When the movie is called Space Truckers, what can you expect from it? First of all, you can bet your ass that it will not take itself seriously. What this means is we’re looking at both a movie so bad it’s good and a B science fiction flick. Secondly, this is a story about ordinary people, making a living hauling stuff through the emptiness of space. Ever since I saw Alien, I was fascinated with the lives of ordinary people in the future. Their stories feel more authentic and immersive than some space operas about fates and heroes. And finally, expect some really funny and over-the-top scenes along with the smart script. Just add space in front of the usual trucking stuff and you’ll know what to expect.
Starring Dennis Hopper and Stephen Dorff, Space Truckers managed to pull off decent special effects and CGI with a small budget. They are actually quite charming combined with the story. I mean, we’re talking about a movie with an opening scene of a guy hauling a shipment of square pigs. And did you know that making hot dogs in zero-G is incredibly easy? The atmosphere is very easygoing and immersive. At the same time, there’s a healthy dose of realism involved. Docking procedures, ships, and space stations are not computer animated and they look quite good and convincing. I also have to mention Charles Dance who was hilarious as Nabel. Especially during that sex scene. After his shenanigans in Alien 3, it was nice to see him back in space.
Meet John Canyon, one of the last space truckers refusing to become a part of the corporate world. He’s a freelancer who works by his own rules, enjoying the freedom and emptiness of the space. After an incident at a space truck stop, he agrees to take a shady shipment of sex dolls to Earth along with two passengers. What the three of them don’t know is that they’re not transporting sex dolls but something entirely else.
The future that we see in Space Truckers is something that I feel is quite inevitable. Space highways full of ads, immoral corporations (like there are moral ones), and general chaos and incompetence all feel very realistic. When you combine this with great dialogue and a funny story you get one hell of a space adventure. Directed by none other than Lovecraft’s own Stuart Gordon (Re-Animator, Dagon, Stuck), it has a specific and very exotic atmosphere. This is why it’s so hard to recommend similar movies. All I can do is point you to other nineties science fiction movies out which Starship Troopers, Supernova and Galaxy Quest stand out as favorites. The rest of the list includes hits like Total Recall, Event Horizon, The Fifth Element, Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets, and The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
Director: Stuart Gordon
Cast: Stephen Dorff, Debi Mazar, Dennis Hopper, Charles Dance, Jason O’Mara, Mike Hagerty
Fun Facts: Japanese illustrator Hajime Sorayama designed the biomechanical warriors.