Theatrical release poster by Tom Jung
|Directed by||Robert Dyke|
|Produced by||Robert Dyke
James A. Courtney
|Written by||Tex Ragsdale|
John J. Saunders
|Music by||Joseph LoDuca|
|Distributed by||Image Entertainment (laserdisc)
Malofilm Home Video
Shapiro-Glickenhaus Home Video (video)
|Running time||92 minutes|
Moontrap is a 1989 science fiction film from Magic Films. Written by Tex Ragsdale and directed by Robert Dyke, it was released on April 28 at WorldFest Houston. A comic book adaptation, featuring the movie's production notes, was released on the same year by Caliber Comics. The cast features Walter Koenig, Bruce Campbell and Leigh Lombardi as a group of astronauts — Lombardi playing one from the distant past — who face an alien invasion by a race of predatory cyborgs.
On July 20, 1969, during the last phase of the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon, a robotic eye emerges from the lunar soil and takes notice of the landing module as it takes off. The eye buries itself again.
Decades later the Space Shuttle Camelot encounters a derelict spaceship in orbit around Earth. Mission commander Colonel Jason Grant (Walter Koenig) leaves the shuttle to investigate. He discovers a reddish-brown pod and a mummified human corpse. Both things are brought back to Earth, where it is found that they originated on the Moon some fourteen thousand years ago. Shortly thereafter, while being unattended, the pod comes to life. It builds itself a cybernetic body with parts from the lab and pieces of the ancient corpse. The cyborg kills a lab technician and exchanges fire with security guards before Grant destroys it with a shotgun blast to the head.
Using the last completed Apollo rocket, Grant and fellow astronaut Ray Tanner (Bruce Campbell) go to the Moon on a search and destroy mission. They discover the ruins of an ancient human civilization. Inside, they found a woman in suspended animation who identifies herself in a rudimentary fashion as Mera (Leigh Lombardi). Mera later reveals the name of the killer cyborgs — the Kaalium. They survive the attack of a spider Kaalium and return to the landing module with Mera wearing her own spacesuit, but it turns out that the Kaalium have stolen the module. The Kaalium also shot down the command module, leaving the astronauts stranded on the Moon. In subsequent attacks by the Kaalium, Tanner is killed, Grant and Mera are taken prisoners, and the Kaalium head to Earth.
Grant frees himself and rescues Mera from certain death at the hands of a cyborg. In the meantime, the Space Shuttle Intrepid is launched to intercept the approaching alien ship. Grant and Mera look for the control room and find the landing module, which has been adapted into the alien machinery. Grant supposes the module was the last piece of equipment that the Kaalium needed to complete their ship. He starts the module's self-destruct sequence and, as they are attacked by a Kaalium crew member, discovers that he can use his gun as a rocket to get away. He and Mera exit through a breach in the hull, and the ship explodes after they have reached safe distance.
Some time later, Grant and Mera are shown as a couple living on Earth. Mera, having learned to speak English, explains that she was put in stasis to warn others about the Kaalium. Grant tells her that she does not have to worry anymore, that it is over, and hugs her. However, one of the pods survived the explosion and is now in a junkyard preparing to build itself a new body.
On April 17, 2011 Robert Dyke and Tex Ragsdale launched a fundraising campaign for a Moontrap 2 graphic novel that would be adapted into a movie. According to them the purpose of the project was "to act as a presentation device to show potential backers of the hoped-for film what it's going to be about. More effective than a script alone in that it not only tells the story but shows what the film will look like." However due to lack of contributions the project was cancelled on June 1 of the same year.
On 2014, however, the project was resurrected with a new name. On February 5 a Facebook account was created for Moontrap: Target Earth. The first post says, "Watch this space for news about Moontrap: Target Earth, now in pre-production with the original Moontrap creative team." Two days later, a post on the Moontrap 2 page confirmed the legitimacy of the new project: "Moontrap: Target Earth is a new adventure in the 'Moontrap universe,' 25 years after the original film." The plot is described as "an archaeological dig uncovers a long-buried spacecraft from an ancient, advanced human civilization. A young woman studying the ship suddenly finds herself transported to the Moon, to unlock an ancient mystery."