“Track of the Moon Beast” is yet another forgettable entry in the IMDb Bottom 100. Like a good number of the films featured on MST3k, this is one that feels like background noise. There are a few memorable moments, but definitely not many. I haven’t had as much trouble recounting a movie since “Zombie Nightmare”, and I think that one is a good deal more entertaining than “Track of the Moon Beast”.
One thing I can give this movie credit for is some kick-ass box art. That muscle-bound blue alien creature stretching its claws towards the moon is pretty bad-ass. Unfortunately, the monster in the movie actually looks like this:
Not very impressive. And yes, the creature is shrouded in darkness almost the entire movie, probably an attempt to hide how crappy it looks. The only exception I can recall is the excessively colorful death scene, in which you still can’t make out much in the way of details:
So, bad effects are definitely an issue that hampers this movie. I will say that the transformation effects aren’t too bad, especially in comparison with something like “Laserblast”, where they just painted the actor’s face green. There is even some alternate box art featuring the transformation makeup that doesn’t look too bad.
However, there are a lot of issues with this movie beyond the mediocre effects work. For instance, the plot is just a wee bit ridiculous. The main character becomes the “moon beast” because a tiny meteorite lodges into his brain without him noticing. Weirdly enough, it is later stated that there is a local, native legend about an identical creature existing in the past. So, the story implies that more than one person in the history of this town has had an evil moon rock lodged into their skull that transformed the victim into a were-alien. Honestly, it sounds like they had two origins written down, and couldn’t make up their mind between the two of them.
All of that said, you can make a good movie with a ridiculous plot. In fact, I like where they take the plot as it moves on. Unlike most werewolf features, doctors discover his ailment and try to fix it, and don’t hold him accountable for his crimes. Unfortunately, they ultimately can’t help him, and the main character decides to run away and attempt suicide so his moon beast form can’t hurt anyone else. He is eventually stopped from carrying out this plot, after which he to transform into the moon beast and is shot. The ending is kind of a bummer, really.
Honestly, there is some promise in this movie, but there’s not enough talent behind the film on any level to make it work. With better writing, better effects, better acting, and someone with a better eye for shooting in charge, this could have been a fun little sci-fi story. As it is, “Track of the Moon Beast” is a really boring movie to sit through, and it isn’t one I can recommend. I do, however, recommend the box art. That is, again, very bad-ass.