THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON ** USA 1990 Dir: D.J. Webster. 87 mins
The only feature directing credit for music video filmmaker D.J. Webster, this entry in the crowded post-ALIEN / ALIENS 80’s space monster movie cycle is interesting in retrospect for its resemblance to the later, big budget EVENT HORIZON. Like several genre movies from this period, it also manages a paraphrase of ALIENS’ most famous one-liner: here it’s “Get away from me, you motherfucker!”.
In the distant future world of 2022, a maintenance ship is sent to repair armed satellites, but runs into system problems and ends up heading to the dark side of the moon with 24 hours of oxygen and heat. The crew are confronted with Discovery 18, a NASA space shuttle from 1992 that had an emergency splashdown in the Bermuda Triangle and hasn’t been seen since. Inevitably sinister stuff soon goes down.
This has an interesting cast, including RE-ANIMATOR’s Robert Sampson, BLADE RUNNER’s Joe Turkel and Brit actress Camilla More – one of the sexy twins in the fourth FRIDAY THE 13TH cast and here cast as a gratuitously alluring incarnation of the usual space horror movie android. Sadly, the awful dialogue makes them all seem like mediocre actors : few thesps could convincingly pull off gems like “This is the weirdest suicide I’ve ever seen!” and the just-asking-for-trouble “Will you cut it out with this sci-fi bullshit?!” The ALIEN-like set up allows for darkened corridor exploration, body horror imagery of parasitic creatures in human innards and a shift into EXORCIST territory via a chatty Book of Revelations-quoting demon presence. It’s plodding and mostly lacking atmosphere, though has a certain charm – and at the last minute manages a marvellously eerie and resonant final tracking shot. Plus, it’s considerably better than TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON.
Review by Steven West
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