Bruce Campbell: Moontrap killer robot trivia fun for fans


Bruce Campbell made a fun 1950’s style independent sci-fi flick in 1989 called Moontrap. This production starred Walter Koenig and featured killer robots of all things. We did a little digging and came up with some trivia from that film that fans would enjoy.

It Must Have Been Moontrap

Bruce Campbell is a versatile actor adept at playing in any popular culture genreverse. In 1989, he made a film called Moontrap for his old friend and former employer Robert Dyke. What bumps up the cool factor in addition to having Campbell in it is that it stars Walter Koenig (Ensign Chekov) of Star Trek fame. So, for Trekkers like me this is also another selling point.

Let’s not forget the fact that the movie also features killer robots. Well, in actuality they are cyborgs but I digress. The plot revolves around Koenig who plays Colonel Jason Grant and his pilot sidekick, Ray “The Penetrator” Tanner.

While flying around in their shuttle on a mundane mission, they stumble upon a corpse and a strange looking object resembling a football. They return to earth with both items and find out that the dead body has been carbon dated at 14,000 years old and the object remains a mystery.

As it turns out, the “football” combines its hardware with the corpse’s DNA to create a killer robot hybrid. Picture if Optimus Prime were part of Star Trek the Next Generation’s Borg collective. Luckily for everyone on earth, Tanner and Grant decimate the potential metal threat.

However, they return to the moon to try and locate an ancient moon base which is where the corpse was believed to have come from. They stumble upon a beacon in the darkness that leads them to a structure.

Yes, killer robots inhabit our satellite and the astronauts stumble upon a gorgeous human named Mera (Leigh Lombardi). Together they must combat this race of machines or be destroyed. I won’t ruin the ending which contains a super twist. If you dig Bruce Campbell, I highly recommend this film.

Killer Robot Trivia Fun

As with every motion picture experience, there are little tidbits of interesting information about the shoot, the actors or the director and Moontrap is no exception.  Let’s go behind the scenes of this indie sci-fi flick.

  • Since the moon was built on a stage, to approximate moon dust, the production used cement after trying different types of dirt. The reason why they chose cement is because it “moved” like the dust we see in NASA footage of our astronauts’ moon walks.
  • Bruce used to be a production assistant on commercial shoots for director Robert Dyke in Detroit during the early 80’s when he was starting out. 11 years later, he teamed up with Dyke again for Time Quest. This time he played an Oliver Stonesque character, William Roberts. 
  • Moontrap has a substantial international fanbase. Germany in particular really likes this indie film.
  • Campbell is a fan of Star Trek. In his own words, he was a “huge fanboy” of the series with William Shatner. He and his brother Don used to watch the show when it originally aired and then when it went into syndication.
  • Bruce’s character of Ray Tanner utters the line, “We don’t take no s*** from no machines,” several times throughout the movie. In reality, Bruce is a fan of technology and doesn’t fear it. As a matter of fact, he was one of the first celebrities to be active on the internet with his fanbase in the 90’s.
  • The actor has a soft spot for independent filmmakers because in his words:

"“Making indies is more difficult than making a studio film. It is way more challenging because you don’t have a studio to bail you out.”"

Check out Bruce’s informative interview on the making of Moontrap.

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I can’t say enough about how thoroughly enjoyable this picture is if you enjoy science fiction and 50’s B movies. In today’s Hollywood, studios, writers and directors routinely hit you over the head with message driven material. If you want to be entertained, check out Moontrap. You won’t regret it.

Have you ever seen this Bruce Campbell film? Share your comments in the section below. We want to hear from you.