|Submitted by Byron Merritt |
(Oct 14, 2006)
Trying to convince you (those who choose to read this) that this campy movie is worth every minute of your time will be my toughest job here, as I'm going to say some things that will seem at odds with each other when referring to this film. But I'm going to give it a go anyway and hope that you bear with me for a few moments...
If you watched the TV series Batman (starring Adam West) and thought the BAM! BOOF! and CRASH! pop-ups were cool whenever he and Robin got into fights with the Riddler, the Joker or some other dastardly villain, or if you didn't mind the fact that the early rocket propulsion system of Flash Gordon was accomplished by a fourth of July sparkler, you're the right person to watch SPACEMAN. I'm not saying you need to be a simpleton in order to watch this! Quite the contrary, you just have to be the type of person who's not overly-critical of such things.
SPACEMAN is ...I'm not sure how to put this without sounding ridiculous ...um ...it's the best B-movie, low-budget, science fiction, romance, kung fu/gangster film I've ever seen.
I stumbled upon SPACEMAN when nothing else was on TV. I was looking for something different, something refreshingly out-of-the-ordinary, but I had no idea what I'd clicked onto when I found SPACEMAN. At first glance, I was ready to turn it off. The production value was obviously very low. The filming was grainy or overexposed in places and the costumes were immediately laughable. But I decided to give the story a try. I'm very glad I did.
It's the story that pulls you through and makes this film a definitive triumph. The script is sheer genius and the acting is good.
Spaceman (David Ghilardi) starts out as a four-year-old child who is abducted from his front yard by aliens. Twenty-five years later, Spaceman crash lands back on Earth and finds himself unprepared for a world he barely remembers. His brain has been altered, and he is trained for combat and submission to a "commander". Any commander will do, really. So, in order to make himself feel more comfortable, he finds a job so that he has a commander (a boss). His first job is as a stock boy at a supermarket. But problems quickly arise as Spaceman has to improvise when his commander (boss) isn't around. When he witnesses a shoplifting, he takes matters into his own deadly hands and injures the thief, thus getting himself fired. Spaceman tries other locations for possible employment, including the military, the FBI, and the Mob, but none will have him.
During all of this, there's a love story building between Spaceman and a pretty apartment neighbor named Sue (Deborah King). She's drawn to his physical nature ...even though Spaceman can't procreate without orders from his commander.
Back to the FBI and the Mob ...
The FBI find out about Spaceman and try to capture him and his family and friends, only to find that Spaceman is no one to mess around with. His deadly demeanor ends any conflicts he encounters. Trying for a job as a hit man, Spaceman is even rebuffed by the Mob ...for a while. Sound interesting? It really is.
Give SPACEMAN a try. And trust me, you're going to want to turn it off after the first fifteen minutes. Don't! Watch closely, enjoy the story and be thankful that this campy film isn't trying to be some big blockbuster movie on half a shoestring budget. It never tries to do that. It pays homage to a time when rocket ships didn't have blue screens with CGI and had to tell a story about people; those funny, threatening, flawed, and ridiculous people!