Schlocktoberfest IX – Day 23: Moontrap



Moontrap (1989)


*Spoilers Throughout*

Mission Log:
 After two astronauts (Koening and Campbell) orbiting Earth find a strange alien spacecraft and bring the contents home and find out it’s an ancient race of space robots that live on the moon. To further investigate they are sent back to the moon to find stuff. 

Here are some of my observations as I watched the film:

  • So are we just going to watch 20 minutes of the Apollo 11 moon mission?
  • Is that a Tremor?! That would be awesome if they made a Tremors-like monster movie on the moon!
  • Special Effects by the ACME Special Effects Company. I’m not kidding.
  • So we got Walter Koenig and Bruce Campbell as astronauts. Awesome right? Probably not. 
  • Koening just mentioned that space is “The Final Frontier.” I’m surprised Shatner didn’t sue him for saying that.
  • Bruce Campbell’s callsign in the Navy was “The Penetrator!” Because, according to him, he was always the first and last one out.
  • So far a ton of this movie is Chekhov and Ash’s reaction shots. 
  • There’s this huge alien ship over the Earth’s orbit and no one ever noticed it until now. 
  • “It’s big. Very big.” No joke here.
  • Again, a Sci-Fi flick where common astronauts “check out” an alien ship or being without really being qualified or cautious. 
  • Chekhov checks out the ship and finds what looks like a football in the ship. Naturally he picks it up and brings it back to the shuttle to bring it back to Earth. 
  • He also finds and brings back a dead body that just so happened to be floating around the ship.
  • Government brass don’t believe Chechov and the other NASA director’s when they say that the dead body and the football are over 14,000 years old. He thinks they’re swindling the government for more money. 
  • Why are there skill cranes above the dead body and the space football? Is Ash going to win a prize?
  • Some robot comes out of the football and reconstructs the dead body. Which I can get behind but what I don’t understand is how it’s reconstructing the space suit of the dead body as well as its space ship?
  • The computer kept saying “reconstruction” but it was just simulated on the computer screen. No actual reconstruction. Not sure what that whole scene meant.
  • Chekov’s whole new plan is to use an old Apollo shuttle to go back to the Moon to investigate. And of course this government stooge is against it due to budgetary concerns. DRAMA!!
  • Oh. The skill crane’s are now the little robot’s new arms.
  • Apparently NASA has an armed forces unit. Eat your heart out Space Force.
  • So the little robot from the football has morphed into this giant robot from using spare parts that it found in around NASA. It kinda looks like ED-209 and ROB from the original NES.

You have 20 seconds to comply!

  • And as the commander of the NASA armed forces ready his men to fire, one of the NASA scientists goes on a rant about it being the chance to communicate with an off-world intelligence and they shouldn’t harm it. I’m sure he’s going to die any minute now by the Robot. 
  • Well I was half-right. As he goes to talk to the robot, the robot shoots his arm just wounding him. Then he turns around and tells everyone to shoot the sonuvabitch.
  • The robot is too large a prop to have move so it’s just standing in place, shooting electrical bolts at the soldiers. And even though it’s made from common earth metals, bullets are not doing a thing to harm it.
  • This scene is going on way too long.
  • Still too long.
  • What’s taking this scene so damn long?!
  • HAHAHAHAHA. So I thought Chechov’s plan was to set off the water sprinklers to harm the giant Robot because he looked up to motion to Ash what his motive was and that’s what the camera focused on. But after 5 minutes of him climbing in the vents his plan was to get above the robot and just shotgun his skull in a sneak attack!
  • I love how a shotgun blast destroyed it but all those M16 machine gun shots did jack-shit.
  • I don’t think Chekov’s house could be any more white. It’s like David Duke decorated it.
  • That’s what I want to see. Chekov and his son doing push-ups together. It’s heartwarming to say the least.
  • There’s this scene where Chekov and his son are chatting about Chekov’s ex-wife. I’m not sure what this scene’s significance is.
  • There’s this bar called Joey’s and the outside looks so weird like it’s a model from Beetlejuice. 

