Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Space Truckers (1996)

Seen: On dvd on our big screen/projector set-up.

The title says it all, really. Trucking. In space. Also: Dennis Hopper. Set in a nondescript, Cowboy Bebop-esque space future, Space Truckers is a very silly, but also sort of thrilling adventure that stars Hopper as an experienced independent transporter who takes on a young upstart trucker (Stephen Dorff) and a savvy waitress he's sort of engaged to (Debi Mazar), along with a load of mysterious sex dolls, so they can all head to Earth. Their space truck is waylaid by space pirates, and eventually it becomes a fight to the death with giant laser robots. I swear all of this happens. Plus Norm from Cheers has his insides sucked out through his butt when a window breaks in a space diner. OBVIOUSLY THIS MOVIE RULES.

I am slowly but surely learning that maybe Stuart Gordon just knows what to do to make a movie I will enjoy. I will soon be investigating this theory in more depth, don't you worry. With Space Truckers, he's created a weird futuristic world that doesn't make any sense and is all the better for it. This is science fiction with very little of the "science" part, employing the laws of gravity only when it's convenient and mixing genres like a boss. Dennis Hopper is surly and kind of confused, while Debi Mazar and an incredibly young (and cute!) Stephen Dorff just wanna make out all the time. Charles Dance (aka Lord Tywin Lannister, you nerds) is having the most fun as the bad guy with awesome glasses and hell of robot parts. The story is all over the place, everyone is basically an idiot, and there isn't actually all that much trucking.

WHICH IS WHY I can't believe how good this movie actually is! It has no right to be such a fun movie but seriously, it is, jeez! The effects are pretty awesome, the jokes are funny and strange (square pigs! how prescient!), and it's just so ridiculous it's hard not to have a good time. I loved the crazy ninja laser robots, and the bizarre almost-sex scene, and how both Dorff and Mazar spend half the movie in their underwear, and the wacky 2001-ish space diner, and Dennis Hopper's old-man yelling, and how the space trucks actually look like trucks, just longer. It's a pretty crazy movie, and I'm not sure just how intentional the humor is since the third act is sort of dark, but it doesn't really matter. Turns out Stuart Gordon is just a man who knows what I want. Even when Jeffrey Combs isn't involved! Most importantly, I now want to put the word "space" in front of everything.


Pair This Movie With: Aw man well the similarities to Cowboy Bebop really are pretty strong. Check out the episode "Heavy Metal Queen" for more space trucking!


  1. I saw this film when it was on HBO in 1996. I thought it was a fun movie. Didn't take itself too seriously. There were some effects, lots of humor, and was also very entertaining. Very underrated film.

  2. I once had this on VHS. I loved it when I was younger but haven't seen it in years!

  3. thevoid: That's funny, someone on twitter also said he had seen it on HBO in the 90s! I don't think my family had HBO yet in 1996 so I missed it, but yeah it's such a fun film!

    Dan: I guess it's time for a re-watch, then!