The Dark Side of the Moon (1990)

Rating:

aka Something Is Waiting

USA. 1990.

Crew

Director – D.J. Webster, Screenplay – Carey W. Hayes & Chad Hayes, Producer – Keith Walley, Photography – Russ T. Alsobrook, Music – Phil Davies & Mark Ryder, Visual Effects Supervisor – John W. Fante, Mechanical Effects Supervisor – Lou Carlucci, Makeup Effects – R. Christopher Biggs, Production Design – Michelle Minch. Production Company – Wildstreet Pictures

Cast

Will Bledsoe (Lieutenant Giles), Alan Blumenfeld (Dreyfus), Joe Turkel (Paxton Warner), John Diehl (Jennings), Robert Sampson (Flynn), Camilla More (Lesli), Wendy MacDonald (Alex), Kenneth R. Lesco (Michael C. Gotier)


Plot

The year 2022. While in Earth orbit to repair nuclear satellites, Spacecore 1 suffers inexplicable power failure. The crew panic as the ship is drawn towards the dark side of the moon and they are left with only 24 hours worth of air and heat. There Discovery 8, a NASA space shuttle that crashed in the Bermuda Triangle thirty years before, mysteriously reappears and docks with them. As they investigate, the crew are one by one taken over by a parasitic organism, which they come to realise is The Devil.


The Dark Side of the Moon is another tedious Alien (1979) clone. It comes by the book the entire way, even down to the same numerical complement and sexual ratio of characters and in having one of them turn out to be an android; and much creeping around in not one but two large gloomy spaceships; not to mention a creature that also hides in people’s insides.

Technically, The Dark Side of the Moon is competently made for a B-film – the lighting is moody and creates some tension that disguises the low-budget sets. The cast is okay and the model effects are particularly well done. (Although the continuity gap between the model scenes and the rest of the film proves of amusement – at one point, the ship is supposed to have come to a dead halt, yet the model is seen to still be travelling on, while the interior of the space shuttle seems larger and vastly more labyrinthine than anything even remotely resembling a real space shuttle).

Unfortunately, the rest of The Dark Side of the Moon is strictly B-grade. The dialogue is thoroughly banal. The bizarre absurdity of the plot – the Bermuda Triangle being a portal that comes out on the Moon, the Devil as a parasitic Alien-styled chestburster, and much nonsense over the numerical significance of 666 – fails to raise the film above the deadeningly routine. Camilla More as an emotionless and incredibly sexy android is an idea that has appeal, although this part of the plot that is considerably underdeveloped. However, there is one worthwhile final shot of the Moon’s surface with all the disappeared fighter planes and galleons lying in a crater.

Incredibly enough, the same idea of the Devil in outer space was later used with a $70 million budget as Event Horizon (1997).



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