While on a Space Shuttle mission, Colonel Jason Grant (Koenig) and Ray Tanner (Campbell) find an unidentified spacecraft in Earth orbit and investigate. It contains a strange alien artifact that they bring back to Earth, which quickly assembles a killer robot out of spare parts lying around and goes berserk, killing at least one lab tech before they can break it apart.
Did we mention that they somehow know this artifact comes from the moon, 14,000 years ago?
Col. Grant digs up the last unfired Saturn V launch vehicle and throws together an impromptu lunar mission. However, the aliens who built the artifact quickly capture him and trap him in a jail cell with a hot alien space babe. He eventually outsmarts the aliens, blows up their base, and saves the day.
This film contains examples of the following tropes:
- A.I. Is a Crapshoot: One of the theorys as to what the Kaalium are is robots having turned on the ones that built them.
- Ancient Astronauts: They find one in earth orbit while looking for space junk. He's apparently 14,000 years old. and had been to the moon.
- Body Horror: After Ray dies, the Kaalium build a battle robot out of him. Also what happened to the aformetioned AncientAstronauts as Jason figures out before one comes in to do the same to them.
- Cool Car: Moon buggy!
- Cool Starship: They have an Apollo Lander.
- Chekhovs Gun: Col. Grant destroys the self-assembled robot with a shotgun blast.
- Not entirely inappropriate, considering it's Walter Koenig firing that thing....
- Embarrassing Nickname: Jason 'Einstein' Grant and Ray 'The Penetrator' Tanner.
- Genius Bonus: Col. Jason Grant is leader of the Argo Team. So.....Jason And The Argonauts?
- Human Popsicle: They find a woman in the moonbase in some kind of stasis pod.
- Human Sacrifice: One area of the Moonbase is theorized to be a temple for this. Probably due to the amount of skeletons around.
- Killer Robot: Alien probe thing (called a Kaalium) builds itself into one of these from lab equipment.
- Lightning Gun: The Kaalium are packing these.
- Ray references the Honeymooners in a strip club.
- The Kaalium pods resemble those of another Alien menace.
- Space Is Noisy: Swings back and forth, when Ray and Jason are on the moon, their footsteps don't make noise, neither does the moonbuggy or falling over, but the alien probe-bot things seem to make a few noises, as did Ray clapping. But that might just be the music. The guns sometimes make noise, and sometimes they don't.