Moon 44 (1990) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Although this film is just about completely forgotten, it was an early work from Roland Emmerich, the guy who directed Independence Day, Stargate, and The Patriot.

It uses the Ridley Scott outer space look from Aliens and Blade Runner, the familiar combintion of techno-grunge and mist, with a concept roughly borrowed from The Last Starfighter, and some dribs and drabs of other earlier films. 

In the future, wars are fought between corporations, not nations. Moon 44 is the last stronghold of a mining company which has been driven off the other moons by a rival company. Sabotage is suspected. Michael Pare plays an undercover cop who is assigned to find the traitor on Moon 44. 

The element of "The last Starfighter" goes something like this: in order to create an air force to defend the planet, the corporation depends on two-man teams. Convicts actually fly the planes, having taken the assignment in hope of reduced sentences. But their navigators are computer geeks on the ground who stay in voice contact and actually direct the missions. In a move of great wisdom, the corporation has decided to let the convicts and the geeks all bunk together in one dormitory room, and this results in the expected tension and brutal shower room rapes, etc. 

Fun House legend Evil Ed plays one of the wimps.


The cons soon realize that terrorizing the geeks may not be a bright move, since the computer boys can wipe the pilots out simply by steering them right instead of left when they go into their missions. Oops! That tension between the bruisers and the wimps is basically the entire movie. Pare's investigation plays a background role.

DVD info from Amazon.

  • mostly full screen (credits are widescreen letterboxed, 2.35:1)

  • no features

I guess the original negs of this film have been lost. For some reason, the DVD is partially widescreen and partially 4:3. The opening credits have been kept in the theatrical 2.35:1 aspect ratio, so as not to distort and crop the credits, but the main body of the movie is in a pan 'n scan TV version. Judging from the opening sequence, this might be worth watching in widescreen, because it seems to have an impressive look to it. But in 4:3, it looks more like a straight-to-vid cheapo.

Setting aside the aspect ratio problem, the film isn't as bad as you'd expect, but it just seem like you've seen all the bits and pieces before in other movies.  

he Critics Vote

  • no reviews online

The People Vote ...

  • With their votes ... IMDB summary: IMDb voters score it 4.6 
IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, this film is a C-. It is surprisingly watchable. Might be an average sci-fi film in its original aspect ratio.

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