Track of the Moon Beast Reviews
TRACK OF THE MOONBEAST [1972/1976]: there are so many movies that are often cited as the worst movie ever made, there just so many to name. One such film which is currently charting at Number 35 on IMBD's Bottom 100 films list & consider to be one of the worst films featured on the cult TV show MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000 is the 1972 made; 1976 released film TRACK OF THE MOONBEAST . This film is so bad that it took four years to secure a release and is one proud member of "the worst film of all time" group, its inept filmmaking at it all time worst. So what do I think of this beast? Do I hold it in such a low regard? Well guess what it's defiantly one of the worst films I have seen in a while. However I do not view at as the single worst film ever made. It is by far one of the dullest although.
PLOT: After a meteor shower in the deserts of New Mexico an archaeologist called Paul is struck by a piece of a meteorite. On the night of the full moon Paul starts to turn into a hideous Atomic Lizard and attacks anyone in sight. His only help are his university friends including Professor Johnny Long-Bow that can save him.
THOUGHTS: To start with this film borrows SO MUCH from Werewolf movie mythology that it should be called TRACK OF THE WEREWOLF. For example the "Moon-Beast" only turns into a monster when the moon is full (Werewolf movie mythology). There is a transformation sequence (Werewolf movie mythology again).The "Moon-Beast" then attacks & kills people (Werewolf movie mythology yet again). The 'protagonist' and the people that care about him are deeply affected by the tragedy (Werewolf movie mythology.........yet.............again) & the only way to stop him is by shooting him with a meteor -rock tipped arrow (ah wait a minute that has nothing to do with Werewolf movie mythology).
Despite the look of the monster that only has at the most less than 7 minutes of onscreen appearance; TRACK OF THE MOONBEAST sees shots of people reciting bland & lacklustre dialogue, more reciting of bland dialogue and guess what More F$#Kin bland dialogue been recited. To be fair any film that has a dialogue driven story, the dialogue must be interesting and engaging to the audience. If the dialogue is dull said audience would lose any interest with the narrative. This film falls into the last category for this very reason. The only two saving graces of this film are the monster (or how little you see of it) & Gregorio Sala as Johnny Longbow who despite the sterile lines delivers this films only engaging performance. My rating for this "movie" is a much deserved 20% , a rating worthy for this monster.
Track of the Moon Beast is a fine example of drive-in B movie schlock! The movie consists of a thin story line, hokey dialog, less than impressive cast, and an all around look of 'we filmed this scene in my back yard'. It's a wonder the movie managed to hide from the people at Mystery Science Theater 3000 until near the end of its 11 year run.
Yet despite all its campy trappings, I can't really say that I dislike this movie! Being a lover of B cinema it's kinda fun in a non-serious kind of way. I do give the film kudos for its surprisingly decent horror makeup, it's not surprising that this was early work from Rick Baker. The moon beast should have gotten more screen time though. Star Chase Cordell makes for an ok hero/victim and Gregorio Sala is memorable as a long-winded and hilariously pompous native American expert named Johnny Longbow ( yes you read that right). Alas the rest of the cast is pretty weak, especially the wooden Donna Leigh Drake who doesn't have a believable line in the whole film! Still the tongue-in-cheek qualities keep it entertaining.
So, for those who enjoy their horror on the very cheesy B movie side, you just might like this amusing monster flick.
The feeling one gets watching this appalling bad film is much like that of a hamster trapped in a cage with four very hungry cats and a monkey. You can see the end coming, and wish for it to happen, however painful it may be. And the monkey provides that random insanity, which is best indicated by the fact that this film was made.
I believe that Mystery Science Theatre got a hold of this. Unless you have a really, really witty group of friends and/ or some way of altering your mind, then there is no reason to subject yourself to this monstrosity.