(Full disclosure: I saw this in a theater. Fuck, I’m old.)
As one could predict, Stuart Gordon’s Space Truckers turns out to be neither as visually clever nor as funny as its trailer. Which would be a lie, considering that the trailer doesn’t promise anything special, besides a quirky idea for a B-movie being taken way too seriously.
Film itself is a little less self-righteous, though, with some situational humour that’s never even hinted at here - i.e. Dennis Hopper’s character being named “John Canyon”, or one amusingly raunchy scene involving the main villain - and elaborates a bit on the seductive idea of a future space highway, à la Galaxy Express 999.
On the other hand, yes, the whole holyfuckthatsarobot angle is as crudely drawn as you see here, and yes, once again Stephen Dorff’s alleged magnetism is M.I.A.. Oh, and ’80s scream queen / future Bold And The Beautiful employee Barbara Crampton makes a super fast cameo at the end.
Random wisdom from YouTube commentators: “if this movie is so good why is it rated so low on IMDB?”
Sometimes I really wish I had a teaching position. Instead of meting out essays on the nature of good vs. evil, I’d be all like “Wes Craven’s Deadly Friend: Most Misleading Trailer Ever. Discuss”.
Whoever marketed this didn’t believe in things like fulfilling one’s promises. Nor, for that matter, enticing the moviegoer. The picture looks as shabby as it actually is, but the slapdash juxtaposition of “what’s that noise?” reaction shots makes it look even more hastily put together. Then again, the whole shebang-a-bang is about capitalizing on Craven’s then growing fan base, which entrusted him to come up with more Elm Street-ish scenarios.
Boy, were they in for a surprise.
The trailer builds up nice girl next door “Samantha” as a sociopathic killer (she’s not), while the Frankenstein premise (she dies, her neighbour replaces her brain with a robot’s) is not mentioned: the infamous death-by-basketball scene, which almost cost the film an “X” rating, was probably too gory and abrupt to be featured here. The result fits nicely in the Brokeback To The Future tradition.
One major exception: the final shot that frames Samantha by the window, with the glass shattering and exploding from within. Now, that’s an audience-grabbing hook.
Kristy Swanson - which, as you may know, doesn’t quite cut it as a Terminatrix with daddy issues - would give the robotic thing another try later on. Go figure.
Socialite and ex blogger Valido saw it back in ‘86. We asked him about it: he said “I can’t remember much except the death-by-basketball thing… this makes it look like a female-oriented Friday the 13th”, and added: “Miss U Anne Ramsey.”