B Movie Challenge: Space Truckers

Breaker! Breaker! Are you there Rubber Ducky? This is the Klinster bandit! Over. Yeah, we got ourselves 25,000 pounds of zero-gravity mack-daddy space shlock passing through the dark side of the moon on the sixth of June… or the tenth? Eleventh? I’m not sure anymore with all these space neon billboard signs blinding me! While I fill my space tires with space air at the space hose, I want to unload this movie for your enjoyment. Over. What’s to enjoy about it, Rubby Ducky? What’s NOT to enjoy?! From a bill of lading of square-shaped porkers to sweaty weightless heavy petting to Charles Dance with half his torso, this little dipper of cinephile infinity will have you hastily dropping off your cargo load in the toilet just so you don’t miss a thing (because in space, no one has a pause button). 

Having started his career in the theatre, director Stuart Gordan rose to infamous fame when he jackknifed a little movie called Re-Animator (which every deadhead driving along the ‘Highway to Hell’ has seen) and became one of the leading horror directors of all time. Yet for every From Beyond and Dolls, Gordan surprised himself (and audiences) with the likes of Edmund  (written by David Mammet no less) and this little lowboy of payload. Starring the King of the Independents Dennis Hopper, along with pre-Blade Stephen Dorff, the always endearing Debi Mazur, Cheers alum George Wendt (who has possibly the most bizarre and funniest death scene imaginable), and the master of villains Dance, Space Truckers can label itself King of the Space Road movie as the cast seems to be into the idea (a rarity sometimes with flicks airtight as these) and the crew seems to be into it as well. Lensed on a 25 million dollar budget, Gordan steers the film like a sliding fifth wheel, shifting gears from high-octane action to sincere science fiction heavy metal fun when he needs to. But be warned this is the best strobe-lit film in cinema history, so make sure you wear your Foakly custom flak 2.6 sunglasses while watching Dance long-haul our heroes throughout a galaxy not too far away. 

The plot of the movie involves Hopper (always acting like he is on 156% No-Doze pills), fresh off getting canned by his latest haul, having to make some fast money, and agrees to take a load of… um, dirty dolls (wink, wink) back to Earth, but he finds out there are more to the dolls than simple pleasures! Along for the ride is young buck Dorff who needs a break in the union, and Mazur, who agrees to marry Hopper if he takes her to Earth. After a few check calls, Dance and his fellow minions of death (including Vernon Wells of The Road Warrior and Commando fame) need these little killer robots to take over Earth, which like any dystopian flick is a piece of garbage best forgotten. Throw in some clever mapquest routes, add an impressive space fight along the haul of the space truck, and you have yourself a space axel-breaking little ol’ convoy flickering across the tranquil night sky (watch out for those pesky black rocks, though).

Warp speeding on down the space tracks for 95 minutes, this little headache rack of cinematic awesomeness was a disappointment to critics who never seemed to understand it (do they ever?) but did find a cult following on home video and cable viewings. Gordan, who also helmed the sci-fi classic Robot Jox, went on to direct features like Stuck and many TV works (including Masters of Horrors). What’s that Rubber Ducky? Do you want to know where to find it? You can find it streaming on Tubi and other streaming services, but look out for the Region free blu-ray online. So put on your short-brimmed truckers hat, splurt some floating mustard on that rectangular braunschweiger sandwich, and head on down the space road for this gear-grinding space cushion. Over.

About Ian Klink

As a filmmaker, writer, and artist, Ian Klink’s work includes the feature film Anybody’s Blues and short stories for Weren't Another Way to Be: Outlaw Fiction Inspired by Waylon Jennings, Negative Creep: A Nirvana-Inspired Anthology, A-Z of Horror: U is for Unexplained, The Creeps, Vampiress Carmilla, The Siren’s Call, and Chilling Tales For Dark Nights. Born and raised in Iowa, Klink lives with his family in Pennsylvania where he shares his talents as a teacher of multimedia studies.

View all posts by Ian Klink

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