Fun cult favourite Space Truckers receives a welcome Blu-ray release in the UK with some excellent additional features including a revealing interview with director Stuart Gordon.
This film should be a whole lot worse. Sci-fi comedies featuring intergalactic big rigs and Charles Dance under a foot of latex sounds like no day at the beach. What we get with Space Truckers though is a fun ride which is more in the vein of Starship Troopers without the flagrant nudity and violence. Amongst the model work which has stood the test of time sits an oddity which feels more like Barbarella than Jurassic Park. A fact which is pertinent only if you know both Spielberg’s benchmark and Stuart Gordon’s sci-fi adventure were released in the mid-1990s.
Using the flimsiest excuse for a plot, Gordon sets off with his hotchpotch of narrative strands and audience in tow. Hopper and Stephen Dorff gamely follow the company line and add a slither of credibility to a film for which the word kitsch was invented. Whether conversing with George Wendt’s pork haulage CEO or trading suitably droll one liners with Dance’s one eyed cyborg, Hopper is nothing if not interesting.
Sets seem rickety, zero gravity wire work is visible while nothing looks particularly believable yet bizarrely those constraints work in its favour. Gordon never sets out to make a masterpiece but does provide us with some grandiose set pieces that demonstrate his level of commitment. For the record, although Space Truckers is not the longest film ever it does begin to feel that way in the final twenty minutes. What began as something fun, kitsch and not at all serious starts taking on water as we near the conclusion of this minor cult favourite. That final act swiftly undoes any of the good work laid down earlier, although Hopper, Dorff and company remain totally committed even in their underwear.
However, the Blu-ray does much to improve Space Truckers while Stuart Gordon’s interview in the extras is essential viewing in illustrating his commitment to this film. In terms of Dennis Hopper or any of the other actors there was obviously something which drew them here, but strangely no one was willing to contribute reasons why.