  • Bewbs! Weird. I was not expecting that. Weird hair though. Is Joey’s an alien strip bar?
  • Why is the strip club waitress wearing an XTC Drums and Wires T-shirt?
  • Bruce Campbell gets cut off by the waitress because he did a terrible Ralph Cramden impersonation. Wait until they see his Ronald Reagan.
  • Why was that other friend of Ash’s under the table that whole time he was talking to the waitress? Was he giving Ash a blow-job from under the table?!
  • Why did Bruce Campbell pick this strip club to have Checkov meet him to tell him that they are going to the moon to investigate the base up there. 
  • It’s taking Ash over 4 minutes to tell Chekov that they’re going to the moon. And for 4 minutes Chekov has no clue what he’s talking about.
  • People give Shatner shit about his acting abilities but seriously, there’s a reason Walter Koening didn’t make a lot of movies.
  • Apparently Chechov always wanted to run down a moon hill. And he fucked it up. 
  • Holy shit that was one hilariously bad stop motion animation of Chechov and Ash driving the moon rover. It looks like something from Pee-Wee’s Playhouse!

  • Why are they using an old Apollo style lunar module and space craft when earlier in the movie they were in the more modern Shuttle? Is this how they saved some dough?
  • Chekov accidentally forgot his son’s frisbee in the space craft. With no gravity it actually would’ve been scientifically cool to see a frisbee fly for miles. 
  • They really should’ve had Campbell be the real star of this. An Evil Dead on the moon would’ve been an awesome idea.
  • They found an alien base that no space craft, telescope or satellite has ever found before. 
  • I have to say that the voice over commentary from Ash and Chekov is really lame and irritating. Like my hemorrhoids.
  • It’s a moontrap! It’s a suicide rap. We better get out while we’re young. ‘Cause tramps like us, baby we were born to run!
  • Seriously, though wouldn’t it be a better idea to have more than TWO astronauts investigating this unknown alien moon base?
  • Wait, they’re armed with guns? How would that work on the moon? Unless they’re laser guns, which is really dumb.
  • There are human skeltons all over this base. No clothes or space suits. 
  • This base is decorated as badly as a Monster Golf. 
  • They find a perfectly preserved and alive female, maybe human. How did she get there? How is she still alive? I’m sure all these questions will be addressed and answered soon.
  • Chekov takes off his helmet and is fine. How did he know that this base had Earth atmosphere to breath in?
  • The girl’s name is Mera. Surprised it wasn’t Luna.
  • Mera is saddened to find a bracelet of what I’m assuming was her loved one’s skeletal arm and Chekov tells her that “it’s been a very long time.” I’m sure she gathers that from the skeleton Chekov.
  • The other fella, George, in the command module in orbit is telling them that something is wrong with the LEM (some robot is taking it unbeknownst to them) and they say they can’t just leave Mera. Well what else are they going to do? They don’t have a space space suit for her to leave in nor any more room on the LEM to take her back to Earth. She’s theoretically fucked as they say.
  • Oh wait she has a space suit tucked away in a cubby hole. That still doesn’t help her get off this rock.


  • Even though her suit is possibly centuries old, it look’s more sophisticated and comfortable than NASAs.
  • I’m kinda bummed that so far, all these alien moon monsters are more or less robots and not creatures.
  • Unlike the truly hilarious stop motion lunar rover, this movie’s come to a screeching halt. It’s making me want to take a Moonnap.
  • So they drove around looking for the LEM by following the robot tracks to no avail. And with the batteries of the rover too low, they get out and walk. This is both riveting and thrilling!
  • I’m beginning to think that they are grossly underprepared for this moon mission.
  • Least they could have done was brought a Moonmap.
  • So now they stumbled upon another alien space craft. Again, without any qualified person on Earth seeing it first. I mean, it’s right there on the surface—not hidden or buried. This is the moon we’re talking about not Neptune.
  • I will give the film some props for including the detail of the Uzi fire not making any machine guns sounds because of the vacuum of space. Shocked that they got that detail right.
  • Brian said that this giant robot looks like Lord Zed from Power Rangers and I’m proud to say I have no idea what he’s talking about. And I’m even remotely curious to see if he’s right.

Batteries NOT included!

