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By James Whittington, Monday 22nd April 2019 Black Moon Rising Arrow Video Cetificate 15
Most Sci-Fi thrillers from the 80s often suffered from lack of budget and lack of imagination as they tried to bring visions of tomorrow to an audience weaned on a diet of Star Wars and other such fodder. Black Moon Rising was different, it kept its hopes high but kept itself in the here and now and viewing some thirty plus years after its initial release only fashion and the odd dodgy piece of SFX lets its age be known.
Tommy Lee Jones stars as Sam Quint, a master thief working for the government who hides a computer disc loaded with evidence of corporate crime in a prototype supercar, the Black Moon. When a gang of thieves steal the car, Quint seduces their leader, Nina (Linda Hamilton), to get to the disc. But in order to reclaim his property, Quint and Nina must break into an impenetrable skyscraper and take down Ed Ryland (Robert Vaughn), the head of a dangerous stolen car syndicate...
This is a first-rate Friday night in with beer and pizza kind of a movie that has rightly gained an enormous cult following. Written by John Carpenter, Desmond Nakano and William Gray, Black Moon Rising is packed with stunts, hard-assed bad guys and plenty of cheesy one-liners. Director Harley Cokeliss delivers exactly what you'd want from such a movie and by doing so helps your brain disengage from the wild storyline.
The car does look like a flattened version of K.I.T.T. from Knight Rider but that's where the similarity ends. This car is for speed, and speed alone!
Jones plays his usual character of a no-nonsense type of guy who looks like nothing could raise a smile from his stony face whilst Hamilton is smart and sassy who can hold her own against the men with a hairstyle that has to be seen to be believed but hey, it was the 80s and every haircut should have come with a health warning! Talking of style its cool to see Bubba Smith as a tough talking, foul-mouthed Government Agent with a moustache that could own its own movie. The movie is held together by Robert Vaughn, his glassy gaze and suave charm was his trademark, a sort of American version of Roger Moore, and here its used in bucket-loads.
The score from the legendary composer Lalo Schifrin is pure 80s heaven, loads of electronic suites and soft rock which punctuates the action perfectly throughout.
Extras on the disc include a new audio commentary by Lee Gambin, author of Show Me: The Making of Christine, Black Moon Ascending, a new interview with director Harley Cokeliss, Thief in The Night: Producing Black Moon Rising, a new interview with producer Douglas Curtis, Sound of Speed: Composing Black Moon Rising, a new interview with composer Lalo Schifrin and film music historian Daniel Schweiger, Carpenter's Craft, a new video essay on co-writer John Carpenter's screenwriting career by author and critic Troy Howarth, Making Black Moon Rising, an archival documentary featuring behind the scenes footage and cast and crew interviews, alternative Hong Kong version scenes which presents selected scenes from the Hong Kong theatrical version with a different score and sound effects, theatrical trailer and radio spots and a reversible sleeve featuring original and newly commissioned artwork by Haunt Love.
Black Moon Rising is from a much different age to which we live in now. Its non-PC, even vulgar at times but has a charm that will have you revisiting this foe many years to come.
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