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Project Moonbase
Force Entertainment/Force Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 62 mins . G . PAL

  Feature
Contract

In the future world of 1970, the battle between good and evil, freedom and non-freedom continues. The good guys (USA! USA! USA!) have plans to send a team out in space to orbit the moon looking for a suitable spot to set up a base. The bad guys (Lithuania! Lithuania! Lithuania!) have plans to infiltrate the team with an imposter and sabotage the mission. When the rocket is about to orbit the moon, the bad guy strikes, but rather than destroying a space station by flying the rocket into it as intended, he only succeeds in forcing the rocket to land on the moon, because as a bad guy he sucks. Stranded on the cold hard unforgiving studio moon set without enough fuel to leave, will our intrepid heroes survive? Can they ever return to earth? Will they get married? Oh, sorry. I forgot to mention that one of the astronauts is a woman. Like it makes a difference, really.

In this revolutionary Robert Heinlein co-penned vision of the future, the astronauts wear shorts, leotards, t-shirts and snazzy little skull caps aboard their ships. This just goes to show how much thought and research went into creating a believable and sensible outfit for the long journeys in space. Clearly NASA got it wrong with those bulky white outfits as worn by Tom Hanks in Apollo 13. "Houston, we have a problem indeed."

Worthy of mention is the appearance of Doctor Bellows from I Dream of Jeannie as their Commanding Officer. Bloody hell, what a shocking actor he was. At one point, you can clearly make out that he was reading his lines from cue cards, complete with awkward pauses as he has to pick up where he left off. Then again, all the actors sucked the big one in this film, with not a single effort from anyone worth a can of spam. I'm sure some of them went on to play the "before" person in old hemorrhoid commercials. One fella even looks like Harvey Kietel with a little Errol Flynn moustache. This guy couldn't act either.

  Video
  Audio
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Contract

The best I can figure out is that the film was a pieced together from a made for television series that never made it to air. I wonder why? The picture may possibly have been in colour originally (as is stated on the dvd sleeve) but this dvd definitely has the black and white version. Overall, it's average at best. While the quality of the greys looks fine, the picture has lots of little issues with it, such as aliasing, blurring of detail in movement, many scratches and nicks etc on the image and what looks to be dot crawl. Still, sitting back at a distance it's acceptable to view. Considering the alternatives -restoration (Bwahahahaha, as if!) or not being released at all, I think the few people who buy this title will survive.

The films audio is in DolbyDigital 2.0 mono. I guess it's reasonable sounding for the age and the quality of the production, but nothig startling of course. There's lots of repetitive dramatic score playing at all the dramatic moments which sounds fine enough. Dialogue, as forgettable as it is (seriously, it really is forgettable, I can't even remember an example to give you), sounds okay and is generally clear throughout the film.

The only extra features on the dvd are one trailer for the film, and eight and a half minutes of trailers for other old sci-fi films, some of which are also in the Retro Sci -Fi DVD Collection. These are shown on a drive-in themed screen to keep it all in the mood. Although this seems like a good idea, and they should get points for trying something different, I personally would have liked to see them individually accessible and played fullscreen. Still, they are what they are, and that’ll have to do. Life shall go on.


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  •   And I quote...
    "A spellbinding look into the craptastic future of 1970!"
    - Vince Carrozza
      Review Equipment
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    • Speakers:
          Wharfedale s500
    • Centre Speaker:
          Polk Audio CS245
    • Surrounds:
          Wharfedale s500
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          DB Dynamics TITAN
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard Optical
    • Video Cables:
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