Sunday, 1 January 2012
Space Truckers (1996)
Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator) is a wonderful director who makes wonderful movies. Re-Animator is a horror classic held in the highest regard by the majority of horror fans. However, since then he's went on to make a host of underrated gems. He has always been a consistent director, as well as diverse with movies and TV shows ranging from horror (Re-Animator) to sci-fi (Space Truckers) to family comedy (Honey I Shrunk The Kids) to black comedy (Stuck) to thriller (Edmond). He's also produced some lesser known gems that aren't often discussed such as King of The Ants and Fortress. And who could forget the classic From Beyond?
The reason I'm telling you about Stuart Gordon movies instead of purely focusing on Space Truckers is because he's made so much great movies. He's always been ambitious and has delivered interesting concepts on an often limited budget. He is honestly one of the true masters of horror, but he's more diverse than that. Critics have panned him more often than not, but within the realms of horror he's somewhat of a cult hero along with his friend - and sometimes collaborator, Brian Yuzna (a great director in his own right). I urge you to watch the filmography of them both. I plan on reviewing all of their work eventually and I look forward to re-watching the films I've seen and exploring the ones I haven't. There's still a couple out there by both of them I haven't been able to acquire yet. Now, on to Space Truckers...
The brilliant cast of the ever so great Dennis Hopper, along with the cool Stephen Dorff and the weirdly attractive Debi Mazar deliver fun performances as two independent transporters of shipment and a waitress who have been hired to deliver an unknown containment to Earth. It's a long dangerous journey through space though and our gang of heroes have to tackle some unlikely obstacles on their way. These obstacles include the law, ship malfunctions (or should I say space truck?), crooks (led by the show stealing Charles Dance as a self-rebuilt, half metal and extremely horny space pirate with a grudge), killer robots and the biggest obstacle of all - 2 guys in love with the same half naked chick.
Don't go into this one expecting a serious sci-fi because you'll be disappointed. However, if you want an action packed thrill ride that delivers action, laughs and explosions, along with killer robots then pick this one up. It's one that you can watch over and over again, as it invokes childhood-like space fantasies along with enough sex jokes to keep the inner teen alive and for the adult... well I dunno. I feel like a big kid watching this one. And that's partly why I love it. There's also enough goofs to keep the critics focused, for example, all the gravity defiance for a start. It only adds to the charm though. It's in no way a bad movie though, and it doesn't fall into the category of 'so bad it's good.' It makes the most of its limited budget and it looks visually sweet. I'd also recommend it if you're a fan of Spaceballs, but it's not as goofy as Spaceballs. Not many movies are really.
It's a shame that this film was the victim of production difficulties. It never found a distributor to release it to theaters in several countries from what I understand. It's the ultimate popcorn flick and it would have been wonderful to see on the big screen. But at least we have the DVD, the luxury of television and the ability to make popcorn if we choose to, hell, we can BUY popcorn from any good supermarket or late night petrol garage. So grab some snacks, sit back and prepare for a high octane, cheesy thrill ride, equipped with laughs o' plenty and lots of fire, robot erections and bewb cleavage from the starlet and even a little from Dennis Hopper (but his is through the t-shirt. Sorry ladies).