One of the best parts of visiting a video store was having an unfiltered look at all the different movies out there. There was no algorithm with suggestions or force feeding you titles, instead you were free to browse at your own leisure and take chances on films that you may not like.
Over the years, I’ve been blessed with having the ability to watch many of the films that box art has lingered in my mind for years. There are still a handful of titles (The Thirteenth Floor, Existenz, Grim Prairie Tales, amongst others) that are still on my list, but recently I completed one strange film that has alluded me for years: Space Truckers.
Released in 1996, Space Truckers was directed by the late great Stuart Gordon known for directing The Re-Animator and one of my favorite 90’s science fiction films Fortress. At the time, I was unfamiliar with Mr. Gordon’s work, but I did recognize Dennis Hopper and eventually Debi Mazar. The film also stars Stephen Dorff, known for his work on Blade and Old Henry which I previously discussed.
Space Truckers remained on my Amazon wishlist for years. A movie I was curious about, but not too curious to actually buy. Then late last year, the movie finally began streaming on Prime and I excitedly sat down to watch it. And, I can only describe it as very strange.
Despite the 90’s sci-fi coverart, Space Truckers is very much a movie that feels like it’s from the 80’s. There are some impressive miniature work at times and a couple of interesting creature designs, but the film seems to exist in some strange world between spoof and insanity. I struggle to even attempt to describe this film because it’s so incredibly odd. I would love to hear how they got Dennis Hopper to agree to film this movie, then again, it looks like he’s having a blast while doing so.
Space Truckers is the type of film you’d expect to see on Mystery Science Theater. The way I think of the film is giant mutant pigs, spinning 50’s bar/cafe, Debi Mazar running around in her bra and panties the second half of the film, and a man with a pullstart penis. Somehow it manages to be this apeshit, but still viewable.
By the time the credits rolled, I wasn’t sure what to say about Space Truckers. As you see, I decided to avoid breaking down the entire plot or even trying to apply any of the story to real life situations, because I’m not sure I’d be able to do either. Instead, if you are interesting some strange piece of science fiction from the 90’s that isn’t quite a spoof but managed to channel the same cheese and insanity, then Space Truckers is worth your time. I’m really surprised this film hasn’t found cult status yet in a world where bad films are so beloved.