Plot Summary: Three 'Nam war buddies and their wives/girlfriends head out on a boat for one of the couple's honeymoon (Britt Ekland (The Man with the Golden Gun), John Phillip Law (Barbarella). However, an escaped mental patient is also on board and may be one of them. They awake one morning to find their radio has been cut and their motor sabotaged. Soon, they begin getting bumped off one by one with a weird harpoon umbrella thingy. Has one of the vets' war experience finally gotten to them? Or has one of their significant others gone nutty?
Why The Art Is Great: One thing I've begun to notice about these Trans-World Entertainment releases is that most of them have really, really good poster art. The art for Moon in Scorpio is no exception. It's a beautifully painted and very haunting piece of artwork that succeeds on nearly all levels. The image of a torn apart sailboat with storm clouds forming in the shape of a skull is effective in itself, but putting that shadow of the scorpion on the water just makes it even creepier. Then there's the awesome tagline ("There's a bad moon rising...") and the curiosity-inducing title. Moon in Scorpio? What's that? What does it have to do with the boat? Admit it. You're intrigued. I can imagine that art drew many an unwary viewer into the inescapable clasp of the horror that is Moon in Scorpio...
Does The Film Live Up To It? Sadly, no. Another thing about these Trans-World releases is that most of them are really bad in a really fun way (if you disagree, you obviously have not seen the 1987 classic Twisted Nightmare). Unfortunately, Moon in Scorpio isn't too bad (technically), but it's very boring. The acting was...eh, with Britt Ekland, probably the biggest star of the movie, being one of the worst. Camerawork's good, the story is intriguing, and the setting is atmospheric enough.
However, the problem with this movie is that it's a bit of a wimp. It doesn't dare try anything new (outside the bizarre weapon of choice, but more on that later) and plays it completely straight throughout without any twists or turns. The film plods from one scene to the next without really bothering to add any sort of spice to anything, so the audience feels very unsatisfied at the end. It doesn't even end with a final shock! Oh, and as for the whole "moon in Scorpio" thing? It's completely pointless, besides serving for what I guess is the motive of the killer! It's flat, boring, and almost completely dispensable if it weren't for a few things.
For one, the killer's murder weapon is really, really bizarre. It's some sort of harpoon looking thing that unfolds like an umbrella...hey, I dare you to watch this and attempt to describe it! Most of the kills are fairly bloody, and there isn't a shortage of bodies hitting the floor (or ocean for that matter), with about nine people pushing daisies by the time the end credits roll. I really dig the setting, seeing as I'm a sucker for any sort of slasher on a boat (I'm one of the only people alive who really likes Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan). Director Gary Graver has worked as a cinematographer one over 200 movies, including some with Orson Welles! He also directed the 1982 slasher Trick or Treats, which I have yet to see but looks to be quite similar to this one.
Overall, it's not good, but it's not that terrible either. Only check it out for curiosity's sake. But still, I dig the hell out of that artwork!
And if you have a request for some great art you've seen but aren't sure if the film lives up to it, let me know and I'll attempt to get around to doing that in the future!