deadly use. The two astronauts are sent to the moon, where Nasa expects to uncover the mystery of the alien robot's origin. They discover an ancient humanoid culture and battle the ultimate threat of the war machines heading to earth..

Moontrap (1989) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - November 18, 2014
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles
: None
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: 25GB Blu-ray Disc; Single disc (1 BD)
Region Encoding: A

The 1080p transfer of Moontrap looks pretty good with its remastering handled by Olive Films.  Lots of effort has been put into cleaning up the print and making it all shiny and new, specifically for this release.  Since it takes place in space for 80% of the time, there is some noise in the black levels but otherwise, it is fairly clean.  Details are good and possibly too good because they make what wasn’t noticeable very, very visible.  Yes, those are models.  Those low-grade effects definitely don’t gain a damn thing from all the clarity.  Neither does the makeup.  This is presented for the first time in widescreen format with the DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 soundtrack.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • There is an interesting and passionate commentary from Dyke and screenwriter Tex Ragsdale.  Spoiler alert!  There’s a sequel – without Campbell and Koenig – in the works.

Special Features:

The 25th-anniversary edition of Moontrap is made available from Olive Films.  To my knowledge, this is one of the first time they offer a selection of special features.  Newly made video interviews with Campbell and Koenig  kick off the celebration.  They are rather sobering and both men speak fondly of the low-budget shoot.  These interviews – along with the commentary – are all you get for your Moontrap party.

  • Walter Koenig Interview (15 min)
  • Bruce Campbell Interview (10 min)

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