Known for his amazing indie horror films today, Todd Sheets unleashed something special in the 1990s with this action/horror/sci-fi hybrid that is getting re-released!
Jacob Stryker is a young man who has been on the run in a dystopian future from a group known as the Solidarity. They want to control the area, but Jacob has learned that they are responsible for his wife’s death and may be responsible for his son’s kidnapping. Along the way, Jacob runs into Athena, a resistance fighter who is hoping to find more recruits to lead the charge against the Solidarity. When Jacob meets resistance leader Talon, at first the leader is not sure about Jacob. That is, until there is something shocking about the drifter.
Jacob was once the subject of a government experiment where his cells were spliced with that of a wolf. Having escaped, Jacob’s wife is killed but his son’s genetic blood may be the cure that could spell the end of the Solidarity. When Jacob learns what he may be able to turn into, he is shocked at first. However, with Athena and Talon supporting him along with the other resistance members, Jacob is now ready to take on anyone who will get in his way to rescue his son. When he is all set, Jacob is ready to unleash his full powers to put an end to the chaos once and for all.
Todd Sheets is a great director of indie horror films with recent fare like Clownado and Final Caller giving us the gory practical effects with some pretty intricate stories. In 1994, Sheets came out with something very interesting and very different. Inspired by his love of werewolf movies, futuristic sci-fi movies, and martial arts films, Sheets created this hybrid of the genres and being a SOV film, it’s actually pretty fun if you’re into micro-budget movies.
Auggi Alvarez is quite excellent at the titular “moonchild”, Jacob Stryker. Jacob is your drifter hero who finds trouble everywhere around him. As the film progresses, we learn about his history, and he seems like an ordinary avenger type. However, we soon learn he has something else in destiny for him when he discovers that he has the powers of a werewolf. This isn’t seen until it hits the right moment nearly half-way through the film. The buildup is quite good as we see Jacob reluctantly join a resistance movement and gets to see leader Talon engage in underground fighting.
Alongside Alvarez comes potential love interest Athena, played by Kathleen McSweeney. Together, she and Alvarez show some pretty good chemistry. Dave Miller is great as Talon, the leader of the resistance who gets to fight his way both in an underground ring and against the threat of the Solidarity. Carol Barta’s Medusa really makes a heck of an impact when she forces one of the resistance heroes to fall prey to her, where some nifty practical effects were used. There’s also some visual effects that work well for its time when we see Jacob become the full Moonchild in the third act.
Moonchild is something different from what we are used to from Todd Sheets. It’s a hell of a change-up, but it’s clear Sheets’ love of classic B-movies and kung fu flicks are there in this film. With the trend of legacy sequels popping up, I would be all for the return of Jacob Stryker!
WFG RATING: B+
Visual Vengeance presents an Extreme Entertainment/Lycanthrope Features production. Director: Todd Sheets. Producer: Todd Sheets. Writer: Todd Sheets. Cinematography: Todd Sheets. Editing: Todd Sheets.
Cast: Auggi Alvarez, Kathleen McSweeney, Dave Miller, Stefan Hilts, Rebecka Rose, Cathy Metz, Julie King, Harry Rose, Carol Barta, Ray Ettinger, Kyrie King, Erika Schneider, Rod Will.
The film will be out on Collector Edition’s Blu-Ray on October 11.