Moontrap – USA, 1988 – overview and reviews


‘For fourteen thousand years… it waited’

Moontrap is a 1988 [released 1989] American science fiction horror feature film produced and directed by Robert Dyke from a screenplay by Tex Ragsdale. The cast features Walter Koenig (Mr. Chekhov from Star Trek), Bruce Campbell (Evil Dead films and TV series) and Leigh Lombardi.


During a routine flight, two veteran space shuttle pilots discover an alien artifact and bring it back to earth. It soon turns out to be an extraterrestrial war robot, which is able to recycle any biological or technical material for its own deadly use.

The two astronauts are sent to the moon where Nasa expects to uncover the mystery of the alien robot’s origin. They discover an ancient humanoid culture and battle the ultimate threat of the war machines heading earth…


A comic book adaptation, featuring the movie’s production notes, was released in the same year by Caliber Comics.

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A sequel, Moontrap II: The Pyramids of Mars, was planned but remained unmade until 2014 when it was announced that a sequel would, in fact, be produced, under the title Moontrap: Target Earth. However, at the time of writing, the sequel is still in production limbo.

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Reviews [click links to read more]:

“There aren’t a lot of sci-fi movies that deal with the whole ancient astronaut issue like Moontrap and whilst I wouldn’t say it’s the movies main focus, it is something that’s in the background. In fact, I’m hard-pressed to think of another piece of sci-fi quite like Moontrap, it’s storyline and plot structure are both genuinely unique and fascinating.” Horror Chronicles


“What is disappointing is that all the bits which are corny end up not being entertaining. Take the dialogue and acting, there is one bad line after another which is often delivered in an incredibly stiff way but sadly it isn’t entertaining for sounding so bad. In truth it comes over as incredibly wooden and that more than anything spoils a movie which could have been entertainingly bad.” The Movie Scene


“If you’ve ever wanted to see Chekhov from Star Trek swearing or locked in a steamy clinch, this is the film for you. There are several more equally silly moments in this lively sci-fi adventure, though since a few of them were clearly intended to be funny, it’s hard to say just how serious a movie the film-makers were trying to make.” Radio Times

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“If ever there was a movie of which it could be said “If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all,” Moontrap (1989) is it, with more visual references to previous science fiction films than Terminator Salvation (2009). In the first thirty seconds following Moontrap’s main titles, we get references to the opening music of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), the opening shot of Star Wars: A New Hope (1977), and the opening narration from Star Trek.” Nigel Honeybone,

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Bruce Campbell



7 Comments on “Moontrap – USA, 1988 – overview and reviews”

  1. It has been showing up allot on those Movies4men channels of late. Funny thing is as a teenager I always remember finding the video cover for this quite eerie and intimidating in the 1980s, and never renting it for that reason. Little could I have known that catching up with the film years later it would turn out to be a Don Dohler type affair, only with name actors. Both the leads are clearly playing it for laughs (Campbell especially) but as with the Dohler stuff the director is takes it very seriously. This despite the fact that the terrible special effects –which basically consist of doll effigies of Bruce Campbell and Walter Koenig being thrown around the moon by miniature robots- would be shameful in a 1970s student film, let alone a professionally made film from the late 80s. The only shocking thing about it is how much face make-up Koenig is wearing in it, even drag queens will probably consider him to have put too much slap on here.

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