Also known as: Black Rider (Japan), Black Moon (Germany, Finland), Luna Negra (Spain)
Release Date: January 10th, 1986
Directed by: Harley Cokliss
Written by: John Carpenter, William Gray, Desmond Nakano
Music by: Lalo Schifrin
Cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Hamilton, Robert Vaughn, Richard Jaeckel, Bubba Smith, Dan Shor, Keenan Wynn, Lee Ving, William Sanderson, Nick Cassavetes, Don Keith Opper
Sequoia Productions, New World Pictures, 100 Minutes
“Even the body is unique. it’s made out of Kelvar – the same material they use in bulletproof vests.” – Earl Windom
I vividly remember watching this movie on New Year’s Eve 1990 with my cousin Billy, as we were waiting for midnight and the ball to fall and ring in a new decade.
Why’s that important? It’s not. Other than to say that I remembered watching this, liking it but then never knowing what the movie was and thus, I wasn’t able to see it again until now. Frankly, I had forgotten about it but then I randomly came across the trailer on YouTube while researching something else and it immediately sparked that memory.
And I was pretty stoked because a thirty year mystery had been solved.
However, I’m not sure how I didn’t remember more of the film, as it has a pretty decent cast full of a lot of talent I would’ve known, even as a kid in 1990. Hell, it’s got Bubba Smith in it and I’ve seen the first six Police Academy movies about a hundred times each. Not to mention Lee Ving, who I wouldn’t have recognized as the lead singer of Fear but I would’ve recognized from Clue and Streets of Fire.
The real kicker though, is that this has Tommy Lee Jones, Linda Hamilton and Robert Vaughn in it and somehow that slipped down the memory hole.
What I didn’t know until seeing it now, is that it was written by John f’n Carpenter in a time when the dude was most certainly on his A-game.
All that being said, the movie is just kind of okay. It’s not as great as I perceived it as a kid but nothing ever really is. But it’s still an enjoyable action crime film that’s all about a high tech supercar and different people’s attempts at stealing it.
For Linda Hamilton it felt like a fitting role between the first two Terminator movies, as she’s sort of a mix between damsel in distress (most of Terminator) and kind of a badass (Terminator 2). And this was certainly a better role for her in 1986 than her biggest film of that year, the abysmal King Kong Lives.
This also has a scene in it where a car jumps through the window of one skyscraper, flies through the air and then lands safely in another skyscraper. So for those of you that thought that stunt was invented for those Fast & Furious movies, this film did it first, three decades earlier.
Anyway, this was a good, solid way to spend 100 minutes. That is, if you love to watch ’80s action, suspend your disbelief and like a lot of ham and lead in your diet.
Pairs well with: other action movies from New World Pictures and Cannon Films.