In the year 2022, orbital satellites carry nuclear missiles and maintain flight patterns around the moon. When a satellite repair ship, known as a “refab” ship called Spaecore 1, attempts to intercept a satellite for maintenance, the system wide computer goes into an unexplained power failure that jeopardizes communications, life support, and navigation. Drifting helpless toward sector Centrus B-40, the dark side of the moon, all hope will be lost within 24 hours unless operations can be restored, but a mysterious spacecraft, NASA’s Discovery shuttle, heads toward them and docks onto their outer hull without so much of a hail from the shuttle. Captain Flynn and Lt. Giles investigate a seemingly abandoned ship until coming across a dead body of a presumed missing NASA astronaut, eviscerated with an opening left in a perfect triangle as the cause of death, and that opens the door to more questions than answer as a sinister presence boards their ship, pursuing damnation for their souls.
Just think, in two more years, weapons of mass destruction satellites will loom just above fluffy white clouds, ready to mushroom clouds out of targets with a 10-ton yield; at least that’s what director D.J. Webster and the screenwriters, identical twins Carey W. Hayes and Chad Hayes, modeled the future when conjuring up this delectable Sci-Fi horror film approx. 20 years ago. With special effects models and techniques that withstand against powerhouse space films, such as from the immaculate effects of Alien franchise, “The Dark Side of the Moon” becomes more than just a 1973 Pink Floyd album title Fabricated out of warped creativity of old and new concepts with a Biblical horror base that only the 1990’s could loosely spin into an hour and 27 minute feature, for many of the filmmakers involved, “The Dark Side of the Moon” credits as their first taste of a feature length, large scale production, especially with the mainly music video director D.J. Webster, who loves his closeups, and director of photography Russ T. Alsobrook, as they auto clicks into a team that seemingly have experience of seasoned veterans or, perhaps, spent some secretive, unlogged time in space. Who knows, but the outcome ruminates about the dark side of religion and how each of us deal with it internally.
When mullets and giant framed glasses are afoot, the late 80’s, early 90’s filming era is beyond evident with interestingly gritty characters lined up for an evil figure eager to knock them down and, of course, the story’s lead character is the mullet sporting pilot named Lt. Giles Stewart who is unwittingly thrust into the fast track of a hero’s lane. Giles’s atheism framework has a pleasant sardonicism about it when face-to-face with the immortal conqueror of his ship and crew. Will Bledsoe paints Giles as such as faithless space pilot, bound to duty, and willing to do anything to just not save himself, but others. One of the only recognizable faces, at least for myself, in the cast is John Diehl. The “Stargate” and “The Shield” television actor is best at being a wild card in turmoil situations and as shipmate Phillip Jennings, the same can be expected without being utterly conventional or warrant any kind of typecast label. Another actor to note is Alan Blumenfeld as the ship’s panicky Dr. Dreyfuss Steiner. Blumenfeld, who had a role in the best Jason Voorhees film, in my humble opinion, “Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, is once again stalked by a larger-than-life villain while maintaining a profusely sweaty persona that’s symbolically intended to be true, unadulterated fear. As a whole, the cast is amazing regardless of some first time filmmakers at the helm, rounding out with “Re-Animator’s” Robert Sampson as the ship’s Capt. Flynn, Joe Turkel from the first “Blade Runner,” “Blood Frenzy’s,” and overall erotic thriller goddess, Wendy MacDonald, stunt man (“Kill Bill Vol. 1 & 2, “Army of Darkness”) Ken Lesco, and another “Friday the 13th” actor, Camilla More, or Tina from “The Final Chapter,” as the stationary sexy, ship’s onboard computer-robot named Lesli – think on the same lines as Mother from “Alien,” but in the flesh.
What makes “The Dark Side of the Moon” very interesting is the film being an unofficial precursor to other science fiction horror films like “Event Horizon” that was released roughly seven years later. Space as this gateway to Hell concept is sorely under-appreciated and underutilized. Space is already vastly frightening to begin with and by adding a devilish abyss aspect to it makes the idea an absorbingly scary thought. What’s also fascinating is the Hayes brother. “The Dark Side of the Moon” is the brothers’ roots film; the proverbial patient zero that spread successful movie writing careers for the twins, spawning turn of the century horror with the remake of “House of Wax” that saw the on-screen death of Paris Hilton, had “Underworld” star Kate Beckinsale track down a killer in Antarctica in “Whiteout,” and they penned “The Conjuring” that constructed its very own universe.
