Michael Parkhurst wrote, produced, and directed this very early example of the "trucksploitation" genre that simply exploded during the 1970s. His is a daffy plot; it's all over the place, involving a missile launch, a kidnapped pilot, a Nazi hiding out in Mexico, various (stereotypical) Mexican bad guys, and a biker gang! The late, great character actor Charles Napier, a favorite of Russ Meyer and Jonathan Demme, plays Robert W. Morgan, a trucker hired to transport what he's told are aircraft parts to an undisclosed location. His traveling companion on this quest is an "insurance policy" of a man known only as "The Farmer" (boxing legend Sonny Liston).
I wouldn't necessarily consider this a very good movie, but its story and story threads are just interesting enough to keep one watching. It is true what people have said: the top billed Richard Egan just sort of pops in and out of the tale, despite being touted as the star attraction. Really, this is Napiers' show, and as he's shown in later 80s B pictures like "The Night Stalker" and "Deep Space", he did have what it takes to carry a film. Liston is just sort of there, not even having much of a presence. The supporting cast is solid enough: Dayton Lummis, Joaquin Martinez (who gets an "introducing" credit), Richard Bull, William Wintersole, Sandy Rosenthal.
A large part of what appeal there is, lies in the impressive rural scenery, as would be the case for any movie shot in this sort of milieu. Also, the music is great, and that opening number "Wheels of Life", sung by Marty Robbins, does get ones' hopes up that this might be pretty decent.
"Moonfire" does have two memorable scenes to offer: one of Napier using a forklift to strike back at a bad guy, and another of the destruction of a sprinkler leading to a hilariously preposterous death scene.
Six out of 10.
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