  • This movie would be slightly better if only the effects were a notch above Mister Roger’s Neighborhood’s Land of Make Believe.
  • The robot threw Ash so bad that he’s dying a horrible moon death. 
  • Now George, for some weird reason, is losing control of the command module and crash lands on the moon. 
  • Nothing like an over the top death scene from Bruce Campbell. And Chekov getting all pissy that he “took the easy way out.” What a dick!
  • So now Chechov and Mera are stranded on the moon and all I can think about is “You want to do it on the moon” from Revenge of the Nerds. 
  • Why is this all on Chekov to figure out? Surely NASA knows that the space capsule is gone and they should send reinforcements? This whole mission is fucking dumb.
  • That inflatable tent Chechov just erected apparently has perfect earth atmosphere to take their helmets off.
  • This is the perfect time to fuck that lunar female you just met. I mean, really, even if she turns out to be an alien or in league with the robots and kills him he really has no alternative anyway. May as well dip his wick.
  • Guess he’s not afraid of getting the Moonclap.
  • It’s a damn shame that the robot-alien hybrid of Bruce Campbell only had a few seconds of screen time. It looked awesome. 
  • So now two more giant robots appear and capture Chekov and Mera and take them away on their ship. Why are they keeping them alive?
  • I’m still befuddled that I’m watching a sci-fi/horror flick that has Walter Koenig as the lead hero.
  • Why is this stop motion puppet robot taking so long with his saw blade extension arm on Mera? And why didn’t it try to defend itself when Chekov Gerald’s Game degloves (not really but I was hoping) himself out of the cuffs and attacked it?

Is it safe?!

  • Now all of a sudden gunfire works against the robots. Remember in the beginning when a dozen NASA soldiers were shooting the large robot and nothing was happening. Now Chekov dismantles a few with a simple Uzi.
  • Why are we watching this long launch sequence of another unrelated shuttle? Is this a rescue mission? There has been zero NASA involvement in this flick since they launched. Not even a scene when George crashed on the moon. 
  • And why is that female pilot making a face like her copilot farted?
  • So the alien-robots on the moon stole the LEM and Chekhov finds it on their ship and says that’s what they needed to compete their own ship. But why didn’t the aliens take the other 12 LEMs that we took to the moon? Were they just unlucky and not fast enough? Are you telling me after 14,000+ years this was there only successful plan? This movie isn’t answering anything.
  • They never even attempted to explain how Mera came to be in that alien base. All she says is that she was chosen. But we still don’t even know if she’s human or from Earth. 
  • The new shuttle on the rescue mission says that they have missiles! It sure don’t look like it. Looks like the typical Challenger style shuttles of the era. Unless the cargo bay opens up and someone fires some RPGs like Rambo. Which would be awesome.
  • Hahaha. A robot scared Chekov while he was fiddling with the LEM’s controls and he fired his gun, which in zero gravity, propelled him and Mera backwards like rocket.
  • The LEM had a self-destruct program?!
  • Come to think of it, Chekov or anyone for that matter, isn’t making a big stink about Mera. I mean, she’s obviously not human so that means she’s from another planet with intelligent life-forms. But it’s no big deal. 
  • The movie ends with a robot falling from a meteor or something and lands in an auto yard. See you next year for Moontrap TWO!
  • More like Mooncrap.


Phobia Level: It’s a movie with cheap-looking stop-motion animation robots on the moon. So no. The scariest thing was Walter Koening’s extremely hairy arms.

Sick Bay: Nothing special. This flick should’ve been the Evil Dead of sci-fi horror but nope.

Heavenly Bodies: The dancer at the strip-club and Mera. So not too shabby in the T&A department.

We’re only making plans for Nigel. We only want what’s best for him.

Best Transmission: Even though this stars the imitable Bruce Campbell and he acts his typical Ash self in this, sadly all his lines aren’t that clever, funny or memorable. But here’s one: “Boys, we’re gonna be doing a little search and destroy on the goddamn moon! Yeeeeeehaaa!”

Most Successful Experiment: That dead cow carcass scene with the dog was actually kinda disgusting.

Experiment Gone Awry: Most of the special effects are beyond shoddy and laughable. But when you hire the ACME Special Effects Company, you get what you pay for. 

Hello Gene? Yeah, I’m free for that guest spot on The Next Generation. Ooh? Nothing available yet. Oh OK.

Damage Report: Mooncrap! Seriously, this was a total misfire. I was thinking it would be bad in a good way since it stars Koening and Campbell and maybe have a cheesy, schlocky tone but it took itself waaaay too seriously for what they presented. I’ve said this a few times already but if this was more Evil Dead-esque and campy in that way, then I think it would’ve been way better or at the very least more entertaining. Instead we get Pavel Chekov as the hero fighting stop-motion animated robots to the death on a mostly black background. I can maybe recommend this if you’re a huge Campbell fan but since he’s not in it as much as he should’ve been, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. 

Kobayashi Maru Score:

2 thoughts on “Schlocktoberfest IX – Day 23: Moontrap

  1. Pingback: Schlocktoberfest IX: Recap from Outer Space! | Hard Ticket to Home Video

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