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Black Moon Rising Blu-ray review: Dir. Harley Cokeliss [Arrow Video]

Tommy Lee Jones plays Sam Quint, a mercenary hired to steal a computer disc for the government. Pursued by gangsters, he hides the disc in a prototype new car – The Black Moon. The car is subsequently stolen by a syndicate of car thieves, led by the sinister Ryland (Robert Vaughn) and Quint must forge allegiances to retrieve the disc and the Black Moon.

It doesn’t help that the chemistry between Jones and Linda Hamilton is virtually non-existent. Fresh from the success of Terminator, Hamilton is confident and charismatic in her role but the character is muddled from the outset. Her relationship with Vaughn is interesting but this subplot is discarded before the big finale. Vaughn himself gives a nuanced performance as the oily baddie, which also makes you wish he’d got more substantial villainous roles. The film also benefits from a veritable who’s who of character actors in supporting roles, including William Sanderson, Richard Jaeckel, Lee Ving and Keenan Wynn.

Just because a film looks and sounds like a John Carpenter film, doesn’t make it one. Black Moon Rising has the same DNA as Carpenter’s films but lacks the personal touches that made his classics so iconic. It’s telling that this film was released 2 years after the Terminator but feels like it was made five years earlier. Part car-chase-actioner, part-heist, part-espionage thriller, this is an old-fashioned genre picture that can’t quite decide what it wants to be. It’s hokey and derivative, but never boring and undeniably fun.

Special Features include a commentary by Lee Gambin, an interview with Lalo Schifrin, a making of documentary, and a lot of material on John Carpenter, which seems unfair treatment of the film’s actual director! The best feature of all though is an interview with Cokeliss himself, who is incredibly likeable and a really engaging interviewee.




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