This weeks selection I’d put off seeing since a friend of mine recommended them to me as a double feature. And it was a while before they were in at the same time.
Of course when I say “Recommend” what I mean is he thought that these were one of those “this is a creator’s mind on drugs“ kind of film that you may like if you are in a very strange sort of mood.
And both of these films American Astronaut and Stingray Sam are very, very weird filling a very small genre of “Cowboy Science Fiction Musicals”… done on a very small budget.
I confess when American Astronaut was first recommended to me I got it mixed up with the horror film “Astronaut’s Wife” though pretty much the name is the only thing these two films have in common. American Astronaut takes place in an unspecified future where space is a run down frontier, astronauts are pretty much just space truckers and women are so scarce that a mining baron is able to control his workers by having “The Boy who saw a Woman’s Breasts” tell them stories about his experience: “They were round and soft, get back to work.”
From there we have the Astronaut trying to get rich with a string of deals involving the aforementioned boy, while being chased by a mass murdering psychopath.
This is all done in black and white in the style of an old 1930s film serial only with a smaller budget. Special effects consist of models on strings and off screen sound effects. Sets consist of ordinary barns and dive bars and the Astronauts space ship consists of a single room set with a steering wheel in the front. Still lots of fun if you are in the right mood.
Stingray Sam is pretty much more of the same only in this case the title character has been conscripted to help save the “Carpenter’s Daughter” (an adorable six year old wearing a pink tutu over a lumberjack costume.) The budget of this one is slightly more than American Astronaut. This one uses paintings for sets and a small moving doll that the characters can be beamed into for easy carry and sneakiness (don’t ask) but other wise more of the same.
Still kind of fun if you are in a very specific kind of mood.