Title: Space Truckers
Genre: Sci-Fi, Adventure, Comedy
Starring: Dennis Hopper (Waterworld, Apocalypse Now), Stephen Dorff (Blade, Felon), Debi Mazar
Director: Stuart Gordon
I'm sure everyone has some similar story to this, for this film has in a sense been on my 'to watch' list longer than any other. For some reason one of my memories as a young child involve this film, and more specifically not being able to watch it; my plucky young eight year old self spotting it in the video rental store and showing it to my father, grinning ear to ear only to hear those fateful words. “You're mother would kill me if I let you watch that.” Which on reflection is a little odd, seeing as I'd already skipped my Disney phase and moved onto classics such as “Die Hard” and “The Terminator,” and this is far more family friendly than a film about robots that take over the world. Hell, this is a film about transporting robots so they can take over the world, it's got nothing on the mayhem and violence shown there and instead feels closer to a 'spiritual predecessor' to Firefly in how it all plays out. You see, this really is just a down to earth, honest to god, simple film about a few truckers and their voyage to deliver their cargo from one place to another.
I mean sure, there's cyborg sex and crotch kicking action with the company top dog finding himself the butt of jokes told by none other than captain John Canyon (Hopper), one of the last independent truckers, delivering quip after quip to a viewing audience who quickly realises that even in the space-faring future one thing that'll never change is the decision by truckers to remove every 'optional extra' from their old truck to save money, but always make sure it's stocked with a plentiful supply of beer. The plucky young rookie in Mike (Dorff) acts as his counterpart, the 'heroic' character that as the captain is more than willing to point out, makes him a moron with a lot to learn about truckin,' and joining them all in their voyage to the stars is a young waitress beauty, Cindy (Mazar), who spends most her time in her underwear and is largely only with them because she lost a bet and now has to marry the captain. Accepting a cargo of sex dolls, it isn't too long before they discover that what they're really carrying ain't exactly all that sexy and would probably kill you for thinking about it.
Straddling the line between blockbuster and B-Movie – too well constructed effects for a B-Movie, but too cheesy for a blockbuster – it's budgetary concerns seem to very middle of the road. Stuart Gordon's flicks have hardly ever exactly been high-brow entertainment, and with the likes of Fortress and Re-Animator already under his belt it seems that he has no desire to change his ways; yes some of the mechanical effects look a bit campy and cheesy, yes much of it is overdone and the pacing is pretty intent on making sure even those with attention deficit disorders find themselves enthralled, but it was never intended to be complex. If you dissect all the plot holes, the fact that the robots have the same water cooling system that I have on my PC (seriously, it looks the EXACT same), or the decision to completely ignore the laws of gravity except when it suits him or makes for a cool effect, you'll be robbing the film of its fun, and that's all its intended to be. It's cheesy but ultimately such a fun ride that it's hard to really fault; fans of his previous work, or the similar cheesy works of “Demolition Man,” “Waterworld” or “Spaceballs,” will find this much to their liking.