Monday, July 1, 2013

Moonfire (1970)

Since there’s not much to discuss with relation to the content of this insipid trucker flick, let’s note something peculiar on the movie’s Internet Movie Database page. The first user review was written by the film’s director, Michael Parkhurst, who spends half his post arguing that his picture isn’t as bad as its reputation suggests (Parkhurst valiantly labels Moonfire “fair). The filmmaker spends the other half of his review bitching that Leonard Maltin once mistakenly described the plot as having a blackmail element. Only here’s the kicker—Moonfire does indeed have a blackmail element, unless one plays a semantic game and says that a villain taking technology hostage and demanding payment for its release somehow qualifies as kidnapping instead of blackmail. Anyway, one reason we’ve gone so far down this road is to demonstrate how vehement online movie-related discussions can become, no matter how insignificant the picture in question. The other reason is to underscore that even a hair-splitting e-debate about Moonfire’s storyline is more interesting than the film itself. The problem with Moonfire is that virtually nothing happens—Parkhurst’s film comprises 107 of the dullest minutes ever committed to celluloid. The plot is confusing, but it contains enough lurid elements that Moonfire should have amounted to something. First, a manned space mission ends when the capsule falls to the ground in Mexico. Next, an ex-Nazi recovers the capsule and the pilot, triggering the blackmail/kidnapping. Then truckers are recruited to deliver ransom to the ex-Nazi, though they’re told neither what they’re hauling nor where they’re going. (Instead, the truckers stop at regular intervals to receive instructions.) As a result, most of the movie comprises endless, repetitive scenes of the truckers heading to their destination, and Moonfire has enough shots of engine maintenance and truck-stop convenience stores to qualify as a training film. Yawn. The cast includes journeyman actor Richard Egan (who’s barely in the picture), square-jawed B-movie staple Charles Napier, and boxer Sonny Liston. None does anything memorable, though Napier and Liston briefly fight a gang of bikers and both spend lots of time shirtless and sweaty. So, until Michael Parkhurst pops up on this blog to argue with what’s just been written here, that’s about all there is to say.

Moonfire: SQUARE

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Never a good sign when a film's director has to defend his own movie because no one else will. I wouldn't be surprised if he drops you a comment and tries to defend it here as well. LOL