During a routine space mission, Colonel Jason Grant (Walter Koenig) comes across an abandoned spaceship floating in space. On inspection he discovers aboard a mummified body and a small pod which he brings aboard his shuttle and returns them to earth. The pod turns out to be a robot which builds itself on what it finds around it and causes chaos when it starts rampaging in a NASA lab. With the discovery Grant and Ray Tanner (Bruce Campbell) are sent on a mission to the moon as the mummified body has been examined and reportedly came from the moon about 14,000 years ago. Tanner and Grant discover the ruins of an ancient alien civilization as well as a woman in suspended animation who when she comes around informs them of what happened. Unfortunately for them those little robots are still active and have used their space module leaving them stranded on the moon.
Having never heard of "Moontrap" before watching it I of course went looking for information as you would and found several referring to it as a cheesy b-movie classic. Now whilst I'm not the greatest fan of sci-fi I enjoy cheesy b-movies especially those which become entertaining for being bad but unfortunately that is not the case. In truth "Moontrap" probably is entertaining for those who enjoy sci-fi but not so much for those like me who wanted a bad movie.
Now there is some original ideas going on in "Moontrap" and it starts with a clever addition to Armstrong's famous moon walk as we discover just before they boosted away a robot head popped out of the Moon's surface and watched them rocket off. Then there is the whole idea of the 14,000 year old corpse which they bring back and we hear Grant say "That predates history". But the trouble is that it is all incredibly dull even when you take in to account we are talking 80s sci-fi here.
What is disappointing is that all the bits which are corny end up not being entertaining. Take the dialogue and acting, there is one bad line after another which is often delivered in an incredibly stiff way but sadly it isn't entertaining for sounding so bad. In truth it comes over as incredibly wooden and that more than anything spoils a movie which could have been entertainingly bad.
In the end it is Bruce Campbell who ends up saving the movie for me as he is the only one who gets the timing right to make his lines fun. In fairness Walter Koenig tries and he is a lot better than most of the cast but not sharp enough and sadly there is no chemistry with Campbell.
What this all boils down to is that "Moontrap" ends up an unfortunately dull movie which whilst corny never ends up bad enough to be entertaining. Beside Bruce Campbell the only other thing to mention is that there are some decent special effects and some enjoyably bad ones.