Attention hard core John Carpenter fans; you may want to give these movies a miss. Attention even more extreme John Carpenter fans; you might want to give them a watch. While his involvement is minimal, this will be the first time either movie hits DVD.
Black Moon Rising
While there isn’t much in this movie worthy of the hour and a half you’d have to give up in order to view it, it IS a John Carpenter script and if you’re an extreme Carpenter zealot, curiosity will compel you only too far. The cast has some weight to it, giving Tommy Lee Jones the tough guy lead and Linda Hamilton (Terminator) the sexy femme fatale. The problem isn’t within the concept; Tommy Lee Jones needs to get sensitive material out of an experimental race car, but before he can get to it, Hamilton steals the car and as he tries to retrieve it our adventure is found. I guess that leaves the uninspired direction and look of the film which comes across as bland and uninteresting.
That isn’t to say that there are no redeeming qualities however. Tommy Lee Jones turns in one of his usually high standard performances, wasted in this movie. The most elite of Carpenter’s fans will likely find some intrigue in the story and construction of the script which holds some of Carpenter’s hallmarks in style, the cool, eighties comic sensibilities and the anti hero that leads the way. This is about all you should hope for in Black Moon Rising.
The Philadelphia Experiment
This movie has a Twilight Zone feel with haywire military experiments and time travel elements. The film’s construction holds up alright if not a little stiff. But the problem for this movie is a lack of screen presence. Sure we get Nancy Allen, (Robocop‘s partner, if you were wondering) but she’s not enough to carry the movie and it’s left flat.
Carpenter’s role in this production is even less involved than Black Moon Rising, serving as executive producer only. There is very little, if any of Carpenter’s presence felt in the film.
Both movies are pretty dry and should only be attempted for academic purposes. Neither movie has any special features.