December 1, 2012 at 4:28 am (4 Heads, Moonfire) (, , , , , )

Moonfire – 1970 – United States

I saw Moonfire on the CFS Releasing DVD The Convoy Collection, also containing Trucker’s Woman (1975) and Concrete Cowboys (1979). All three flicks are mistitled on the DVD box. What do you expect from a collection that exclaims “Don’t muck around with these two-fisted mother truckers!”?

Moonfire opens to a wistful country tune called The Wheel of Life. But soon enough, Mexican banditos in sombreros and ponchos utter “buenas noches” and murder a dude. Apparently the bandits work for a German (probably ex-Nazi) crime boss. The boss steals a crashed prototype spaceship (codenamed Project Moonfire) and holds the pilot for ransom. Sassy white trucker Sam Blue and tough black trucker The Farmer are hired to deliver lettuce containing hidden ransom money. The plot gets convoluted as the bandits betray their boss. There’s a forklift murder and another death scene that’s memorably ludicrous: A bandit naps beneath a semi-trailer as a leaky sprinkler muddies the ground. Eventually, the trailer sinks and crushes him.

Moonfire producer/director Michael Parkhurst’s own review on IMDB describes the flick as “The most technically accurate trucking movie ever made.” This may be true. Many facets of trucker life are lovingly detailed, including truck maintenance, truck stop etiquette, and forklift operation. Other than its Nazi villain, Moonfire is barely exploitative, with no sex, little violence, and friendly characters utterly lacking in personality. It’s basically boring aside from a few crazy scenes. One highlight has the black trucker The Farmer clobbering racist bikers. Confusingly, there’s another black dude in the biker gang.

Moonfire is nothing more than a curious oddity. It looks like a TV movie and is probably rated PG.  I yearn to use the term “truxploitation”, but this flick just doesn’t fit the bill. For what it’s worth, Michael Parkhurst claims “[Moonfire] was never released on video until early 1998 and then only in truck stops where it outsold all other recent hits by far wherever it was displayed.”

Rating: 4/10 Shrunken Heads. In one special scene, three shirtless sweaty studs load a truck. Ladies, this is for you.


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