“The Dark Side of the Moon” comes in at #2 on the Unearthed Films’ Classics label distributed MVDVisual. The newly restored 4K transfer of the Wild Street Pictures production is presented in a widescreen, 1.85:1 aspect ratio, region A Blu-ray release. Surprisingly sharp despite consistent low-lit scenes and not as washed like previous VHS versions, this restoration fine tunes the nitty-gritty specifics needed for proper presentation that doesn’t falter from heavy digital noise or blotch artifacts and shows no signs of enhancing The English language LPCM 2.0 audio track is strapping for a dual channel format. Dialogue pronounced clearly, ambient spaceship clinks and clunks create atmospheric range and depth, and the relentless brooding score by “Society’s” Mark Ryder and Phil Davies delivers shuddering spinal-tingles without being monotonously dull. Bonus features include a commentary with executive producer Paul and Unearthed Films’ Stephen Biro, interviews with Alan Blumenfeld, FX artist R. Christopher Biggs, and stuntman Chuck Borden, plus vintage audio track, trailers, photo gallery, and a insert booklet that dives into about the production and the cast. All packed into a nice little slipcover package. “The Dark Side of the Moon” pioneers into the future of space horror as a good ole dread-inducing fear-monger of the great expanse, deserving this Unearthed Films’ release, hands down.
Japanese iconic pornstar Sho Nishino stars as Momo, a very unlucky attractive young women whose luck consists of meeting all the wrong and greedy men. On top of that, Momo is told she only has 6 months left to live due to an incurable disease. When Momo is at her lowest, the VP of Hell gives her a visit. Ms. Devil Girl Succubus, played by the stunning Asami, and offers her a single wish in return for the possession of her soul for all eternity. Momo has to decide the outcome of her last six months of life to either keep wasting it on money-hungry men using her for a trip to heaven or give up her soul and spend the rest of her afterlife in the depravity of Hell for a little short tern of happiness.
The two female leads Sho Nishino and Asami couldn’t get any more sexier. I though Asami in “Prison Girl” (review here) was the peak of her sexiness, but I was wrong as her role as Ms. Devil Girl Succubus in “The Succulent Succubus” has gone far and beyond “Prison Girl.” Hair teased and curled, dark lucious lipstick, striking doctored eye coloring, and a figure that kills, Asami couldn’t be any hotter unless she really was in the infernal Hell. This is my first viewing experience with Sho Nishino. The slender body and the tenderness look is a tall tell sign that Nishino is a mega force in the porn industry; probably one of the hottest JAV actresses out there. Nishino and Asami are petite women who don’t need curves to excite and “The Succulent Succubus” pairs sex and parody and weaves a glorious romp-filled tale aiming to delight all you sinners out there.
Director Motosugu Watanabe’s simple editing and framing style works to accomplish creating Asami as the VP of Hell. Quick editing techniques and creative cost efficient special effects combined with quirky Japanese acting turns the what could have been another run of the mill, lackluster erotica film into a fun and entertaining hard-on producing gem. One particular scene stands out involving Nishino and Asami in a Hell setting lesbian scene. As the two grind their love boxes together in a scene of epic proportions, the obviously cheap Hell constructed scene only adds to the charm of the scene. I know what you’re thinking: Why are you looking at the setting instead of two naked and beautiful women doing the nasty? Answer: the setting creates a time warp and a sense of fantasy to where you yourself might think you’ve traveled back in time or to Hell to watch a lustful scene undertake.
Pink Eiga has again successfully distributed a great film to the masses and has notched another great edition into their extensive catalogue. The DVD, available for purchase at www.pinkeiga.com, release isn’t skimpy on the features (unlike the skimpy clothing the actresses are wearing). The DVD contains an interview “Why The Hell?” with actress Asami and includes also the film’s original artwork, a still image slideshow, and the whole presentation is in outstanding widescreen format for your viewing pleasure. Remember, if you love Pink Eiga make sure you pick this little devilish film up and check out other titles on the 99CentNetwork to stream other titles of titillating films.