Story: Jacob Stryker (Auggi Alvarez) faces danger around every corner in the dystopian landscape the world has devolved into, but he’s better equipped to handle the myriad of threats than a typical raider would be. Stryker is tough to be sure, but he has an added edge in his hybrid genetics, as he has some werewolf DNA. This is because the government wanted to create a weapon to harness the power of both a human and a werewolf, but Stryker was able to escape the program, even it means he is now on the run. He wants to track down his son, though he needs to stay alive to do that and an implanted bomb inside of him means time is short to figure out his future. Facing an internal explosive, a corrupt government, assorted wasteland warriors, and even a cult pf bounty hunters, can even Stryker overcome those kind of odds?
Entertainment Value: Moonchild is action packed, over the top, insane, and wildly entertaining, one of Todd Sheets’ best, which is a true compliment. You can tell from the opening scenes that Sheets is going for broke, with impressive and highly ambitious chase scenes that have some fantastic high spots involved. I don’t see that kind of scale and creativity put into most indie movie action flicks, let alone one this limited on resources. But Sheets makes it work and throughout Moonchild, he sprinkles in liberal doses of these super fun action scenes, which really help the movie stand out. The narrative is off the rails and that allows for wild moments and inexplicable sequences, but there is also time taken to put in some character development. You can tell Sheets was running full steam for Moonchild, as every aspect seems to be so ambitious and he makes it all work, despite the obstacles he faced. This is where the creativity comes in and as usual, Sheets conjures up b movie magic out of minimal resources, making this movie seem much larger scale than it would have otherwise. The end result is fun and while some slower stretches emerge, for the most part this is a highly entertaining picture. Sheets even delivers some truly jaw dropping moments, including a scene that by itself alone, makes Moonchild worth a recommendation. I think Moonchild has only improved over the years and I recommend it to anyone who appreciates ambitious, creative cinema.
No nakedness, but there’s so much action and wackiness going on, there’s just not much time for romance. There is more blood than nakedness, though still not a lot. But this is more action than horror, so there’s ample violence on showcase, it just doesn’t often yield slasher movie levels of the red stuff. The shootouts have some gunshot wounds and such, while there is also some serious head trauma and a wild, wild sequence with one of the bounty hunters. Talk about giving someone a hand, that scene takes it to a whole new level. There is also a memorable, impressive werewolf transformation sequence, which Sheets really delivers on for the audience. The focus on action delivers a wealth of chases, shootouts, and fights, so while some might bemoan the lack of gore, there’s a lot here that more than compensates. The dialogue is often overly serious, always fun and has some quotable lines and of course, outlandish performances. Some of the cast members really go for it and dial up the melodrama, which to me, makes the movie even more fun to watch. The bounty hunter banter is usually humorous and sometimes even hilarious and the cast helps those slower scenes, since they’re so over the top or dramatic. As for wackiness, we have one bounty hunter in lingerie while the other looks like Rita Repulsa, an urban samurai, a jacked werewolf, a buff Milo Yiannopolis look a like, a wealth of bonkers action scenes, a ninja battles a truck driver, there’s a whipped cream skeleton, and there’s a showdown between the Rita Repulsa-esque bounty hunter and someone who looks like Marshall Applewhite. That showdown is simply movie magic and is reason enough to check out Moonchild.
Overall Insanity: 6/10
The Disc: Another cult classic has been immortalized in an excellent treatment from Visual Vengeance, in this two disc edition of Moonchild. This was on shot on tape, so the transfer isn’t going to compete with a film based restoration, but this looks about as good as we can reasonably expect. Director Todd Sheets supervised the SD master, which was sourced from the original tapes and looks quite good, all things considered. Sheets returns for an audio commentary alongside star Auggi Alvarez, in which the two go into great detail about the production and behind the scenes stories. This is a pretty deep dive into Moonchild, from its inspirations to on set memories to the film’s release and the legacy of Sheets’ work. The director comes back for a second track as well, joined by Visual Vengeance’s Rob Hauschild, which also covers some production stories, but tends to focus on how the movie was prepared for this release and Sheets’ personal feelings about the movie and its place in his filmography. Either track is well worth a listen, but combined, this is a fairly comprehensive look back at Moonchild.
Next up is a half hour behind the scenes piece titled Wolf Moon Rising, which has a host of cast and crew interviews, behind the scenes clips, promotional footage, news footage, and more. This is also very interesting and insightful, as are the additional archival interviews that further supplement the documentary. You can even watch the VHS version of Moonchild, which is fun from a retro perspective, but it also has some added footage, so that’s even more Moonchild for your buck! Add in Sheets’ short film Sanguinary Dreams, a deleted end sequence, a Descension music video, and the original trailer, plus the CD soundtrack, mini poster, and sticker sheet, and this a stacked release!
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