Track of the Moon Beast
Today’s review, Track of the Moon Beast, a 1976 film, stars a partially clothed Chase Cordell as Paul and his non-effusive love-interest Leigh Drake as Kathy and also introduces Gregorio Sala in his one and only appearance as Professor Johnny “Longbow,” a local professor of Anthropology (with a very suggestive name) and resident Native American cabbage head.
OK.. get the “Longbow” references and commentary out of your system right now! Go ahead. Done? Good.. now back to the review..
Track of the Moon Beast starts out on a great note: completely random stock footage of a large telescope and shots of a “flaming” rock in, what I can only assume is outer space. It is a pretty rancid and very crappy “Flash Gordon” style effect. We are introduced to the main characters in the desert as Paul is digging in the dirt. The movie is set up by the cabbage head, who tells his grad students about the local beliefs involving lizards. Paul is struck by a meteorite fragment when he and Kathy are stargazing causing him to mutate during the moon into a lizard man. Fortunately, there’s a moon every night so hot, lizard-man action is plentiful on a nightly basis. As the Moon Beast cavorts about the town ripping into unsuspecting supporting cast members like bread sticks at the Olive Garden, Johnny Longbow puts the pieces together with the insight that only his canned Native American heritage can give.
TOUCHDOWWWWWN, Moon Beast!
First off, the only character worth mentioning as believable or sympathetic is Longbow. I will admit that Paul has a very nice body, which the movie takes EVERY opportunity to show, but the Kathy character delivers her lines flat and clumsily. Paul is very monotone and would probably collapse if he had to emote but Kathy takes the cake. The dialogue she delivers is infantile and strained. She has one look and wow, does she use it! It very much seems like she is reading a cue card with the passion that one has while having tomato soup. Also, the movie makes every opportunity to see that she dresses like a cheap Hollywood prostitute. Let’s not forget the Police Captain! He has ONE stance and he uses it in every scene! The only time when he’s not standing with his chest bowed out and his hands hooked in his belt is when he is sitting.
The many and varied stances of the Police Captain
The many and varied emotions of Leigh Drake
There’s a great scene where the Moon Beast, during his second transformation, rips into a group of campers in a tent. When he rips in.. one of the guys sits there and looks at him like you would look at a friend who just farted. His face doesn’t change at all! Of course, during this guy‘s improbable and implausible reaction, the Moon beast rips the guy’s arm off.. so, I guess that justice is served! Another “great” moment in this movie occurs when Johnny, Kathy, and Paul are working with two young Native American boys as they practice archery. The whole scene is somewhat insulting and racist. The only thing missing is a rain dance and the boys wearing a head band with a feather in it!
This is a horrible flick! There are absolutely no redeeming qualities from beginning to end. I wasn't going to mention the completely non sequitur, awful musical number in the middle of the movie but I'll let the two pictures at the bottom give you a clue as to how bad it was. These pictures are sequential screenshots.. no creative rearranging or anything. I leave you with that, my friends, as my coup de grace!
The acting is nonexistent, the effects are terrible, and the only redeeming aspect of this movie is….
….the end! Enjoy.
<Director> OK, the moon beast rips in and......ACTION!
<Director> I said ACTION! DAMMIT old man, EMOTE! EMOTE, I said!
How, paleface squaw! Want to know how I got the name "Longbow?"
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"Track of the Moonbeast"