Often a film has a fairly decent first five minutes because the filmmakers had a pretty good opening idea or they had to make five minutes of film to prove they could do it, in order to get funding for the rest. But in Track of the Moon Beast (1976), the lamest of a lot of lame stuff is put right up front as a truly silly looking asteroid hits the moon. The "asteroid" looks like a cottonball hanging from a string squirted with lighterfluid & lit afire.
If some of what follows the opening is slightly better, it's only because there is a level of dumb that is hard to top. The sad thing is this film doesn't even work as campy badness because the actors are too vapid to be funny.
Bits of the moon & the asteroid rain down on the earth & one guy is winged by one of the glowy rocks which turns him into a lizard man, mutating in the moon's rays. The laughable lizard-man outfit consists of funky pajamas & a rubber mask.
Another low point is provided by Frank Larrabee who sings his cruddy composition "California Lady" which unintentionally lampoons the style of the pop group America or similar west coast elevator folk rock. His performance, tucked in like a precursor to MTV without anything to do with the film, was so bad that I wondered if this guy paid to be in the film. I googled him because anyone that talentless who ends up being highlighted in any film must have connections, but apparently this cameo constitutes the entirety of his singing success.
Several southwest Indians appear in the background cast phonying up a powwow. Whenever the story has an opportunity for cartoony stereotyping, it leaps on the chance. The bow & arrow sequence of the reservation lads is particularly sorry-ass. But this is an equal opportunity embarrassment because white people are even dumber.
Looking real, real hard for anything to praise in this turd, a viewer might agree Gregorio Sala as Professor Johnny Longbow has a fine screen presence like a lesser Jay Silverheels or Michael Ansara & I liked his performance. His reciting a recipe for authentic Navaho stew was the only good moment in the whole film, but if anyone knew how funny that was, it must've been Sala & nobody else. The faux Native American lizard mythology he recites was major horsehocky, but Sala came dangerously close to making it credible. Alas, this seems to be Sala's only film, so he was merely the best of a mess of one-timers, though I'd've liked to have seen him in something not so horrible.
I unfortunately watched Track of the Moon Beast as though it were a real film, & kind of wish I'd watched the Mystery Science Fiction Theater 3000 version instead with robot silhouettes making fun of everything.
copyright © by Paghat the Ratgirl