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I thought I'd kick the new year off with another movie marathon. I thought it was time to check out a few old school mystery flicks. Som...

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

The Dark Side of the Moon (1990)

In the far distant future of 2022 (don’t you love it when that happens?) a spaceship on a repair mission has a mishap and ends up powerless on the dark side of the moon. They are surprised when a space shuttle, thought long retired, flies up and docks with them. While it has no crew and no fuel to maneuver into position, they still decide to use it to power their life support systems. Its either that or die horribly so you can understand that decision. What doesn’t make sense is them bringing the body they find on the spooky ship onboard to examine it. The body “wakes” up and all sorts of horrible shenanigans begin.

That is about all of the plot that I’m going to give away in my synopsis. If I say much more it might give away important plot points and I don’t want to do that. While the movie has many issues there is something interesting about it as well. Let me start off with the problems. First there are serious pacing issues. Long stretches of the movie has our main character doing research on the computer. They did liven things up by making the computer interface a beautiful actress in a skin tight outfit sitting on an office chair, but it is still dry at times.

The plot also makes you jump thru some weird hoops and tries to tie the dark side of the moon in with an ancient evil and the Bermuda Triangle. Okay I suppose I just gave a bit of the plot away, but it is one that is never really explained all that well. I’m still not sure what the hell was going on and what the point of the movie was. But I’ll give them some points for trying to create a story that was a bit different from the pile of monster movies that came out in the late eighties and early nineties. Though I feel like there was something missing, some scene or bit that would have explained it better that ended up on the cutting room floor.

That is a damn fine looking computer!
The Dark Side of the Moon also lifts liberally from other horror flicks from the time. The sets reminded me a lot of Alien and some of the lines that our big bad drops sound an awful lot like Pinhead from Hellraiser. But they do enough to try and take it their own unique direction that this didn’t bug me too much. This movie predates Event Horizon by seven years but has many of the same themes. Though I should be clear that is a much better movie than this.

Do I recommend the movie? I was on the fence until the ending where the filmmakers went a direction that I did not expect. I guess in hindsight I should have seen it coming, but that might be a credit to the writing that I didn’t. After seeing the ending and one final reveal using some decent miniature effects, I found myself satisfied. While in no means is this a great movie, I think that if you remember renting stuff like this on VHS back in the day like I do then you might have fun with The Dark Side of the Moon.

© Copyright 2019 John Shatzer

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